5 min read

September 29, 2021

8 Practices to Reduce Cross-Border Cart Abandonment

How eCommerce and online SMBs can use these potential solutions to lower cart abandonment rates.Practices to Reduce Cross-Border Cart Abandonment

Depending on the nature of your eCommerce, cart abandonment rate can be a key indicator and metric to understand customers' behavior and track your store's overall performance. Take the first step in monitoring your cart abandonment rate and analyze it periodically (bi-weekly or monthly). Communicating shipping and return policies clearly, ensuring a secured website and transparent costing are a few ways to gain the trust of any user.

Any eCommerce business owner would agree that shopping cart abandonment is one of the major concerns they face. Research suggests that approximately 70% of the people who visit these e-commerce sites drop off after adding items to their carts. Cart abandonment is a term used to describe a situation where a visitor on a seller’s site does not get converted to a customer. Several times, small business owners fear spending big on marketing activities that drive traffic and customers to their websites. One of the sole reasons behind this is the fear of abandonment of the cart or a prominent bounce rate, where the customer drops off without completing the transaction.

Let’s dive into the potential reasons as to why customers abandon their carts prematurely and look at solutions for the same.

Reasons & Potential Solutions for Cross-Border Cart Abandonment

While there are several aspects beyond the seller's control, there are plenty of other things that can be managed by the seller to maximize the number of customers. Some of the reasons why people abandon their carts are:

1) Expensive shipping and customs

One of the most common issues customers face is the hidden costs in the form of expensive shipping charges. In certain cases, the shipping charges are more than the total amount. Hence, high cross-border shipping deters people from buying from online sites outside the country. International purchases may involve a high customs fee, resulting in additional overhead costs for the buyer along with delays in the delivery of the product

Solution: Offer low-cost or free shipping and returns

Most consumers do not want to buy items that come with a risk. By offering low-cost or free shipping, the seller is incentivized, reducing their chances of shopping cart abandonment. Easy and free returns assure they can return the product, creating a great customer experience.

2) Mandatory account creations

Several websites require customers to create an account before placing an order. With the increasing concerns on personal data privacy and security, some may apprehensive about giving their full contact details. Others find it too time-consuming when they don't see themselves as becoming a regular customer or just want to purchase something quickly, and hassle-free.

Solution: Include a guest checkout experience

By giving the option to checkout as a guest, business owners can reduce the cart abandonment rate. This lets customers purchase from your store seamlessly and gives them the power to control their data sharing options.

3) Long delivery lead time

Cross-border shipping and delivery is a very tedious process. There is a lot of paperwork involved, and customs regulations may be a nightmare depending on how many different markets you serve. Today, customers enjoy instant gratification; when the brand does not deliver within the stipulated (and appropriate) timeline, the trust may be broken, and customers will look for other options.

Solution: Reduce shipping lead time or provide tiered shipping options

Reduce lead time to ship, especially for local shipping. Fast delivery is a huge plus point for the eCommerce business. Other solutions that can be offered are free shipping, and normal and express shipping - so the customers can choose based on their preference and set the right expectations on when they can expect their package.

4) Complicated and expensive returns

International and local returns are becoming common. When sellers offer complicated returns processes or no returns at all, customers may think twice before making the purchase. Or they may check out a competitor of yours who offer a better return policy.

Solution: Offer easy and affordable return policies

Create a hassle-free return experience. Many brands offer free returns within 7 to 14 days depending on the product. If you cannot offer free returns, make sure to communicate the paid return process clearly (especially since they have to pay a portion of it). Use email marketing or SMS to inform customers in tracking the return process and eventually receiving the refund to create that seamless customer experience.

5) Limited payment methods

This is the most important factor for a merchant, it directly contributes to the revenue and customer experience. Payment methods offered need to be easy to use, secure and instant. Complicated and lengthy payment steps deter conversions, abandoning the cart without completion. Hence merchants need to consider building a seamless customer journey from browsing product pages through the funnel before making a payment.

Solution: Include alternative online payment methods (APMs) in your strategy

APMs refers to any payment that is not cash and does not involve international credit card networks. Bank transfers and e-wallets are some examples. Take the Asia region, for example, it consists of segmented markets with different economic growth with various local banks and regulations. So merchants look for payment gateways such as XanPay, which provides a unique local payment methods platform that makes it cheap and easy to connect merchants and their customers in the Asian region. Merchants who have existing credit card payment methods also use XanPay to provide additional payment options and have since seen increased adoption in their customers' purchasing behavior.

New merchants can sign up to enjoy their first USD 5,000 with the transaction fee waived.

6) Unintuitive site experience

The look and feel of the website play a major role in communicating what the brand stands for. A complicated user interface leads to an unpleasant site experience. Businesses need to research their target audience’s digital behavior and implement UI-UX best practices to make navigation intuitive and user-friendly.

Solution: Localize the site experience

The UI-UX of a website or app has a major role to play in any transaction. Businesses should provide a change of language if they have customers who prefer another language. Seasonal promotions may also be useful to target local customers, so consolidating a calendar of events will be a good place to start. Lastly, analyze shopping behaviors using a web analytics tool to create predictive site content tailored to customers to drive conversions.

7) Inconvenient payment options

Several businesses require the customer to make the full payment before they receive the product and do not offer Cash-on-Delivery (COD) options. This may be fine for small purchases, but what about big purchases? There are the percentage of customers who may have a limited budget for big purchases does not make the jump if it is required to make payment in full in one go.

Solution: Offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) installment plans

Installment payment plans are a great way to retain customers and reduce cart abandonment. Consumers can purchase what they need and pay for them later. BNPL companies like Atome in Singapore have experienced a 20-30% increase in conversions and order size during the pandemic. Other rising BNPL players in Asia are Paidy (Japan), Plentina (Philippines), Kredivo (Indonesia), Pine Labs (India).

8) Unpleasant checkout experience

Mobile drives 61% of the traffic compared to 32% of the traffic from desktops in Asia. That is why a lot of digital strategies, whether it is website design or product usability, revolve around being mobile-first. Brands and businesses who understand the significance of ensuring a responsive design when building their checkout experience reap higher rewards in getting more conversions.

Solution: Optimize checkout for different devices

Ensure the user experience in using a desktop, mobile or tablet has the same journey. Do A/B design tests across devices and operating systems. Select the test that generates higher conversion and set a time to regularly see how you can further improve the experience.

Depending on the nature of your eCommerce, cart abandonment rate can be a key indicator and metric to understand customers' behavior and track your store's overall performance. Take the first step in monitoring your cart abandonment rate and analyze it periodically (bi-weekly or monthly). Communicate the shipping, return policies, and pricing on your website, and never skim on security measures to safe keep the data that users have entrusted to you.

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