Abandoned carts are a well-known term in e-commerce. But it applies also to any streaming service that offers paid content, whether it is transactional VOD (TVOD) or subscription VOD (SVOD).
Abandoned carts are all orders initiated by a customer, then abandoned at the time of payment. In the case of a video or music/podcast platform, the customer has already selected his offer (movies, monthly/annual subscription, music) but leaves the platform at the time of payment when he needs to enter his credit card.
It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to acquire new customers. Abandoned shopping carts are therefore an immediate loss of revenue for your business.
According to Statista and the Baymard Institute, nearly 60 percent of U.S. online shoppers have abandoned their shopping carts in the past three months. The main reasons are:
As you can see, in many cases, abandoned carts are caused by the website or platform where the purchase process takes place, and can therefore be reduced by implementing some good practices. Here are some tips to reduce abandoned carts on your VOD platform or streaming service:
Simplify the payment process
Shoppers want to check out as quickly and easily as possible. A long checkout process, with multiple steps and forms to fill out, can cause friction and slow down your customers. Not only does this hurt the checkout experience on your site, but it can also deter them from buying from you again. To streamline the process, limit the number of fields you need to fill out. In most cases for digital products (like subscription or pay-per-view), only these fields are relevant:
- Customer name
- Email + password
- Payment information
The mailing address is useful for physical product delivery or invoicing. If you can, remove these fields because it can discourage some customers to type their full address (especially on mobile).
In the case of a VOD platform, account creation is mandatory to give access to the content. It is therefore important to have a registration and payment tunnel that is as simple and fast as possible. We recommend adding a progress indicator that tells the user how many steps it will take to complete the procedure and conclude the transaction.
Offer a secure platform to reassure users
Even though online payments are becoming more and more secure, there are still many frauds. And users are more and more sensitive to this, so it will be necessary to propose a payment system that complies with the standards of the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). Don’t forget to mention this on the payment page to reassure users. In the same way, you must propose double authentication during the payment, do not hesitate to have a look at this article for more information.
For example, adding trust badges on your platform can help improve your abandoned cart rate. You can also mention what your payment solution is Stripe or Paypal. They both have a very strong reputation and are known to defend the interests of consumers in case of disputes.
Offer a mobile-optimized payment funnel
Mobile users account for more than half of global online traffic. Mobile devices account for 59% of e-commerce site visits, while mobile activity accounts for 38% of e-commerce revenue. Among the three most-used devices to make online purchases, mobile has the highest abandonment rate (85.65%), vs. 73.07% for desktop and 80.74% for tablet. Therefore, you will need a mobile-friendly payment page that is easy to use for users who will have many fields to fill in.
If you offer mobile applications for your streaming or VOD service, don’t forget to offer in-app purchases on your applications. Indeed, the Apple and Google Play stores allow you to pay via fingerprint (Touch ID), for example, which increases the fluidity of the purchase process and increases the level of trust of users. The only drawback is that you will have to leave 15% of your revenues to Google and Apple…
At OKAST, we have designed all our platforms to be responsive on all devices. We also offer the possibility to create applications with in-app purchases option and an optimized payment tunnel.
Fluid navigation and optimized UX to reduce the rate of abandoned carts
A VOD site or streaming platform with many bugs can make customers lose confidence in the payment process. If the display of the pages is slow, buyers will be less inclined to provide their payment information for fear of being charged twice or having a payment fail.
First thing: optimize the speed of your pages, this will have a significant positive impact on abandoned carts.
Then, concerning the user experience (UX) more generally, we recommend a design as pure and simple as possible: no redundant buttons, visual indicators (icons, emojis, badges), the minimum of text possible… Don’t drown the user with too many mentions, and don’t give them the possibility to leave the page with “return to home page” buttons or superfluous links.
Attention: if you offer a multilingual site, make sure to translate all the texts, there is nothing more disconcerting during a purchase than texts in another language. Also, offer currencies adapted to the country in which your user is located so that he doesn’t have to convert the amount himself, or worse, in the case of an SVOD subscription, that the amount is different each month since it would be indexed on a foreign currency.
At OKAST, we offer a fluid, fast and optimized user experience. We also offer the possibility to translate into many languages and to offer different currencies depending on the buyer’s country.
Live chat support
One advantage of physical (in-store) shopping is that you have access to salespeople who help you find items or answer questions. You can replicate this same level of support and attention by integrating a live chat feature into your checkout process. You can easily set up a live chat button via solutions like Intercom or Drift to talk directly with your future buyers. This way, you will avoid that they leave you an abandoned cart without explanation. And even better: if you propose several subscription offers (SVOD) you can try to convince them to take the annual subscription rather than the monthly one.
Set up retargeting advertising to reactivate abandoned carts
If despite all the above preventive actions you still have abandoned shopping carts, you can implement some curative actions. In particular, you can set up retargeting ads. How does it work? Thanks to a tool called “pixel” it is possible to define triggers when a user performs an action on your platform. These triggers can be sent to social networks, and thus it is possible to target users on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok who have been to the payment stage without buying.
So this is extremely powerful and you can now create personalized ad campaigns targeting only users who have left an abandoned cart on your platform.
On OKAST, you can trigger an “abandoned cart” event on the Facebook or TikTok pixels and thus retarget your users who have abandoned their online payment.
Another curative solution: contact by email the people who left an abandoned cart on your VOD platform with a promotion or discount coupon. If they went that far in the purchase process, it means they are interested in your video or audio content offer. Sometimes, a small commercial gesture can make the transaction happen. A good practice is to send a promotional coupon by email (or via retargeting (see above)).
On OKAST, you will be able to download the list of users who have created an account but who have not yet made a payment. You can then easily send them an email to encourage them to complete their transaction by offering them a promotional coupon.
By the way, don’t forget that if you sell subscriptions to your streaming service, the trial period is often a good idea (and will grow your conversions).
At OKAST, we offer turnkey solutions for creating VOD and streaming platforms that optimize the purchase path and avoid high abandoned cart rates.
We also offer tools to retarget your users who have not completed their purchase journey. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.