Live Chat to Fight Shopping Cart Abandonment

Abandoned shopping carts are one of online shop owners' biggest concerns. Having a high number of abandoned shopping carts can be the result of different factors and decreasing them can have a significant impact on your sales figures and revenues. In this article we explore the main causes of shopping cart abandonment and suggest how you can use live chat to help you improve on this.

Main Causes for Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Unexpected Costs

“Hey, wait a minute. How’d it go from $8.99 on the product page to $14.78 all of a sudden? What are all these little charges and fees about? Why wasn’t I told about this beforehand? This feels too expensive now. Maybe I could save money by heading to...” You must bend over backwards to be as transparent as possible when it comes to pricing. This takes both creativity and customized web design. Unexpected costs = dramatically increased chance of abandonment.


2. Window Shopping

Most of us are guilty of this. We’ve been through it before and seen how prices can balloon on the checkout page. So, we make a few clicks to get there with no real intention of buying. It’s more just to price things. In reality almost no one buys something on their first visit to your store. That’s just how it works. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that we’re wasting your time though. Keep marketing to us and if we return within the next two weeks there’s big chance we’ll buy.


3. Better Deal

At first glance we felt the price was a bit inflated so we took off to shop around for a better deal. Hey, that’s business for ya. The online shopping culture is maturing as quickly as ecommerce. In general the higher the price in the cart, the higher the chance it will be abandoned. But, here’s the kicker: you can retarget folks (more on this in the solutions section below) and sweeten the deal with things like free shipping, better customer satisfaction guarantees, etc.


4. Problems during Checkout

Bugs, errors, misunderstandings or connectivity issues are some of the different problems visitors can encounter during a checkout. Some of them are easily solved or walked through, others can lead them to drop out and buy somewhere else.

For some people, the simple fact of encountering issues during checkout is a deal breaker as it can be perceived as lack of professionalism and therefore your credibility can be affected. As we will explore below, this is one of the most relevant problems which can be tackled directly by live help.


5. Lack of Desired Payment Options

People from all over the world have different ways of purchasing and consequently their payment methods’ preferences go beyond the typical range of ways you would allow within your region or country. If you are selling online you need to realise that customers can arrive from all over the world and payment options should match the largest possible (yet realistic) poll.

Besides the payment options themselves, some customers require further information regarding your internet security protocols and policies as well as other payment information. The lack of such information raises some issues for most suspicious buyers.


6. Lack of Support

Maybe somewhere along the line a question mark appears above our head and there’s nothing readily available to click on that will lead us to customer support reps (chat window ideally). If we love your shop we might call if you there's a phone number available, but in general we want to know the answer and buy...now. Try to anticipate these question marks in terms of features, integrations, benefits, and costs so you can clearly present this information to people before they get to the checkout page.


7. Too Complex or Extensive Checkout

The fourth most common problem related to shopping cart abandonment is linked to the complexity of your checkout process. Modern online buyers appreciate quickness and effectiveness in the buying process which many companies fail to comply with. Halfway dropouts are even more common when there is no information of the checkout progress or when too much personal information, not necessary for the transaction, is mandatorily requested.


How Live Chat Can Reduce Abandonment

I. On-Site Support

Live chat is an on-site support tool which can be implemented on one or many pages. With live chat you can interact directly and in real time with your website visitors currently undertaking the checkout process, offering the possibility to support them with any issue.
Also, live chat doesn’t require any media or device switch, unlike what happens with phone or eMail support, it is always available and extremely accessible to everyone.


II. Support per Segment

Live chat gives you the possibility to provide support tailored to your audience, problem category or department. Support Groups can be selected by customers through an initial survey or the routing to the appropriate group can be done according to the configuration of the implemented widget.
The main goal behind group segmentation of the live support is the possibility to improve personalisation of the support experience using information collected and obtained.


III. Co-Browsing

Userlike live chat gives you the possibility to integrate with co-browsing tools to enhance your support experience. Co-Browsing is a feature which lets you show and customer certain issues highlighting parts of the customer’s screen. Co-Browsing is extremely useful to implement in checkout support to point out where do customers need to click, what to select and how to end the transaction.


IV. Debugging from any point in the checkout

Information collected by the live chat software and by complementary data from your CRM system, integrated with live chat, can be used to backup the debugging support taking into account user preferences, past history and previous experience with your company.
Live chat can therefore be a useful tool to flag potential bugs and problems from the customer point of view and tackle them quicker than you would be able to do with any other tool.


V. Feedback Collection

Live chat is also useful to collect feedback from your visitors. Whether they think your process is too complicated or could be improved here and there. Some startups can’t afford in-depth usability testing and find in live chat an opportunity to see the reflection of customers’ opinion on their design, layout or behaviour.

However, feedback collection doesn’t necessarily ends at the website level, you can also ask for opinion about your overall product, service or shipping. From here, you are able to detect some potential flaws which can be affecting your cart abandonment.


VI. Collection of Leads

Finally, as we have previously mentioned, the checkout process is an important channel to collect leads. User name, company, contact email or phone are some of the inputs you can store from the checkout (keep in mind that you should always comply with your local and national data privacy restrictions on storing and using customer data).



Would you like to try Userlike 14 days for free without any commitment? Register today and start checking the impact of live chat in the reduction of abandoned carts in your online shop.



About Userlike

Userlike is live chat software for websites, allowing companies to chat with their (potential) customers directly over the website. Look here for more information.