Money Matters

Cart abandonment: How to close crucial sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Discover how to reduce the chances of cart abandonment when your customers are shopping online and follow our five tips to help boost sales.

Cart abandonment is a prevalent issue for ecommerce businesses, or for any business with an online selling capacity.

But why?

More than ever, retail is on the terms of the consumer. And if your ecommerce experience can’t cater to your customer’s exact requirements, the chances of them converting their cart into a sale are incredibly low.

As we draw nearer and nearer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s more important than ever to make sure your customers have nothing between them and pressing that ‘pay now’ button.

Read this article to find out how you can reduce the chances of cart abandonment holding you back from making those crucial sales.

First impressions matter, right?

And that’s even more true from a user experience perspective.

If your website is clunky, slow and not optimised for mobile users, it increases the likelihood that your potential customers are going to write off shopping with you before they begin.

Alongside that, a poorly constructed and slow website can sometimes make a business appear untrustworthy.

In the modern era of commerce, the customer has more power than ever before. This means a poor user experience could be the downfall of any ecommerce business.

According to research from Barilliance, a company that offers website personalisation solutions for ecommerce businesses, reveals that “over 3/4 of shoppers choose to leave the site without completing a purchase”.

That’s a staggeringly high figure, which only further highlights that your user experience needs to be flawless to improve the chances of shoppers buying things from you.

In the age of mobile technology and ecommerce, a shopper’s worst enemy is the form.

On mobile devices, forms can often be inconvenient and add unnecessary steps to the checkout flow.

According to research by web usability research company Baymard, 18% of cart abandonment occurs because the checkout process is too long.

Although a registration from a customer is a conversion you would always be aiming to achieve off of the back of a sale, wait until they’ve made their purchase before asking them to sign up to an account or a newsletter.

A customer who is happy with their purchase is more likely to do so rather than if they’re being forced to in the middle of a transaction.

This is certainly true for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as your ecommerce store is not likely to be the last stop for the customer.

They simply want to pay for their goods and carry on shopping, on what are two of the busiest periods for retail.

Within your registration prompts, it’s important you make sure customers see that signing up has a benefit for them, rather than for you.

Offering capability for features such as order tracking and one-click checkouts, as well as clearly signposting this in proximity to your checkout pages may largely increase registrations off the back of purchases.

Alongside that, one-click purchasing can greatly improve your customer experience for returning, registered customers.

Payment technology is constantly evolving.

While consumers are just as eager to revel in the convenience it brings, it’s important that your ecommerce store offers as many payment methods as possible.

This gives your customers a range of convenient payment options.

Being able to offer a variety of methods – such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as various credit card providers, which customers are familiar with and trust – will help increase conversions and allow them to complete their purchase quickly.

Speed of checkout across the entire shopping funnel is key. This will lead to increased sales and revenue for your business.

Here are five simple things you can try to reduce cart abandonment during Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and beyond).

1. Prompt customers to sign up after purchase

Getting a customer to register to your website is a huge bonus – it allows you to be more relevant and direct in your marketing, and gives you the potential to offer one-click checkout.

However, it’s just that: a bonus.

Once the customer has completed their purchase, prompt them to sign up. Briefly outline all the benefits of being a registered customer and allow them to make their own decision.

If a customer enjoyed their experience shopping with you, they’ll be more likely to sign up.

Obstruct their checkout process with registration prompts and this is less likely to be the case. This is especially true on mobile devices, where there is limited functionality.

So making the checkout process as slick as possible is absolutely imperative to reducing your cart abandonment rates.

2. Offer a range of payment methods

Offering a number of methods for payment is a sure-fire way to assist in minimising the amount of customers who slip through the net.

Accepting online payment methods such as PayPal is easily done with an easy integration into your current payment gateway.

Advertising that customers can pay quickly and securely, while using a brand that is globally recognised and trusted, is one of the factors that helps to close sales, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where speed is certainly of the essence.

3. Send cart abandonment emails

Email is an often underutilised tool for helping to reduce cart abandonment. Some ecommerce platforms include this as a feature in their software.

By sending an email to remind the customer that they didn’t check out, you can often see quite a positive conversion rate.

In fact, email marketing software firm MooSend looked at the impact of cart abandonment emails that its users sent.

It discovered 50% were opened, 21% received click-throughs, and half of those went on to complete their purchases.

Achieving that extra bit of business could really help when it comes to hitting your sales targets.

4. Optimise your checkout experience for mobile

If your checkout experience isn’t optimised for mobile devices, you can expect to see a large percentage of cart abandonment from mobile users.

By minimising the amount of information you need to capture, making fields accessible, readable and concise, and clearly signposting the next steps in your checkout process, you will be able to further reduce cart abandonment customers who are on the move.

5. Ensure your payment gateway is working well

Slow and unreliable payment can lead to customers abandoning their shopping almost immediately when presented with the problem, especially in a mobile environment.

If your payment gateway is constantly experiencing down time, lacks scalability and neglects their customer service then it may be time to think about switching.

Your payment gateway is the heart that pumps cash into your business, and you really can’t afford to be taking any risks when it comes to taking payments.

A payment gateway should have as little downtime as is possible, with round-the-clock customer service to help you get back on track as soon as possible if anything does go wrong.

When considering a switch, you should also be looking at payment gateways that minimise the disruption to the everyday running of your business.

For example, a gateway that is acquirer-agnostic will allow you to keep your current merchant accounts, so there’s no need to set up new ones.

Improving your online shopping experience is a long-term goal that every online retailer should be working towards throughout the year.

However, in peak selling periods, it’s more important than ever to make sure that as little as possible stands between your customer and the sale.

Reworking your online shopping takes time – but the outcome will be financially rewarding if it leads to lots of happy shoppers coming back to your store again and again to buy your goods.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in October 2019 and has been updated for relevance.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday checklist

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