Browse. Add to cart. Checkout.
This seems like a simple three-step process for online retail transactions. But getting customers past the second step is not always the easiest thing to do. There are factors of all kinds that can prevent them from reaching the final and most important step – payment. Each time they abandon their carts and leave your company’s website or mobile app equates to a lost sales opportunity.
According to the Baymard Institute, a poor overall shopping experience is a key cause of shopping cart abandonment, along with complicated checkout journeys and forced account creation. Baymard Institute, an independent web user experience research company, calculated data from 41 different studies and found that the average cart abandonment rate is just under 70%. It added that ‘having too long or too complicated of a checkout process’ is the reason why over a quarter (26%) of shoppers don’t return to complete their transaction.
Another key cause of cart abandonment is browsing or comparison shopping. Shoppers can get distracted by anything, especially in a busy household with the current work-from-home set-up. They can quickly switch sites in search of a cheaper alternative or a similar item that comes with a freebie. They can also have second thoughts if they aren’t sure about the size or color of the item they’re purchasing. Other reasons range from unexpected shipping costs and delivery schedules to payment card-related issues.
As a global cloud communications provider that helps companies enhance their customer engagements and increase loyalty, Infobip has also noted two main challenges when it comes to cart abandonment: getting distracted shoppers back to their carts and motivating them to finish the buying process once they return. The question boils down to one determining factor – how. Let’s look at three other key insights, specifically from a communications perspective, and how they can help encourage online customers complete their shopping journey.
Simple yet effective SMS
There are alternative ways that your company can consider. This includes using new communication technologies to regain customers deploying specific types of resources and focusing on specific targeted customers. If you do not have your own company app and are not planning on using chat apps, SMS is one of the most simple and effective channels to reduce your cart abandonment rate.
The high open rate of SMS alone makes it invaluable for engagement, but when you couple that with the fact that 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of reception compared to say, 22% for email, you get a powerful communication tool ideal for driving quick action. This is perfect for reminding and motivating Filipino shoppers to continue the shopping cycle.
Moreover, an SMS that bundles an incentive along with a reminder to pick up shopping where they left off will greatly increase the chance of converting the cart into a purchase. Incentives can range from discounts on current or future purchases, free delivery or samples, extra loyalty points, and even more.
Personalize chats with image-rich messages
Data from the Digital 2021 reports that We Are Social and Hootsuite published had shown that 98% of Filipinos are using chat apps. This is not surprising because the same report indicated that a similar percentage of Filipino internet users aged 16 to 64, at 98.5%, own a smartphone. Indeed, the development of different chat apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger have changed the way people communicate.
Functionalities of these messenger apps, such as real-time conversations, easy use of images, and tight character limits that forces users to summarize smartly, have been of great use for our personal communication. These functionalities can, likewise, be useful for brands because they allow customization and personalization of content – be it images, text, buttons, and links. This will ensure businesses can re-engage their customers and recover sales opportunities. At Infobip, we see chat apps as cost-effective solutions in giving a gentle nudge to convince the customers to go back and check their shopping carts on their mobile or desktop and to click check-out.
Not too ‘pushy’ with notifications
If your company has a dedicated shopping app, using push notifications to remind shoppers of the items waiting in their cart is generally an effective method for re-engagement. Once received, customers can easily tap the push notification and it will take them directly to the shopping cart within the app, enabling them to complete the purchase immediately.
Like chat apps, push notifications should always contain rich media content, such as images of the specific items in their cart. Incentives to revisit the abandoned cart will also be something customers will appreciate when it’s included in the push notification. Of course, the most important thing when talking about push notifications is to remember that one cannot be too pushy. In fact, sending too much content will scare away your customers for good.
As is, in the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry expects the e-commerce sector to further expand to about a million online merchants in 2022. This significant rise in e-commerce activities should prompt companies to invest more on communication tools and solutions to keep up with the evolving behaviors of digital-first shoppers.
For Infobip, it believes that having multiple types of communication can be applied to help convert cart abandoners into checkout customers. It is important, however, to always keep in mind that it is all about engaging and re-engaging shoppers with content that appeals to them on a personal level. More importantly, these engaging contents must be delivered via the channel that targeted audiences most prefer.
The author is the country manager of Infobip Philippines