The following blog post was co-authored with Kelly Cooper of ShopIgniter, a social performance marketing platform that enables digital marketers to reach and convert their social and mobile consumers. Kelly oversees the social media presence, blog, search engine optimization, website and paid search initiatives at ShopIgniter.
Shopping cart abandonment — there’s nothing like those three dreaded words to set an ecommerce business on the defensive. Today’s social, multi-device consumers demand shopping experiences that are relevant and seamless, but most businesses fail to successfully deliver on these expectations. To shed light on these pitfalls, we’ve outlined three reasons your customers are abandoning their carts — some of which might come as a surprise — and provided some tips for combating this trend with social marketing.
Reason #1: Lengthy registration forms
Registration fatigue is a real threat to purchase conversions. According to a Forrester study, 11% of US adults admit to abandoning an online purchase simply because they didn’t want to register online or felt like the site asked for too much information.
To reduce the barriers to entry for shoppers, allow customers to easily register for an account on your website via their existing social identities by implementing social login. This gives you permission-based access to users’ social data, which can be used to auto-populate form fields for a faster, streamlined checkout process.
In the example below, we’ll show you how retailer PacSun uses social login to facilitate a smooth, quick registration and checkout experience for customers.
PacSun presents customers with multiple social login options that are relevant to its target demographic and brand. After customers select a preferred social login provider, PacSun automatically pulls their social profile data to populate its registration form fields.
In the above registration flow, customers can easily edit form fields before submitting their PacSun account information. This gives customers a clearer sense of what information is being shared with PacSun, which helps to build brand trust.
Reason #2: Single channel experiences
These days, consumers aren’t just shopping on their desktops: they’re browsing their favorite online stores on their smartphones, tablets, and more. According to Baynote, 60% of shoppers used a smartphone and 76% of shoppers used a tablet to research stores and products prior to visiting a store.
In other words, more and more customers are using their smartphones to research products and pricing. As customers browse, they generally leave items in their shopping carts for possible future reference, when and if they do decide to complete the purchase. In this sense, the shopping cart becomes a sort of pseudo shopping list for customers to save items for future purchases.
Noting that customers are engaging with your business’s site across different channels and using shopping carts as research tools, it’s important to recognize the varying roles that shopping carts play in the overall shopping experience and how imperative a cross-channel strategy is for boosting purchase conversions.
To encourage more on-site purchases, businesses want to make the discovery and research process as easy and seamless as possible for their customers. The numbers say it all: 67% of mobile users say that a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to convert. (Source: Search Engine Watch)
Reason #3: Sheer timing
According to a report by eMarketer, 57% of surveyed US shoppers abandoned their carts because they weren’t ready to purchase but wanted to get an idea of their total costs with shipping; and another 56% of shoppers reported abandoning their carts because they simply wanted to save them for later.
Today’s businesses must learn to thrive in a landscape that empowers consumers to compare prices and shop around before clicking through to make that final purchasing decision. In order to stand out from the competition, businesses need to build brand trust and establish long-term, authentic relationships with their consumers.
To nurture trust, we recommend creating a space for customers to leave feedback on your products through a social identity-based ratings and reviews platform. By facilitating two-way conversations on your site, you can build on-site community while nurturing transparency. According to a Forrester study, 70% of US online adults trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family, and 46% trust consumer-written online reviews.
To re-engage shoppers at different stages of the journey, we also recommend personalized email campaigns to remind shoppers of the items in their shopping carts.
Luxury retailer Kate Spade, for example, nudges customers to complete the path to purchase by sending a personalized email containing a discount code to customers who’ve abandoned their shopping carts.
Another helpful way to re-engage shoppers and entice them to complete their purchase is through remarketing. Remarketing allows you to to reach people who have previously visited specific website pages and deliver targeted ads to them. Google Remarketing allows you to reach users as they browse the web and Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences allows you to reach users as they engage on Facebook. You can utilize remarketing tools to reach shopping cart abandoners with ads highlighting an offer, your brand’s shipping and return policies or ads that establish trust; all of which work to compel a shopper to return to your website and complete a conversion.
Streamlined path to purchase = higher conversation rates
In order to win the fight against shopping cart abandonment, businesses need to consistently engage customers across different touch points by eliminating the barriers to entry, connecting with shoppers over multiple devices, and re-engaging them at different stages of the purchasing journey.