If you’ve done any research whatsoever on the subject of e-commerce cart abandonment, you know first hand how afraid of it everyone has become. “Cart abandonment rates are climbing!” “The bigger e-commerce becomes, the higher cart abandonment rates rise!”

But why is everyone so afraid of this “big bad wolf” of e-commerce?

While the above statements are all true, it’s also safe to say that some cart abandoners have gotten a bad rap. According to Shopify, people abandon their carts for a large number of reasons, the top 5 of which being:

  • Unexpected Costs – 56% cited as a reason
  • Just Browsing – 37%
  • Found Better Price Elsewhere – 36%
  • Decided Against Buying – 26%
  • Website Too Complicated – 25%

After a closer analysis of these shoppers, what we actually have is 2 different kinds of abandoners: Those who abandon due to a poor experience on the site (unexpected costs, found a better price elsewhere, complicated website) and those who abandon because they’re not quite ready to buy just yet (just browsing, decided against buying).

So here’s what we have: Those who abandon because of you, and those who abandon because of them.

2 Different Shoppers With Very Similar Intent

Let’s take a quick look at the ‘intent’ of these 2 types of online shoppers. The first batch (those that abandon because of a poor experience) intended on purchasing the product, but something scared them off. Initially, the customer’s ‘intent to purchase’ was very high, and it plummeted mid-checkout.

The second batch of shoppers (just browsing or decided against buying) may be abandoning for their own reasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re uninterested in your product anymore. When these shoppers abandon a cart, it’s actually more like they’re walking the items to the cashier at a store to check the price, and deciding now is not the right time. The ‘intent to purchase’ with these customers is so high, it’s second only to those that actually finish the checkout.

So, rather than a whole bunch of no-good cart abandoning flip-floppers (as the rest of the internet would have you believe), what you actually have are shoppers that, at one point, fully intended on purchasing your product, would like to purchase in the future, or could be convinced to reconsider a purchase.

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The 2 Step Method for Addressing Cart Abandonment

Looking at it from this angle, there are really only 2 things you need to do to reduce cart abandonment on your site, and increase overall conversion to sale.

  1. Optimize your products, site and checkout flow – i.e. Fix abandonment that’s your fault.
  2. Use an abandoned cart remarketing tool – i.e. Take advantage of the high intent of the abandoners that weren’t your fault.

1. Optimizing Your Site and Checkout Flow

It’s important to not try and fix every little thing about your site at once. Start with the biggest issues affecting cart abandonment rates, and move down through the list. Here are some things you can do to address each of the 3 reasons that are, technically, your own fault.

Unexpected Costs:

  • Choose 5 different products from your site in multiple categories and price points.
  • Make sure all costs are disclosed and there’s no way a customer could be hit with an unexpected fee.
  • Add each item to your cart separately and keep only one item in your cart at a time. Note any possible costs that could be perceived as too high or unnecessary. i.e. Sales tax, high shipping costs, service fees, etc.

Found a Better Price:

Google your competitors. Review their checkout process by adding items to your cart. Look up reviews on their products. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my product lacking features? Am I highlighting the right features on my site?
  • What differentiates my product from others and am I articulating that?
  • Could I afford to lower my price without compromising quality?

Complicated Website:

Remember – “A Confused Mind Doesn’t Buy”.

Walk through the checkout process on your site and note every single possible barrier that could keep someone from completing a checkout. For example:

  • Complicated page layouts
  • Unpopulated shipping and/or billing fields
  • Non-mobile friendly site or cart
  • Unnecessary *required fields

2. Using an Abandoned Cart Remarketing Tool

As with anything in the world of business, there are always a thousand ways to accomplish one task. In the interest of sticking with the “lowest hanging fruit”, the two that you should focus on to get the biggest result are online retargeting campaigns and abandoned cart email remarketing.

Social and Display Retargeting Campaigns

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If you’ve ever abandoned a shopping cart, you’ve likely seen ads pop up on Facebook and other sites you visit advertising the items that were in your cart. You can do the same for abandoners on your site. Companies like Perfect Audience, Adroll and more make it somewhat simple to setup retargeting campaigns of this nature. Keep in mind, though:

  • These campaigns can be costly and complicated to set up for non-tech savvy users.
  • Without proper tracking in place, it can take time to acquire enough data to know if it’s working correctly.
  • Keeping CAC (customer acquisition cost) down can be tricky.

Abandoned Cart Email Remarketing

Having a good email remarketing campaign running in the background is something that all e-commerce stores should have in place, and can greatly benefit stores doing as little as 5 – 7 transactions per day.

The best tools capture email addresses as they’re typed anywhere on your site, not just at checkout. You can also inject the shoppers cart items directly into the email. So you have a further reach and the ability to get into the inbox of your high-intent buyers immediately after the abandonment, resulting in an above-average revenue recovery rate.

Some things to take into consideration when crafting your emails include:

  • Personalization
  • Including cart items
  • Use a “support” tone (Oops, did something go wrong?)
  • Use scarcity and loss aversion tactics
  • Include a phone number
  • Offer a discount or free shipping incentive
  • Recommend similar items

Was this article helpful? Here’s an infographic you can share with others being “plagued” by this so-called “issue” of cart abandonment!

Why Cart Abandonment is Good for your E-Commerce

What’s the biggest insight that your cart abandonment rate showed you? Tell us below or tweet us!