Definition of Cart Abandonment
“Abandonment is an ecommerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action.” (Source: Webopedia)
Every day, your online store is visited by a number of people that end up exiting without completing the purchase process. Ever wondered what that meant? Cart abandonment; the cause of lost sales. Statistics derived from SaleCycles report the average cart abandonment rate for Q1 2018 to be 75.6%, falling by 1.4% since Q4 2017.
Although marketers have increasingly become aware of the factors influencing consumer behavior and their shopping process, more information is yet to be discovered, encompassing a wide array of businesses, across different industries. It is also important to note that cart abandonment rates depends on the industry, as every business has its distinct customer behavior and purchase process.
Reasons and Solutions for Cart Abandonment
Though cart abandonment rates may vary depending on the industry, there are common reasons behind it:
1- Unexpected Charges:
This is the primary reason visitors leave without completing the purchase process. Since shoppers usually agree to checking out with a specified price found on the product pages, then get unpleasantly surprised at the checkout page, as they discover unexpected costs, like taxes, shipping costs, etc., and end up leaving. Such a notion is backed by The Baymard study, which found that 60% of people abandon carts due to unexpectedly high costs that weren’t cleared from the beginning.
Though it seems impractical to waive extra charges, it is encouraged to disclose costs upfront, instead of waiting till customers proceed to checkout. It avoids shopper frustration and assures transparency. You might even consider offering free shipping, to incentivize product purchase, and encourage 93% of shoppers to buy more online, as backed by a study done through CPC strategy.
2- Having to Register:
Online shopping is meant to be quick, convenient, and solves most issues faced when shopping offline. This is why shoppers resort to it. However, if they will need to spend time and effort more than expected, like having to create an account before completing their purchase, they will get frustrated and leave.
Make the purchase process as smooth as possible. If you wish to collect information, you may include the option of a guest check out option, where the shopper does not necessarily have to create an account to complete their purchase. You may also provide a social login option, that allows customers to create an account using their social media accounts.
3- Payment Security Concerns:
There is nothing more discouraging for a shopper than to feel insecure and distrustful of your payment security. Statistics released by Baymard proves that 19% of shoppers abandon carts due to their lack of trust in the site accesses, and money is not something worth risking. The main causes for suspicions are owed to no relevant trust seals, website flaws in design, design flaws, and no SSL certificates.
To overcome such an obstacle and prove that you are trustworthy, you may want to consider using SSL certificates and the social proof method, like product reviews, endorsements, customer testimonials, etc..
4- Website glitches/crashes:
Website glitches, crashes, and dreadfully long loading times are – believe it or not – major turn offs and are great causes of cart abandonment.
Your primary focus should be on the consumer journey experience. Make sure to regularly assess the functionality of the website, across different screens.
5- Unsatisfactory Return Policy
Putting harsh limits on returns may discourage shoppers from purchasing your products, since shopping online entails a virtual interpretation of the product in the consumers’ head, and not always does it turn out to be the way customers pictured it to be.
Do your part, and disclose as much information and visuals of the products intended to be sold (bonus: add video representation if possible). You may also consider being a bit flexible with the return policy, to ensure that customers return back for purchase.
6- Lack of Customer Support:
83% of online shoppers request assistance when shopping online, and 51% said that they are more likely to proceed with product purchase, if were assisted during the session, according to Baymard.
Consider introducing live chats, since shoppers are often hesitant and require further assistance to identify what is most suitable for them. Acknowledging the common reasons why shoppers abandon carts and ways to overcome it will not let you achieve 0% abandonment rate, but can help you reduce cart abandonment and improve your conversion rate.