Abandoned carts can be the bain of a Shopify eCommerce brand’s existence. Imagine being a brick-and-mortar store and having people walk in, fill up carts, and then simply walk out, leaving a jumble of filled shopping carts near the front door.
It happens in the outside world too, but it's epidemic online. And these abandoned carts represent billions in lost revenue. That’s why every Shopify and Shopify+ brand should have a strong abandoned cart plan as part of their overall retention marketing strategy.
This article will look at some of the top reasons that shoppers abandon their carts, and what you can do to not only minimize abandonment but also to get some of those shoppers back in to make the purchase.
Top Reasons That Shoppers Abandon Carts
Why, oh why, do they do it?
Lack of urgency
Shoppers don't feel a sense of urgency to complete their purchase when they're just browsing an online store. They can always come back later and buy the item, so there's no need to act now.Second-guessing the purchase
Second-guessing the purchase
Will this item really be worth it? Is it the best quality? Do I really need it? shoppers may have doubts about an item before finalizing their purchase.
Online shoppers can get easily distracted by other tabs, notifications, or emails. Once they click away from your website, they may not come back.
Complicated checkout process
If the checkout process is too complicated or takes too long, shoppers get frustrated. This one happens plenty in the physical world as well.
What Can Shopify Brands Do to Prevent Abandoned Carts?
Obviously, it’s hard to control for some of the reasons above. You can’t keep a shopper from getting distracted by an email or call, can you? So you focus on what you can control. Oh and don’t worry, we’ll show get to how you win back those distracted shoppers later.
What Can You Control?
Let's focus on #4 above - a complicated checkout process. What are some of the main reasons consumers find checkout processes too complicated?
Too many steps:
Online shoppers want to be able to check out quickly and easily. If there are too many steps involved in the process, they will likely abandon their cart.
How can e-commerce brands avoid having too many steps in their checkout process?
- Use a one-click checkout option for returning customers
- Offer a guest checkout option
- Use auto-fill forms to reduce the amount of data entry required
Required account creation:
Some websites require users to create an account before they can checkout. Many shoppers simply do not want to create an account in order to complete their purchase. If this is a requirement, they will likely leave your site and find a similar product elsewhere.
What is your solution to this? Allow guest checkout. You can still capture vital information like name, address, phone and email, which every shopper expects to have to give to make a purchase. Once you have this identifying information, you can continue to market to them and convert them to account holders down the road.
Nothing is more frustrating to an online shopper than finding out there are hidden fees at the end of the checkout process. These unexpected costs can cause shoppers to abandon their purchase altogether. This can include things like shipping or VAT that were hidden from the customer until deeper into the checkout process.
You can solve this by being transparent early in the cart process as to what fees will be included, or simply add them to the total cart cost as the customer is shopping.
If the layout of the checkout page is confusing or difficult to navigate, shoppers may become frustrated and abandon. Keep it simple - customers should be able to easily go back a step and make changes without losing the inputs they have already made. Don’t make them enter info twice. The road to purchasing should be clearly marked and easy to get to.
Difficult payment options:
If the shopper is having trouble inputting payment options, they will likely prefer to buy from a competitor that has ApplePay, Paypal, or other widely-used and easily automated services. Some people simply find that getting their credit card out of their wallet is more daunting than just finding the product on another site with easier checkout options.
This one is a no-brainer, but you should be employing every mainstream payment option out there.
But even if you work against all of the above, shoppers will still abandon carts… it’s just a fact of eCommerce life. What’s a brand to do about it?
Capture abandoned cart user identity, and bring them back with email and SMS marketing.
Abandoned Cart Email Marketing
Email marketing to cart abandoners will help get them past some of the other stumbling blocks mentioned in the intro, like a lack of sense of urgency, or second-guessing the purchase. It can also help recapture shoppers who simply got distracted before they checked out.
You can send a series of email reminders, each with a different offer or incentive, to encourage them to come back and complete their purchase.
Here are some high-level tips for your abandoned cart email strategy:
- Create urgency with email subject lines: Use words and phrases like "last chance," "act now," or "expiring soon" to create a sense of urgency in your email subject lines. This will encourage shoppers to open and click through to your email.
- Use images and videos: Include images and videos in your email to help capture the shopper's attention. This can be helpful in showing off a new product or demonstrating how to use a product.
- Use countdown timers: Adding a countdown timer to your email creates a sense of urgency for shoppers to act now before it's too late. This can be an effective way to encourage abandoned cart email conversion.
- Offer discounts and coupons: Offering a discount or coupon in your email can be a great incentive for shoppers to come back and complete their purchase. Be sure to include an expiration date on the offer to create a sense of urgency.
Provide free shipping: Free shipping is another great incentive for online shoppers. If you're able to offer free shipping on an order, be sure to include that information in your email.
- Make it easy to purchase: Include a link back to the product page in your email so shoppers can easily find and purchase the item they were interested in. You may also want to consider including a guest checkout option to make it even easier for shoppers to complete their purchases without creating an account.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though…
Abandoned Carts Resource Library
Fortunately, we have a trove of resources to help you out at every turn. Check out these articles for deep dives on the following topics:
- Retention Marketing 101
- Guide to Abandoned Cart Email Strategy
- Abandoned cart Email Best Practices
- Abandoned Cart Email Templates & Tips
- Browse Abandonment Email Guide
- Browse Abandonment Email Best Practices
- Browse Abandonment Email Templates
You should find everything you need in those links to build a robust marketing program around abandonment flows.
There’s still one question in your head, though… how do I even identify who these abandoners are if they haven’t signed up or purchased something from me in the past?
Grow Your First-Party Dataset, and Unlock A Whole New Segment of Interested Customers
Retention.com specializes in retention marketing and e-commerce solutions, including cart abandonment and re-engaging potentially lost customers. We provide one-click integrations with leading marketing automation platforms.
Our dashboard features a user-friendly interface to easily connect to any email marketing application in under a minute. Retention’s integrations automatically update and suppress contacts daily.
We can help you reclaim up to ten times more abandonment revenue by leveraging industry-leading Identity Resolution technology. When an unidentified customer abandons a cart, we identify them. Then a personalized flow automatically triggers in the messaging platform.
Scale up your abandonment flows and improve your retention marketing strategy. Get in touch with Retention.com today to find out how we can help.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool in getting shoppers to come back and complete their purchases. By using email subject lines, images, videos, and countdown timers, you can create a sense of urgency that will encourage abandoned cart email conversion. And by offering discounts, coupons, and free shipping, you can provide shoppers with incentives to come back and buy. So if you're looking to recapture lost sales, email marketing is a great place to start.