2020 CCAR Resubmission
If online retailers are to minimize cart abandonment, improving the online checkout experience must be a priority.
Online Cart Abandonment has tormented digital marketers and eCommerce sites for years. Cart abandonment happens when a customer selects a product but then, for any number of reasons, leaves without purchasing. According to the Baymard Institute the average cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%, equating to billions of lost revenue every year. If you have an eCommerce site, the data is clear, improving the online checkout experience should be a priority for your Brand.
The goal of all eCommerce sites is to drive sales, yet many brands still focus their primary attention on driving customers to their site instead of converting those that are ready to buy. Advertisers spend countless hours and millions of dollars building out a marketing strategy that drives awareness, interest, consideration, intent, and evaluation, but then they stumble at the proverbial finish line of the “Purchase” stage. This common eCommerce mistake reminds me of the phrase “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” This expression can be applied and relevant in many situations, however if you interpret it with the lens of an eCommerce Brand, it means; don’t lose a sale (bird in hand), while you spend budget chasing after potential customers (the two in the bush) who don’t yet know anything about your brand or product. As a digital marketer this resonates with me; unfortunately, many eCommerce sites and Brands have never heard this, understood it, or may have forgotten this basic strategy.
There are many reasons why a customer may not purchase on your site once they put a product in their cart. Some of these lost conversions/abandoned carts you can’t control, but there are two guiding principles that successful eCommerce sites do to minimize lost sales once a customer gets to the checkout page. In fact, I’m willing to bet in the last three months you have also decided against buying a product or service online (I, too, am a cart abandoner) because the Brand’s website did not follow the fundamental and basic principles of: 1) make it easy for the customer to buy and 2) instill trust and minimize risk.
Brands spend thousands of dollars advertising their product, showing why their product is superior and why the customer not only wants it, they need it. To improve conversions, eCommerce sites must remove any reason a customer has to leave the checkout page before buying, by doing the following:
Studies and research have shown (Palgrave Communications, Han & Kim, Panwar), there is a tremendous level of perceived risk for customers when purchasing online. For years, online retailers have been challenged to overcome customers’ unease with buying something they can’t touch, wear or try. There is a very real emotional and psychological risk an online shopper senses; that of potential wasted time, lack of trust with the retailer and the expense of receiving and returning something that they do not like. To build trust with online purchasers and greatly minimize the perception of risk, the most popular and effective eCommerce sites always:
Cart Abandonment is a problem for online retailers worldwide. Forrester Research estimates revenue losses close to $31 Billion dollars due to cart abandonment. eCommerce sites such as Amazon and eBay have improved their online sales by removing obstacles and annoyances in the checkout process, minimizing the perception of risk and building trust with their consumers. Unfortunately, many Brands, Websites and Marketers are hyper-focused on upper and mid-funnel marketing strategies and drop the ball when it comes to cart conversion. Making it easier for your customers to buy, while providing a better online customer experience will only improve your ROI and conversion rates.