How to reverse the abandoned cart apocalypse

Avatar Hillary Long
July 31, 2015
If you are selling online, you live in a complicated and ever-changing world that can be confusing and tedious to navigate. Besides needing to keep track of your business, inventory and website, you also need to be concerned with how many people come to your site, which channels are most effective for advertising and how to push users through to conversion. How exhausting! If you are new to being an e-retailer the resources and data available are endless and often overwhelming.

If you’re like me, chances are there have been times when you have fallen deep into the analytics rabbit hole trying to solve a problem. There is no shortage of available data, and you can spend eons wondering why visitors are interacting with your site in strange ways.

As an online marketer, I rely heavily on a suite of tools to help my clients get the most from their site.

Recently, one online retailer we work with was experiencing a large spike in abandoned carts. The volume of abandoned carts was so high it quickly set off the alarms and we began to look through the normal data sets to identify the problem.

Inspectlet was the tool that saved the day! If you are not familiar with Inspectlet, it is similar to Click Tale, in that it provides you with visual data on website performance. The program allows you to see heatmaps, recorded sessions, and form completion details. (Everyone should use this type of reporting.)

What we discovered was that during the mobile checkout process users were given longer than normal forms and strange payment options. After watching many recordings we determined that if we changed the payment options and evaluated the information we really needed in the form, it may make the difference.

A month after we made the change we were happy to see a 32% decrease in abandoned carts. This put our client back in line with the other online retailers.

Without this tool we would have questioned many other parts of the checkout process. Is it the shipping options? Is it the layout of the forms? Is the pricing just too high in the end to make the commitment? Changes would have been made, tested and re-tested. Session recording allowed us to narrow in, watch real interactions and pin-point the problem with precision.

Not every session you watch will be compelling enough to make a change that will increase your bottom line. But my advice is start collecting this data today. In the very least, everyone should have a free version of Inspectlet or Click Tale on their site. One day, you may need to use it- and who wouldn’t want a few more carts to check out?
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