For many brands making the jump from offline shops to online stores there are a whole range of new elements to be considered. Perhaps the most significant of these elements is of course the dreaded surprise that is the abandonment rate. Understanding the different factors at play for a typical online shopper can go a long way towards reducing this statistic to a manageable, informative level.

The biggest factor affecting a brand's abandonment rate is the shipping cost at various levels. Too often the tendency for brands is to hide such costs in the hope that users would be discouraged early on in the conversion funnel and would abandon earlier than normal. The more surveys are conducted to investigate this fact, the more it becomes clear that hiding the costs is always worse than not.

The other side of this is from the perspective of consumers who are aware that there is a threshold of purchase beyond which shipping costs are nullified. In this case, the abandonment rate will be reflecting the fact that these consumers would prefer to hold off on making the purchase immediately, waiting instead for a time when they're willing to buy a collection of items that will work out cheaper.

Studies have also shown that one of the most significant factors affecting the abandonment rate is the fact that consumers often just aren't in the right situation to make a purchase. Users will often use websites in a way that is conducive to their own research and as such, even though it may not look like it, they will effectively have walked away from your site completely satisfied with their experience.

This might mean they were on a device from which they lack the confidence to enter payment information or it might mean they were simply doing comparisons between different brands. A failure to understand that they were simply using your site differently to the way you intended would mean nearly a third of your abandonment rate would be based on false premises.

Similarly your brand should be aware of the fact that in many cases consumers are turned off by the fact that they have to enter a huge amount of information in order to purchase the product they were searching for. It is unnatural for consumers to have to fill in long web forms asking for detailed information, and as a result they will often become numbers in your abandonment rate.

As such there should be a thoroughly tested balance between acquiring information from customers and allowing them to go ahead and comfortably make their purchase.

A great way to reduce abandonment rate is the recent use of the guest checkout system whereby users need not enter a great deal of information but can still complete the transaction they were moving towards anyway.

Such developments usually fall under the purview of designing an appropriate experience for customers. Several other elements come into play here. For instance the use of a basic progress bar will enable customers to know how much is left before they can have what they asked for. Abandonment rate is directly linked to customer confidence in their ability to safely make a purchase.

Part of this confidence stems from users being appropriately directed towards making the next step through the use of organized layouts and clear call to actions. The best way to reduce abandonment rate is to intuitively position page elements so that users can get closer to owning the product faster.

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