Customers abandoning the basket – how to fight this phenomenon?
For sure, every owner of an online store has encountered a situation during which the customer is interested in a purchase of an item, therefore adds the product to the basket, but the transaction is never finalised. However, this phenomenon of purchase-cancelling can be reduced. For example, by ensuring the smooth operation of the transaction process – there are many other solutions to this problem. There’s no denying that the struggle against customers abandoning the basket can affect the increase in sales and profits of many businesses around, so read on to find out how to tackle this negative effect.
Abandoning the basket – how to limit or reduce the number of forsaken baskets?
Do not hide the actual/true purchase costs
Hiding extra costs is never a good solution. Be honest about your sales and don’t conceal any prices that may surprise the customer during a purchase. The customer who adds a product to the basket should immediately know exactly how much the item costs, and preferably the overall sum with (optional) delivery prices. If at the end of the transaction the price suddenly increases, the customer will feel cheated and give up shopping. After all, he/she’s visited your website, invested time in browsing, picked out a product, ready for a final and satisfying purchase and then It all goes upside down because extra pounds are added out of nowhere. So honesty (when it comes to e-stores) is certainly the best policy.
It’s also advised to inform the customer about the delivery prices as soon as possible during the transaction process. For example, the way Amazon or ASOS do it by layering all the prices and summing them up before the checkout process is even started. If you leave it too late, expecting the customer to firstly fill out the information, set up an account, confirm all detail and then strike him/her with shocking delivery prices then most will simply leave – and worst of all, never possibly return again. Many e-store owners are convinced that this deceptive method might be a good way for earning a few extra pounds but believe us, it’s the opposite! You will only lose trust and respect. Your customers aren’t easy to fool after all, and it’ll offend them that you underestimate them. What’s more, if you advertise your attractive delivery prices throughout your website or elsewhere on the web, then be sure to keep them this way in checkout, otherwise the customer will feel cheated. Many store-owners forget to actually make the change on the website, and yet the advertisements have already been released.
Assure that the website speed, responsiveness and transaction methods are efficient and smooth
If the above are followed, the it’ll definitely be easier for customers to make a purchase decision and finalize a transaction. After all, many opt for online shopping because it can be done quickly and efficiently, with no unpleasant obstacles on the way and little hindrance or frustration arising. So, be sure that your website is fluent and intuitive rather than lagging/glitchy. It should be fully responsive, even if used on other devices than desktops. But most of all, be sure that it’s quick! In the end you want to avoid a situation whereby a customer clicks on an item and the image loads a couple of minutes. This stage is vital because spontaneous visits, especially on smartphones are expected to be fast, free-flowing and effortless. If these criteria aren’t met then chances are that the customer will be discouraged from further shopping and the issue of abandoning the basket will only increase.
Furthermore if a returning customer is back, then be sure that the data memorisation is present so that automatic completion of certain fields (e.g. address data) or redirection (to Paypal etc.) are implemented. It’s also useful to offer them to log-in first before the purchase is made or allow them to make an automatic account when completing the purchase. Alternatively, you can always offer the ‘guest-checkout’ option, whereby the customer won’t be forced to set up a permanent account, instead they’ll enter just some of his most vital details like phone number or email address where a purchase-confirmation can be sent. This eases the customer’s job and offers them freedom – in the end, many people are repelled by the account-setup process.
Optimise the website for mobile devices
As we mentioned above, this is key if you desire for your e-store to be prosperous. The number of people who make purchases via mobile devices is systematically growing. Unfortunately, at the same time it’s often the case that the mobile users leave the basket, especially if the websites are not responsive (adapted to the requirements of smaller (touch)-screens). If the website is slow, displays information or images incorrectly, then the client won’t risk finalising the transaction, fearing that something will go wrong along the way or he/she will be cheated e.g. the transfer won’t reach the shop owner etc. Many will say that there’s nothing more frustrating than being kicked out of the checkout section, or having our payment declined, transaction rejected etc. We then automatically worry that we’ve been charged, and our payments haven’t actually gone through. The website should also be built in such a way that the mobile user won’t have any trouble in navigating it efficiently and that there’s as little to no hinderance during purchase transaction finalisation.
Allow the customer to complete their shopping even after they’ve long left the website
Sometimes the customers are suddenly abandoning the basket for reasons that are completely unrelated to the store’s website. Those are known as external factors. For example, their break has just finished, browsing interrupted by conversation or kids are in need of care and our browsing is taken to a halt. It matters not what the reason is, but it happens. So to make the job easier for the customer: it’s worth to implement a possibility for such customers to complete their purchase at a later point. So, make sure that the products added to the basket, as well as their number and personal info are remembered, even if the customer isn’t logged in. At times the customer can be reminded of abandoning the basket process by being sent an e-mail or SMS with a brief reminder. You can also do it in a more discrete way e.g. by sending a promo offer or special code, and then the person might be reminded of their formerly failed purchase.
Provide the customer reasons to trust you
It would be preferable if an entry to a website’s online store was done using encrypted connections. It is worth informing customers that any data they leave behind will be encrypted, that it is secure. After all, leaving behind personal data (especially login details) puts off a lot of people, so letting them know that nothing will be leaked is always a good idea. You need to emphasise that the customers should trust your company or brand – that way they’ll be more likely to leave behind hesitance and make a purchase. In short, abandoning the basket will therefore be less frequent if the customer is certain that the store is trustworthy.