In the world of online marketing, shopping cart abandonment is both a common and an oft-discussed issue. Cart abandonment refers to potential customers who, instead of adding items to their online shopping cart and then complete the checkout process, never actually check out – the items are added to the cart, and the customer may even get as far as setting up an online account, but the checkout process is never completed. It’s as if the customer vanished – or more likely, left your site and shopped elsewhere.
With up to 67 percent of shopping carts being abandoned on UK-based sites alone, it’s important to recognize the loss you’re taking every single day, and take steps to improve your website and the shopping experience it provides for your customers.
First, it should go without saying that you need to check on the technical aspects of your shopping cart software. While the majority of cart software packages, such as those found at SecureNetShop.com, are routinely updated and are designed to perform flawlessly — as well as let you know of any potential errors via email notifications or system-generated reports — problems can and do arise. Take a quick run through your site and make sure that everything is functioning as it should.
Second, make sure your customers aren’t leaving because of unexpected prices. Don’t bother with the age-old tactic of requiring customers to add products to their carts in order to see the prices – it won’t work. Instead, clearly display the price of every item, list any applicable surcharges or taxes, and have a dedicated page on your site that displays shipping costs. The more in-the-know a customer is about your prices, the more likely it is that shopping cart abandonment due to those prices won’t occur.
Third and most importantly, double up your efforts on marketing. Make sure your customers know what you have to offer, and why they should come to you to get it. Don’t just advertise individual products and prices – advertise you as the whole package deal! Emphasize regularly-updated product lines, fast shipping, open communication for support and technical issues, etc. Building trust and brand loyalty is a key component to overall success.