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Fight shopping cart abandonment with 14 digital analytics-inspired tips

Ashley Kibler, AT Internet Copywriter, with participation from Fai-keung Ng, AT Internet Group Country Manager, Southeast Asia | April 6, 2015
Despite growing consumer familiarity on buying online, shopping cart abandonment is preventing online retailers from reaching their full sales potential. So how should retailers avoid it?

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

E-commerce has been dramatically changing the retail landscape. Online spending is seen at its highest levels, with worldwide business-to-consumer e-commerce expected to grow 20.1 percent and reach a colossal$1.5 trillion this year. Zooming in on Asia Pacific, the upward trend is even more astounding. Consumers in the region are believed to have spent more on online shopping than their North American counterparts. In 2014, e-commerce sales in the region were estimated to have reached $525 billion.

But not everything is as rosy as it seems.

Despite growing consumer familiarity on buying online, there's a destructive force at play, preventing online retailers from reaching their full sales potential: shopping cart abandonment - a darkness that creeps up on consumers in the final stages of purchase, driving them away from their carts and smothering conversions.

It's happening all around us, even to the biggest and the best. According to comScore, 67 percent of all shopping carts are abandoned, and left in the dark.

As the plot thickens, let's see what we're up against: Every year, abandoned carts worldwide represent nearly $4 trillion in lost revenue for online retailers - but of which 63 percent is potentially recoverable (source: BI Intelligence).

Not only do cart abandons represent a loss of potential revenue, they also represent a loss on acquisition investment. Brands invest huge budgets and efforts into capturing consumers and drawing them into the conversion funnel, and cart abandons sneak in and sabotage these efforts at the eleventh hour.

There are three major reasons why consumers abandon their carts:

  • Price(unexpected costs, overall price too high),
  • Poor user experience(complicated website navigation, website crashes, lengthy checkout process), and
  • Payment friction issues(excessive payment security checks, concerns about payment security)

These dark influences are far-reaching, affecting even the largest online retailers.But all is not lost. There exists a tool to help reel these customers back in - your digital analytics platform!

Digital analytics tracks cart abandon rates and measures their impact on KPIs. It gives us access to powerful metrics - like potential sales turnover, abandon rate per product or per conversion funnel step - that reveal the fuller context around cart abandonment, and help us fight the problem.

Thanks to these indicators and the rich insights we can pull from them, here are 14 digital analytics inspired tips to avoid common cart abandonment roadblocks:

Price: Avoid suspense - tell it like it is

Visitors may be turned off by discovering unexpected costs at the last minute. Let them know up front exactly how much they'll be paying, and what they'll be receiving for that price - costs are easier to accept when you know what you're getting.

  • Quick win: Make sure the total amount due is prominently displayed on your checkout pages - including the payment page. Customers should be able to see their total in a split second, and know what it includes (like tax, shipping, or processing fees).
  • Go a step further:Next to the total, show even more detailed information justifying the extra fees or shipping rates. For example, indicate the delivery date for the type of shipping selected, and remind customers that this type of shipping is safe and fast. If they're paying for a gift wrapping service, for example, include a line describing your special wrapping and reassuring them of the quality packaging for their item(s).


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