5 Mistakes That Promote Cart Abandonment (2)

Bryce Marshall I previously discussed two of the five sure-fire ways eCommerce companies promote shopping card abandonment. Here's the rest of my list (along with a healthy dose of sarcasm).
Process Failure 3: Letting your website do everything; after all, human resources are too costly (and so...human!).

Many prospects come to websites and get a completely silo'd online experience because of a routine failure by many to provide the option to interact with a real, live human being via chat or phone. Many appear to approach online customer service with this philosophy: The website is the website, and the call center is the call center – the two should never overlap. Your site visitors understand this and are frustrated by the silos!

Of course there are challenges to getting around this. After all, customer service reps are only trained as customer service reps. But, expanding their training will help solve the potential issues encountered by your irate, soon-to-be-former, customer. Service reps won’t get bored talking to engaged, prospective buyers seeking information and assurance in a purchase decision. A change of pace like that offers a more complete, cohesive, customer-friendly experience.

Process Failure 4: When customers come in, don’t let them out.

Comparison shopping? That’s your customers’ problem right? At least that what it seems like. Customers like to compare – but you’ve only provided the information they need to buy from you. If they want to wander the World Wide Web all on their own, thirsting for information…well best of luck to them. Happy hunting, right?! There is a better way. Provide customer reviews so there appears to be an impartial third-party giving some word-of-mouth that could push a consumer to buy. If that’s too expensive, make sure your offers are compelling and tested. Push service to take away any lingering risk point. Shave some time off of the buy-flow to keep the customer engaged and the process shorter. Best yet, inject content into the website that provides new incentives to drive conversion. They didn’t convert right away, which is their choice. But, if a website doesn’t remind a customer of what they’ve looked at…that’s the website’s fault.

Process Failure 5: Accept the customer’s decision not to purchase, and everyone move on.

Too many times eCommerce sites are constructed as if shopping cart abandonment indicates a clear, decisive and final decision by your customer not to buy from you. The customer has carefully considered the product, features and price and made a reasonable, informed decision not to buy, right? Wrong. That phone call that interrupted your customer’s browsing experience had bearing on the transaction. The unexpected urgent email or the sudden need to discipline the kids are understandable things that disrupt a buying experience. Your customers can’t always maintain the steely focus on the online purchasing task at hand. But, don’t accept your fate and move on to the next prospect! Woo them and start the whole process over again by demonstrating an understanding of their needs and interests – show them the product they’ve been researching again if they didn’t convert before.

There is easily conceivable efficiency in re-engaging a prospect with a follow-up message, with the same or better offer on that same product, or complementary products. You have some idea of what they may have been interested in at some point. Some past behavior can inform future communication via email, text message or re-marketing in future website visits or external banner ads. That’s efficient. That’s effective. That keeps your customer engaged.

This is the second of two posts from Bryce Marshall providing key best practices and sarcastic insights about to how online retailers can improve their buy-flow processes and increase conversions. To read the first installment, click here .

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  1. […] 5 Mistakes That Promote Cart Abandonment (2) « The Lunch Pail on 28 Jul 2008 at 11:28 […]

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