It can always be a little frustrating when a customer visits your site, just to abandon things halfway through.
Abandonment is to be expected. After all, when shopping physically, it’s normal for people to change their minds about the shops they want to browse and the items they want to buy.
But when exploring eCommerce sites, customers tend to shop differently. Ecommerce businesses often agonize over this, believing that customers make more precise decisions when shopping online. However, we don’t need to worry so much! IZooto tells us that 89.1% of customers that visit eCommerce sites don’t actually add anything to the cart on their first visit.
This number may seem huge, but instead of seeing it as a challenge, see it as an opportunity. What that really means to you, as a business owner, is that there is an extra opportunity to convert leads into customers 89.1% of the time. And it’s only by recognizing that there may be browse rate issues on your site, that you will be able to solve them.
Your customers are already on your pages. That means they are already thinking about making a purchase. All you need is to give them that final push.
If you are wondering the best way to do this, here are nine ways to win more sales by addressing abandonment rates.
What is Browse Abandonment?
Before we get into the details of how to solve this problem, let’s first clear up what it is specifically. Browse abandonment is different to, and comes before, cart abandonment. It’s basically when a customer visits a site only to leave without adding anything to their cart.
This happens much more with eCommerce than other types of business, because people tend to browse shopping sites extensively. That’s rather than having a single reason to go to the site in question. Compared to, say, if a person was reaching out to an online contact center, where they would have a specific purpose for the visit – wanting to talk to an agent).
But, by connecting with customers in certain ways, you can encourage them to add to their cart and, ultimately, make a purchase. By engaging and targeting customers, you will increase the appeal of your site. Putting in the effort will help you reach your goals and generate more sales.
1. Identify an Abandoned Visit
First thing’s first, we need to identify who to target when it comes to browse abandonment. Say a person accidentally clicks on your clothing site after typing in ‘ work socks’ when they meant to type in ‘work sucks’. There probably isn’t much point in chasing them down.
However, if a person is part of your email list, is a returning visitor, is using first-party cookies, or has even filled out a pop-up form, it is worth investing time into pushing them toward purchase.
Just like setting up a virtual phone service or building a social media profile, you can make adjustments according to what works for you. In this case, that means changing the definition of what you class to be an abandoned customer.
You may see an abandoned visit as someone who has signed up to your mailing list and visited your site once. Or it could be that you don’t count it as an abandoned visit until they have clicked on several products in the same category.
Think about the type of customer you want to get the attention of, and set boundaries based on that.
2. Optimize Emails
After a customer has abandoned your site, send them an email and address any reasons as to why they may have left. Make it clear who is messaging them, then in the subject line say something like, “Did you need any help?”. You can then go on to show them the products they were browsing as a reminder.
It could be that a customer couldn’t find what they were after. So, show them some related items that will help with their search. As with any great bit of marketing, use a call to action to encourage them to return.
For example, say you sell communications software. After browsing video conference software, your customer left the site. Therefore, in a follow-up email, you could say:
“We saw you were browsing video software. Don’t miss out! Buy it now!”
Along with pictures of what they were looking at or similar items. Just make sure not to come across as too creepy by knowing every single detail about their browsing history. As this will just put them off.
For the email to be the most effective, it should be sent within 30 minutes of them leaving your site.
3. Give People Space
Yes, it’s important to message a customer when a product is still fresh in their minds. Bombarding them with messages, though, can sometimes put a person off even more.
Imagine if you had visited a site and clicked off. Then, for the next hour, you received a mass of emails telling you that you had made a mistake and that if you didn’t buy that item right now, you would regret it. As well as hitting the ‘unsubscribe’ button ASAP, you would probably curse the day you ever signed up with the sender.
To keep a customer on your side, you should cap abandonment emails to be sent either daily or weekly. Alternatively, it may be that you only want to send abandonment emails if it looks like a customer is set to spend a certain amount.
Either way, the secret to success when it comes to abandonment emails is to curb your enthusiasm and let the customer be gently reminded of an item. Thus leaving the decision making and power in their hands, and maintaining a good relationship with them.
4. Reflect on a Real-Life Experience
Just as companies create virtual events by mirroring physical events, you can make a home-from-store shopping experience.
You can do this by providing visuals to give the best shopping experience possible. This may mean creating a 360-degree video of merchandise to show how they look at every angle. It’s also likely to encompass writing detailed product descriptions for all items. You can even create virtual dressing rooms to let shoppers ‘try things on’, and see how the product will look on them in real life.
Picture the way that you shop in a brick and mortar store, and use these points on your site. When it comes to eCommerce, you need to prepare your business in the same way a physical shop does. And that’s by giving the customer what they want. So, to avoid browse abandonment, consider investing in ways that will give people the full shopping experience.
5. Make Things as Straightforward as Possible
Picture entering a physical store and finding that it is a mess. It takes ten minutes to find what you were after, the aisles are blocked with stock, and half the shelves are empty. Chances are, you end up leaving straight away.
Regular stores try to make things as straightforward for the customer as possible. Your eCommerce site should be doing the same to lower abandonment rates.
That means your site should be seamless to navigate. As soon as a customer lands on your site, they should have a smooth experience. This way, they aren’t getting frustrated by avoidable problems. Issues like slow loading speeds, numerous out of stock items, or the site simply being too ‘all over the place’ to find anything.
To address this issue, you should be regularly reviewing your site to make sure people can easily find what they are looking for. Performing eCommerce website maintenance when needed will help with this. It will also help to make sure you have a mobile-friendly site – something which is essential in this modern age of shopping.
6. Keep Shipping Costs Obvious
It would be nice if we were all millionaires and didn’t have to look at the cost of something. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t, and the shipping cost can mean the difference between an online purchase being made and not. Especially when the shipping costs vary from company to company.
Some businesses provide free shipping when a customer spends over a certain amount. Some have set shipment fees. Others, meanwhile, change prices depending on the size and destination of a product. Not knowing shipping costs can really put people off wanting to buy. After all, if there is a chance people will be paying the same price for an item as for shipping, they will just go to a competitor.
The solution to this is to make it clear on your landing page how much people will be paying for shipping. Especially if you have an offer or a low price. Using data quality software will help you keep track of where you are shipping to the most. This will then enable you to adjust your prices accordingly, should you wish to.
7. Make it Personal
Trying to persuade people to stay on your site by being generic won’t cut it. Think of it this way. If during a performance review, your boss gave everyone in the office the exact same feedback, you would be frustrated. Whereas, if your boss had used effective performance management tools and treated you all as individuals, you would be much happier. And care more about the company.
Making contact with existing and potential customers is a lot like this. If you provide them with something generic, they are likely to abandon you. Whilst if you show you care and provide them with something individual, they will see the effort you have put in and will choose you over a competitor.
So, when it comes to follow-up emails or pop-ups, choose items that they as individuals are interested in, instead of generic items that you may need to shift.
8. Use People Power
Nothing is more powerful than a real human opinion when it comes to selling. Having a genuine positive review shows that not only has someone else bought that product, but that they had a positive experience with it, too. And that makes the product trustworthy.
Real customers also tend to go into more detail about what a product is really like in real-life situations. Something which is often missed on eCommerce sites.
It’s a bit like using storytelling as a sales strategy, in that it adds a sense of realism and humanizes a product. It basically shows that you are genuinely trying to provide a service and aren’t just selling for the money. Because of that, people will be more likely to buy from you, rather than just abandon your site.
The easiest way to do this is to pop a short review, or a snippet of a review, next to each product. It could even be something taken from a social media post. This way, when someone clicks on an item, they will really know it is as effective or long-lasting as it claims, because a real person has said so. And not just because it says that in the product description.
Source: Contact Pidgeon
9. Reflect on Buyer Behavior
Customers are like those unique discoveries we make in life. Like how to fax from a computer or how to make your own almond milk. They are individual, surprise us often, and have contextual needs.
This unusual analogy has a point. It essentially means that people are individuals and can surprise us with their wants. All we have to do is think outside the box, and discover ways to satisfy individual problems. As we can’t cater to every single individual need, though, this will need to be done in a group context. So, we need to use human behavior to target people.
One way to do this is by using FOMO to show them the products that sell best on the pages they show the most interest in. This psychological idea makes people think that product is so good that they must buy it, too, or they will be missing out.
Another idea is to refresh customers’ memory by adding a fancy visual of their item. This, again, can either be done through email or pop up. For example, if they were looking at pink sneakers, then send them an email with those sneakers dancing around in a GIF. Alternatively, depending on what you are selling, comedy can also sell. So, why not appeal to everyone’s human side by sending a humorous follow-up email about their product?
Browse abandonment targeting works a bit like someone offering you candy. You may not see the appeal the first time. But then when they shake it in front of you and say, “are you suuuuurrreee?” you realize how good that candy is, and end up saying yes. Basically, the shopper may not be fully decided in the first place, but you know that all they need is a bit of a push to say yes.
Remember to treat each customer as an individual, and promote the products that relate to them. And, when you do contact them, do so quickly, without overdoing it. By following these steps, you should see a reduction in browse abandonment rates in no time.