HomeResourcesHow to use the checkout experience to build loyalty and reduce abandoned baskets

How to use the checkout experience to build loyalty and reduce abandoned baskets

8th July 2024 - 7 mins


By Lauren Heckman

, Content Marketing Manager

As abandoned baskets reach the highest levels in a decade, how can you make sure your customers successfully checkout?

If your emails are driving people to your website the ideal situation is that they will end up making a purchase.
But what if you are seeing an increased growth in abandoned baskets instead?
What could be preventing potential customers from going through checkout and completing their transactions?
The ‘Shopper Unlocked: Inside the Minds of 1000 Consumers’ report from RetailWeek Connect gives some great insights into what shoppers currently expect from their online purchasing journey and what is causing the increase in abandoned baskets.
Black women with credit card in hand about to make a mobile purchase

High delivery costs are the number one reason for abandoned baskets

In 2023, the percentage of online shopping baskets being abandoned rose to 70% globally for the first time in a decade.
This figure was even higher for mobile shopping at 85%* and the report states that 62% of those surveyed abandoned their cart due to high delivery costs, making it the number one reason for abandoned baskets.
One of the key ways to remove the obstacle to purchase could be through eliminating or reducing this cost for customers.
Although we understand that offering free delivery eats into your bottom line, 41% of those surveyed said they would be unwilling to pay for any delivery costs so it may be worth seeing if costs can be offset somewhere else in the business to absorb delivery fees.
But free delivery doesn’t have to be applied to every single customer.
There could be ways around it such as offering free delivery once over a value threshold, or free deliveries especially for your VIPs and first-time customers.
Failing that you could absorb just part of the delivery charge and offer it reduced to make it seem more affordable and less of a surprising cost making it easier for shoppers to accept.
Red presents next to a laptop
Also, many brands don’t think twice about providing a discount code to customers to attract their custom, but brands should work out which is more cost-effective for them. Is it 15% off an order or absorbing a £3.99 delivery charge?
A varied amount of delivery options is now also expected by shoppers, as they want to be able to find the best fit for their lifestyle.
Next-day delivery, chosen date or the growing trend for delivery lockers were considered very important to the respondents and the results suggested that shoppers are only set to become more demanding.
As shoppers increasingly shop online for all manner of things, large or small, they need to be able to receive parcels at times and locations that suit them.
Man in red shirt browsing his mobile phone whilst sat down

Pay your way

Following the trend of varied delivery methods, payment options are viewed the same. Shoppers expect PayPal, Apple Pay and Buy Now Pay Later options to fit in with their circumstances.
Older shoppers tend to have a higher disposable income and buy on debit cards, however, younger shoppers are more accustomed to shopping on their phones or with BNPL options, so offering as many different payment options as possible will help secure their purchase.
30% of those surveyed cited payment security as a reason for abandoning their baskets.
Consumers in lower income brackets are more likely to be nervous to complete the checkout process if they have security concerns and list it among their top obstacles to purchase than those with higher incomes.
To create the best checkout experience personalise it based on how they have paid previously, suggesting their preferred payment method and reiterate the security software or programmes you use to ensure their details are safe.
Happy women with credit card in hand browsing on a laptop

Returns secure purchases

Easy to use and free returns are another key area causing abandoned baskets.
75% of consumers surveyed say an easy returns process means they would be more likely to shop with that retailer again and customers will check return policies before completing their transaction.
If the returns policy is deemed unacceptable they will go on to abandon their basket. It was also considered the most important part of their post-purchase experience, being able to return things without a complicated process and ideally for free.
Many high street retail brands have introduced charges for returns despite the demand for free returns by customers.
These brands however, such as Zara, New Look and H&M, do offer a channel of free returns if online orders are returned in-store rather than by post. H&M attempted to charge for in-store returns however the backlash was so great that they soon revoked the idea.
Brands such as ASOS and Boohoo have stuck with their free returns even through challenging business times, however there has also been an increase in monitoring customer transactional data to spot serial returners.
As this is a huge swaying factor for customers it’s a key message that needs to be promoted. Perhaps add it to your welcome series, make it a clear selling point of your brand to alleviate any potential purchase concerns and to prevent shoppers from leaving the checkout page to check your returns policy.
Man checking his phone a bit unsure

Own your delivery communications

Another part of the checkout process is tracking, and although it didn’t impact abandoned baskets, the report highlighted that it is a key area brands should own to create a consistent user experience.
On average, 46% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 44 reported that they would rather hear directly from the retailer regarding delivery.
Bringing delivery communication in-house is a small but effective change retailers could make to improve their customer journey vastly. Directly communicating with customers about their orders not only gives retailers more control but also supports a consistent post-purchase experience, helping build and maintain customer relationships.
Customers value having a single point of contact should anything go awry and it builds a trusting relationship with brands that are helpful rather than offloading delivery concerns to a 3rd party provider.
Brands can also benefit by pushing personalised offers and promotions directly in any delivery or tracking communications to consumers with marketing opt-in, catching their attention when they are at their most engaged.
If after reviewing your checkout experience and your abandoned baskets are still at levels you don’t want, not to worry as we have seen that abandoned basket campaigns are the most successful type of automations you can run.
Book a meeting with one of our automation experts for more information on how you can set up a foolproof abandoned basket series like Travelodge which generated a 50% increase in email revenue.
*Shopper Unlocked: Inside the Minds of 1000 Consumers’ report – RetailWeek Connect

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About the author

Lauren Heckman
Lauren Heckman Content Marketing Manager
Lauren is a Content Marketing Manager. With keen interest in strategic campaign planning and digital marketing trends in the B2B market.

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