Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s record-high shopping figures provided two critical insights for retailers: Consumers are increasingly shopping online, and in-store foot traffic is dwindling. For most merchants, this shift should be viewed as an opportunity to capture more shoppers instead of being looked at as a negative trend.
Of course, there is the multi-billion dollar question retailers of all sizes are attempting to solve: How can they reduce customer churn and cart abandonment? Cart abandonment is estimated to be a $4.6 trillion problem that significantly hinders merchants’ bottom lines. Luckily, there is good news. Research from BI Insider estimates that $2.75 trillion in abandoned merchandise is recoverable!
Implementing simple customer-centric tactics before, during and after the holiday shopping season can help merchants tackle this multi-billion dollar problem and shift focus toward building brand affinity, boosting cart size and increasing customer retention/acquisition rates. We’ve gathered tips on what you can do to reduce churn and convert more customers.
Avoid Adding Last Minute Charges in the Buying Process
Data from Statista shows that a majority (56%) of consumers abandoned carts due to unexpected costs. The easiest way to turn away a customer who’s ready to buy is by adding unforeseen expenses at the end of the buying process. For example, when a customer thinks they are paying one price, and the checkout reflects an entirely different amount, they’re more likely to abandon a purchase. Avoid adding unforeseen shipping or tax costs late in the process. Be upfront about those costs by integrating them earlier into the checkout process.
Focus on Trust and Transparency in the Buying Process
Consumer shopping behavior is driven by their level of trust for the brand. Delivering a transparent shopping experience helps you differentiate your brand in the crowded e-commerce space. With companies like Amazon gaining more customer share each year, merchants must stand out among the pack and establish themselves as a customer-centric company built on trust. Set fair prices, create transparent return policies and offer seamless payment processes that are easy for customers to understand without having to read the fine print. Remember: It’s easier to keep a happy customer than to win back a frustrated shopper.
Reduce Friction with One-Click Buying Button Options
Another key tactic to avoiding cart abandonment is to reduce the number of forms it takes to complete a purchase. As more consumers shop on mobile, optimizing your digital channels is critical to preventing churn. Reduce the number of clicks and form fills it takes to check out. Instead, invest in an e-commerce payment processing partner that offers diverse payment methods like Apple Pay to streamline the checkout process. Also, look for a partner that can integrate a “Buy-Me Button” on product pages to get items into a customer’s cart faster and easier.
Give Guest the Option to Checkout as a Guest
Every merchant wants to capture the customer’s information to use for marketing purposes. Merchants should offer the ability for customers to establish an account, but should also let customers checkout as a guest if they aren’t interested in forking over additional personal information. Statista’s data also showed that 25% of customers abandoned their carts because the process was too complicated, with another 21% saying they did so because the process took too long. Requiring customers to provide too much personal information can be a turn-off and lead to cart abandonment. Integrate both options at checkout and let the customer stay in control of how they want to engage with your brand.
Simplify Your Site Navigation and Checkout Process
There’s nothing worse for a merchant than getting a customer close to converting, only to lose them because your site was too confusing. Your website should have a clear call-to-action about how to add an item to a cart. It should also be easy to navigate between a shopping cart and product pages, and vice versa. Merchants should keep customers on site longer by providing customers the option to continue shopping once they’ve added an item to a cart. The experience navigating back to the cart should be lead by a clear checkout button icon on the homepage. When it comes to capturing a customer’s attention, simpler and faster will always win.
Re-Engage with Customers Through Marketing Emails
Reducing customer churn and avoiding cart abandonment also has a lot to do with your external marketing efforts. Statista’s data also indicated that 37% of consumers abandoned a cart because they were only browsing. They may then just forget to come back and complete the purchase. Encouraging customers to convert involves engaging each customer during multiple stages of the buying process. Retargeting ads and emails to remind shoppers of their filled shopping cart is one way you can overcome the browsing versus buying gap. A “Cart abandonment” email to tell your customers they still have items in their cart will keep your brand (and its products) top of mind. For loyal customers who’ve already provided their email, capitalize on this and keep them engaged in the buying process by creating a clearer path to purchase and having special customer loyalty promotions.
If you follow these tips, you’ll soon find that you’ve become more successful at building customer loyalty, growing your customer base and securing more business.