Using courier services as an antidote to the nightmare of abandoned carts

Abandoned shopping carts are a nightmare for e-commerce. Customers visit your store’s website, browse some of your items, add item after item to the shopping cart, the list of products grows and they are about to move to start the checkout process. It is like a long-distance run that has to be finished in a stadium: the runner reaches the last straight and for some reason leaves. The cart is abandoned. It’s like breaking your leg a few meters before the finish of a marathon. Why does it happen?

Acquiring a new customer is much more difficult (that means more expensive) than maintaining one that has already hit your store. Therefore, sales specialists try to break down the causes of cart abandonment.

Why does UX fail just before the finishing line?

If the customers have spent a lot of time on the store’s website, collecting some, a dozen or several dozen products in the shopping cart, you can assume that they enjoyed both shopping and your store. This means that user experience (UX) elements such as the color palette, font, layout used on the website, as well as product search and browse, were at least acceptable, and maybe even appreciated by customers. The prices of the goods were not off-putting. However, after everything was OK up to this point,  the customer lost interest in the selected items and the payment was not made. What went wrong?

An extremely important, and according to many, the most important element of UX is checkout, i.e. the process of purchase completion. There is a big gap between clicking the “checkout” button and making a payment which for some shops is full of potential benefits  and for others mostly miserable defeats. Why?

Of course, there is a category of so called window shoppers, people who love the purchasing process itself: choosing, matching, completing sets. However, they don’t need to complete their purchases, so they abandon their shopping carts. However, in the case of “ordinary” customers, it is enough not to distract them, that means to make the purchasing process as short as possible. It cannot be limited to one step only, but for sure should not involve six steps. And you should avoid surprising your customers. One of the most unpleasant surprises is the delivery cost.

Free delivery or I’m going to the competition

Some sellers believe that if the customer has a shopping cart filled with goods worth a lot of money, then a delivery cost amounting to double the cheapest will be accepted. Actually, it won’t. As customers think in a different way: if they spent so much money on the goods, they should be entitled to free delivery. It is obvious, especially when the competitors offer free delivery in such situation. Of course, it’s not true that they don’t charge – they hide it in the price of the goods. What is better? That which is free. Breaking down costs into the price of goods and delivery is good for products that are heavy, bulky, and valuable. However, if you sell shoes or clothing, then charging customers with delivery costs is an unnecessary obstacle that discourages them.

The second factor is the delivery time. Some customers may wait for their goods, others may not. However, everybody, if given a choice, will choose fast delivery. If you can purchase the same item at similar price on two different websites, you will do it at the shop which guarantees the fastest delivery.

Take care of convenient returns

The relationship with the customer does not end after the money is transferred. After-sales service may be a factor influencing the customer’s decision to stay loyal with the store or move to competitors. The best tool to attract customers is an easy return policy. The awareness that you can return the goods – free of charge, without obligation and without the need to explain your decision – instills a sense of confidence and gives a feeling of security.

A piece of paper that works wonders is a ready-made consignment note, which is only to be stuck to the package in case of a return. You don’t have to fill in the document or address and thus can avoid the stress of making a mistake. Thus, you are spared dealing with any issues that may prevent you from returning. The return is free of charge and already organized – the courier picks up the package from the place where it was delivered. The whole process is carried out according to directives: easy, fast and fun.

Well-organized deliveries and returns make online shopping as tangible as in normal shops. The successes of the largest networks in the clothing industry prove that the wise use of courier services is one of the most effective ways to prevent cart abandonment. And also one of the best ways to ensure customer loyalty, which means customers coming back to the store again and again.