How to avoid abandoned shopping carts?

By Nea Bjorkqvist, on 15 April, 2019

What is cart abandonment? Imagine a scenario where you walk into a supermarket and start filling up your shopping cart. While shopping you bump in to a neighbour, have a quick catch up, and following the “distraction” you forget all about your weekly shop and head off home. 

This scenario is pretty unlikely in real life. However, in the world of eCommerce, it is just another day in the office. In fact, it is anticipated that four out of five shoppers leave their carts without converting.

Despite your well-laid plans, shoppers will visit your site and start shopping, only to be distracted by an email, a notification from another platform or even human intervention. And, they may never return. This forms the basis of cart abandonment. In simple, it happens when buyers add an item to a website shopping cart but never complete the transaction. 

So how can you avoid shopping cart abandonment? Here are our top three tips to abandoned cart recovery:

how_to_avoid_abandoned_shopping_carts1. Understand who you should push to purchase 

Recognising who you should be pushing to purchase is key. You don't want to interrupt the buying process of someone who is already giving you money. It would be silly to give margin-hurting discounts to those who are already on their way to purchase anyway. 

This can be accomplished by using machine learning to find underlying patterns that predict purchase behaviour and estimate the buying probability of each visitor in real-time. Your store data contains shopping patterns so you can start collecting usage data in your online store. The aim is to understand what separates customers that purchase from the ones that don’t and also what early actions predict purchasing. Based on the data collected, you can divide customers into three groups based on their buying probability:

  • Safe buyers: customers that are likely to make a purchase regardless of any contacts or sales activities,
  • Hesitant buyers: customers that may need a gentle nudge and can be guided toward purchasing, and

  • Window shoppers: customers that are unlikely to make a purchase no matter what you do.

Hesitant buyers are the ones you should focus on when it comes avoiding shopping cart abandonment.  This group consists of people that can be influenced and perhaps need more motivation to buy than others. 

2. Engage your customers using Live Chat

Live chat is a great way to engage those most likely to abandon their cart. It has become popular because of its convenience and limited wait time. Not only that, because it enables real-time monitoring, it allows you to gather information about people on your site and identify your most valuable visitors

Additionally, you can always send proactive live chat invitations to visitors, helping to provide exemplary customer service and improve their user experience. By learning your customer's behaviour, you will also know when to initiate a conversation without becoming pushy.

Importantly, live chats make you available 24/7. This shows every potential customer that you are always there for them and builds trust that goes a long way.

3. Trigger the right action at the right time 

In addition to live chat, there are many other actions that can help you recover the fleeting shopper. These actions, when provided at the right time, to the right person, can mean the difference purchase and abandonment.

  • Discounts: provide coupon codes with discounts to some visitors. We've noticed that this works especially well for first time visitors, for those with valuable products on their cart and for shoppers who have previously abandoned their cart.
  • Reminders: actively remind your visitors about benefits that they have just earned or are close to earning. For instance, you can remind those who have exceeded your monetary threshold for free delivery that they are now entitled to it. Or perhaps you can remind those looking at your premium products that you offer free return policy.

For more tips on how to keep your customers on the right page and avoid cart abandonment, download our white paper!

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Topics: Live Chat, How to, Customer experience