In the rise of COVID-19 and in-person shopping experience, eCommerce website for retail was a priority. But the digital marketplace for furniture isn’t without risk. Online shopping cart abandonment is a challenge for furniture retailers new to eCommerce. Furniture retailers found abandoned shopping carts instead of new orders. And cart abandonment is a normal part of the eCommerce process.
It makes sense because it can be hard to pull the trigger on large purchases like furniture. Lots of people get easily distracted, too. Businesses should know about how to increase revenue by decreasing online shopping cart abandonment. In fact, eCommerce sites lose $18 billion in revenue each year because of this problem. Make sure your business isn’t losing valuable profits! Do everything in your power to make checkout on your website as convenient, seamless, and logical as possible.
Furniture Industry Trends on Ecommerce
Online shopping is still incredibly important for furniture retail. In fact, research shows home furnishings is more popular online. Online browsing for home furnishings was up more than 200% during the thick of the pandemic. Which means they started browsing and buying furniture before you knew they were on your website. When shoppers prepare to make big purchases, they like to touch and feel the furniture. It helps with the emotional process involved in purchasing items for one’s home. Customers will be living with the items daily, so it’s nice if they can sit on a chair and plop down on a coach. They can feel where their arms will rest and touch the fabric or leather. But that tactile shopping doesn’t mean the entire buying process happens in the retail showroom.
Furniture businesses are becoming more active in eCommerce. In fact, furniture and furnishings are expected to be the fastest-growing segment of eCommerce sales in the next few years. Millennials are especially open to purchasing furniture online because of the convenience factor. But they’re not alone. Safety protocols in many retail stores require sales staff to schedule appointments for shoppers. Many of those shoppers–of every age–prefer to remain safely at home until necessary for certain shopping projects. For many of them, having to see and touch an item before it arrives at their doorstep isn’t that important. That’s why Wayfair reported their biggest jump in sales during the pandemic. Consumers needed a channel to browse and buy furniture. And they went online.
Ecommerce is no longer optional for furniture retail. It is a necessary component to keep your store future-proofed from shifting economies and industry pressures.
What is Online Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Now that we’re clear on the importance and inevitability of the shopping cart, let’s talk about the reality of cart abandonment.
Online shopping cart abandonment is a serious problem that eCommerce retailers with online stores face. Sleeknote reports that about 7 out of 10 customers put items in their carts and then never actually complete the transaction. This is known as online shopping cart abandonment and leads to serious losses of revenue for businesses.
Trends indicate younger shoppers are more likely to abandon the online shopping cart than other buyers.
We dive into the shopping habits of generational buyers in our popular article here.
If your products are marketed to younger generations, then you should be especially concerned about online shopping cart abandonment. About 85% of those shopping on mobile devices don’t actually complete their purchases. And it may not seem timely for your retail store to care about younger buyers. But research shows that since the pandemic, more shoppers are using online shopping carts than ever before. But what should you actually do about it? Can it be prevented? If so, how?
An abandoned shopping cart on your retail website isn’t always a bad indicator for business. It can also be a great opportunity with the right strategy.
Why Shoppers Leave the Cart
Why do shoppers abandon online shopping carts? There are a plethora of reasons but we’re going to focus on a few critical contributors.
One significant contributor is hidden fees. This can be everything from true product prices (include your custom order charges), shipping costs, taxes, and other fees. Retailers who want to combat this issue often work on a cost-benefit analysis to adjust shipping fees. Consider building free shipping into your business model so no one will be surprised at checkout. Or identify how much approximate shipping costs would be for the item right on the product page. Providing more information up from for customers decreases the surprise at checkout. eCommerce sites should be transparent about any shipping fees and other costs so customers won’t be surprised at checkout. Nearly 80% of people will shop online instead of in-person when free shipping is offered. The convenience factor is incredibly strong.
Complex checkout process
Another reason why online shopping cart abandonment is such a big problem is that many sites require customers to create accounts. This delays checkout, leaving time for customers to change their minds or get distracted. It makes the checkout process more time-consuming and cumbersome too. Customers might get annoyed by having to create an account for a one-time order. Or they may balk at the idea of having to keep track of yet another username and password. Give customers the option of checking out as a guest so they’ll likely breeze through.
Limited payment options
If your retail store opens an eCommerce website, you need to consider payment options. In our partnership with eMerchant, we’ve discussed how payment processing impacts the eCommerce strategy for retail. Many retailers offer a wide variety of payment options in the showroom. But limit online shopping payment methods. This is an easy problem to solve. Your website platform and payment gateway should work together in building a secure and simple payment process. If you limit payment options like certain credit card types or online payment tools like PayPal, you need to speak with a website payment expert. Missing payment option is one of the top factors in cart abandonment for retail. But it doesn’t have to be. Pro tip: you can even implement financing options for larger purchases right on the eCommerce shopping cart. Contact us to learn more about how that works.
How to Decrease Ecommerce Cart Abandonment
One excellent way to decrease eCommerce cart abandonment is by improving the loading time of your site. Each page should load in less than 3 seconds. Online shoppers are very impatient. Once they realize that your site is slow, it’s likely they won’t be back to shop there.
Decrease eCommerce cart abandonment by simplifying the process. Lots of people abandon their carts because the checkout process is too long or complex. Make sure there aren’t too many fields that users have to fill in. While it’s nice to get lots of info from your customers, keep requests to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep form fields to about 7. Sites can have a full name field, one field for the address, and delete all optional fields. Make sure customers don’t have to re-enter credit card or shipping information during checkout. One time should be enough so they can be done with just a couple of clicks.
Another way to decrease cart abandonment is by sending customers carefully-calibrated reminder emails. Abandoned cart emails invite customers to reconsider their purchases and perhaps, return to complete their transactions. Make sure they are geared towards the audience you’re trying to reach (boomers, millennials, etc.). They should be visually appealing and easy to read through quickly. There is plenty of great online shopping cart abandonment email templates available online. It’s worth researching options and crafting a few in your company’s style. You may very well inspire lots of customers to come back to complete their transactions. This can result in a tremendous boost in revenue.
Bricks and Clicks Strategy
There are plenty of stores that began as online behemoths and opened brick-and-mortar stores. It’s becoming a growing trend in recent years. Sure, online shopping is convenient, but shopping in-person can be really special. Going to a physical store can feel momentous. Seeing and touching the items you purchase can bring a rush of excitement that simply doesn’t happen at home tapping a screen. Getting customers into your physical store can also lead to them purchasing more items (just like the common refrain heard among moms about Target: “I go to Target and Target tells me what I need.”).
The bricks and clicks strategy is a great way to get people shopping online into a store. There, they will likely complete their purchase. People can start shopping at home, browsing the store’s full selection, and then pick up their items in-store. They may even add a few extra items when they come in to finish their purchase. Add-on items can lead to a serious boost in revenue. This is a win-win for everyone. The customer will get more items they want and need. Businesses will have a better bottom line. It’s the perfect solution to the problem of online cart abandonment. Billions of dollars of revenue can be recouped with this strategy.
There are plenty of effective strategies business owners and employees can implement to decrease online shopping cart abandonment. These strategies include decreasing or eliminating hidden fees, allowing for guest checkout, and improving load time on each website page. Make sure the website’s checkout process is absolutely seamless and not complex. Send potential customers who abandoned their carts before checkout thoughtful, fun emails. The clicks and bricks strategy is another excellent way to prevent cart abandonment. Customers pick out items online and checkout in store. There are plenty of ways in which savvy business owners can decrease eCommerce online shopping cart abandonment and increase profits. Employ some of these strategies today and watch the results roll in with more purchases daily.