Don’t Get Ghosted by Customers: 3 Ways to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts

reduce-abandoned-shopping-carts

Imagine live selling to your customers. You’re excited to see so many of them attending your live stream. You’ve taken all of the steps to prepare: you’ve rehearsed your presentation beforehand, and you’ve created an inviting environment to show off your products. You may have even invested in upgrading your camera, lighting, or mic setup. You see customers adding products to their shopping carts while you’re live and commenting “sold” on items they like, but why aren’t they checking out?

Why Customers Abandon Shopping Carts

When shopping online, it’s common for people to abandon their carts in e-commerce stores. They browse products and add them to their virtual shopping bags, but they leave without completing their purchases. Industry averages for abandoned carts range from 69% to 88% of audiences deciding not to buy, causing e-commerce brands to lose $18 billion in sales worldwide every year.

Here are some reasons why people add products to their carts in the first place:

  • They’re window shopping.
  • They’re comparison shopping.
  • They saw an ad online, on social media, or received an email.
  • They got caught up in the excitement of a live sale.
  • They saw a discount.
  • They wanted to “save” or “bookmark” items they like.
  • The ease of commenting “sold” to automatically cart items.

Here are some reasons why your would-be customers aren’t completing the checkout process:

  • The cart total is too expensive. The total sale price of the products they’ve added, plus tax, shipping, and other fees, is more than they want to spend.
  • No free shipping or the shipping cost is too expensive.
  • They had second thoughts. They may have wondered whether they really wanted or needed the product.
  • Unwelcome surprises at checkout. Extra costs and fees that appear during the final phases of checkout can be a strong deterrent that keeps customers from buying. 
  • Their item sold out. They waited too long and their desired item, size, or color sold out.
  • Wishful thinking. They didn’t really have the budget to make the purchase in addition to their other expenses.
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The Top 3 Ways for Live Sellers to Reduce Cart Abandonment 

There’s a lot happening during a live sale. The host is engaging the audience by asking or answering questions. They’re showing products, and there’s often a countdown timer displaying the number of products available and the amount of time left to purchase them during the live sale. Customers are interacting with one another through the chatbox and adding items shown during the live sale to their shopping carts without ever leaving the video. That’s why it’s important for the retailer to remind them to actually complete their purchases.

Here are three ways online retailers can avoid abandoned checkouts during live sales and in their webstores:

  1. Invite the right people by knowing your audience. Take the time to understand why customers shop with you, what they’re looking for, and what motivates them to make purchases. Tailor your messaging and inventory to speak to them so that the people who attend your live streams are actually interested customers who want to buy your products.
  2. Make it easy to check out, especially for mobile customers. Make sure you offer a secure checkout experience. Limit the personal information you’re requesting on checkout forms to essential info like customers’ billing and shipping addresses and payment information.
  3. Set expectations early about pricing, shipping, and product availability, with frequent reminders during live sales to check out quickly to reserve products at the advertised pricing. 

More Ways to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts with CommentSold

Retailers who are live selling with CommentSold can take advantage of these features to reduce abandoned carts during and after their live sales:

  • Enable the Waitlist feature to allow customers to automatically add themselves to a waitlist and be notified when the product they wanted is back in stock. Remind customers they can join the waitlist if they missed out during the live sale and tell them when you expect the product to be available.
  • Enable Waitlist Authorization to enable customers who have added themselves to the waitlist to authorize the purchase of a product so that it automatically ships when it becomes available.
  • Remind shoppers that they can check out multiple times during a live sale and pay only one shipping fee. Or better yet, offer free shipping as an incentive. 
  • Enable cart timers and expirations so customers have a limited time to check out before the item is unavailable or their cart expires.
  • Give customers incentives to check out by a desired time, such as free shipping, limited availability, free product with purchase, or special discounts.
  • Remind customers to “shop the replay” of a live sale, and follow up with email and text messages after the sale has concluded.

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Abandoned Shopping Carts Can Be Recovered

When someone abandons their shopping cart, you may be able to still get the sale. Here are some ways to reach customers after they have abandoned their shopping carts:

For customers who have opted in to your social media, email list, or text messages:

  • Send an abandoned cart email to recover up to 14% of lost sales. Offer an incentive to complete the purchase, like free shipping, or offer them a discount.
  • Send a text message with a timed offer incentive to check out, like including a free product with purchase. If you wait an hour after the cart has been abandoned, you may have a 16.4% higher chance of completing the sale.

You can reach customers who haven’t opted into your marketing by using Google, Bing, or other remarketing ad networks. Remarketing can give you a 26% higher chance of recovering abandoned carts. Remarketing ads are a form of paid online banner advertising that re-engages customers who have visited your website or social media by showing them products they’ve added to their shopping cart and encouraging them to return to your online store to complete the sale.

Avoid Abandoned Shopping Carts by Improving Customer Quality

More customers aren’t necessarily better because they won’t buy if they’re not really interested in what you’re offering. If you find that you have good attendance during your live selling sessions and decent web traffic on your webstore, but you have abandoned carts that you have been unable to recover, you may want to re-evaluate how you’re qualifying your audience.

Here are some tactics for improving customer quality so that you can pre-qualify interested customers to decrease abandoned carts and increase the chance of more sales:

  • Invite customers based on past positive buying behavior. You can create special sales for each segment you identify—for example, customers who have purchased specific products, or made consistent purchases over a certain amount.
  • Create a Facebook VIP group for your best customers and create a special sale just for them.
  • If you don’t have a list of prequalified customers, incentivize marketing list signups for emails, social contact lists, and text messaging by promoting exclusive or limited-availability products that you know your customers would want but are hard to find.

The Takeaway

With almost 70% of online shoppers abandoning their shopping carts, retailers must take extra steps to ensure better conversion rates during and after live sales. These steps include customer and offer curation to better target offers to the right customers; making it faster and easier to check out on all device types — especially mobile phones — and setting pricing and shipping cost expectations upfront. 

Online sellers who take advantage of CommentSold’s waitlist and waitlist authorization features can reduce abandoned carts before they happen during live sales. Post-sale marketing with attractive incentives, like free shipping and special offers, can re-engage customers who may have been impulse shopping. 

By preventing abandoned carts before they happen and by taking steps to recover them, retailers can realize better returns on marketing and improve their bottom line.

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