The average online shopping cart abandonment rate according to the Baymard Institute is almost 68%. That figure is calculated from 27 different studies and draws attention to why eCommerce stores are so desperately attempting to reduce basket abandonment.
It's estimated that by 2016 the total annual abandonment rate will cost $31 billion. One main strategy which is being used by eCommerce businesses to reduce basket abandonment is re-targeting customers through basket abandonment emails. We covered the effectiveness of basket abandonment emails in one of our blog posts last month. "Do Basket Abandonment Emails Improve eCommerce Conversion Rates?" looked at how effective re-targeting was in increasing revenue and conversion rates.
Basket abandonment emails
We found that basket abandonment emails can be very effective at regaining revenue which could have been lost to competitors, but they don't technically reduce basket abandonment. These emails come once an online shopper has already abandoned. What about preventing abandonment in the first place? After all, only 35% of basket abandonment emails actually result in a purchase back on-site.
Live chat can provide the opportunity to reduce abandonment rates and stop you losing customers, rather than simply trying to drag back in customers that have already gone.
Let's start with one of the main reasons for abandonment. Customers not being able to find the information that they need. 26% of shoppers place items in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’.
Live engagement through web chat can be used to solve customer issues, big and small. If a customer is having trouble finding a piece of information on your site, live chat being clearly visible means that they can come to your live chat agents to find the answer. With the correct live chat strategy, users who don't come to you immediately but look as if they are about to abandon can be engaged with. Using a proactive chat can encourage those that feel their question is too small, to get their questions answered and problems solved.
A use of online shopping baskets which we find common is using it as a comparison tool. When trying to find the perfect product, it can be simpler to add a bunch of potentially suitable items to your basket and then look at comparing them. Rather than comparing from page to page or reading detailed product descriptions from the off.
Solution: direct customers to the right products in the first place. If you are able to offer personal recommendations which are actually useful, basket abandonment is reduced and conversion is reduced.
Most eCommerce sites use automated personalisation. Live chat can provide a higher level of personalisation than these systems as a potential customer can reveal exactly what they are looking for to a live chat agent. Said live chat agent can then direct a customer to products which actually fit the bill. The customer adds products to their basket which they actually want to purchase. Basket abandonment is reduced.
Generic statistics about why shoppers abandon are all well and good, but every site has its own reasons for causing abandonment.
Live chat gives potential to learn why shoppers are abandoning in the first place. Live chat conversations mean that customers come and tell you what they can't find on your site, what products you should be selling or any T&Cs that they are unhappy with. This information should be fed back to those making decisions on what products are sold and how the site is designed. Feedback means that you can improve the service offered to customers and reduce basket abandonment in the long run.
Want to hear more about how live chat can provide a personalised shopping service and reduce basket abandonment? Feel free to start a chat with one of our UK based live chat agents.