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Table of contents

    Introduction

    75% OF CUSTOMERS WHO ABANDON A CART DO SO WITH INTENT TO PURCHASE

    Basket abandonment has become the single biggest drain on revenue for e-retailers with basket abandonment revenue losses surpassing £6 Billion in 2013.

    Ebusinesses have a multi-billion pound problem on their hands and smart e-retailers should begin looking for innovative and unique ways to optimize their existing marketing channels in a cost effective way.

    Think about it. You’ve poured all your energy into driving traffic to your site. Google Ad words, sidebar advertising, social reach – perhaps you’ve even postered the local bus stop. All this effort gets people onto your homepage. They load up their baskets, arrive at the checkout and then…nothing. They’re gone, and with them, the potential revenue they could have generated.

    A staggering 77% of shoppers abandoned their basket before making a purchase last year. That’s three out of every four shoppers who never completed their purchase.

    If eBusinesses are serious about driving down basket abandonment, they need to get under the skin of their customers and gain real insights into consumer psychology.

    This guide will walk you through the seven critical mistakes online marketers are making that can drive up basket abandonment – and what can be done to fix them.

    Let’s get started.

    Accountabilty

    YOU WOULDN’T DITCH YOUR TROLLEY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUPERMARKET SO WHY DO IT ONLINE?

    Internet anonymity removes the pressure to purchase” says Amaze.com. We feel far less accountable for our actions online than we ever would in person. Online, no one has to run around picking up clothes off the floor after you drop your basket. Nor do we have any retailer loyalty – if we can find the same deal for cheaper elsewhere, we can – and will – jump site. It’s not rude: it’s the Internet.

    MODERN SHOPPERS’ EXPECTATIONS HAVE ALSO SHIFTED WITH ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY.

    Generation Y craves instant gratification and e-retailers have enabled this impulse by fast tracking the journey to the check out. Yet fuelling the consumer’s desire for instant gratification breeds discontentment and frustration.

    Users will jump site the instant they cannot locate what they were looking for.

    E-RETAILERS ARE QUICK TO FORGET:

    CONVENIENCE KILLED THE HIGH STREET. NOW, IT IS DRIVING BASKET ABANDONMENT.

    Lack of Personalisation

    It has been widely reported that Millennials are the most self-obsessed and narcissistic generation in history.

    Even if this is a slight generalisation (recent studies also show they are also one of the most socially aware and tolerant generations to have ever existed), modern day consumers have come to have certain expectations about the world in which they inhabit.

    They expect customized functionality and personalization at the tips of their fingers and are quick to leave domains (both online and off) where this is not offered.

    Page after page of identikit mechanical e-stores show that retailers need to rethink their approach to the user journey.

    IN THE LEAP FROM HIGH STREET TO CYBERSPACE, RETAILERS HAVE FALLEN OUT OF TOUCH WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS

    WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ENHANCE THIS JOURNEY?

    1. Tailor in-page recommendations to each visitor
    2. Treat first timers differently to returning customers
    3. Pick the right moment to make an offer

    Hidden Costs

    This is frequently cited as the number one reason for basket abandonment.

    56% OF ABANDONING VISITORS CITED ‘UNEXPECTED COSTS’ AS THEIR REASON FOR LEAVING.

    In particular, shipping costs – which add an often unexpected price hike at the end of the journey – interrupted a previously smooth buyer journey. Page after page of identikit mechanical e-stores show that retailers need to rethink their approach to the user journey.

    It’s a reminder that you are online; that convenience comes at a cost. Offering free shipping – and shouting about it on your home page – can be a great revenue driver if you have the margins.

    93% OF ONLINE BUYERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BUY MORE PRODUCTS IF FREE SHIPPING IS INCLUDED, according to a study by Compete, satisfaction levels were also higher for customers who received free shipping.

    Using interactive overlays can easily amplify these messages on your website. Serving your visitors with messaging in this way enables you to educate and assure while also driving additional sales.

    THEY WANT IT TO BE QUICK AND EASY, BUT THEY DON’T WISH TO PAY FOR IT.

    Hidden Returns Policy

    A user who can get right to the end of the checkout process and still hasn’t found your returns policy is a prime candidate for basket abandonment.

    Remember that 77% basket abandonment rate. Considering only 3% of customers return items, it must be the best commercial decision to be upfront with visitors about how they could return a few items.

    Be clear about your returns policy from the offset.

    On balance, returning a small number of items – possibly for free – is a small price to pay for getting the extra conversions – and possibly a lifetime customer.

    BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR RETURNS POLICY FROM THE OFFSET.

    Security

    At the point of checkout 58.4% of users abandon due to concerns about payment.

    Website visitors are understandably cautious about sharing their financial information online. You must make every effort to display your transaction security provisions.

    Foreground your reassurance messaging – security certifications can be a major asset if positioned properly on-site.

    Also having a clean, professional-looking site will go a long way towards engendering trust between you and your site visitors.

    79% OF ONLINE SHOPPERS USE ESTABLISHED SITES BECAUSE OF CLEAR AND EASY PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS

    Time Pressured User

    Time – there’s never enough of it.

    And when it comes to online shopping, wasting your visitor’s will lead to an abandoned basket.

    We make time to shop online at the strangest moments. 10% of us shop on the toilet and a rogue 1% even checked out mid-coitus . When there’s a will, there’s a way.

    So how do we appeal to this modern, busy, always on consumer? By finding the perfect balance between helpful and non-obtrusive. By having clear functionality.

    By letting them browse at their own pace but still stepping in to help if they seem lost and by ensuring your key features stand out.

    FIND THE PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN HELPFUL AND NON-OBTRUSIVE.

    COMING ON TOO STRONG CAN BE JUST AS BAD AS NOT HELPING AT ALL.

    DON’T BE A KEEN BEAN

    The best e-retailers know how to guide a user through their online journey in an easy and non-obtrusive way. Coming on too strong can be just as bad as not helping at all. Imagine walking into a shop and immediately being accosted by the sales assistant. Nothing makes us turn around and walk out faster. It’s instinctual and it’s the same story when we are online.

    Instead, try a friendly nudge on the shoulder that compliments and amplifies the user’s organic online experience.

    AVOID COMPLEX FUNCTIONALITY

    Consumers need to find what they are looking for easily. Ensuring that your product menu is clear and easy to read, with an optimal search functionality, is key. Make sure calls-to-action are prominent. Signpost the user through your checkout process in a linear way. Keep things simple, clean and easy as possible.

    STAND OUT – IN A GOOD WAY

    Make the checkout button noticeable. Think Las Vegas billboard levels of visibility. Don’t let it get lost in a sea of gray – this is not another piece of on-site furniture – it’s the star attraction. The top-right of the site is the expected location (see Amazon.com) so don’t worry about being too innovative here – you’ll only risk confusing the user

    Neglecting Multichannel

    40% OF CONSUMERS SAY THEY PURCHASE MORE FROM RETAILERS THAT DELIVER A PERSONALISED, CROSS-CHANNEL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

    In 2014, mobile web traffic overtook desktop for the first time.

    This ‘always-on’ culture necessarily means that we are the most commercially engaged generation in history.

    Yet some e-retailers are struggling to adapt and mobile devices have long faced a dilemma. A common complaint among brands and retailers has been that smartphone screens are simply too small to accommodate a meaningful user journey or engagement.

    This disparity can be seen clearly when you look at ad spend trends. A fifth (20%) of media consumption now occurs on mobile, but mobile constitutes only 4% of the ad market, according to the 2014 Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Beyers.

    However, with the launch of iPhone 6 Plus and common adoption of larger smart phone screens (including HTC, Samsung and Huawei), retail brands may now be able to start making a meaningful transition to mobile.

    Size constraints can make mobile engagement more difficult, however save your visitors time and effort by optimizing your pages for mobile and tablet devices. Use clean lines, strip back on the user interface, enlarge CTAs and amplify social integration.

    70% OF MILLENNIALS CHECK THEIR PHONES EVERY HOUR.

    YOUR BASKET ABANDONMENT CHEAT SHEET

    • Recognize that online has shifted shopper accountability

    • Personalize your site to each user

    • Be transparent about costs

    • Highlight your Returns Policy

    • Reassure security and trust concerns

    • Get the Timing Right

    • Streamline your site layout

    • Enable a swift checkout process

    • Have excellent search functionality

    • Develop your multichannel

    THE WAY FORWARD

    Here at Yielidify, with the help of our multi-channel abandonment analytics platform, we have found that retailers can dramatically reduce basket abandonment if they take advantage of Exit Intent technology. Exit Intent tech tracks a visitor’s mouse movements in real time and detects when they are about to leave your website.

    ON-SITE REMARKETING

    The brink of abandonment is the perfect moment to encourage a visitor to purchase. It’s the online equivalent of a customer visiting a shop, examining an item, placing it back on the shelf then turning to leave when a sales clerk taps them on the shoulder and says ‘Hey, if you’d like to get that today, we can give you 10% off’. It brings that personal customer service touch into an online environment.

    EMAIL RETARGETING

    Even after a visitor has abandoned a website, it is still possible to get them back. 20% of abandoners will return to complete a purchase after retargeting. This rate can be improved with highly-targeted e-mail remarketing that delivers user-specific offers. If a user had over a certain value of items in their basket before they abandoned – say, £100 – it can be worth offering a 5% discount to that user to incentivize them to return.

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    Conclusion

    Basket abandonment will always occur to a certain extent – people change their minds. It happens.

    Yet online organizations need to turn their eye to not just getting visitors to their website, but creating a truly unique and optimised experience once they get there.

    Smart e-retailers understand how important crafting a unique buyer journey can be. By bringing your brand fully onto your online platform, creating tailored, intelligent campaigns that speak directly to users and knowing when to engage – you can ensure you are optimizing your website and marketing channels to their fullest capabilities.

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    About Yieldify

    Yieldify makes it easy for e-commerce businesses to deliver customer journeys that convert, through a combination of smart and simple multichannel technology and expert strategy.

    Trusted by over 500 brands on more than 1,000 websites globally, Yieldify helps some of the world’s innovative companies drive incremental revenue, including Marks and Spencer, L’Oréal and Estee Lauder.