Sheri Hebbeln
May 27, 2014 | eCommerce , Site Design and Management | Sheri Hebbeln

How to turn shopping cart abandonment into an opportunity

If you have an online wine store, you're most likely familiar with shopping cart abandonment. However, you could be losing more than two-thirds of your potential sales, according to Search Engine People, citing data from the Baymard Institute. If you're looking to maximize direct-to-consumer sales through the online channel, it may be time to assess shopping cart abandonment. Although abandonment rates need to be minimized for a more successful ecommerce strategy, it can be treated as an opportunity to convert customers and make improvements to your website.

Why is shopping cart abandonment happening? Baymard indicated that more than half of shoppers would ditch a purchase if they uncovered unexpected costs during checkout. This could be the result of hidden shipping charges or extra handling fees. Hard-to-use website navigation was another major factor in shopping cart abandonment. Consumers were also frustrated by a lack of multiple ecommerce fulfillment options. 

How can you get around these issues? The following tips can help you reduce shopping cart abandonment rates:

1. Present wine shipping expenses as people add items to their carts
One of the reasons free shipping models have become so popular in the ecommerce world is because fulfillment expenses can skew how much customers are spending on purchases. You can provide an estimate of shipping costs and any additional taxes as consumers shop so they have a better idea of the total cost of buying, Search Engine People stated. It's also a good idea to establish a predicted timeframe for when shoppers can expect the delivery. Taking steps to be more transparent decreases shopping cart abandonment.

2. Create a better checkout flow
Another major culprit of shopping cart abandonment is a lengthy or complicated checkout process. The more steps involved in checkout, the more likely you are to lose customers, Multichannel Merchant pointed out. Streamlining the process to eliminate any unnecessary steps can increase conversions. You should utilize as few pages as possible, and make sure that there aren't fields that ask shoppers to re-enter the same information. It may be beneficial to add photos of each item in the basket so customers remember what they've selected, and you can include shipping information during the process. Another method of streamlining the process is creating a status bar that shows customers how many more steps are left until the transaction is complete. This manages their expectations and decreases frustration.

3. Don't make customers register for an account
Consumers get annoyed when they have to sign up for an account on an ecommerce website. They could be making a one-time purchase or don't want to go through the hassle of remembering login information for the future, but registration is one extra step in the checkout process. Whatever the reasons for not wanting to register, a guest checkout option can help you convert more shoppers, Search Engine People said. Although registration can give you more contacts for wine marketing emails in the future, gaining the sale should be the priority.

4. Optimize for all devices
As mobile commerce continues to gain popularity, it will be more important to provide a mobile experience. Even if you have a well-designed, user-friendly interface from a laptop, this website may not translate well for mobile shoppers. Responsive Web design can ensure the website adapts to the device used to view it. This can provide a more consistent experience for all customers. Mobile commerce may gain more popularity, and shoppers engage with smartphones and tablets differently than other devices. If you have been struggling with shopping cart abandonment, you can assess these areas and make improvements. 

Contact a sales representative to learn more about how WineDirect's ecommerce solutions can help you boost online sales. 


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