How to reduce shopping cart abandonment?

Despite your well-laid plans, shoppers will visit your eCommerce website, start shopping, add items to cart, but never complete the transaction. Shopping cart abandonment is so common that an estimated four out of five shoppers will abandon their cart. But how can you avoid this and make sure your visitors don't leave unconverted? We share our top three tips for abandoned cart recovery.

reduce shopping cart abandonment

1. Segment your website visitors

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.

  • 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 to avoiding shopping cart abandonment.  This group consists of people that can be influenced and perhaps need more motivation to buy than others. 

2. Interact with customers in real-time

eCommerce 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 

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 between 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 the premium products that you offer a free return policy.

Looking for more tips on how to optimise your eCommerce strategy and prepare your online store for peak seasons? Check out our guide on how to succeed in peak season 2021.

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Editor's note: This blog was originally posted in 2018 but has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy.