4 Strategies to Stop Shopping Cart Abandonment on Mobile

Last week, Entrepreneur published our article 4 Strategies to Stop Shopping Cart Abandonment on Mobile. The article was focused on mobile holiday shopping, but the strategies that were presented apply year-round! Keep reading to learn a few checkout conversion tips that transcend seasons.

Mobile Checkout Woes? Start Pushing Abandoned Shopping Carts to the Checkout Line!

It is hard to imagine a grocery store customer abandoning his item-filled cart in an aisle and wandering out the door for any reason other than an emergency…but this happens in mobile apps all of the time. A customer may get distracted mid-checkout, decide to do more price checking, or he could encounter something in your app that prevents him from completing the process. In any case, testing gives you a much better idea of what is going on and how to optimize it to your advantage.

Abandonment Issues

Getting into your customers’ heads to figure out exactly what happened in each abandoned shopping cart situation is difficult, but understanding their big picture behavioral trends using data, is not.

Before you rely on marketing automation to solve your checkout issues, take a closer look at factors leading up to checkout and evaluate the design of your purchase flow:

  1. Is it too long?
  2. Does it look reputable?
  3. Are there any parts that might be confusing?

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.34.27 PMIf you think changing specific elements could enhance your design, create another version based on your hypothesis and run an A/B test to see if there is any improvement in checkout rates with the new design.

Once you eliminate any fatal design flaws, you can safely focus on re-engagement.

The Rules of (Re)Engagement

Successful customer re-engagement campaigns create more checkouts and lead to higher revenue, among other great outcomes. Unsuccessful campaigns, on the other hand, can cause quite a bit of damage including customer alienation, decreased lifetime value or even an uninstall.

Right now, the main mobile re-engagement tool available to marketers is the push notification. To use it wisely and reduce shopping cart abandonment, consider the following suggestions:

1. Make sure you know who you want to re-engage.

Do not just blast a push notification to any customer who adds something to his cart. Instead, think about the types of users that might have a positive (or at least neutral) response to unsolicited messaging from your mobile app.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.34.56 PMBased on current user base and user activity, determine how to operationalize happy customers that are on the path to purchase. Some potential push campaign recipients could be users who:

  • Searched through ten products then added something to the cart;
  • Spent at least one minute looking at page then adding the item;
  • Read reviews before adding an item;
  • Added a high value item;
  • Added over 15 items to their cart;
  • Previously purchased from your app.

Remember, most people do not like indiscriminately receiving flyers… the same goes for push notifications, so make sure the recipient list is well-thought-out.

2. Create a call-to-action that incentivizes re-engagement.

This could be a discount offer, recommendations, or just really great marketing copy. In any case, it needs to get the user’s attention and give him a reason to re-engage with your app.

A few ideas for messaging:

  • Offer a 10% discount if the items in the cart add up to $100 or less. Offer 20% if the items in the cart add up to more than $100.
  • Remind the user about easy alternate checkouts like PayPal or Google Wallet
  • Recommend items that are complementary to the items in the cart.
  • Notify the user when cart items are low in stock.
  • Notify the user when cart items go on sale.

3. Use A/B testing to compare conversion and lift.

To measure true lift, always A/B test the checkout results of users who received a push notification against those who did not. Did this push campaign actually get users to check out more or were other factors at play?

lift in mobile conversionFor instance, if you send a push notification during December and see an increase in checkouts from November, this is likely due to higher user activity during the holidays. Check to see whether or not the rest of your users have similar checkout rates for the same dates.

4. Measure lifetime value after a re-engagement campaign.

Remember to look at the big picture and use A/B testing to compare conversion and retention of users who received cart abandonment campaigns to those who did not. You may indeed be getting more checkouts due to your campaign, but those users may never buy from you again if they did not have a positive experience. Always look at lifetime value metrics to make sure your customers come back.

Follow these guidelines and your campaign trail should be on the right path!

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