Several online retailers today are suffering from a very painful syndrome – Abandoned Shopping Basket Syndrome (ASBS).

A symptom of this now rampant syndrome is a significant loss of revenue; Experian estimated that £1.02 billion worth of transactions were abandoned in 2011 alone.

So how do you stop bleeding revenue? Here are 10 tips that effectively treat this syndrome and increase your sales.

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Register No More
Although it is essential to gather customer data, do not make it a mandatory step during checkout. According to eConsultancy, up to 26% of shopping basket abandonment in 2011 was down to forced registration. Instead, offer a guest checkout option that simply requires their email address for future marketing purposes.

 

Minimalist Checkout
Devoting six pages to checkout is a sure shot way of annoying your shoppers. Once they have finished adding items, you should steer them as quickly as possible towards the order page. Cut down your checkout pages to three or less and watch your abandonments dwindle away. Or like ASDA Direct, you could have a dropdown checkout option on your basket, which gives buyers a convenient shopping experience.

 

Show Checkout Progress
Shoppers who are hard-pressed for time may recklessly abandon their baskets unless shown a progress indicator. Make sure you communicate clearly and tell your customers where they are and how long before they can make the purchase.

 

Modifiable Shopping Baskets
Give shoppers the flexibility to add or remove items at any stage. People appreciate this kind of freedom, leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. Make sure the basket is highly visible; impatient shoppers will not strain their eyes to find the basket. For instance, Amazon UK’s shopping basket is easily accessible, highly visible, and has options such as “Save for Later” and “Delete”.

 

Persistent Shopping Baskets
As soon as a customer adds an item to the basket, preserve that information using a long-term cookie. When the customer visits your site the next time, whether through a different device or web browser, he/she should be able to view the unpurchased item in the basket. A persistent basket not only increases the chances of conversions, but also gives customers a convenient shopping experience.

 

Transparent Prices
There is nothing that irks a shopper more than hidden costs revealed at checkout. According to a study by WorldPay, 56% of buyers abandon their baskets due to hidden costs. So at all cost (forgive the pun), keep your sales taxes and other sundry charges transparent. To ensure your shoppers are not unpleasantly surprised during checkout, include a calculator inside the shopping basket.

 

Reprice Delivery Costs
A study by Compete revealed that 93% of consumers are persuaded to buy more if the delivery is free. However, if free delivery is not a feasible option for you, then consider offering either a discount or charging a flat rate. Utilise a market intelligence solution to understand your competitors’ delivery charges and reprice accordingly, as 44% of shoppers abandon their baskets due to high delivery costs.

 

Lightning-Quick Page Loads
“Lightning-quick” may seem like a hyperbole, but it is actually not.  Forrester Research found 47% of buyers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% would abandon if it takes more than three seconds. Pages that load slowly will not just result in frustrated shoppers, but also credibility loss. You need to ensure that all the web pages on your site are optimised for performance, including the checkout pages.

 

Live Chat
 According to research by BoldChat, 76% of consumers want to chat before abandoning their basket. Solve the queries of your customers in a timely manner to decrease the chances of shopping basket abandonment. A live chat feature also mirrors the shopping experience of a brick and mortar store, increasing the comfort level of users.

 

Multiple Payment Options
Besides accepting credit cards like MasterCard and Visa, accept third-party payment services such as PayPal and Bitcoin to cater to a wider audience. Walmart accepts various payment methods including American Express, Discover (including Walmart Discover), MasterCard, Visa, Walmart Credit Card, and PayPal. Follow suit and you will soon attract several first-time consumers.

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Implementing all of the above, or at least some of them, are sure to reduce basket abandonments and increase your conversion.

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