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July 21, 2016

Key Methods for Reducing Cart Abandonment

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment is a common phenomenon on ecommerce websites. Visitors navigate your online store, they pick out items they like, put them in their cart, but never complete the checkout process. In many cases, your would-be customer abandons their shopping cart because they feel intimidated by the purchase they are about to make.

High shipping costs, slow shipping times, and excessive taxes are all shopping cart abandonment reasons. In other cases, your customers may abandon their cart because they are uncomfortable with your checkout process. In fact, a common reason for shopping cart abandonment is the length of the checkout process itself.
If your business is experiencing excessive shopping cart abandonment rates, you’ll want to understand why your customers have trouble committing to their purchase. Once you understand the reason for high rates of cart abandonment, you can implement a solution to combat the issue.

How Often do Customers Abandon Their Carts?

Many companies have conducted studies on shopping cart abandonment rates, with results ranging from 59% to 78% of customers taking part in the practice. The Baymard Institute collected data from 33 reputable studies on shopping cart abandonment rates, and found the average of the studies to be about 68.63 % – meaning that nearly three quarters of all online shoppers abandon their cart before completing their purchase.

Further shopping cart abandonment statistics show that the average conversion rate for online retailers is around 3%, meaning that only a small handful of online shoppers will complete a purchase once they’ve visited your store.

CPCStrategy found that retailers lose about $18 billion each year as a result of shopping cart abandonment, which means your business may be losing out on a lot of money annually because of non-committal shoppers.

Why do Customers Abandon Their Carts?

As it turns out, there are dozens of reasons customers abandon their carts.

Shipping Costs

Shopping cart abandonment statistics show that 44% of shoppers abandon their purchase because of shipping costs, and another 22% do so because there is no shipping information available on the website or checkout page.

When a customer feels as if they can get the same product in stores without needing to pay for shipping and wait for delivery, they’ll be very likely to abandon their cart and take a trip to the mall. Many shoppers prefer shopping online because they believe they will find better pricing than in-stores, and high shipping costs are often enough to convince them otherwise.

Comparison Shopping

Sometimes cart abandonment simply cannot be avoided. According to shopping cart abandonment statistics released by CPCStrategy, about 30% of online shoppers abandon their cart because they are “comparison shopping.” Shoppers commonly check the price of a product from multiple stores before committing to their purchase. Even if you have the lowest price, they may leave their cart initially only to return at a later time and complete their purchase. When evaluating your shopping cart abandonment rates, keep comparison shoppers in mind, and do what you can to get their purchase in the future.

Payment Processing

In addition to shipping costs and comparison shopping, there are a handful of other shopping cart abandonment reasons. About 2% of shoppers will abandon their cart if there is an issue with payment processing, 3% will leave because of unclear product descriptions, and 15% will abandon their purchase because the item they wished to buy is out of stock.

How Can Shopping Cart Abandonment Be Reduced?

Remove boundaries

The simplest way to reduce cart abandonment is to remove any boundaries that may make your customer question their purchase. One of the best ways you can improve your shopping cart abandonment rates is to offer first-time shoppers a free shipping coupon, or a discount on their first order.

Offering free shipping for all orders during a certain timeframe or for purchases over a certain amount is also a proven way to reduce cart abandonment.

Create Urgency

Combating cart abandonment as a result of comparison shopping can tricky, since you may not be able to offer the lowest price on a product for a number of reasons. While reducing your prices is a clear way to win over comparison shoppers, the same effect can be achieved by offering a time sensitive coupon or discount to your customers.

Shoppers respond to urgency, thanks to their ‘fear of missing out.’ Providing your customer with a time sensitive deal they cannot refuse (such as 24-hour 30% off coupon, or a free gift with purchase during a specific period of time) will play on their fear of missing out, and will allow you to serve non-committal shoppers more effectively.

Be Clear

In addition to a secure checkout page, your products should have very clear, accurate descriptions, as well as photos depicting the product from a number of angles. We recommend showcasing customer reviews and customer photos on your product pages.

When other shoppers see reviews and photos from real people like themselves, they’ll feel more comfortable making their purchase, and feel less at risk of being scammed.

Add Trust Factors

Finally, you’ll want to convince skeptical shoppers that your store and your products are legitimate. Many online shoppers have trouble purchasing from a retailer they do not recognize because they have concern with regard to their payment information, as well as the quality of the product they will receive.

Online scams are common, and there are thousands of websites on the internet trying to take advantage of unaware shoppers.

Gain the trust of your shoppers by having a secure checkout page that offers many different types of secure payment. Include any badges that prove your legitimacy (such as the “Powered by Paypal” badge).

Final Thoughts on Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment rates are a problem for nearly every business in the industry of eCommerce. The best way to combat shopping cart abandonment is to understand why it happens, and that can only be done by getting feedback from your customers.

Email surveys and social media surveys can be excellent tools for beating cart abandonment, as they give your customers a platform to be heard. By listening to your customers, you should be able to find a solution to shopping cart abandonment that gives you and your shoppers a great shopping experience.

Talk to an ecommerce specialist today

Need help finding the right strategy for dealing with shopping cart abandonment? Learn how Graphically Speaking can help you optimize your eCommerce website for higher conversion rates today! Book a free consultation.

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