Have you ever shopped at a cute little boutique, leisurely browsing and examining the unique products…only to leave without buying anything?
I have, and I’ll admit: I always feel a teensy bit guilty as I leave.
Because I know that those shop owners depend on each and every customer in order to keep their doors open.
But this scenario isn’t just a bummer for the mom and pop shop owners at the end of Main Street…it’s something that happens to online business owners, as well.
Depending on who you talk to, the exact number changes a little bit…but on average, 3 out of 4 people who actively “shop” on your website will never actually make a purchase.
They’ll just look around a little, maybe add an item or two to the shopping cart, and then leave it all at the checkout counter…sad.
When you’re counting on your online sales to make a living, finding any viable shopping cart abandonment solutions to turn those window shoppers into real customers becomes a high priority on your list.
Why Shopping Cart Abandonment is A “Thing”
In one way or another, we’re all guilty of abandoning all or part of our shopping carts – both in physical stores and when shopping online.
While each person might have his or her own line of reasoning, there are a few worth looking at:
“I’m Not Quite Ready To Spend That Much”
Financial considerations hit pretty hard as you get close to the checkout counter. Many users, when faced with the additional charges that are revealed during checkout (tax, shipping costs, etc.), get cold feet.
By the time you’re asking for a credit card number, the hesitations kick in full force:
- Do I really need this?
- $97 IS a lot of money…
- I could always think about it and come back later…
While each consideration is super reasonable, all tend to lead to shopping cart abandonment…with very little hope of return.
“I’m Just Browsing, Thanks”
Most of us are guilty of this attitude – always kind of shopping online, and never quite sure whether we’re going to actually make a purchase or not.
The “add to cart” button in these cases is just a way to bookmark a product, in case we want to check back in later and commit. Of course, more often than not, we simply X out of the site without buying it, after all.
A lack of serious purchase intent can really mess with your website stats versus sales (conversion rates), and leave you wondering why isn’t this converting?
“This Checkout Line Is Taking Too Long…”
Waiting in a long checkout line at a store is maddening, and that same frustration can happen with a lengthy or complex checkout process in your online store.
This one is actually less the fault of the user, and more the fault of the web designer! If a checkout process is absurdly complex, busy or impatient users will quickly back out…even if they were totally ready to pay the full amount and purchase your product.
But the Real Problem Is A Lack Of Initial Commitment
So even though those are only three (out of probably three million) reasons why your users are leaving the site without purchasing the products in their shopping carts, there’s one thread that unites them all:
When it comes right down to it, almost all shopping cart abandonment stems from a lack of initial commitment.
So the solution, in some ways, is fairly straightforward: you have to remind your customers how bad they want your stuff.
Make ‘Em Want What You’ve Got … With A Single Email
Unfortunately, there’s no way to accurately predict whether someone’s going to go through with a purchase or not…until it’s already happened.
So one incredibly easy solution is this:
The moment they’ve abandoned their shopping cart and left your website, you have to recapture their attention and remind them why they need to go back and complete the order.
You can do this if they share their email with you before they abandon ship.
Armed with their email address, you have the chance to automate an email designed that reminds them why they might want to come back and finish that purchase. And if they’re really the right fit, you’ll see this extra effort be accompanied with great results.
How It Looks In Action: The 3 Step Checkout Process
This month, our membership site plugin, AccessAlly, came out with a brand new e-commerce feature: a 3-step checkout process that allows you to sell products on your own website.
By simply using the AccessAlly sales form, a new world is opened: you’re able to reconnect with users who have abandoned their shopping carts in the middle of the checkout process.
And you have a chance to win them back…
Here’s how that process looks:
Step 1: Name & Email
It’s quick and easy, requires very little thought or commitment on the part of the user, but AccessAlly captures that info as soon as the user hits “Next”.
At this point, you have their email address, and can create a follow-up automation sequence in your CRM to be sent if the purchase isn’t completed.
Step 2: Payment Info
On the second step of the process, the user enters the billing and credit card information. Once all the info has been added, they can click on the “Pay Now” button.
Step 3: Delivery
Once the correct payment info has been entered, the buyer clicks through to the order completion screen for one last check before submitting everything.
But What Do You Tell Them To Get ‘Em To Come Back?
Any users who abandon their shopping carts in the middle of “Step 2” can be contacted via email. But the email you send has to be totally on point to be effective and bring them back to complete their orders.
Because you only have one chance.
First, in the most concise and genuine way possible, connect them with the value of your product, and why they might want to return to finish the purchase.
Some relevant items for you to talk about include:
- A friendly welcome and greeting
- Contact merge fields to keep it personal
- A sentence or two about the beneficial results of your product
- A statistic or two about your product/niche (and why it’s such a great thing)
- A personalized signature from yourself or your team
Keep it short, gracious, and to the point, with the main focus being the link that leads back to their shopping cart.
(Oh, and try to avoid the “Big Brother is watching” tone…I’ve received that impression before in follow-up emails, and it makes me certain that I don’t want to purchase from that site!)
What Are Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Solutions?
It really is such a simple solution to shopping cart abandonment problems… and the best thing is that you can automate the whole thing using AccessAlly for your order forms.
Because when you can communicate to your customers that yes, you do care what happens to them, they’re much more willing to take another look at what it is you have to offer.
This time, with a renewed sense of interest and commitment.