I have been able to chat to different people in charge of Internet presences about the dramatic rates of abandonment which occur from the very second users place products in their shopping cart. In some cases this rate is up to 80%!
And in spite of the certainty we feel about how users use the shopping cart to see the total price for a specific order and that the average time between an initial visit and the purchase is quite considerable (see the post about the 34 hours and 19 minutes referred to in the Scanalert study), the issue of shopping cart abandonment is still highly distasteful.
To start with, it may help us to understand the distinction that Avinash Kaushik makes between Site abandonment rate, cart abandonment rate and checkout abandonment rate, where:
– Site abandonment rate is the percentage of users who end up not placing an order after placing products in their shopping cart.
– Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of users who do not start the checkout process in spite of having added products to the cart.
– Check-out abandonment rate is the percentage of users who, in spite of having started check-out end up not placing the order.
Understanding and measuring these rates is highly significant because they describe different realities: the cart abandonment rate, for example, refers to users who have not yet decided to make a purchase, whereas the check-out abandonment rate is for users who, in spite of having taken a decision to buy, do not carry it out. Obviously, it is this second ratio which should be close to 0.
Why? There are many reasons, if we are to accept the study carried out by Forrester research a couple of years ago:
The solutions? Here go 15 considerations added to the 15 we already offered in the article ?The perfect check-out? :
- Always offer the option of placing the order easily over the phone.
- Ask for contact details as soon as possible – e-mail address and phone number ? and automatically send an e-mail ? during the next 60 minutes ? if the customer has abandoned at some point in the process, asking him/her what the problem was and if we can help them to place the order. If we have their phone number, it may be a good excuse to call the customer directly.
- Make the returns policy clear and indicate how easy it is to return the product (if it really is 🙂 ).
- Clearly show our concern for the security and privacy of our customers’ details.
- Make it easy for the customer to chat with a salesperson or someone from customer support from the check-out page itself.
- Give the option of saving the purchase to take it up again at a later point.
- Show details on the product information sheet that the users often want to know: shipping charges for the order (or an estimate if a precise one cannot be given), number of the product in stock,?
- Think of offering financing options like the typical ?Bill me later? which are appearing on more and more Anglo-Saxon sites.
- Improve the download speed times for these pages.