ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUL. 17, 2014
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How to Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is a very common problem for many ecommerce sites. This refers to a situation where consumers put items in a shopping cart, but bail out before completing the checkout process. Here are some of the reasons why consumers abandon the shopping cart:

  • Confusing or lengthy user registration
  • Not having a security seal on your site
  • Not offering product information
  • Failing to provide customer service contacts
  • Not offering information about returning items
  • Absence of a sense of urgency

So what can you do to minimize shopping cart abandonment?

1. Get rid of the registration requirement

Requiring visitors to register on your ecommerce site is a great way of gathering and maintaining customer records. However, research has shown that over 40% of online shoppers abandon the shopping cart when they are asked to register or login. This means loss of money or even customers for your business. To avoid this, it would be advisable to make provision for customers to skip registration altogether.

2. Make registration easy

If you really feel that visitors must signup, make the registration process as easy as possible. For example, you could allow them to register through their Facebook or Google+ accounts. To encourage more visitors to sign up, you could offer incentives such as discounts or free eBooks. It would also be advisable to install a plugin on your site showing users how far they have gone in the registration process. Add a feature which allows users to save their details and return to complete registration later.

3. Display your refund policy clearly

‘Can I return this item if I’m not happy with it?’ ‘Will I be required to pay shipping fees for returning the item?’ These are some of the questions customers ask themselves when preparing to make a major purchase. Make sure such common questions are answered on your FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. It would also be prudent to provide a link to your return policy at every step of checkout.

4. Create a sense of scarcity and demand

There are many great plugins you can install on your site to create a sense of scarcity and demand. For example, you can show the number of items remaining and how many other people are visiting your product pages. If you are offering a limited discount, you could have a timer showing the time remaining till the offer expires. However, this strategy only works with stores that stock limited quantities of items.

5. Display your security and privacy seals

Online safety is a major concern for most shoppers. Customers will want to be assured of their safety before completing the checkout process. It is therefore very important to get your ecommerce site authenticated by third parties such as BBBComodoVerisignGeoTrust and TRUSTe. Once your site is verified, be sure to display the privacy and security seals prominently on your site.

Applying the tips mentioned above will help you significantly lower incidences of shopping cart abandonment on your site. This will in turn enhance your sales.

Image: iStockphoto, PJRego

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