E-commerce marketers who think their job is done once they get customers to their shopping carts are making a serious strategic error and losing billions in untapped sales. In fact, about 68 percent of online customers abandon shopping carts before ever making a purchase, this according to 27 recent studies over the past eight years which were recently compiled by the Baymard Institute. In the first quarter of 2013, that number jumped to 74 percent. In 2011, shopping cart abandonment cost retailers about $9 billion.
Fortunately, e-commerce marketers now have access to a number of effective tools specifically designed to turn abandoning visitors into customers and thus generate increased sales. Here are 6 strategies to minimize cart abandonment, along with the 8 tools you can use to deploy them:
Enhanced Site Messaging
Customers sometimes abandon online purchases because they don’t receive clear direction or incentives to move to the next step. Maxtraffic analyzes customer behavior to determine at which points in the buying cycle enhanced messaging will improve conversion and what messages will be most effective. Clients can access key performance indicators through an intuitive dashboard. Maxtraffic works with all e-commerce stores and platforms, including custom-build sites.
A/B testing, sometimes called “split testing”, is a way e-marketers can compare conversion rates on two or more versions of site content. Through iterative testing, content can be continually improved. Optimizely enables A/B testing by introducing different codes into site HTML, with revised site content published in a matter of minutes. Vwo.com provides clients with robust research and analytics (including landing page analysis) and enables the deployment of highly-personalized content.
With more than 3 in 4 online shoppers abandoning shopping carts prior to purchase, e-marketers need tools which persuade them to return. Intercom.io achieves this goal, allowing marketers to see who is viewing online products and send them highly personalized messages based on their online behavior. Optimizely can be configured to both web and mobile.
Knowing with greater precision how site visitors navigate through web pages allows marketers to make pinpoint changes to improve conversion. Crazyegg provides deep UX data, including a heatmap tool which highlights the most popular areas of key web pages, and a scroll map tool which shows which parts of pages are working and which aren’t.
In the past, e-marketers have relied on analytics which display metrics on page views. Unfortunately, these data don’t assess level of engagement. Mixpanel is an enhanced analytics platform which lets marketers move beyond page views to see what actions site visitors take. Mixpanel is for both web and mobile. Qualaroo goes beyond conventional analytics, using targeted questions and exit surveys to describe not only what site visitors do, but also why.
By some estimates, a delay of just one second can reduce conversions by as much as 7%. Webpagetest.org assesses website performance, including site speed. Marketers can run both simple and advanced testing, such as multi-phase transactions, video capture and content blocking and receive specific recommendations for site improvement.