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5 Ways To Prevent E-Commerce Cart Abandonment At Point Of Sale

Shopping basket filled with gold bars

Imagine lines of customer shopping carts filled to the brim with products ready to purchase — then left abandoned when they reach your point of sale (POS) registers. It doesn’t look pretty, right? On e-commerce websites, this scene happens more often than not.

Recent industry research shows that as much as 75 percent of online customers on apparel websites abandon their e-commerce shopping carts before completing the transaction. Many retailers go to great lengths to recapture sales by sending follow-up emails or coupons to customers who leave their potential purchases. 

However, the best way to improve the rate of completed orders is by removing the hurdles that prevent customers from conveniently and quickly making purchases. 

It’s important to first understand why some customers don’t follow through with purchases. Then you’re able to develop ways to make those shoppers think twice before abandoning their shopping carts. 

Here are five ideas that increase the likelihood of web customers taking their purchases through the virtual POS register on your e-commerce website. 

  1. Free or discounted shipping fees: Picture this: A customer has items in an e-commerce shopping cart ready to purchase. But at the checkout, sticker shock doesn’t come from the total cost of the items. Rather, it’s the high shipping fee that stops the customer from completing the transaction. 

    Many customers abandon their purchases upon the POS when they see shipping costs are as high as (or more than) the product they’re going to purchase. The way to jump over this hurdle is by offering free or discounted shipping rates. Customers are more likely to increase the value of their order when they don’t have to pay for shipping. This is attractive especially during peak shopping periods, like around the holidays. 

  2. Offer various shipping options: Along the same line as shipping fees, it’s a good idea to also offer various shipping options to accommodate customers. People are often willing to pay higher shipping fees if they need the product quickly. But if an expedited shipping option isn’t available, customers are likely to abandon their shopping cart and buy the product from another retailer. 
  3. Consolidate the checkout process: For online orders, customers need to fill out billing and shipping information. But this becomes an inconvenience when customers are required to complete various forms with the same information or input data that’s not truly necessary to complete the transaction, such as customer demographic details. 

    Your e-commerce website needs to offer ways to speed up the checkout process. For example, the website should have an option that automatically fills out the shipping details when it’s the same as the customer’s billing information. 

    Another option is to offer a “checkout as guest” feature. Many websites require customers to create an account on the website in order to make a purchase. However, sometimes customers don’t want to create an account with a particular retailer. So, consider offering customers the option to create an account as a guest, which would only require them to provide their necessary billing and shipping information. As a final step, your website could offer an option to transfer the guest information into a customer account. 

  4. Secure customer data: Reports of consumer data breaches occurring among various retailers make some customers wary of using their credit cards online. If shoppers feel that their information isn’t going to be protected during an e-commerce transaction, they’re likely to abandon their shopping carts. 

    Retailers must counter that mindset and assure customers that personal data is protected online. One way to do that is by implementing SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. With that encryption, the webpage address changes from “http” to “https” to show that the data being exchanged is secure. 

  5. Include “surprise costs” in the product price: Some products like wine have additional taxes or other costs. You should include those additional costs in the price of the product. Otherwise, such surprise costs upon arriving at the POS are going to cause some customers to abandon their transaction.

Online retailers lose out on potential revenue when customers abandon their e-commerce carts. These tips address the hurdles that often lead customers to discard their transactions and help to ensure that you’re providing the kind of online shopping experience that encourages sales. 

Learn more about how to improve your e-commerce sales by scheduling a free consultation with ArcherPoint.