Bernie Schott is the CEO of Reech, a DTC brand that offers yoga mats to its customers. With a focus on quality, all of Reech’s mats are 100% biodegradable, and the company also plants a significant number of trees over the course of the year.
We sat down with Bernie to chat about how he helped reduce shopping cart abandonment in his ecommerce store. Read on to find out about his innovative strategies for tackling shopping cart abandonment.
Q. Tell us about yourself. What do you do? What is your store about? What are your core responsibilities? Is this your first venture?
A. I have my hands in everything at REECH. Sales, Customer Service, Accounting, even fulfillment from time to time. REECH is a DTC brand that provides the highest quality and best performing yoga mats to yogis all around the world, that are environmentally friendly. I like to say our products were designed for your practice but made for the planet. We have designed our products to be 100% biodegradable and we plant a significant number of trees for every order placed (upward of 21)!
Q. What are your core product offerings?
A. Our signature product is the namaSTAY yoga mat. It features a dual grip so you never slip. The natural tree rubber base ensure the mat stays put while you practice on it and our water absorbent top layer provides a grip that gets stronger as it gets wetter so you never lose your posture. It’s durable, easy to clean, and eco-friendly. Being 100% biodegradable, if this mat were buried in the woods, it would 100% decompose leaving no trace it ever existed. Each mat purchased results in at least 15 trees being planted!
Q. When did you realize that shopping cart abandonment was becoming a major problem for you?
A. In Q3 of last year (2021) when I took a more hands on approach in the business.
Q. What was your average shopping cart abandonment rate? What was the highest that it’s ever been?
A. At that point in time it was approaching 25%. Admittedly, we hadn’t tracked abandoned cart rate closely prior to then but I have to imagine that was pretty close to the all time high.
Q. What do you think were the main factors that were contributing to the increase of your shopping cart abandonment rate?
A. There are 3 factors I pinned to be the primary cause:
- The information we required customers to input before being able to place an order,
- The number of pages a customer had to engage before being able to complete their order, and
- The “surprise” cost of shipping for international orders that only became known mid checkout. Every additional piece of information the customer needs to input, step in the checkout process, and additional fee is another opportunity for the customer to change their mind before placing the order.
Q. Were you able to gauge the impact on your store’s profitability?
A. If you assume you can capture every cart (which I personally don’t believe to be true), the impact to our revenue would be 25%. Realistically, assuming 5% of carts are not able to be converted, we were probably looking at 20% impact.
Q. What steps did you take to improve your shopping cart abandonment rate?
A. The first thing I did was strip our checkout process to collect only the minimum information needed to process the order. Along with this, I also started accepting payments from PayPal and shopPay. These are great options for a couple reasons:
- They already have all the information required to complete the order save on file eliminating almost every step of the checkout process and
- I’ve noticed customers have a tendency to trust and prefer these payments options over putting their credit card information directly at the shop.
After optimizing the checkout process, we changed our international shipping rate to a flat rate (depending on where the order is going) to simplify the cost to the customer and made it available to them earlier in the checkout process.
The last major change was to optimize and relaunch our automated email sequence following an abandoned cart, in an attempt to recapture those customers. Simply by following a couple times and occasionally offering a small discount, we’ve seen great success in convert abandoned carts in to placed orders.
Q. How did it help? Were you able to quantify the impact of those changes?
A. Currently our cart abandonment rate is down to 10%. I believe we still have some work to do but it’s great progress in less than 6 months. I estimate that these changes have increased our revenue by 14%!
Q. What steps have you taken to ensure that your shopping cart abandonment rate doesn’t spike?
A. I’m monitoring abandoned carts closely now a days. Often daily but at minimum once per week. Since I’m still in the process of optimizing the checkout process, I’m not too concerned with a spike in the near future but once fully automated, it will be an exercise of monitoring and identifying at what stage in the checkout process customers are abandoning their carts, to improve that area.
Q. For you, what’s a manageable abandonment rate?
A. I think the 10% we’re currently seeing is manageable but I’m target below 5%.
Q. How important of a role do you think fast hosting plays in shopping cart abandonment?
It can be significant. Every second that passes waiting for a webpage to load, especially during the checkout process, is another opportunity for the customer to change their mind. In my opinion it probably makes a bigger difference in shopping experience (e.g. getting the customer to add the product to their cart) than in the checkout process but if a checkout page takes an unreasonably long time to load, the customer isn’t going to complete their order.
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Q. If there were any tips that you wanted to share with other store owners related to cart abandonment, what would they be?
A. Don’t overlook this aspect of your store. Monitor it and find out where your carts are being abandoned so you can know what needs to be fixed. It’s crazy how a simple change to the check out process can result in more completed orders and less abandoned carts.
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Shoaib is a passionate digital marketer who believes creativity is everything. His interests lie in content, digital marketing and he loves to help agency and ecommerce business owners in growing and expanding their businesses. In his free time, Shoaib loves to play football or binge-watch some interesting shows on Netflix.