How to Regain Lost Customers in the Online Grocery Industry?

If you’re shocked by the rate of shopping cart abandonment for your online store, you are not alone. Figures from Baymard indicated that the average documented shopping cart abandonment rate across 41 different studies was a staggering 69.57%.

Not surprisingly then, online retailers have spent considerable time and effort on developing strategies to reduce these rates and encourage consumers to take their orders all the way to completion. Here we’ve outlined some of the best strategies for online grocery companies of any size, to fine-tune their marketing strategies to help beat these statistics and reduce their rates of shopping cart abandonment.

1. Keep your shoppers appraised of their progress

How many times have you popped into a grocery shop, only to see the length of the queue and decide against making a purchase?

When faced with a long queue, it’s common to make a cost-benefit judgement. How much do we really need this particular item? Is it worth the wait?

The same thing happens in online grocery shopping – except without a clear indication of just how long the checkout process is going to take, it’s common for shoppers to give up partway through if they feel it’s taking too long. Adding a slider or progress bar is a straightforward way to give shoppers a visual update, reducing the likelihood of them getting frustrated and giving up.

2. Give as many payment options as possible

Even at the final stages of the purchasing process, things can come unstuck if you don’t offer a wide range of payment options. If your shopper hasn’t got the right card with them, or they were hoping to use PayPal, only to find that they are limited to card payments, they may get distracted, or look for an alternative grocery supplier who will accept their chosen payment methodology.

3. Make it effortless to save the contents of a grocery cart

One of the biggest appeals of online retail is that shoppers don’t have to commit to making a purchase right away. Your cart functionality should allow shoppers to save their progress and the contents of their cart with a single click. Making it quick and easy for them to pause and come back to their online grocery cart later maximises the chance that they’ll do just that.

There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this. One option is to require the customer to login. This might not always be preferable though, as a login function can be a barrier to entry.

Another possibility is to use browser cookies to remember the contents of their carts. It’s important that if you do choose to utilise cookies on your site, that your customers are fully aware of what’s going on. Cookie pop-ups are a common and well-accepted part of online life now, so don’t risk an invasion of privacy, or worse, a data breach, by not appropriately holding your customer’s information.

4. Offer a guest checkout function

There are certainly benefits to asking customers to log in – you can build a mailing list and use this to keep in contact with your shoppers in the future. However, according to some studies, forcing customers to log in was one of the most common causes of shopping cart abandonment. A study by Invesp suggested that 14% of online shoppers would choose to abandon their cart if an online store forced them to log in. Offering a guest checkout function may, therefore, make your site more appealing to concerned consumers.

5. Be upfront about delivery costs

The same study indicated that the most common reason that shoppers abandoned their cart was high delivery costs or delivery costs that were not clear upfront. There are few things that are more frustrating when shopping online than getting to the end of the process and being hit with unexpected costs.

Although you will never inspire your customers to love delivery costs, at least making sure that they are spelt out upfront will reduce the likelihood of them ditching the cart at the last minute.

6. And timings too…

This is another important factor to consider when it comes to being upfront with your target audience. Reaching the end of an online shopping experience, only to be hit with delivery times slots that are much further into the future than they were expecting, is a sure-fire way to push people away.

Laying out which delivery slots are available up-front is a key tactic for online grocers to reduce cart abandonment at a later stage.

7. Check your loading speed and optimise where possible

Experts have indicated that the rate of conversion from shopping cart to sale drops by 7% for every one second delay that users experience on the payment pages of a website. There are many reasons for this; impatience is, of course, an unhelpful part of human nature, but slow loading pages are also a warning flag for some consumers who start to worry that the site may not be as legitimate as it seems.

There are several ways that you can optimise your page loading speed – limit the use of large images, advertising trackers, and social plugins in your final pages. These can all increase the load time, delaying your customers from getting what they want.

Some aspects may be out of your control, for example, your payment provider may incur a delay during the actual processing of payment. It’s worth making sure that you have some kind of visual display to show that the payment is in progress, to make sure that they know that everything is still going smoothly.

8. Pull people back with remarketing techniques

If you accept that some shoppers will inevitably abandon their carts, it makes strategic sense to plan some sort of remarketing campaign to try and entice them back. These consumers who came very close to crossing the line are a perfect audience for a subtle advertising campaign. Facebook and Google Ads also offer targeted advertising options, so consider which is most likely to work for your target audience.

However you do it, strategies that reduce your rates of shopping cart abandonment are likely to prove to be a valuable part in your grocery e-commerce marketing toolkit.