OK, Grok faithful, we all know that the Holiday Season is coming fast. Last year was “make or break” for a lot of eTailers, and this season will be critical for many more.
The ones who make it through will be those who are passionate about the customer experience, AND who are able to prioritize their work between now and the “Holiday Crunch” so that the hours expended actually impact the number of sales they make.
Where do you start if you want your site to be a stellar performer this Holiday Season? A great place for most to start is on Shopping Cart Abandonment. That’s low in your sales funnel, where you’re losing customers who were already acquired via marketing and persuaded to buy from you!
Let’s examine a prioritized list of reasons shoppers listed that caused them to abandon shopping carts. Then, we’ll offer actionable suggestions corresponding to each concern. The data comes from the 8th Annual Merchant Survey, conducted by PayPal and comScore in April of this year.
#1 High shipping charges
We’re all aware of this challenge, and it’s somewhat out of your hands, but there are things you can do. One is to thing is to test different shipping offers in the cart. Another, if you have a certain order value that qualifies for free shipping, is to display how much more the customer needs to qualify. For example, “You are $xx.xx away from free shipping! Continue shopping »”
#2 Wanted to comparison shop
Make sure you’re saving customer carts for at least 30 days, maybe more for the Holidays. A recent study sponsored by McAfee showed that the average time span between visiting a site and checking out was 34 hours! Acknowledge that this behavior is occurring and plan for it. If you’re sending “cart recovery” emails inside of 24 hours, you may be really annoying your prospective customers!
#3 Leaving to Google a coupon code
If you have a coupon code capture field on your “View Shopping Cart” page, you may consider moving that capture later in the checkout process, when prospects are more ‘invested’ in the process and less likely to bail and go “coupon Googling.” Some of our clients offer coupons right on their site as a way to combat this behavior, and it works.
#4 Couldn’t find preferred payment option
Most eStore owners offer a proper assortment of payment options, BUT are your customers seeing them at the point of concern? We call these Point of Action Assurances. When the prospect is in your cart, and wondering about their payment options, are you reassuring them at the point of action that you offer BillMeLater, PayPal, etc.? Test different placements of those assurances.
#5 Item unavailable at checkout
Yikes! This issue simply needs to be dealt with on your product pages, before the cart. If an item is out of stock, why not capture an email so you can notify when the item is back in stock? Zappos.com does a good job of this when a certain size of shoe is out of stock.
#6 Couldn’t find customer support
Similar to #4, most online stores do offer good customer service options, but sometimes your prospects aren’t seeing them at the appropriate point in the cart. Test those placements. Also, if you use live chat support, and the chat service is “offline,” what is the customer experience like?
#7 Security concerns
Similar to #1, this is somewhat out of your hands…the Web isn’t 100% safe for shoppers, and they know it. But, Point of Action Assurances, 3rd party security seals, and credibility of design are key. Another great opportunity for testing different placements and different seals in the checkout.
Blogger’s Note: Apologies for excluding other winter holidays in the title of this post; I was just going for alliteration