It’s a Sunday afternoon and you’ve finally had time to browse for that new home appliance you’ve been meaning to buy for some time. After doing some research, you are hit with deluge of pop-up ads. You open a bunch of pages, only to close them almost as quickly. You’re thinking ‘I won’t buy it yet, I might need it, but this is all too much, and I don’t feel good about parting with the cash’.

It’s a familiar experience for most of us right now. A recent NAB Consumer Sentiment Survey found that Australian consumers have become more considered with their spending. Almost half of us (four in ten) have adjusted our spending budgets. The cost of living crisis, combined with a saturated and globalised market, is increasingly leaving consumer shopping carts abandoned. Gone are the impulsive spending days during the height of the pandemic.

Our current economic climate could tempt businesses to slash their marketing and digital budgets, but it’s more important than ever for CMOs to invest in digital. Consumers who are catered to with transparency, ease, speed, and personalisation, will be those who switch from ‘maybe’ to ‘sold’. In 2024, consider these three ways to cut down your abandoned carts.

  1. Rethink your UX

Online retailers today are up against the likes of Amazon’s “click to buy now” button. Your entire buyer journey – from how a customer finds you, to how they explore your products, to how they purchase – will be judged to a very high standard.

As good as your buyer journey might be, it’s always worthwhile analysing and reviewing ways to tighten this up.

Are you making a customer answer too many questions and tick too many boxes? Which ads are converting? Do they have to enter several pages of personal details to receive a delivery? Are they punching in their credit card numbers as the only payment method? Are you pestering them for feedback or bugging them with irrelevant pop ups?

Small tweaks to your UX could make all the difference; it might be altering the movement from social across to your website, or reviewing your payment options and considering whether these are as seamless and automated as possible. Improving the UX of your whole buyer journey can decrease bounce rates by about a quarter and deliver a minimum 50 percent increase in conversion rates. 

2. Prioritise convenience

Digital engagement needs to be easy. But making this happen is sometimes easier said than done. You will need to look closely not just at the journey a customer goes through, but specifically at your customer touchpoints. When they actually want a product, what is the interaction like from that point on? Consider first purchase, through to return purchase. Look at what your competitors are doing and think carefully about all the ways you can simplify and speed up the process. Any levers you can pull to improve ease and convenience will be rewarded.

3. Make it personal

Yes, we’re still talking about personalisation, because it’s so important, and the tools available to us to make the shopping experience meaningful to each buyer have expanded hugely.

The goal of online shopping should be to create a digital experience as close as possible to the physical. Think about it – a good instore experience will look beautiful and immediately have you imagining the lifestyle associated with the products. Someone might politely offer you (light touch) support, guide you toward options you might not otherwise find, and help you create combinations or customisations you may not consider. There might also be small moments of unexpected delight.

Today there are many great AI tools, augmented reality tools, customisation and suggestion options that can help you intervene in a customer’s shopping experience at the right time, with the right things in a way that doesn’t impede convenience. This level of personalisation helps a brand be more than a product. You are creating a relationship.

Market turbulence is unlikely to settle for some time, nor will the digital world. Without convenient, considered and personal digital experiences, consumers will leave faster than you can say, “proceed to checkout”.

James Noble is chief experience officer for APAC at WongDoody.