Cart abandonment is one of the most frustrating conversion issues for online retailers. According to a Baymard Institute study, at least two-thirds of shoppers abandon their shopping carts prior to purchase.
Unfortunately, this is as much of an issue for online religious retailers as it is for sellers in other industries. Luckily, there are some simple ways to combat abandoned cart and increase completed ecommerce sales.
First, Let’s Define an Abandoned Cart:
An abandoned cart is when an online shopper places items in a website’s shopping cart, but does not complete the purchase before leaving the site. Depending on your ecommerce system and preferences, a shopping cart could be considered abandoned anywhere from a few hours to a few days after an item was added to the cart.
So, Why Do Shoppers Abandon Carts?
As an online religious retailer, having a handful of rosaries or a few sick call sets left behind might seem like just the cost of doing business online. But, have you ever crunched the numbers on how even a few abandoned carts can add up over time?
Cart abandonment, while easily overlooked, is an easy win for your online store because you already know that a shopper expressed interest in your merchandise. Before you begin deploying new strategies to reclaim your lost carts, we suggest you consider why someone may abandon their cart in the first place. The solution may be easier than you think!
1. Surprising Fees
When there is a lack of transparency about the total cost, extra shipping fees, or taxes, shoppers can be surprised by the final price. If they were closely watching the subtotal amount as they chose their items, the extra fees may be too much. This is, in fact, ranked as the top reason for cart abandonment.
What may seem obvious to you – that there’s shipping costs and taxes associated with the items you sell – may not be obvious to your shoppers. Be clear about the final costs as early as possible in the sales funnel. Additionally, consider providing a link to a dedicated page that shows standard shipping rates when possible.
2. Lack of Preferred Payment Method
Many shoppers have a preferred payment method. If that method is not available upon checkout, it is likely they will abandon their carts and find a competitor who does offer that method.
With the increasingly robust economy, religious and inspirational items are selling well. This means it likely won’t be very difficult to find a competitor who does offer a variety of payment methods.
Whatever payment options you choose to provide your shoppers with, be sure to clearly indicate these options early in the checkout process.
3. Complicated Purchasing Steps
While we believe people of any age can find delight in religious gifts, research indicates that the individual typically responsible for purchasing these products are women ages 50+. Maybe they’re looking for crib medal for their newest granddaughter or a Saint Michael U.S. Army medal to protect their son. If the checkout process is confusing or contains too many steps, they may abandon their cart all together.
Exit-intent popups are a great way to make your shoppers think twice before leaving their cart behind. By installing a popup on your shopping cart or checkout pages, you can trigger a message to display when the system detects a user is about to abandon their items (seen below). Messages can range from providing helpful information to even offering a small incentive to encourage conversion. At the end of the day, always consider your target demographic when creating checkout options and make the process as streamlined as possible.
4. Hidden (or Non-Existent) Coupon Codes
When cost-conscious customers see an available field for a coupon code during checkout, they may search for a promo code to bring down their final cart total. If their quest for savings turns up empty, they may see it as a missed opportunity and not return to the site to complete the purchase.
If you are running a promotion, make sure any codes are front and center on your website. This means adding it prominently to your homepage and even displaying a global banner across your entire site for a period of time. If you don’t offer any coupons, be sure to disable this option from your shopping cart to avoid confusion.
The Essentials of Email Retargeting
Completely eliminating all abandoned carts is virtually impossible. Altough, with email retargeting, you're one step closer to narrowing the gap between lost opportunities and potential revenue. Many ecommerce platforms now offer an email retargeting feature for abandoned carts.
Here are some quick tips to consider when configuring your retargeting:
- The Sooner the Better: Don’t wait days to send your shopper a reminder about their abandoned items! Best practices indicate an email sent within 3-12 hours can drive customers to complete their purchase.
- Repetition is Key: While dispatching that first email within 12 hours is critical, it might take a few nudges for certain shoppers to enter the checkout again. Consider automating another gentle reminder a day or two after abandonment.
- Sweeten the Deal: As we discovered above, shipping costs or other hidden fees can be one of the largest factors behind cart abandonment. Think about offering customers a code for free or reduced shipping to secure the conversion.
By implementing even a few of these simple steps for your religious gift store, you can actively reduce the number of carts abandoned. For additional information on how to boost your religious retail business, check out our 10 Tips for Religious Retailers ebook!