Are Your Online Shoppers Abandoning Items in Their Shopping Carts?

Online shoppers can be a fickle bunch. More than 76 percent of Canadians made purchases online in 2014, so there’s certainly a market for buying and selling goods online. But if these potential customers face even a slight obstacle on the path to a sale, they’ll abandon the product altogether. In 2013, almost 74 percent of buyers left their online shopping carts behind in the middle of a transaction. Just imagine the revenue lost because e-commerce solutions couldn’t meet consumers’ needs.

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Merchants who operate online stores need to understand that if they can’t appeal to their customers, someone else will. Consumers don’t simply continue their lives without a product when they cancel a sale. They look for it elsewhere, and they often find it from their original source’s competitors. In 2015, users abandoned up to $4 trillion in goods within online shopping carts, but other companies snatched up 63 percent of that business. If you have an ineffective online store, you might as well just pay your competition directly and avoid the hassle of selling altogether.

Thankfully, this article has some tips that will help you retain online shoppers all the way through the checkout process. Read on to find out how you can minimize sales losses and remain competitive in the online marketplace.

Recognize the Reasons Consumers Leave

It’s tempting to try to blame one aspect of your website when you continue to lose customers during the checkout process. After all, if there’s only one problem, it only requires one solution. Unfortunately, consumers abandon transactions for many reasons. Your website may have more than one bug, and if it does, you won’t see a noticeable sales uptick until you fix all of them.

Sometimes, these problems are beyond your control. If a customer finds a better price at a competitor’s store, for example, you may not be able to undersell them. On the other hand, there are many little things that make people leave a website, and the majority of them are avoidable. Make sure your customers know the exact amount they’ll pay before they put an item in a shopping cart to avoid confusion. You should also ensure that the path through the shopping process is concise and understandable. Finally, if your website glitches frequently and doesn’t load, consumers will flee the same way rats leave a sinking ship.

Make Sure Shoppers Believe Your Website Is Safe

Security is a major concern for online shoppers, and for good reason. Every time they enter their information into an online form, they risk exposing themselves to fraud and identity theft that can cost them their savings and/or their credit ratings. If they think your website poses a security threat, they surely won’t give you the benefit of the doubt.

You can reduce these worries in a few easy steps. Simply make sure your security credentials are clearly visible during the checkout process and don’t send your customers to separate pages when they check out. A little goes a long way when you need to assuage your prospects’ security doubts.

Follow Up with Leads That Have Abandoned Their Carts

You may have lost the initial sale, but hope isn’t necessarily lost. You can launch email campaigns that will guide the lost buyers back to their shopping carts. If you maintain the right tone and offer them specific information about the product they’ve left behind, you stand a good chance of winning them back to your site. Just follow these tips and your online store will reach its fullest potential.


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James Newman

James brings over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and merchant services industry to his role as Client Relations Specialist for BNA Smart Payment Systems. With a focus on sales, marketing and client services, the last 10 years have been spent with BNA. He has completed over 2,000 hours of professional business training, including professional sales, solution selling, conflict resolution, appraisal workshop, strategic marketing, and financial analysis. Outside of work, James is almost constantly reading fiction. In direct contradiction to this rather silent interest, he took up the guitar six years ago and regularly, happily, and shamelessly destroys the peace and quiet of his family home.

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