How to reduce shopping cart abandonment with Live Chat

Rishabh Agarwal

March 7, 20236 min read

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Jumpstarting an ecommerce business amidst stiff competition is no cakewalk, but it’s only half the battle won. The real win would be to convert your ecommerce visitors into paying customers. That’s where the challenge lies. 

Why so? 

In short, the answer is shopping cart abandonment. People browse through your beautiful catalogs, cart items, yet leave without buying. It’s a pain, I know, but it can be solved. If you are able to engage your visitors right on the spot proactively before they churn, you can bag that sale. That’s where Live Chat comes into play. With proactive nudges and personalized support, Live Chat can curtail the problem of shopping cart abandonment effectively. 

In this article, you will learn why Live Chat is your go-to tool and how you should use it effectively to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your ecommerce site. But first, let’s understand shopping cart abandonment is detail.

Table of Contents

What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment, by definition, is when customers add products to their shopping cart, but don’t go through with the actual purchase.

A lot of research has gone into why customers abandon their shopping carts. In a recent survey conducted by Bymard, the major reason reported by 58% of customers was that they were “just browsing/not ready to buy”. Other prominent reasons were “Additional costs being too high” (48%), “Site required account creation” (24%) and “I don’t trust this site with my data” (18%).

While one can debate if the reasons for abandonment translate to your particular brand or not, what is not up for debate is the severity of the problem.

Why is shopping cart abandonment a major problem for brands today?

Abandoned carts equate to lost sales. According to Forrester, the e-commerce industry lost $18 billion due to cart abandonment.

Furthermore, the problem is not limited to a small set of users. As of 2022, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%. A high cart abandonment rate is a pain point because of the following reasons:

  • Lost sales: Any time a customer abandons a cart, you are losing out on a potential sale. It is important to note that you are not only losing the present sale but potential future sales that the customer would have made.

  • Increasing customer acquisition costs: End users have a lot of options nowadays when it comes to e-commerce. If a customer is abandoning their cart, they might be looking for better deals elsewhere, and if they don’t return, you might have to spend additional money to either acquire a new customer or re-acquire the existing one via targeted ads.

  • Inventory Management: A product that is lying around in an abandoned cart cannot be purchased by some other customer (who is ready to purchase). Hence, a high number if abandoned products lead to inventory management issues as brands cannot accurately gauge the demand and decide on the amount of buffer stock to maintain.

  • And perhaps most important of all, high cart abandonment rate also highlights a need to revisit your current customer experience and user journey from product discovery to sales.

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment

Fortunately, there are many tried and tested ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Some of them are:

  • Provide a better checkout experience: You can reduce cart abandonment by providing a reducing the average number of clicks from product discovery to final checkout. By reducing friction from the journey, you make the process of ordering more hassle-free while reducing the points where the customer can potentially drop out.

  • Introduce multiple payment methods: A common reason for customer abandonment is the lack of payment options. Customers always try to find the best deals offered by various payment modes, and also choose to always pay using a particular method, resulting in abandonment when their preferred payment mode is not available.

  • Nudge customers to complete their purchase: Cart abandonment can be reduced drastically if you can prompt users to complete their purchase at the right time and with the right incentive, sending a message to the customer that the brand is proactive and has the customer’s best interest in mind.

  • Offer checkout options to guests: Another way to make the shopping experience more frictionless for the user is to enable cart checkouts even for guest users. However, the potential downside is that the brand is losing out on valuable customer information.

Out of these options, some like “Provide a better checkout experience” require a complete UI/UX overhaul of your website or it might be the case that there is no scope for improvement. Meanwhile others like “Introduce multiple payment methods” might be difficult due to legal constraints. However, there is one easy and efficient method to reduce cart abandonment — proactive nudges using Live Chat. Read on to learn all about it.

Reduce cart abandonment using nudges

Let’s try to break down the problem here. To reduce cart abandonment, you need to:

  1. Detect potential cart abandonment

  2. Personalize the prompt according to the situation and user persona

  3. Nudge those users with the message towards a desirable action

Let us discuss these points in detail.

Detect

Potential abandoners can be detected by analyzing their recent website browsing patterns, getting insights from their historical tendencies (for example, “this particular customer waits till Black Friday sale before checking out”), and detecting changes in their shopping cart.

Nudge

Once detected, you now need to get the attention of the user. There are many approaches to nudge users like sending emails, SMS notifications, phone calls or engaging them directly on the website using prompts. You can opt for any of these approaches, or even mix and match them with an omnichannel approach to suit the customer experience you wish to provide.

Personalize

Studies show that 45% of customers are more likely to shop on websites that offer personalization. Further, customers expect brands to understand and remember them based on past interactions, irrespective of when and where the past interaction(s) took place. These levels of personalization show customers that you actually care and in turn, makes them stay longer on your website improving your customer engagement and sales.

What’s the problem with traditional nudges?

Traditional nudges like emails, SMS, and phone calls suffer from the following problems:

1. Low response rate

Once the customer leaves your website, they most likely won’t return. Forrester reported that about half of U.S. online shoppers will abandon their carts if they do not find a quick solution.

2. Frustrates customers

Incessant emails, SMS, and phone calls are irritating, not to mention an intrusion of privacy.

3. Limited customization

Customization is limited because of restrictions imposed by different channels.

The failsafe solution for reducing cart abandonment Proactive prompts on Live Chat

It becomes imperative to engage the customer directly on the website and at the right time. Proactive prompts on Live Chat do just that.

To set up a proactive prompt, you need to answer four questions:

1. Who should see the prompt?

The first step is to define the logic for detecting shopping cart abandoners. The abandonment logic is dependent on multiple factors such as your industry, domain, size or it can even be campaign-specific in case of special events.

2. When should they see it?

Timing is key. The prompt should only come up when the customer is hesitant or indecisive, at which point a nudge would be relevant and push them towards making a purchase.

3. What will the prompt look like?

The prompt can contain simple text, images, animations, button CTAs and much more. Ensure your message is personalized to your user so that they feel inclined towards acting on it.

Blog - Reduce shopping cart abandonment

4. What should the prompt do?

On interacting with the prompt, the user can do either of the following:

  • Talk to an agent

  • Redirect to some other page (Eg. offers/promotions)

  • Deploy any other custom logic

What is live chat software? (+ features & benefits)

Wrapping up

Cart abandonment is a real problem that negatively affects the top-line of a company as well as providing a sub-optimal user experience. There are many ways to reduce cart abandonment, but perhaps the most scalable and effective way is to prompt users into completing their purchase, using Live Chat. A personalized message delivered at the right time and with the right incentive can do wonders for your sales. Such proactive communication not only converts lost sales into actual revenue but also puts a smile on customers' faces as brands are being proactive to their issues rather than being reactive.

Try Sprinklr Live Chat to control customer churn instantly

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