Addressing Abandoned Carts

Addressing Abandoned Carts
Photo by Wesley Mc Lachlan / Unsplash

Cart Abandonment by the users is a common issue that all e-commerce companies face and they rack their brains to find solutions to it. In an earlier blog, we discussed the most common reasons for Cart abandonment in the e-commerce industry. It’s a very pertinent problem, so much so that the impact is such that only 3 out of 10 people complete their e-commerce order placements.

In this blog, we discuss ways to address this issue and reduce cart abandonment amongst e-commerce customers.

  1. A Simple Checkout Process: Incorporating a simple checkout process is one of the sure-shot ways of getting the customers hooked to the purchase process. The flow from the item search to the item details to the cart to the checkout page has to be very smooth. Plus, it also helps if a smooth payment process is also in place so that the customers are compelled to place the order(s). A simple, clear, crisp, and fast checkout process is a sure-shot winner and e-commerce companies should focus on having this on their websites and apps. The customers should always be clear about the next steps in the checkout process.

  2. Multiple Payment Options: As a customer, one would expect a range of payment options from any e-commerce application and if the app misses any one payment mode, there are chances that the customers may abandon their carts. It’s also important to consider the geography that one is operating in whilst enabling the payment options - in a country like India, it’s good to have the UPI payments enabled along with the QR code payments enabled too. Such payment modes have to be enabled for the ease of usage of the customers. Also, a few e-commerce apps in India offer the Pay Later option too - such features may also be incorporated into the applications but they come with a risk and the companies have to be mindful of that.

  3. Have Guest Login/Checkout flow: Not everyone is interested in logging in to the platform to view an item from a store. Also, not everyone wants to place an order by giving all the details too. Some users prefer guest checkouts. Guest Checkouts are extremely important for new e-commerce sites and apps as there’s a sense of mistrust in the new apps; it’s good to incorporate the guest checkout process till the time the customers gain confidence in the website/app.

  4. Ideal delivery times: Delivery times of the ordered items must be shown clearly to the customers. The delivery time shouldn’t be too slow; the slowness of order deliveries is a big reason for cart abandonment. It’s a challenge that the new e-commerce sites and apps face quite a bit - they’re new to the process and don’t know the ideal delivery times and when there’s a delay, customer engagement gets impacted.
    Along with this, the delivery date(s) should be shown to the user right from the item details page and these should remain uniform till the user completes the checkout process. The same dates should also be shown in the confirmation emails as well. These timelines should be followed without fail.
    Quick commerce has pivoted customers' mindset toward faster delivery times. In short, e-commerce companies have to manage their inventory and logistics so that the items are delivered to the doorstep as quickly as possible.

  5. Lower Shipping Costs: The Baymard Institute’s survey tells that high shipping costs, taxes, and fees were collectively the single largest reason for cart abandonment. This has to be addressed on priority by all the e-commerce companies. The Shipping costs have to be reasonable and not too high so that they burn a hole in the customer’s pockets.
    Also, incorporating Free shipping is a highly effective strategy for reducing cart abandonment, increasing conversion rates, and improving the overall shopping experience for your customers. It's an investment that can yield significant returns in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Free shipping has a strong psychological appeal to the consumers which makes them feel like an extra cost is being eliminated. In today’s competitive market, free shipping can give your business a competitive edge.

  6. Showing the total cost upfront: Cost is a very sensitive criterion for any consumer. We’ve often seen many e-commerce sites/apps not showing the total cost upfront and this has caused heartburn for the customers too. 21% of the respondents in the Baymard Institute’s survey cited the inability to see the total cost upfront as one of the main reasons for abandoning their shopping carts. This is a significant factor and one that needs to be addressed by the e-commerce industry. A third of the consumers shop with a target price in mind; additional costs or hidden costs can greatly impact customer engagement.
    An ideal checkout process will ask the user to enter their pincode/zipcode in the item details page to show the accompanying shipping cost/taxes. The same has to be maintained uniformly throughout the checkout process, including the discounts (if any).

  7. Better discounts and promo codes: Who doesn't love discounts? Everyone who loves to shop always looks for discounts. Say a customer has added a few items to the cart and comes back after a while; A good way to surprise the customers is by showing a price drop(s) for item(s) as compared to their last visit. This is a good way to make the users buy the goods this time around.
    New e-commerce sites and apps should be wary of offering too many discounts and promo codes for the customers than they can manage. This can lead to losses and can also lead to the closure of the companies in some cases. Companies have to incorporate these discounts and codes techniques in a very smart manner; offer them to the extent that they get new customers but do not offer as much that burns their pockets.

  8. Solid Returns and Refund policy: A clear returns and refund policy is very essential for any e-commerce platform. This shows the company’s outlook toward its customers too. It also shows how empathetic the company is. If one takes a look at successful e-commerce businesses, one of the cornerstones of their approach would inevitably be a clear and robust Returns and Refund policy, making it imperative for all businesses to strive for it. Having live chat support will also aid the customers in the returns process when they have any queries.
    A good Returns and Refund policy may serve as a deal-breaker in luring customers again to your website/app.

  9. Addressing Payment Security Concerns: A robust payment process goes a long way in keeping your customers happy. Assuring customers of the encryptions being used in the product is one way to allay any possible fears that the customers may have. One can incorporate encryption implementations like the secure socket layer (SSL), the Payment Cart Compliance (PCI), and the like. One can also incorporate Trust badges during the payment process to assure the customers as they enter their payment information.

  10. No restrictions on the product quantity cap: While it’s good to restrict the quantity of an item being ordered to prevent hoarding; at the same time, it shouldn’t prevent users from ordering the quantity they want. It’s important to strike the right balance between the two and it's somewhere in between this that a good customer experience exists.

  11. Faster site speed and minimal app performance issues: The success of any e-commerce largely relies on the quickness and reliability of the overall buying process. As an organization, it’s imperative to enable or incorporate a faster checkout process with near-zero failure rates. It also helps to optimize for faster page loading times. A slow website doesn’t impress anyone. Consumers can easily navigate to the competitor’s websites/apps if they don't get a smooth experience in the current application. The faster your application pages load, the better the customer experience. This is also a sure-shot way to retain customers as well.

  12. Competitive Pricing: As customers look at multiple websites and apps before buying anything, it’s important to offer a competitive price. While customers look to buy the least expensive one, a competitive pricing strategy helps the e-commerce company stay in business without making many losses. A competitive pricing strategy is one where the item is priced just right for the customer and the market and one where the seller doesn’t incur losses. It should also keep them in the business too.

  13. Improve the checkout process visually: As mentioned earlier in our blog on the reasons for Abandoned carts, a majority of the criteria influencing the Abandoned carts are around transparency and clean UI/UX flows. If the apps and websites are designed by keeping the end customers as their focus, most of the issues can be solved. The websites and the applications should be free from any distractions too; distractions impact the customer minds making them move away from the site/app. Companies can also include a thumbnail of the products being ordered throughout the checkout process. They can also include progress indicators of the checkout process; this will help the customer understand how many steps are to be accomplished before the order is placed. It also is important to show the total savings on the checkout page.
Rate of e-commerce carts


Additionally, e-commerce companies can employ multiple strategies to reach out to customers with Abandoned carts. Some of them are:

  1. Targeted communications: Companies can deploy targeted communications like personalized follow-up emails, social media advertisements, pop-ups in the customers’ browsing feed, etc. to reach out to customers who have items added to their carts.
  2. Sharing social proof: People trust the reviews of products shared by others; taking this forward, e-commerce companies can share product reviews and pictures of the products highlighting the customer testimonials to users with abandoned carts.
  3. Email campaigns with additional discounts: Companies can also send personalized emails to abandoned cart customers with additional discounts, free shipping and limited time offers, etc. to lure them to complete the purchase. In fact, to tackle problems around the Cart abandonment issue, businesses regularly use email automation as one of the solution(s). Email automation notably reduces the percentage of abandoned carts in e-commerce by sending timely reminders, personalized communication, and targeted re-engagement campaigns. By promptly sending reminders following the cart abandonment, businesses can prompt customers to return and complete their orders.
  4. Drip campaigns: This is another form of email engagement strategy where companies gradually persuade customers to complete their purchases via a series of persuasive emails or messages.

All in All, it’s important for any e-commerce company to hold on to its customers and anything and everything they do is to retain the customers. Companies should also honor the privacy of their customers at all times. Abandoned Carts continue to be the number one problem of businesses worldwide and it’s imperative that the companies do their best to reach out to such customers.

Valmi.io and Abandoned Carts:
Our team at Valmi.io is building an eCommerce data platform centered around Google spreadsheets; the platform aims at helping users analyze their e-commerce data using features like Prompts and Explore; using the data from the spreadsheet, one can reach out to the Abandoned Cart users as well.

Stay tuned to our updates in the forthcoming weeks to come as we bring the product to you.