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May 6, 2014 | eCommerce , Site Design and Management | Sheri Hebbeln

How to switch shopping cart abandonment from a hassle to an opportunity

Shopping cart abandonment is a serious problem that every online wine store faces. Citing data from SeeWhy and Fireclick, Bronto said cart abandonment rates are currently close to 72 percent, which means that online retailers could be losing the majority of their sales opportunities. In "From Abandon to Conversion: Why Shoppers Abandon Carts and What Merchants Can Do About It," Bronto looked at the primary reasons why consumers ditch their purchases and found the following:

  • Too many pages during checkout: Bronto discovered the average ecommerce website has 5.6 pages between the cart and the confirmation of the transaction. Many savvy retailers have switched to a more streamlined experience where billing information and shipping details are consolidated, which prevents shoppers from getting frustrated. However, condensing the experience as much as possible may not be the solution because cramming too much information on a single page can be confusing for consumers.
  • Required registration: In its analysis, Bronto found that 9 percent of online merchants force shoppers to register on their sites. Depending on the number of steps it takes to register, this deters consumers from completing their transactions, and some people may be annoyed if they intended to make a one-time purchase and they can't opt out of further communications.
  • Security: After a number of major data breaches, consumers are more concerned about online security. If anything about the checkout process seems unsafe, people may abandon the purchase rather than put their financial information at risk. Bronto revealed that 65 percent of online brands display security certifications on their checkout pages.
  • Shopper decision factors: Some causes of shopping cart abandonment have nothing do with the functionality of your website. People may be comparison shopping or want to save items for later. Sending triggered messages after a basket has been abandoned can prompt customers to return to your site.
  • Hidden shipping costs: As it is, shipping can detract from the success of online wine sales. Consumers want instant gratification, but they may have to wait for days or even weeks when they buy products online. In some cases, shoppers may be willing to pay slightly more to receive their items sooner, but providing no indication of the estimated shipping fees can cause consumers to exit the transaction during checkout. Many studies have indicated that people would rather be given shipping discounts than a special offer for the product. 

How wineries can cope with shopping cart abandonment
Business Insider Intelligence estimates that shopping cart abandonment will result in $4 trillion worth of lost purchases. Fortunately for retailers, up to 63 percent of this lost revenue could be recovered through the use of smarter marketing strategies and website design. In some cases, online merchants may need to change how they look at shopping cart abandonment. The report indicated that many consumers intended to return to the website and complete their purchases.

However, retailers need to be proactive about managing this concern since it could contribute to significant revenue losses. The checkout flow needs to be streamlined as much as possible - without overloading pages. Enabling guest checkout can prevent shoppers from giving up when they encounter required registration. This could be especially helpful in converting shoppers who are purchasing gifts for others. One of the best approaches for you to take may be disclosing an estimate of wine shipping fees as customers add bottles to their carts to avoid a surprise jump in costs at the end of the transaction. WineDirect's point of sale offering can help wineries manage many of these concerns to prevent unnecessary shopping cart abandonment. 

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