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e-Commerce Industry News

October 5, 2016
Flexible eCommerce platforms fight cart abandonment
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October 5, 2016
Are items added to carts making it all the way to checkout? Are items added to carts making it all the way to checkout?
Are large numbers of your eCommerce customers leaving with goods left in their carts? This is a frustrating problem for any online seller to face, as the potential for a sale is clearly present before the shoppers abandon their browsing sessions and leave. Fortunately, there are many different ways to fight back. Creating a great eCommerce experience, and specifically targeting cart abandonment pain points, can help you turn these lost dollars into a reliable source of revenue.

The first step is to identify what's going wrong. Is there something about your eCommerce platform that's pushing potential buyers away? Next, it's time to make targeted improvements. There are a few subtle changes that can enhance the way users interact with your site, ensuring that the incentives to stay and make the purchase are greater than the temptation to walk away and seek a better deal. No matter the products you're selling, these methods can prove invaluable.

Be sure your site is secure
Sometimes, buyers don't leave because of prices, the web experience or a more compelling offer from a competitor - they abandon their carts because they no longer feel safe. Identity theft is a real problem today, making it more vital than ever that your site gives buyers a sense of security. Business 2 Community's Liam Cavanagh urged retailers to get their eCommerce sites verified by trusted authorities to ensure buyers they are not putting personal information at risk.

No matter a customer's level of web experience, browsers today tend to make it clear through icons which sites are secure - and which aren't. If you fall into the latter category, you've put your customers at heightened risk. Provided you do protect data effectively, it's time to put that expertise on display. If your platform is verified secure, buyers will be able to type their important payment information in without fear, proceeding instead of abandoning their carts.

Give buyers a way to come back
Sometimes, cart abandonment isn't meant to be permanent. People leave, then come back and buy. If your site doesn't support persistent carts, they'll have to start over. This is why Business.com's Krithika Siddharth suggested using browser cookies to ensure that when shoppers come back, they'll be right where they left off. Then, it's a simple matter of heading to the checkout. If you make them re-add every item, maybe they'll buy fewer things - or just decide it's not worth it after all.

Many shoppers engage in this behavior, so it's worth planning for. Siddharth pointed to eMarketer data that showed more than half of consumers add items to their carts with the intention of buying them later. Therefore, if you offer a retail portal that doesn't support this capability, you're failing to provide an expected feature, and maybe losing business.
Are customers abandoning digital carts at high rates? Try these fixes. Are customers abandoning digital carts at high rates? Try these fixes.

Be mobile-savvy
If your website doesn't work on mobile devices, it's a problem. Today's online retail environment is heavily dependent upon smartphone- and tablet-based customers, and they may be the ones abandoning their carts. Tech.co contributor Diana Labrien explained that businesses with responsive sites that suit mobile use are more likely to keep their buyers happy all the way through the checkout process. Making someone use the desktop experience on a smartphone might lead to frustration and a lost sale.

As for the actual features that make up an effective mobile checkout, Labrien specified that it may be helpful to break up the process into many different parts. Instead of facing one monolithic page to input information, consumers are fed forms one at a time. In addition, those individual pages should offer to auto-fill common information, ensuring that shoppers don't have to type more than is absolutely necessary on their touchscreens.

A top-notch experience gets conversions
Rather than one overarching key to avoiding cart abandonment, there are several small improvements that can have strong cumulative effects. If it's time to refresh your eCommerce platform, you should make sure the new model will get the results you're looking for. By a similar token, when you notice a high rate of cart abandonment, that may be a sign that platform improvements are in order. You have a great chance to capture the business of customers who abandon their carts - they're right on your site, preparing to make a purchase. Ensure they have plenty of reasons to click "buy."