How To Improve Cart Abandonment When Using Shopify

By Chris Mullen, August 23, 2015

When viewing cart abandonment in the orders area of Shopify, I often cringe because I just can’t help myself from tallying up those “missed” dollars. Cart abandonment is the reality of e-commerce so don’t let it drive you too crazy. Fortunately, we are going to outline and share some effective methods that our company implements to reduce cart abandonment.

Cart abandonment in Shopify

 

WHY DO PEOPLE ABANDON THEIR CARTS?

According to Baymard Institute, Shopping cart abandonment rates for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 67.91%.

The top reasons for cart abandonment are:

  • Complicated checkout process
  • Hidden prices that come out at the time of checkout like taxes or high shipping charge.
  • Tough or lengthy registration process. No option to check out without signing up.
  • Limited payment options.

More reasons for cart abandonment

  • High shipping rates
  • Not ready to purchase
  • Comparing prices
  • Product price was high
  • shipping rates were too late during the checkout process
  • Doesn’t want to register
  • Site is asking for too much information
  • Checkout too long or complicated
  • Website is too slow
  • Need more information about the product

WAYS TO IMPROVE CART ABANDONMENT

Email those lost customers quickly

Professional and unlimited plans in Shopify allows store owners to email cart abandonment prospects in 6 hours or 24 hours. We go with the 6 hours.

Email customers who abandoned their carts six hours later

 

Improve the cart abandonment email

Combining great copy, extra discounts, a nice design and surveys can be pivotal in saving customers and understanding why they are leaving. Dan Wang at Shopify provides wonderful insight in his article 13 Amazing Abandoned Cart Emails.

Use discount codes

Many online companies include a 10 to 20% discount code (10 being the most common) in cart abandonment emails. Our business does not participate in this strategy for a couple reasons, but if you are losing tons of sales, I recommend adopting this technique at least until you’ve garnered a base of recurring customers.

Reduce shipping costs

Mark MacDonald at Shopify briefly describes three strategies of charging customers for shipping which include free shipping, flat rate shipping and charging actual rates. Our business cannot afford free shipping for absolutely everything, but if your products are light in weight, then strongly consider doing so. If free shipping doesn’t make sense, try finding a happy medium for profit margins and improved conversion rates.

Here’s what we did:

– Free shipping for orders over $250.
– $4.99 flat shipping for orders between $100 and $249.99.
– 10% discounts on all UPS and USPS transit methods for orders under $100.

USPS helps our customers pay less for lightweight packages (5 pounds and under) while UPS is far cheaper for heavier boxes. We originally tried free shipping for all orders over $100, but it was wiping out profit. Every business is different.

Provide more payment options

Shopify’s core payment processor accepts all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) but many people prefer to use Paypal. Our company has actually found no real correlation between Paypal and conversions (although many customers do choose to pay with it) yet research shows accepting Paypal can increase sales by as much as 20%. Remember, checkout complexity is also a reason for abandonment, so be careful when adding too many payment options. Our company recently added Google Wallet to the mix, and we are still testing its impact.

Payment options in Shopify

 

Allow guest and member checkout

This is simple change to make in the Shopify administrative panel. Under “settings” then “checkout” be sure the option “accounts are optional” is checked. There are third party apps that will want you to change this, but I recommend sticking with this setting no matter what. Some customers want to checkout as guests while others will want to create an account and track past orders. For those customers who want to create an account, they can easily do so after they complete an order, a practice well-known to improve abandonment.

Customer registration settings

 

Embrace email marketing

Mailchimp and Soundest (my favorite) are only two of the many email marketing apps that place nice with Shopify. We do not email our customers on a daily basis, but we do email them a few times every month and more-so while a current order is open. This classic means of digital marketing is an absolute essential way to maintain communications with current and past customers. We email clients when they haven’t shopped in six months, we welcome new customers, we ask for feedback, we email about huge sales and offer recommendations. Email is also utilized by our print company for keeping customers informed about the order process and shipment tracking. The point of all this is to instill trust for future orders and convince past non-buying visitors to return if they abandoned a previous cart.

Use a cart exit pop-up

I personally hate using pop ups for anything so Printkeg does not implement this strategy. However, if we were a different type of business, we might feel the need to be more aggressive. Pop-ups can address multiple factors of cart abandonment: perception of price, urgency to buy quickly, return policy and customer trust. They also offer one last chance to convince the customer to complete an order.

Reinforce security and privacy

Shopify helps its shop owners by including links to the privacy policy, refund policy and terms of service in the footer area of the checkout process. At the bottom of every page our website, we present a “Shopify is Secure” image and links to our privacy policy, 100% guarantee and user agreement. These simple additions will lead to more credibility and consumer trust.

Supportive links and images to support trust

 

Show off your guarantee

Frankly, consumers demand a 100% guarantee from online stores. That’s just the nature of the beast in a world of Amazon, Wal-mart and Zappos. In the print industry, we must compete with the likes of Moo, Vista Print and Uprinting – all companies that offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Although I would argue our “Printkeg Promise” is better since it is hassle free, the main point is you must relay your guarantee and refund policy in a very conspicuous manner (as seen in the above image).

Provide customer support

Our print company, Printkeg, hosts a support center, provides toll free and local phone numbers, and our website includes a detailed contact page. Consider live chat, a help desk system, speedy email replies and answering the phone. I cannot tell you how many people have called in with a couple quick questions before finishing an order. These questions also help us determine what information should be available during checkout allowing us to decrease customer uncertainty. We also use social networking for support rather than advertising, but more on that later.

Use positive language

Try to shy from saying “No” or “Don’t” and other negative phrases. If you need people to follow strict protocols, try to relay that positively before the checkout process. For instance instead of saying “American Express not accepted” you could say “We happily accept Visa and Mastercard” which keeps the experience friendly while saying essentially the very same thing. Use this type of thinking when creating copy throughout your website. For sales copy, 9 Simple Ways to Write Product Descriptions that Sell by Mark MacDonald is also a great read.

Be easy on the bells and whistles

When adding functionality to your website, be strict and remember that everything and anything can become distracting to consumers. Some Shopify apps may sound amazing, but be extremely skeptical of their usefulness. Also, when added together, Shopify apps can become cumbersome to overall website speed which will result in lost customers.

Social networking builds trust

Yes, many companies have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram profiles and more. Those places mean diddly if no one is engaging and updating. If I go to a website to buy goods, and they only have two Facebook likes, I’m out of there. If you are on Facebook, do a little paid advertising and gain some followers to gain instant credibility (heck you may attract some new sales too). Try not to link to social networks from your website that are not being updated since this could cause negative outlook and more cart abandonment. Social networks are also valuable tools for support: customers in checkout mode will sometimes use those avenues to ask questions before completing an order.

Conclusion

Cart abandonment is simply a reality of any e-commerce website. However, the aforementioned methods will greatly improve cart abandonment rates for almost any website – especially Shopify stores.