Customer Gone Missing? Here’s How to Deal with Abandoned Carts

Are you experiencing abandonment issues? No, we’re not talking about the ones that compel your puppy to eat your slippers every time you leave the house. We’re talking about abandoned shopping carts on your dispensary’s ecommerce platform. They’re one of the most frustrating issues retailers can face. They’re also one of the most common—some sources estimate that nearly 70% of carts are abandoned. Yikes!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to drive this number down. By employing a mix of retargeted display ads, on-site inducements, and other simple tweaks to the checkout process and flow, you’ll reduce cart abandonments and drive your all-important conversion rate up.

How to Deal with Abandoned Carts: Understanding the Issue

Let’s start with a simple question: Why do customers abandon their carts in the first place? There are a number of factors, but the top ones include:

  • The checkout process is too long or confusing. Like it or not, attention spans are short. When there are too many roadblocks to a successful checkout, many shoppers simply give up and turn their attention elsewhere.
  • The process mandates account creation. Especially because so many dispensary purchases are made by consumers on the go, the extra steps required to create an account are a deal-breaker for many prospects.
  • Customers are frustrated by quantity limits. Because of the peculiarities of the cannabis market, many products have quantity restrictions placed on them in certain markets. There’s nothing you can do about this, of course, but when you don’t adequately warn potential customers, they can quickly turn into former potential customers instead.
  • Consumers are comparison shopping. Because of the continuing rise of e-commerce, consumers typically have multiple options when considering a product. You can’t undersell everyone, of course, but by making use of targeted inducements, you can win some of those wishy-washy buyers back.
  • Your site is dogged by technical difficulties and long load times. We’ve written about this elsewhere, but these are among the worst buzz-killers when it comes to sales, page views, and ranking. Fortunately, they’re also among the most fixable

That’s a snapshot of the challenges that drive consumers to abandon their carts. Let’s push on to a much happier topic: What you can do about it.


How to Deal with Abandoned Carts: Retargeted Display Ads

You’ve probably seen the term “retargeting.” And while it lacks the flash of geofencing or influencer campaigns, it’s one of the most effective tools you can use to reach customers who are on the brink of abandoning their shopping carts.

Simply put, retargeting refers to the practice of reaching out to consumers who have interacted with your brand before (but are not yet customers). It involves the use of a simple Javascript code—often called a “cookie” or a “pixel”—to track that consumer after they leave your site. This allows you to reach out to (or “retarget”) them later, typically by displaying a mobile banner ad or Google ad.

You get where we’re going with this. Displaying a gentle and polite reminder that your potential consumer has “left something behind” can be just the ticket for coaxing them back and closing the sale. You can sweeten the deal, too: Offer them a one-time discount for completing the transaction, or a freebie bit of swag they’ll actually want. If the customer is already in your database, you can even heighten the sense of urgency by sending an email with a countdown timer. (Technically, reaching out to current customers in this way is “remarketing” rather than “retargeting,” but the tactics share many common elements.) 

You can even use retargeting to interact with consumers who’ve only browsed your menu. Because they’re already familiar with your offerings, the chance of closing a sale is greatly increased compared with consumers who have never interacted with your brand before. And these multiple points of contact have the “bonus” effect of strengthening brand awareness, too. 

How to Deal with Abandoned Carts: Retool the Checkout Process

One of the most important factors in assessing your website’s overall quality is UX, short for “user experience.” UX touches on all sorts of aspects of website design, performance, even your page ranking on Google and other search engines. 

Website UX is a deep and important topic, and we urge you to get at least a basic understanding of the concept. But in this case, we’re talking about how UX affects the checkout experience.

As we mentioned in the “Understanding the Issue” segment earlier, several of the key contributors to cart abandonment have to do with potential confusion (and guaranteed frustration) around the checkout process. If you haven’t tried your own checkout procedure recently, give it a spin. 

  • Are you employing the minimum amount of steps (while providing clear guidance and mileposts that tell the customer they’re almost there?)
  • Does your website copy include crystal-clear CTAs (calls to action) that drive prospects towards completing the sale?
  • Is your site optimized for mobile browsers? 
  • Do your pages load quickly and reliably? Are images and text directions displaying clearly and properly?

Remember, anything and everything you can do to reduce these technical and functional blocks to a smooth checkout will help you reduce the number of abandoned carts (and start increasing those conversions!)

fighting abandoned carts


How to Deal with Abandoned Carts: Let’s Talk

There’s one more tool we want to steer you towards trying in the battle to reduce cart abandonments: Live chat. 

Live chat is a tool that can help you quickly identify customer pain points. If you’re seeing a pattern in terms of cart abandonment or other checkout issues, you’ll be better positioned to efficiently direct your resources towards repairing them. Rather than letting these problems snowball, having live chat can help your staff to quickly identify them and nip them in the bud.

What’s more, live chat interfaces have come a long way in the last few years. Far from providing canned and unhelpful responses to customer questions or complaints, they’re an efficient way for you to answer queries fast or quickly allocate more valuable resources to deal with demanding checkout issues on the fly. And with a whopping 90% of surveyed consumers naming customer service as an important factor when deciding which companies to do business with, it’s a resource you should give serious thought to leveraging.

Ready to tackle this revenue-sucking problem? Contact us and let’s take on abandoned carts together.