Online shopping

Did you know that more than half of Poles do their shopping online? This is good news for the world of e-commerce. However, we should note an important difference between shopping online and in brick-and-mortar shops – buying online means that a cart full of goods can be abandoned at any time, just like that. It often happens that customers decide to buy something but fail to complete their transaction. There’s at least a dozen reasons for this phenomenon. What can we do to reduce or completely eliminate cart abandonment in our e-commerce business? Here are 12 simple rules to follow.

1. Set up your online store on a fast server

There’s nothing that discourages a customer more than a long wait, no matter if it’s a long queue in a “real” store or a slowly working website. So don’t hesitate if you have a possibility to set up your e-shop’s domain on a good server.

2. Ensure the users that their transactions are safe

A customer is always more inclined to trust an online store if you remind them that their transactions are confidential and all their data is secure. It’s a good idea to inform the user about it during the purchase process.

3. Shorten the check-out process

Reviewing the shopping cart followed by 3 other pages forcing the customer to select similar products or bonuses and make sure that everything is correct can quickly discourage them to complete the purchase.

4. Simplify forms as much as possible

When a customer sees that in order to complete the purchase they must fill any form that is not related to the purchase, e.g., they must choose whether to agree to a newsletter (or worse, specify its frequency), they can lose patience very quickly, since time is money on the Internet as well.

5. Put a progress indicator on the website

Customers like to know at what stage of check-out they currently are. A simple information like “Step 1 out of 4” or “Progress – 70%” reassures the customer that they are getting closer to their goal. Uncertainty quickly leads to frustration, which in turn makes cart abandonment more common in the last or penultimate step of check-out.

6. Place the cart in a prominent place

Cart contents should be visible at all times and easy to read. This is related to buying the right products and quantities thereof, as well as acquiring information on other costs/services that can discourage the user from completing the transaction.

7. Don’t force your customers to create an account

Most customers prefer a simple method of payment. This is why the possibility of buying without signing up is one of the features buyers prefer the most. After all, when visiting a brick-and-mortar store for the first time we’re never forced to give our e-mail or address and agree to receive commercial correspondence or information about discounts.

8. Don’t hide extra charges

Another rule we should follow is not to hide any additional fees, especially up to the last moment. A customer that reaches the final stage of check-out only to learn that they must pay an additional fee may get angry and leave the website. Therefore, if a user has to deal with secondary charges, they should be made aware of that in the very beginning.

9. Instruct the customer in detail what to do in each step of the transaction

Perhaps it seems redundant, but it’s worth it to instruct the Internet user what to do in each step. Not everyone immediately gets the hang of shopping online – after all, every Internet user is different. It’s often sufficient to include a simple command in the header, e.g., “Please enter the data of your credit card” or images on the side, which are usually helpful.

10. Display your contact information in a prominent place

Displaying contact information is important for several reasons. Among other things, it helps to confirm the credibility of the store, or simply facilitates contact in case of problems with the purchase.

11. Remove any elements that may distract the customer from making a payment

In the purchase process, it is important to provide the customer with an atmosphere of calm and concentration. Any additional banners popping up during the purchase or other distractions are not advisable.

12. Remind the customer of unfinished shopping

If your store still experiences the problem of abandoned carts it’s a good idea to send users a reminder. Perhaps they were interrupted during shopping for a valid reason, but didn’t give up the desire to purchase a particular product/service.

Keep in mind that you need a product feed to recover an abandoned shopping cart. If your store doesn’t have product feed, you can’t come back to potential customers with a personalized offer.