In the real world, it’s pretty easy to tell a window shopper from a customer who intends to buy something right then and there. We can clue into their body cues, and can actively interact with them to find out if they’ve found what they are looking for and if we can help. While having an online store is vital for most modern retail businesses, it is much harder to discover a customer’s intentions when they have abandoned their cart mid-shopping trip. Obviously, just like in real life, there are a variety of reasons why that customer may not have purchased anything at that time, which inevitably leaves online retailers wondering what happened. Did they receive an important call and had to rush away? Are they coming back? Or have they simply gone to look elsewhere? Here are a few tips on how to gently remind a customer of their shopping cart and make sure you are not the reason they gave up in the first place!
Have you ordered from your website before?
If customers care enough about your product to want to buy it, do not discourage them! This seems simple enough, but if you haven’t personally taken the time to see how easy it is to checkout in your store, you could really be missing the mark. Nothing can be worse than finding that really cute pair of shoes that go with everything and then having to find your way to check out only to have the site crash on you. It can be enough to make a person give up and find those same shoes somewhere else. Checking out should be and easy and intuitive process. Make sure you have several different payment options available, and that your site looks credible!
If your website is from the 1990’s and looks sketchy, opt for a more modern look and make sure to proudly display whatever information-security system you use. PayPal alone does not count anymore! It may have worked a few years ago when internet shopping was just starting out, but times have changed and customers want more security. Plus, using PayPal creates a second loop the customer must jump through to order your product, meaning you are actively dissuading them from buying from you!
The first step in every check out process should be gathering contact information from the customer. You need to get their emails, right off the bat! It’s like when you call an information hotline and the representative asks you “If this is a good number you can be reached at if there is a disruption in the call”. They are gathering information about you, and trying to find a way to contact you in the future. Once you have that information, whether they are guests or registered users, you can contact them if they’ve abandoned a cart. You should contact them after one hour, again at the 12 hour mark and finally at 72 hours. That way a bit of time has passed between the contacts and the customer doesn’t feel too pressured by you and mark you as spam. Make sure that the subject of your contact email has a clear, but catchy heading like “Hey, you forgot your Prada shoes in your basket!” That way the customer is reminded and will be more likely to open the email and click on the link to the basket.
Offer a coupon
Understandably, offering a coupon code will not work for every business. If you sell products that retail for hundreds of dollars, even a 10% off code could cost you loads of money. But if the purchases are typically smaller, a 10% off coupon could be just the ticket to luring the customer back to your site. It is typically a good idea to save these types of deals for first-time shoppers though – otherwise everyone will start abandoning their cart just to get the coupon!
Seeing customers abandon their cart before checking out can be disheartening, but there are things you can do to stop that from happening. First make sure that your site isn’t the reason they aren’t checking out, and then try gently reminding them that their purchase is waiting in their cart. Hopefully these little reminders will be enough to get people to click back over to your site and complete their transaction. After all, every little bit counts when running a business, and just a few sales could mean the difference between a good and a bad day.