Do you know that only one-third of all customers make the payment right after putting an item to their shopping cart? It’s estimated that on average 68% of internet users don’t finalize their transactions at all. Obviously, it’s as clear as day that e-commerce companies aim at minimizing this rate to the minimum.
Why is it worth fighting for customers? Well, in simple terms, you invest in every new person visiting your website. The costs of advertising or running social media campaigns pay back only when customers buy at your store. Moreover, keeping customers longer is noticeably easier than attracting new ones. All of these advocate the idea of trying to reduce your shopping cart abandonment.
Apart from scrutinizing ten reasons why your potential customers may be abandoning the shopping cart, in today’s entry, we’ll also provide you with effective methods to prevent this phenomenon.
Reasons for shopping cart abandonment
The most frequently encountered reasons for shopping cart abandonment include:
1. Payment difficulties
Payments are the main aspect that can potentially daunt your customers from finalizing the transaction. As far as this issue is concerned, there are several elements that may hinder the process such as the lack of convenient payment methods or errors.
Make sure that your store offers the most frequently chosen payment methods like fast transfers, debit cards, or special mobile payment systems like Apple Pay or BLIK created in Poland. If your website still enables only manual payment methods, then it may lead to a decrease in your conversion rate.
When making the payment, customers have to feel safe and calm. Make sure that there are no suspicious pop-ups or notifications and that the payment goes smoothly. Consider including secure payment logos on your website to improve your credibility and trustworthiness.
2. Limited delivery or return options
Three main delivery methods preferred by internet users include:
courier delivery to home or work,
possibility of collecting the shipment in a parcel locker,
free home delivery with a possibility of free return.
If your store offers limited delivery options, you need to take into account that potential customers may abandon their shopping carts and instead look for more convenient solutions offered by your market rivals.
Moreover, it turns out that returns are equally important.
By definition, online shopping means that you actually see, touch or try on the purchased goods only after they’ve been delivered. Consequently, your shop return policy becomes even more important. Visitors may decide to abandon their shopping carts if returns are paid or if you make it impossible to return the items in a brick and mortar store.
3. Unexpected costs
Extra costs added to the value of the shopping cart may have a negative impact on the recognition and image of your online store. Remember that unexpected costs mean not only the ones that aren’t mentioned on the website. They include all costs that may have been overlooked by customers like packaging or the difference between the net and gross price.
Shipping fee may also be considered an extra cost as more and more online stores offer free shipment so customers started perceiving it as a standard.
According to the research conducted by Baymard Institute in 2020, up to 58% of the US customers who abandoned their shopping carts indicated that it’d been due to “too high extra costs”. Make sure that your potential customers don’t resign from finalizing the transaction for the same reason.
4. Mandatory account creation
Another reason for shopping cart abandonment is the mandatory account creation. The previously mentioned Baymard Institute research confirms that the obligation to create an account in order to finalize the transaction deter as many as 28% of potential customers. This is the second most important reason for shopping cart abandonment.
But on the other hand, you, as a website owner obviously want to keep a high registration rate to build your marketing database. Showing your customers the benefits of setting up the account can help you improve your registration rate. Mention all the offered perks such as discounts, the possibility to track order status, or easier future purchases. Try out different solutions and phrases to see which ones convert best.
5. Window shopping or saving items for later
Sometimes visitors use shopping carts to save items that are of interest to them. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to make the purchase or are ready to do it. Unfortunately, there is no data analysis that would allow separating such cases, therefore, all of them simply increase your shopping cart abandonment rate.
If you believe that this point may concern your online store, think about creating a special “wish list” thanks to which your customers will get extra functionality and you’ll be able to plan your activities more accurately.
Check what percentage of customers decide to buy your products after some time. It’s a good idea to take advantage of emails reminding your visitors about an unfinished transaction. Some visitors may have abandoned their shopping carts unconsciously and such notification will certainly remind them about the purchase.
6. Problems with the website
An unintuitive web design, the fact that your website isn’t mobile-friendly or displays well only in a given browser can surely discourage potential customers. Apart from all the technical stuff, it’s worth keeping in mind that your visitors may have totally diverse needs and expectations. Make sure that your website and the whole shopping process is approachable for visually impaired, dyslexic, or foreign visitors.
7. Complicated checkout process
Online shopping is supposed to be easy and quick. Consequently, each activity that requires extra effort may discourage potential customers from finalizing the transaction. Avoid too lengthy forms or steps that are unclear to your visitors.
Remember when we were talking about mandatory account creation? Well, the requirement to download the app in order to complete the purchase may pose a similar obstacle. Again, in this situation, it’s better to give users a choice and simply indicate the benefits of downloading the app.
8. No contact with the store
One of the main discrepancies between an online and brick and mortar store is more limited contact with the seller. Whenever potential customers have any doubts, they may look for a convenient way to contact you.
But what happens when the hotline is busy and the chat is unavailable?
Well, users will probably go to your market rivals and make the purchase at their stores.
Efficient and multi-channel communication with customers is a must. The most common means for contacting stores include hotlines, emails or chats. Moreover, chatbots that enable quick customer service are becoming increasingly popular and important as they can provide users with the necessary information or help them make the right choice without involving consultants.
9. Better deals offered by other stores
Online shopping allows users to efficiently compare offers of various stores. Although this shopping cart abandonment reason is sixth in the ranking, owners of e-commerce businesses worry about it the most.
So what does it mean for you? On the one hand, some customers may really decide to choose your market rivals if they offer better or cheaper products. However, on the other hand, a significantly bigger percentage of users decide to resign from making the purchase due to the lack of preferred payment methods, delivery options or complicated return policy. Therefore, apart from improving your product range, it’s also essential to continuously work on the UX.
10. Insufficient information about the store or product
This point comprises two aspects. First of all, inaccurate, blurred, or low-quality product pictures may prompt your potential customers to search for the goods somewhere else.
Feedback and reviews concerning your store turn out to be equally important. Positive opinions will certainly put your customers at ease, especially if they aren’t used to shopping online. If you don’t have any reviews to share, make sure that your site inspires trust. It’s also worth trying to encourage readers to leave some comments in exchange for a small perk such as a discount code for the next purchase.
Ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate
As you’re already familiar with reasons for shopping cart abandonment, let’s focus on methods that will help you solve the issue. Below you can find a few ideas that are certainly worth implementing if you aim at reducing the shopping cart abandonment rate in your store.
How to check which solution works best for you?
While testing various solutions, it’s worth focusing on a few elements such as reliable data or individual factors and adaptation to changes.
Make sure that your analytics is properly configured and that you have access to all the necessary data. You won’t be able to manage given elements or assess the effectiveness of your activities unless you measure particular indicators of your website.
If you really want to check which solution helps to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate, measure one indicator at a time. This way, it’ll be easier for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your actions and the value of investments.
On the other hand, if you see that your store needs immediate changes and there are many elements that don’t meet users’ expectations, don’t wait and implement key modifications right away. Although testing particular elements separately can provide you with more valuable data, it’s also more time-consuming.
Remember that the work to improve your indicators is a continuous process, not a one-off step. Any change that occurs on the market may affect your performance. Moreover, you can’t change customer behavior overnight so be patient.
Provide various contact options
The times when it was possible to contact a company only via phone are almost prehistory. Your potential customers expect you to provide them with diverse channels that are convenient and can be used at any time.
The importance of omnichannel communication is continuously growing. It’s easy to imagine it when thinking about a casual conversation with friends - it doesn’t really matter whether you’re talking face to face or via phone, you only want to be able to discuss the same issue without any unnecessary explanations or reminders.
Obviously, managing multiple channels isn’t a piece of cake, fortunately, there are special tools thanks to which you can easily monitor your customer service. Consequently, your consultants aren’t required to switch between different systems and you can sleep peacefully knowing that everything is under control.
Analyze customer (and consultant) behavior
Without any specific data concerning customer behavior, you won’t be able to analyze whether your activities bring the intended results. Check your conversion rate at particular stages of the shopping process, make sure that your website is displayed well on every device, and analyze how much time it takes your customers to get from one purchase step to another. Google Analytics is a useful tool that will help you collect valuable data concerning your website.
The more you know about the reasons and users who abandon the shopping cart, the more accurately you can select and tailor your actions.
Keep an eye on the response time of your consultants. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to notice whether you need new staff members, working time optimization or any further changes. You can retrieve such data from customer service tools that provide information about hotline traffic, the time users wait for calls, or the percentage of people resigning from contacting your consultants.
Take advantage of the chat
A chat is a great solution that provides support to potential customers and at the same time unburdens your consultants. Thanks to it, customers wait for help much shorter and consultants can manage a few conversations simultaneously.
It serves a similar purpose as shop assistants asking whether they can help the customer. Although in most cases customers will kindly say no, they’ll definitely feel cared for. This, in turn, will help you improve customer experience and encourage users to interact with your brand.
The main advantage of chats is short response time. Customers expect quick help from the company, therefore, if they access the necessary information on the website of your market rivals, they’ll probably choose your competitors instead of going back to your store. Minimizing the response time will allow you to improve your store’s conversion rate. Don’t forget about other parameters related to chat management.
Ensure information transparency
When discussing reasons for shopping cart abandonment, we’ve mentioned the lack of information and complicated checkout process. However, both these issues may stem from the fact that the information provided on your website is unclear or incomprehensible to users.
Authors of product descriptions or other website content perfectly know what information they want to convey. However, the message may still be untransparent which may lead to a situation when customers feel disoriented and consequently stop trusting your brand.
The checkout is one of the main elements which needs to be especially transparent. Formulate everything in a way that indicates users what they’re expected to do and what is the next step.
Pay particular attention to all error messages. Using simple and understandable language will increase your chances of explaining what happened and indicating what are the next steps. Such practices may encourage customers to make the purchase.
A high shopping cart abandonment rate doesn’t need to equal a hopeless situation. Start from determining the main reasons that discourage customers from finalizing their transactions.
It’s a good idea to begin from taking a closer look at three aspects:
available payment methods,
delivery and return options,
effortless communication with the store.
Using appropriate tools designed to make the management of customer service easier will certainly allow you to improve both sales and communication with potential buyers. Moreover, quality pre and post-sales services can contribute to increasing your conversion rate, customer loyalty level, and satisfaction with the purchase.
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