E-commerce For Printers: Unlocking the Mystery of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Is this you?

  • You’ve invested in a great website.
  • You’ve worked hard to streamline the customer buying process.
  • You’ve even got more website visitors than ever before.

But there’s just one problem. Your print buyers aren’t buying anything online, leaving you to wonder, “What’s the deal?”

Abandoned shopping carts plague even the best businesses. Here are five tips to help you better understand why it happens and what you can do to fix it.

5 Tips to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts

1. Don’t Take It Personally

You should know right from the start that you are not alone in your abandoned shopping cart woes.

According to Listrak, the average rate at which an average consumer abandons their shopping cart before making a purchase is 81%.


To say that another way, even if you are doing everything PERFECTLY, 4 out of 5 people (including your print buyers) will leave their carts and never return if for no other reason than they got interrupted or distracted.

What you can do: It’s essential to accept that not every print buyer who puts an item in their cart will buy from you, so be ready to move on without taking it personally.

2. Ditch the High Shipping Costs

In the world of e-commerce, your print buyers could be across town as well as across the country.

Because of this, be sure to include multiple shipping or pickup options that are most convenient for your print buyer. If you’re thinking, “How can I afford to do that?”, you might want to consider the success and explosive growth of Amazon.

Just a few months ago, Amazon said it would spend $800 million to get its famous two-day shipping option down to only one day. This one-day delivery upgrade is expected to boost the company’s sales by up to $24 billion!

What you can do: Offer free shipping or quicker delivery times. Try building your promotions around free shipping. Lastly, start dreaming a little bigger: Could you offer a similar rewards program when targeting large print-buying companies, such as “For $89.00 per year, receive free shipping on all of your print orders!”

3. Review Your Checkout Process

The minute your print buyers step foot on your digital doorstep, they should be getting answers to their questions.

To find out what questions your print buyers are asking during the checkout process, ask them!

What you can do: Gather some close friends and family that will be honest and straightforward with you and have them place an order on your website. Record every question, hesitation, and stumbling block they encounter.

That might look something like this:

  • I don’t know how much this is going to cost. I don’t want to commit to anything without knowing the final price. (Add your pricing on your website.)
  • What size is an A7 envelope? Will it fit my holiday card? (Beware the curse of prior knowledge. As a printer, you might know what an A7 or #9 envelope is, but your print buyer has no clue. Think clarity, clarity, clarity.)
  • How long will it take to get my order? (Eliminate the fear of their order ending up in the cyber-abyss by clearly laying out what will happen next. “Once you place your order, you’ll receive a confirmation email, and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.”)

“Don’t assume it all works! Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and do everything they will do.” – Gary Gabalien

4. Establish Trust Through Value

Before your print buyers place an order with you online, they have to feel like they know you, like you, and trust you.

This trust-building starts way back in the marketing phase before they even make it to your online shopping cart and continues through the entire order process.

What you can do: Here are a few things that will help build that trust for your print buyers:

  • Value-based content. When you switch your marketing content to focus on the needs of your print buyers rather than on how great your print company is, it creates an opportunity for building trust. In other words, instead of sending an email that says you make the best business cards in the world (you-focused), send an email that gives them value, such as, “5 Things Your Business Card Says About You.” This (value-focused) approach tells the story that you’re not all about yourself and making a sale, but your desire is to genuinely help them.
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL Certificate). An SSL Certificate provides the layer of security expected by your print buyers. Having that certificate means you have private communication between your customers and your website. Why does it build trust? Because a website without an SSL Certificate creates a scary warning message that says, “Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.” In other words, it yells to your print buyers, “Don’t order printing online from this website. They can’t be trusted!”
  • Social proof. Here are some ideas to get previous or current print buyers advocating on your behalf:
    • Send surveys with every order.
    • Do follow-up calls to ask if everything went well with their print order.
    • Advertise where and how they can place a review. For example, “Love the way your print job turned out? Share your enthusiasm with others by leaving us a review at…”
    • Create case studies around frequently-ordered products.
    • Start collecting testimonials.

“When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.” – Andy Crestodina

5. Think Beyond Price

While it may be tempting to slash prices the minute you discover shopping cart abandonment, doing so may cause more harm than good.

By continually lowering your price, you end up either creating or participating in a race to the bottom. There will always be someone out there that can go lower on price. If you join in, you’ll end up giving away all of your margins and pricing yourself out of business.

What you can do: Instead of dropping your prices, work on building your reputation, establishing trust, and providing assurances.

Remember, they came to your website for a reason.