If you run an eCommerce website you should be familiar with the concept of abandoned baskets; shopping carts that have been filled but then the potential customer left them before completing payment at the checkout. Don’t let these customers slip through your fingers.
Abandoned carts are caused by all sorts of things:
- Lack of clarity on postage charges
e.g. P&P only being revealed at checkout
- Confusing payment provider
e.g. People shying away from overzealous “sign up for an account” with PayPal when they simply want to pay with a credit card
- Technical problems
It is often possible to detect abandoned carts – if you’re using a decent eCommerce system you ought to be able to – so if you operate a site with a relatively low number of transactions then why not phone those people up and ask if they encountered a problem and see if you can help. We’ve seen orders increase significantly where businesses have done this in a supportive manner – DO NOT BE PUSHY, if they don’t want help then don’t get a bad reputation by pushing the sale.
At the very least you might learn something about your customers which you might be able to feed back into the website (clearer p&P, better checkout, different payment provider etc.) – why not try phoning up a few customers who abandon and see how it goes, after all, it’d be a shame to let potential customers just slip through your fingers…