Copywriting to save shopping carts from abandonment
Copy is considered to be a success factor in online business. Blogs, advertisements and social media posts are used to lure people to visit a website. Once a consumer has landed on the website, copy continues. To convince visitors of buying a product or service, product information, customer experiences and reviews are displayed. The moment arrives where everything comes down to: will the visitor checkout or will a virtual shopping basket remain all alone and abandoned? 🛒
Which copywriting techniques can entrepreneurs use to ensure that potential buyers do not drop out in the checkout process? What do you say to enforce them, motivate them and what do you do to remove barriers so they will proceed to purchase? Seven copywriters and neuromarketers shared their tips with Buckaroo.
Do's and Don'ts
“Whenever a consumer makes a purchase, two things are in their minds: reasons to buy and reasons not to buy.” Sander van Hulten, copywriter of iets Sanders, calls them Do’s and Don’ts. “Don’ts are the barriers that make the consumer decide not to proceed to purchase. Examples of such barriers are: ‘What if I do not like it?’ or ‘Is this the best deal I can get?’ Think of what your consumer might doubt about and try to take those doubts away.” Sander gives an example: “During the checkout process, a consumer may wonder whether their order will be complete: ‘Do I need anything more?’ As an entrepreneur you can remove these doubts by giving a clear summary of what the order contains, including sufficient photos and relevant extra options.”
"Reviews and quality labels provide the last bit of affirmation in the customer journey."
— Lana Gerritsen, content manager of WebwinkelKeur
“The consumer may also have doubts about the reliability of your online store. As an entrepreneur you can assure the security of your online store, but it is important that the consumer has the same knowledge. You can do this by communicating that you are affiliated with a quality label or that you are actively collecting reviews. With these types of short copy you provide the last bit of affirmation in the customer journey and you will increase your customer base”, so says Lana Gerritsen, content manager of WebwinkelKeur. Wouter de Vries, digital payments consultant and journalist adds to this: “You can also gain trust by using logos of popular payment options. For over 80% of all visitors logos of payment methods like iDEAL, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard gain trust. A payment service provider plays an important role in this. Consult your PSP for expertise (and logos) of online payment methods. Use the payment service provider’s knowledge and expertise in your advantage, working smart is also a success factor for entrepreneurs.
"For over 80% of all visitors logos of payment methods like iDEAL, PayPal, Visa and Mastercard gain trust."
— Wouter de Vries, digital payments consultant and journalist
Have you made it to that point where you gained the consumer’s trust? There is still a chance consumers rather not share their personal information in the checkout, such as a telephone number. Christian Slagter-Koster, marketing content & SEO specialist at Slagter Media advises: “For example add a question mark to the telephone number entry box and clarify that personal data will only be used to properly deliver the order. Another option is to have data filled in automatically. This will most likely also prevent people from entering a fake phone number.”
Diede Vendrig of Unravel Behavior also emphasizes the importance of an easy checkout: “Improve the consumer’s experience by showing what steps the consumer needs to complete to checkout successfully and by making the progress easily visible. Simple short copy can lower the visitor's perception of time. For example: 'Ordered in less than 2 minutes'.” Shopping cart abandonment happens often, specifically during the online payment process, Wouter de Vries confirms. “By giving a clear explanation of the (payments) options and by providing insight into the payment process, you can remove a lot of uncertainties for the consumer.”
"Add a question mark to the telephone number entry box in the checkout."
— Christian Slagter-Koster, marketing content & SEO specialist at Slagter Media
Boost motivation with Cialdini
As said before you can take away barriers in the checkout process, but you can also boost your consumer's motivation to make a purchase. This is what Sander van Hulten calls: “Do’s, incentives that make your consumer click faster.” This behavior is stimulated by reading positive reviews or motivational slogans like ‘Only x pieces left in stock’ or ‘Yours in just a few steps…’. Sander: “This addresses the scarcity principle: the fear that something could come between you and the belonged purchase, such as empty stocks. This way you let your consumer know that there is still action needed.”
This type of copy is based on the persuasion techniques of Robert Cialdini, expert on psychology and influencing behavior. His marketing techniques effect the unconscious brain that makes irrational and automatic decisions. “Although it has been scientifically proven that these techniques are effective in increasing purchasing behavior, it is important not to use these slogans too flashy”, so explains Sam Goos, lead researcher of Braingineers. “As soon as the consumer realizes that they are being influenced, the conscious brain gets activated. The conscious brain asks critical questions when it comes to making a purchase decision. At that point, influencing techniques like Cialdini's are less effective. A consumer may feel limited in his freedom of choice and decides not to buy the product as a counter reaction to the attempt to influence.”
"A consumer may feel limited in his freedom of choice and decides not to buy the product as a counter reaction to the attempt of influence."
— Sam Goos, lead researcher of Braingineers
“Does this mean you should avoid influencing techniques in all cases? Not at all, but do try to look for the nuance,” so says Sam. The following tips may help:
- Offer a choice of alternative so that consumers feel that they retain their autonomy.
- Show independent and objective advice (that reduces the chance of feeling influenced or misled).
- Use an influencing technique positively: ‘Order today and get a discount!’ In this way you encourage consumers to make a purchase, without taking away their perceived freedom.
Along this line, Diede Vendrig, persuasion copywriting trainer at Unravel Research, adds another interesting fact: “Research has shown that button texts with the word 'I' in it convert better. It increases a visitor's motivation to click and thus increases the chance of a successful order. For example, change your payment button from 'order' to 'I'm going to order'. The success of this technique again has to do with our unconscious desire for autonomy and freedom of choice. In addition, words like ‘I’ and ‘you’ arouse positive emotion.”
"Words like ‘I’ and ‘you’ arouse positive emotion."
— Diede Vendrig, persuasion copywriting trainer at Unravel Research
“You should be careful with final button texts”, Diede continues: “Phrases like 'Complete order' can feel too final for a consumer who is not yet ready to complete an order. The result: the consumer does not dare to proceed out of fear of being attached to something, and therefore drops out of the checkout process. A less definitive text could be: 'Next to check and order', depending on the type of online store."
Tim Daalderop, copywriter and brand story specialist also confirms that it is important to consider the consumer’s emotions. “We humans are primarily emotional animals who like to marvel at the world around us. We like to be touched and look for excitement. So do not forget to include excitement in your copy, apart from a bunch of other conversion tricks. Dare to do be different, dare to stimulate, because ultimately your visitors simply have to be willing to buy something from you.” A good example of calls-to-actions that respond to emotion can be learned in Tim's masterclasses or workshops.
"Do not forget to include excitement in your copy, apart from a bunch of other conversion tricks."
— Tim Daalderop, copywriter and brand story specialist
How do I know which copy fits my online store?
This blog contains many tips to increase buying behavior for your online store. Which tips work best depends on your customer group. According to Sander van Hulten, that is why the most important tip of all is: getting to know your customer. “The world between checking out and dropping out is full of secrets. Some secrets are only known by the consumer. You can monitor scrolls and clicks by using tools like Hotjar and you can examine consumer behavior in an online/live panel survey or A/B tests.” In a panel study you can discover essential motives and values of consumers by asking more and more underlying questions. A/B testing examines the effectiveness of a web page by comparing different pages under a similar panel.
In summary: dive into the mind of consumers, clear their doubts and motivate them to click. This is how you save virtual shopping baskets from loneliness and abandonment 🛒.
"The world between checking out and dropping out is full of secrets. You only discover those secrets by diving into the consumer's mind."
— Sander van Hulten, copywriter of iets Sanders
This blog was written in collaboration with seven copywriters and neuromarketers. All rights are reserved.
Picture taken from unsplash.com, credits to Bruno Kelzer.
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