It’s an all-too-familiar (and frustrating) scenario for restaurants: customers browse the website, place orders in their shopping carts — and then vanish without completing the sale. Multiple studies have shown the average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 70%. While some shoppers do return later to finish their transactions, the rest represent a significant amount of lost potential revenue. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this problem using a solution you may already employ: a customer loyalty program.
The benefits of customer loyalty are clear: it’s less expensive to retain existing customers than to recruit new ones, and rewards programs create a personal connection with shoppers, who are more likely to increase their spending. Here’s how you can leverage these advantages to also reduce cart abandonment:
1. Offer free delivery to members.
In many shopper surveys, the most common reason given for bailing on the checkout process is the discovery that total cost, particularly delivery, is higher than expected (or that delivery is not free). One way to address this problem is to make sure these charges are clear and visible earlier in the online ordering process. An even better way is to make free delivery a perk of your customer loyalty program. Amazon Prime and other such programs have accustomed buyers to expect free shipping. If you don’t think you can afford to offer free delivery on all online orders, you can limit free delivery to the first online order made by a new member, or on orders exceeding a minimum amount. Research has shown that customers will spend up to 30% more when delivery is free.
2. Don’t require users to create an account…
Another common reason shoppers abandon online orders is that they dislike being required to create an account or register with the site to complete checkout. If it feels like they have to take extra or complicated steps (or give up valued privacy), they’ll quit instead. The key here is to make signing up optional (and free), and make it as easy as possible — perhaps by simply adding a check box that users can click to add a password and save the information they’ve already entered as part of the checkout process. You can use your customer loyalty program as further enticement to complete the process, which leads to the next point.
3. …but show them the benefits of doing so.
Let customers start earning rewards immediately. You can offer special rewards upon completion of checkout/registration, such as a coupon for a free or discounted appetizer or side with the next order. Or, if you use a points-based program, start them off with a positive balance for signing up and placing that first order. Feature your customer loyalty program and its benefits (such as free delivery) in key places on your website, so customers are aware of it even before they place orders in the cart.
Does your point of sale system offer customer loyalty program functionality? If not, it might be time for an upgrade. For more than twenty years, Focus POS has been helping restaurants of all types choose the best system for their needs. Contact Focus to learn more about using a customer loyalty program to reduce cart abandonment and grow your business.