10Nov
By: Andrew Roach November 10, 2017 Topic: How to Sell Online

So, you’ve found yourself in a situation which many entrepreneurs dread. People are adding your products to their cart, but they’re leaving your store before they finalize the purchase.

You came so close to securing the sale, but yet you’re still so far. This is especially disheartening if you’re still waiting for the first sale of your business.

If this sounds familiar, we have some news for you: add to carts are a good thing, even if they didn’t convert.

Think about it. If people are adding your products to their cart, you’ve already won half the battle – they’re interested in what you’re selling. With a little tinkering to your store, some clever marketing tactics, and a little perseverance, you’ll be able to turn those abandoned carts into converting customers.

We’re here to empower entrepreneurs like you, so we’ve created this article to provide you with all the information that you need to optimize your store to gain more conversions, and decrease the amount of abandoned carts you receive. At the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to turn those add to carts into sales.

Let’s get to it.

Why Do Shoppers Abandon Carts?

Here’s a statistic which might shock you: as of Q2 2017, the average abandoned cart rate across all industries is 76.9%.

You can take solace in these statistics and know that you’re not alone – ecommerce businesses all over the globe experience your pain.

But, why is it that more than three quarters of ‘add to carts’ are abandoned?

There are a myriad of reasons which could lead to a shopper abandoning their cart.

Maybe they were distracted by their crying child in the background. Perhaps they didn’t have time to go through your checkout process and create an account on your website. They might have decided that the price was too high with shipping fees included.

Here’s a graphic from Statista which shows some of the popular reasons why shoppers in the US abandoned their carts from 2016 – 2017.

It’s easy to read that and feel like the odds are stacked against you, but we cannot stress the next statement enough: an abandoned cart does not mean that you’ve lost the sale.

There are steps that you can take to capitalize on abandoned carts, and turn those sales you previously thought you had lost into conversions.


First Things First, Check Your Checkout Process

It’s the final hurdle before you land the sale, but how large is that hurdle?

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience, and ask yourself: “would I like to go through this checkout process?”

As you’re trying to reduce the rate of abandoned carts you receive, we recommend that you try to make the checkout process as simple as possible for your shoppers.

We know that it’s tempting to ask your customers to set up an account on your website before they can make a purchase, but this might be why they’re leaving before they seal the deal.

A streamlined, one-page checkout process is advised, and you’ll still get all the information that you need to gain an understanding of your customers (who they are, what they like, when they shop, etc.).

Payment Methods

When you’re running an online store, people from all over the world can purchase products from you, which is something that should be accounted for with the payment methods which you accept.

To ensure that your payment processes are familiar and accessible to your customers, we recommend using a variety of popular gateways, like Paypal or Stripe.

Using popular payment gateways which are used worldwide will help your customers to trust in your store, as they’re already familiar with these tools. The tools themselves also offer protection to both parties, which further works to ease your shoppers into making a purchase.

Remember: the easier it is for your customers to buy a product, the easier it is for you to generate sales.


Be Clear With Shipping Prices and Times

As you may have already noticed from the Statista chart which was used earlier in this article, shipping is a big deal for online shoppers.

In fact, half of the most popular reasons for online shoppers abandoning their cart are related to shipping: ‘expensive shipping’, ‘no free shipping’, ‘unaware of shipping costs’, and ‘slow shipping’.

I can personally attest to shipping prices and times playing a big role in my own purchasing decisions. I can’t remember the amount of times that I’ve decided not to purchase something because I was surprised with expensive shipping fees at the checkout.

Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to avoid your potential customers failing to convert because of issues with your shipping policies.

Say it Loud, Say it Proud

Make sure that your shipping policies are clearly visible and accessible to your shoppers.

This is especially important when you’re running a dropshipping business.

Entrepreneurs who are using the dropshipping business model are aware that their products will take a little longer to arrive, however, that doesn’t mean that their customers are.

Be open and honest about your shipping times.  

If you set unrealistic expectations for the time it’ll take for your products to be delivered, you’re likely to receive customer complaints. This is detrimental to your brand’s image and can even lead to customers asking for a refund.

Free Shipping is King

Online shoppers love free shipping, and we highly recommend that you offer it when selling your products.

As a dropshipper, you won’t be able to compete with the speed that other ecommerce stores can deliver their products.

But this won’t matter if you offer free shipping.

Your customers will be a lot more forgiving about your delivery times if they haven’t paid any shipping fees.

And let’s be honest, people are unlikely to complain about something that is free.

The best part? You won’t even lose any money by offering free shipping. Instead, you can factor in the shipping costs with the price of your products.

Here’s an example:

  • Cost of sourcing a T-shirt = $5.00
  • Cost of shipping said T-shirt = $2.50

Now, in this example, you could sell the T-shirt for $12 and make your customers pay for shipping, and you’d still make a considerable margin.

However, you could also sell the same T-shirt at $15 with free shipping, and you’d actually earn a better margin.

The best part: selling the T-shirt at $15 but offering free shipping is more appealing to many online shoppers.

Free shipping is so effective because it taps into the psychology of buyers – the overall perceived cost of a product is decreased when shipping fees are removed from the sum.


Nail Your Product Images

Online shopping is a highly visual experience, and the brain processes images 60x faster than it processes words, so it’s essential that your product images are high-quality.

We know that it’s easy to dismiss your product images to an afterthought whilst you’re running your business.

But, shoppers who visit your store are looking to gain as much information about your products as they can get.

They’re looking to find an ecommerce store which has a variety of pictures on their product listings that show the product from every angle. They need to be sure that they like the product before they purchase it.

If you’re a dropshipper, you might be asking yourself: ‘How am I going to take photos of my products if I never see them?’

There are two ways that you can gain high-quality product photos for your ecommerce store:

  • You can reach out to a supplier directly and ask them if they can take some unique product photography for your store.
  • You can take the time to order some products which you’re selling to your home. Once they’ve arrived, you can take some great photos yourself, even if you’re not a professional photographer. Take a look at our guide to creating awesome product photos before you get started – it’ll help you to nail product photography.

It’s important to note that the quality of your product images is paramount. If you want to establish your store as a trustworthy brand, pixelated images are a no-go. Try to provide your audience with the highest quality images that you can – it’ll help you to convert customers.


Utilizing Social Proof to Increase Conversions

It’s easier than ever for a budding entrepreneur to launch their own online store with platforms like Shopify. If you’re dropshipping with Oberlo, you already know that it’s simple to get started, but there’s one downside to this – your customers also know that it’s easier than ever to launch an ecommerce store.

With this in mind, shoppers are opting for reputable brands. They don’t want to deal with poor customer service – they only want the best.

As an ecommerce entrepreneur, it’s your job to convince them that your store is the best.

How can you do this? With social proof.

Try adding the ability to leave reviews for your products.

First, add the ability for your customers to leave reviews for the products that they purchase. This is a simple process – all you need to do is install this app to your store.

Once your customers have made a purchase from your store, ask them to leave a review. It’ll help to build the social proof of your brand, which assures future customers that it’s the right decision to purchase said product.

If shoppers on your store see that past customers have left positive feedback, there’s a much lower chance that they’ll abandon their cart.


Converting Customers With Exit Offers

Exit offers provide store owners with one final chance to convert a customer before they leave their domain.

You may have already seen exit offers on ecommerce stores across the web like this:

But how does an exit offer work?

An exit popup will appear when it looks like a user is going to leave the website. Said popup will likely offer the shopper something valuable, like a discount code, to try and coax them into making a purchase.

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to setup on your Shopify store. There are many apps that you can use.

You can install apps from Shopify’s App Store like Wheelio, used in the example above, that’ll integrate an exit popup directly into your ecommerce store.  

This is especially useful if you’re trying to decrease the amount of customers who abandon their carts. Somebody will undoubtedly be a lot less inclined to leave your domain when they’re surprised with a unique discount code.

Ultimately, exit popups can help you to retain the attention of your shoppers, and increase your conversion rate.


Recover Lost Sales With Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are your secret weapon.

If you can send a timely email to those shoppers who abandoned their cart to remind them about the products that they’re missing out on, you have a great chance to land a sale from them.

Picture this – you were browsing an online store, ready to purchase those new shoes that you’ve been looking at.

Just as you’re about to finish the transaction, and something distracts you.

You close the window. You abandon the cart. You forget about it.

But, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t interested in the product any more.

Later on that day you receive an email with the store informing you that you forgot to complete the purchase.

‘Oh yeah!’ echoes through your mind. And, just like that, the ecommerce store lands the sale.

Abandoned cart emails can turn those situations where your customer forgets about your products into situations where they purchase them.

Here are our top tips for nailing abandoned cart emails:

  • Be Timely. Try to send them within 24 hours of the cart being abandoned. It’ll be relevant and fresh in their mind. The best time to strike is now.
  • Be Clear. Show them an image of the product that they forgot about. Link them directly to that product pages. Set them up for the sale.
  • Be Courteous. Remember, this is your last chance to have an influence on the sale. You can use phrases like ‘Hey, looks like you forgot something’, or ‘Woops, you left this here’. But never be accusative. Treat your customers with the utmost respect – without them, your store won’t function.

 

Start Converting More Customers

That’s it – now you know everything that you need to ensure that those add to carts convert into sales.

Remember to keep testing out various different tactics to optimize your conversion rate. We’ve given you an overview of some of the most popular tactics in this article, but you could land on something that shines for your store.


Want to learn more?


If you have any further questions about this topic, or ecommerce in general, let us know in the comments section– we’re happy to help.

  • Markus Beher

    Very informative article and the links to the relevant apps are useful too. Many thanks, Andrew!

  • Andrew Roach

    Glad you enjoyed it Markus! Let me know if there is anything we can help you with 🙂

  • Onopemipo Balogun Animashaun

    Thank you for this informative article as I was going to start charging shipping cost but with this I am convinced to continue free shipping. Thank you very much.

  • Andrew Roach

    Not a problem! Good luck with your store.

  • Daniel Steves

    thanks Andrew. that´s a great article.

  • Need your ideas to boost the sales, I recently launched my first shopify site
    https://bestdealfloor.com/

  • mniederm

    Would be great to get your advice for my shop: https://www.kautschuk-schmuck.com
    We think we made the process and site good.
    THX Michael

  • Andrew Roach

    Glad you enjoyed it, Daniel.

  • Andrew Roach

    Hey!

    You can check out our forum if you’re looking for feedback on your store: https://ask.oberlo.com/t/your-store-feedback

    Hope this helps.

  • Andrew Roach

    Hey Arsath,

    You can ask for feedback on your store in the following forum: https://ask.oberlo.com/t/your-store-feedback

  • Jennifer Ariza

    Hola Buen Día.

    Gracias por tan valiosa informacion,me interesa mucho el tema ya que trabajo en una tienda que vende Seguridad Industrial (EPP) y me gustaría saber si puedo usar esta herramienta para aumentar mis ventas. Agradecería me dieras algunos Tips.

    Saludos desde colombia

  • John Chartrand

    Very well written and informative.
    thanks
    John

  • Andrew Roach

    Hey John,

    Glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

  • Exoton21

    How do I get their email when I have a sales funnel?

  • Nguyễn Vũ Tuấn Anh

    Great tips to avoid abandoned cart, Andrew. I also read an article which talk more about the reason why people exit the website without finish purchasing and how to use abandoned cart email to recover it.
    The article: https://www.sellersmith.com/blogs/shopify/7-effective-tips-to-make-shopify-abandoned-cart-email-powerful

    Can you write something about abandoned cart email, I would love to know more