Hello! I have discovered that I have pages and pages of abandoned carts, but not one sale! I was wondering if somebody could take a look at my websites checkout process and let me know if they see any errors, or possible causes!
It's also come to my attention that my prices were a little high. I'm learning that you don't just charge based on how cool YOU think the item is, but what it may be worth to the customer. It's likely that a lot of people have come to my site and seen something cool that they liked, but then search around for a better price. Damn internet, lol. But yeah, I've lowered my prices and my profit margins are a bit smaller, but gaining clients is more important right now, then I can start offering more, and charging more. I always want to offer fair and low prices, but I always want to be able to put food on the table, too, so we'll see how that goes.
Yes it pays to know the competition. Time spent comparison shopping gives you a good chance to see the same things your own shoppers are likely to have seen and maybe see soething you could do to stand out while staying profitable. A gift registry or gift certificates or special packaging are some things to consider.
I feel like there are just a lot of risks in the beginning. I have sold items on eBay with the Buy It Now option, and made profits, but just a few sales here and there.
Last week, I posted a bunch of regular auction-style listings starting at $.99, and I sold every one of them. However, I lost a good chunk of change.
The silver lining was that I was able to see what people were getting excited about, I made new contacts, got my brand out there, gained followers and new customers.
Now I've squeezed the prices tight on my website. Perhaps the same things won't occur, being that there aren't expensive selling fees, etc. But I'd at least like to be able to cover what I've been paying to run the business.
Ah! Classic capitalism at work: goods and services at market value acceptance and willingness. Most folks don't get it that profit is such a skinny thing, particularly in world markets. We'd all like 100% ROI but that's highly unlikely! :(
This is why manufacturing your own products and/or, at least having your own brand... is always a good thing. It helps elevate you out of the rat race of price comparison shopping. I couldn't even do this business, just retailing. I'm not sure how some of you guys do it... I'd go insane.
So I was excited to have gotten an order on my website, however there are still a number of abandoned carts. Is there anything else that has worked for you guys? I feel like there is so much I have in place already.
I just added graphics on the first checkout page that state "Free Shipping", "Lowest Price Guarantee", "14-day Return Guarantee".
There is also a graphic that shows progress- "Step 1 of 2".
They see all payment methods. The site is secure and it is stated throughout the site.
My one thought is that many of these dropped carts are International orders. Occurring either because I don't offer it, or because it's too expensive.
I'm not sure I want to offer it because it IS expensive, and a lot of countries have been known to reject the items I sell.
Registration is not required. The checkout process is fairly simple. All credit cards and PayPal are accepted. It's all stated.
These changes will not provide instant gratification, nor will they prevent abandoned carts. In the first part, give it a few MONTHS after settling on the updated cart design (and any other pages that are involved in the cart process). In the second part, there will be abandoned carts. It is just a fact of life and the best you can do is to encourage completion... and not worry about the ones that got away. At some point the delete key is the way forward.
On one of my sites I let the unfinished carts sit idle for six months. As the site is specific for a product that leans toward user interaction and contact, and maintains a specific price point and quality, and is NOT an impulse item, I will send a reminder email:
"Your cart, created x-date has been NOT been completed. Is there any question we may answer? How may be we of assistance? Since your last visit to your cart at example.com there have been a number of product improvements or changes, pricing, and shipping options. There may be new availabilities and quantity pricing. Please take a look to see those changes." And if they have bought product before, the next line is "We consider you a valued customer!" Next line is a link to the cart front page where they can again enter their info (to bring up the cookie) to see the saved cart.
I then keep that cart order another 30 days and if it is not cleared by then, delete it. Also, if the email bounces I delete it instantly.
But my successful conversions using this method runs to 20% bounce, 40% conversion, and 40% deletions.
Side note: The above is custom code for this webiste. Not sure other carts can do the same thing.
Ok thanks. Guess I need to be told to be patient from time to time. I'm not sure I have all those capabilties, but I'm thinking about encouraging registration, that way I have an email to follow up with and send out coupons, etc
You can do registration if you wish. I do it from a different point of view:
"To keep up with new products and information, please join our monthly newsletter by providing your email address:" and a link to a popup "Newsletter? What is this?"
The popup is another chance to sell the site, the products, etc. Rah Rah stuff. I personally don't like popups, but there truly are times they work well. In this case the user doesn't lose his cart checkout and it's obvious how to close the popup to continue... particularly if you provide a button to do just that.
ANYTHING you can do to make the user happy, even those that don't know any different, is the best way to avoid abandoned carts. Sell! Sell! Sell! and always use all Calls to Action (words, font, color) in the pitch. If they give you the email address, inject it in their profile and then off to the races. :)
That said, make sure you do have a valid and worthy newsletter to back that that ask for personal information. Some might call this a backdoor registration. :)
Best of luck! AND DO BE PATIENT! You do not yet have enough time and data to tell if these changes have made any difference... and though the web itself moves fast, eCommerce sites tend to move in quarterly or biannual cycles. And spreadsheets to crunch data do come in handy... and your LOGS!
Thanks for the most recent feedback. It mostly tells me to be patient. I'm trying to make this my full-time job, so it's not always easy.
Anyway, I just noticed that when people click add to cart on a product, they don't see the pop-up, or where the cart is. I've adjusted the settings so they go straight to the cart, and then can go back to shopping.
It can be anything, at anytime that causes an abandoned cart! I've switched things around so much. I'm thankful that so many people are coming to the site and adding things, but my prices has gone so low and my shipping is free. So these are some of the things I think it could be:
- People overseas realize I don't ship there. - People from Canada realize how expensive it is to ship there. - Technical errors. - Change of heart/buyer's remorse. - Find a better price elsewhere (unlikely) - Saving for later/forget - Just playing a huge prank on me - Site has been live only a couple months
I do a lot of marketing. I'm running contests, I offer coupons. I've given stuff away. I run Ebay auctions and advertise there. SEO up the wazoo, have sent thousands of email blasts. Spread business cards around my town.
I think it's been said before, abandoned carts are part of the process. As for all the other notes you've listed above, that's eCommerce ups and downs and everyone is trying to fix/make better the same set of unhappiness. Hang in there, Bunky and fight the fight for the lowest price, about a penny difference between profit and the cost of shipping. Keep after it! Accept a 50% fail and make the other 50% scramble to make ends meet, or just a teensy bit better then break even.
All that said, some things consistently sell better than others... but those are generally not impulse or low to mid value items, so that's a different kettle of fish. Don't give up! However, don't think there's pie in the sky! Nothing but hard work, weary months, and slapping shipping labels on send outs is in the future.
Use your abandoned carts v sales ratio to tell you how well you are doing, instead of the glass half full er half empty theory.
Thanks a lot. It helps me to hear that certain things are normal throughout certain stages.
I just discovered that I can add my products to Google Shopping, so that is one of those things that I wouldn't make an effort to find and partake in if I wasn't hungry.
I'm letting go of the sit by the palm tree while the bank fills up dream. I want to be engaged with this business and with my customers. That aspect is improving and I've had some great results on Instagram.
So I have faith that things will catch on, I just want to make sure I have all my bases covered.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll be complaining about how busy I am :)
I'm sorry but when i visit your shop the first thing that I would like to see is a list of products and I don't want to browse a menu to find it. Actually even after browsing 10 second I haven't found the products so I left.
I also want to see FREE SHIPPING and PAYPAL.
Nothing else is important, even that your shop exist since hundreds years.
If your site isn't configured properly, such as the cart page being blocked from spiders in robots.txt, then many of your abandoned carts could be originating from bots crawling your site, not actual customers.
I checked Google and it tried to add a product to your cart but was rejected because it didn't support cookies for your cart. Other spiders *DO* support cookies so they could be automatically shopping.
I'd check the IP and user agent for those carts and see how many are garbage before going after a major site overhaul.
Most traffic on all sites is not traffic, not human, so installing a bot blocking script could dramatically reduce those abandoned carts, I've seen it happen.
So try the following: * block bots from crawling your cart page in robots.txt & evaluable the source of your abandoned carts * consider a bot blocking script to stop the abandoned cart 'spam' in the first place.
Ok, I've updated the robots txt to disallow the shopping cart page... Hopefully that will make a difference. If that many people were visiting my site, I have faith that at least some of them would follow through. Not the zero sales I've had so far lol
I did a search on a couple products you list. One came up on page 6... I stopped looking after that many on the other one. Meanwhile, you've got pay ads coming up with eBay and other dealers, on the same results. So that's a pretty uphill battle. My personal numbers are about 400-700 visits per sale. And I'm getting first page, and sometimes #1 rank on my main product names. Unless you have a product that is completely unique, this is a tough way to make money. So you need to find a way to work your way up. As I said... Articles, reviews, videos... Gotta stand out in the crowd and get people involved with you, on a basis that involves more than just selling stuff. Once they get involved, they won't forget.
Dpd1- Thanks for taking the time to look. What you've mentioned is very insightful. Have been interacting with people on social media, running contests. It's helped me get some subscribers. However I've yet to close a deal. I've even had people ask me "how much?", or "do you carry xyz?" or even "I'm definitely buying this... Next week,", etc. So I'm trying to figure out how to create value. I don't know where it's at. I don't know if it's in package deals, or what.
Steven1 - I'm using Volusion. Why? I'm not able to followup because my abandoned carts aren't subscribers, they are anonymous. Otherwise I'd be all over them!
I've been thinking a lot about the name of my business, the logo and how it presents what I sell. I haven't heard any objections yet, but I was wondering if maybe the fact that I have my name in the business hurts the overall image. Most of my competitors, if not all have a clever name, like "Knife Cave", etc. I mean nothing is set in stone so I could change this, but I have also been marking what I currently have and it would be quite an overhaul but something I'm not completely sure about.
Look at your competitors and see what they are doing. Then look at what you can do DIFFERENT that will service/attract customers better. Then do it. Perception is (not always) about what the customer gets out of making a choice and how the company/website provides service.
As for name or logo... There's plenty of evidence that some very krappy or odd names/logos not only work, they thrive.., and in most cases that's because the sites are unique and of interest to the visitor/customer. But in all cases no name or logo will mean anything if the user is not satisfied at first look.... which means your home page, or any landing page (view your logs to see where folks are entering your site) does not immediately make them feel "at home" and "let's look around for a minute or two". This goes into something more than abandoned carts, so it not really appropriate to this thread.
Gotcha. I do think I have something unique to offer, and that my original belief in starting the business could still be profitable. I'm just trying to figure out what could be done differently, to serve the customers.
There are a lot of different ways I could market these products. Two issues I'm having are young people not having enough money, and expensive international rates.