Cart Abandonment 101: How to Recover More Lost Sales

Syed Balkhi
Reduce Shopping Cart AbandonmentPhoto byAdobe Stock

Have you ever abandoned an eCommerce shopping cart before placing your order?

If so, you’re far from alone. Across all industries, 67% of desktop users will abandon their shopping carts, while 77% of mobile users will leave without finalizing their purchase.

In other words, over half of all visitors will leave your website even after adding items to their virtual cart. Believe it or not, this translates to millions of dollars in lost sales annually.

The good news is there are several ways to dramatically reduce cart abandonment and recover more sales. Today, we will explore several tried and tested strategies that you can use to keep visitors engaged with your brand, even if they’re on their way out the door.

Let’s dive in!

Improve Cart Visibility

One reason users leave before hitting the checkout button is poor cart visibility.

Imagine how you would feel if you were getting ready to place an order online but couldn’t find the shopping cart. Odds are, you would get frustrated and move on to a competitor.

On a similar note, poor cart visibility makes it hard for shoppers to adjust quantities, remove items, or see their total. All of these inconveniences culminate and form a poor user experience.

You never want to put your shoppers in this predicament.

Here are a few strategies you can use to improve visibility and reduce abandonment:

  • Make sure users can see their cart, regardless of where they are on your site.
  • Include a buy now button to streamline the shopping experience.
  • Let users adjust item quantities without navigating to a different page.
  • Use contrasting colors in your design to make your visitors’ cart bright and visible.

Use Lead Magnets to Seal the Deal

Lead magnets are an effective way to convince visitors to continue engaging with your brand, even if they are getting ready to leave their cart behind.

Simply put, lead magnets are content and offers that users can get if they take a specific action, like joining your email list. The most common type of eCommerce lead magnet is discounts for first-time customers. Other common incentives include; content upgrades, infographics, and access to live events.

You’ve likely seen these types of offers before. They typically appear as a popup when you land on a specific page or get ready to leave the website. The popup encourages users to subscribe or register for an event in exchange for an incentive.

For instance, if you’re shopping on a coffee specialty website, you may see a lead magnet that says, “Subscribe and save 30% when you buy two bags!” These types of offers can help you win over visitors who are thinking about leaving without taking action.

I recommend reviewing your buyer personas and creating lead magnets that resonate with your target audience’s needs, goals, and pain points.

Develop a Cart Recovery Email Campaign

Did you know that 77% of all email profits come from segmented or triggered campaigns? Cart abandonment email campaigns fall into this category because they are sent based on how users interact with your products and brand.

There’s a good chance some of the people leaving items in their cart are already subscribed to your email list. You can use this fact to your advantage and convince subscribers to come back and place an order.

Cart recovery campaigns will help you connect with prospects and convince them to come back and finish their order. Typically, these types of campaigns have 1-3 emails that are sent to users after they leave your website.

In my experience, 3 emails yields the best results. We saw a 69% boost in sales after adjusting our recovery campaign to 3 emails over the course of a week.

If you want to improve your success rate, include exclusive offers in your recovery emails. For instance, when a user opens our second email, they will receive a coupon for 25-50% off their purchase or a gift with their order.

Experiment with Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads are a powerful way to reach people who’ve visited your website but haven’t converted. Business owners and marketers can target users who’ve seen their websites and show them relevant advertisements or offers.

Let’s revisit the specialty coffee store example from earlier. Let’s say someone visits the site but decides to leave before taking action. There’s a good chance they will see an ad for your business while browsing another website or social media. The promotion could feature the same bag of coffee the user was looking at when they were on the site.

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube use a form of retargeting advertising that you can use to reach your audience. If you’re wondering why this is important, consider this; when used correctly, retargeting ads can reach nearly 2 billion people on social sites alone.

There is some concern that third-party cookies (the driving force behind retargeting ads) will soon be phased out. Even if that happens, new technology will fill the role and continue to gather data and provide users with personalized experiences based on their interests and actions.

Regardless of how you decide to gather data and use retargeting ads, it’s important to keep ethical principles in mind. For example, you should always give visitors the option to opt out of this type of tracking.

You should explore your options and find retargeting options that help you reach the most potential customers. One thing’s for sure; this strategy still works. Over 68% of marketers say paid ads are extremely important to their marketing plan.

Improve Your Checkout Flow

One of the best ways to convince readers to finalize their order is to keep them from leaving in the first place. Streamlining your checkout flow will make it easy for customers to land on your site, add items to their cart, and check out.

There are plenty of small things you can do that will have a positive impact on conversions.

The easiest thing you can do is adjust the pricing on users’ carts to show their true total. A whopping 48% of people say they’ve abandoned their shopping cart due to unexpected costs. The price at the top of the screen often doesn’t include shipping, taxes, or other fees. As a result, a $50 order can quickly become a $90 order.

You should also add a progress bar to your checkout page. Many users will hit the back button if they feel the process takes too long. A clear-cut bar that shows how long it will take can save customers who would otherwise leave.

It’s also worth mentioning that checkout pages need to be mobile-friendly. Not only will a poorly optimized page sink in the search rankings, but it will also result in more people abandoning their cart.

I recommend adding convenience features such as a guest checkout option and multiple payment methods. You want to create a simple, streamlined experience so more people proceed with their purchase.

Show Visitors Social Proof

Social proof in marketing allows you to show visitors that existing customers are happy with your product or service. This extremely effective strategy can help you build trust with new users and reduce cart abandonment.

You can show plenty of social proof on your site, such as reviews, testimonials, live sales notifications, and trust badges.

Each of these strategies has strengths and weaknesses, but reviews are the best option overall. The average shopper reads at least 10 reviews before they buy something from a new site. If you don’t have current reviews, readers must leave your website to see what others think of your brand.

Once they open a new tab, getting them to come back is challenging. You can prevent most people from leaving by strategically including reviews on frequently-visited parts of your site, such as your homepage or product landing pages.

Trust badges are small seals of approval you can add to your website. These seals come from reputable companies like McAfee and Paypal. When visitors see that PayPal trusts your company, they are far more likely to proceed with their purchase.

Final Thoughts

You can’t stop everyone from leaving without completing their order. However, developing a cart abandonment strategy will help you lessen the impact of lost sales. The tips presented today have helped us connect with more customers and improve profits. I believe you can see the same results.

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Syed Balkhi is on a mission to level the playing field for small businesses. 19+ million websites use his software to grow and compete with the big guys. 100+ million people read his blogs every year to grow their website traffic, sales, & conversion

West Palm Beach, FL

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