Running an online store can be hard work. Photo: Igor MiskeUnsplash

Shopping Cart Abandonment – Please don’t leave

Everything was going so well; there there were happily tapping away and adding things to their shopping cart, having a great time, looking at our recommended products, picking out colors and sizes, browsing the clearance and adding a few things that they don’t need. They’re a perfect shopper, in our well laid out, snappy and gorgeous looking online store.

Then it all ends. They’re gone. You’re heartbroken, they had a basket full of life-changing goodies (striped tees are all the rage for the cool kids) you would have shipped them in no time at all, but all is lost. This scenario happens all too often, with no recourse, as a retailer you potentially just lost a customer, and the customer is missing out on a scrumptious deal.

What do you think the reasons are that you lost that sale? We’ve all been there; cart abandonment is a massive issue for online stores all over the world, don’t worry you are not alone. Let’s have a look at the things you have zero control over first.
Life happens. They were happily browsing on their lunch, and their soft serve dropped off the waffle cone and plopped itself into their lap. Shit! Then comes the mad dash to H&M for another skirt and they’ve only got 5 minutes left of their break. Life happens, all the time. Curve-balls thrown from a million directions can change the customer’s priorities in a heartbeat.

Guilt. They’re shopping up a storm, having a ball. The perfect outfit for a Saturday night knees-up is ready to go in the cart, and everything is right in the world. Then the realization hits home that the last fifteen dollars in their account should be spent on essentials like food and getting to work. Or they could buy the shirt, leave the rest of the items for later and chuck on a pair of old jeans to make the tee pop. Or they could take the easy option, and close their browser.

It’s a good idea to grab a customers details when they are happily shopping away on your site, you don’t know when they may log off. Photo: Jiri WagnerUnsplash

There are multitudes of scenarios like these, where people change their mind about their purchases, they are inevitable, you can’t avoid them. What can you do? You can prepare yourself for their occurrence. The person with no money in their account will possibly have a pay-day happening soon and some spare disposable cash once they’ve paid their bills, the ice cream saga will be over relatively quickly, and that person can get back to their shopping at their desk. If they remember.

It’s your job to remind them. Make sure that you collect email addresses or have your customers log in to your store via Facebook as part of the shopping process, rather than the checkout process. If you get their information and something happens to them, or they change their mind, you’ve got a way to flick them a quick email and remind them about their failed purchase, or a ‘check out this discount’ message. You can only do that if you have a touch point. Otherwise, it’s just data.

Shoppers will be much more likely to hand over their details when they are in happy browsing mode , rather than later when they are heading into ‘dump and run’ territory. Email addresses are like gold to you and your online retail empire. Collect them and don’t squander them.