Shopping Cart Abandonment: Common Reasons & Ways to Prevent It

The Baymard Institute found that 68.07% of customers abandon their shopping carts. That means over half of customers are not following through with the checkout process. No matter what you do, some customers will abandon their shopping before making a purchase. Learn about what shopping cart abandonment is, the common reasons for it, and what you can do to prevent it.

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment occurs when a potential customer doesn't follow through with the checkout process. Any items that were added to the shopping cart that never made it to the transaction is considered to be abandoned. Shopping cart abandonment is a huge part of the online shopping experience that e-commerce merchants must pay attention to.

They determine the shopping cart abandonment rate by dividing the number of complete online transactions by the number of incomplete online transactions. This rate determines the percentage of an initial purchase that was added to a cart, but the customer didn't finish the purchase.

This rate is an important factor for e-commerce merchants to keep up with because a high shopping cart abandonment rate could be a result of a broken sales funnel or poor user experience. It's important to know about the common causes of shopping cart abandonment and how to prevent them on your website.

5 Common Causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment

  1. Lack of Product Details: Customers tend to research products before purchasing online. Eighty-one percent of customers conduct research before making any purchase decisions. If your e-commerce site doesn't include enough information about a particular product, customers will visit another online store where they can receive these details. Depending on your products and services, details that your customers are looking for include instructional videos, item specifications, high-quality images, safety regulations, and reviews.
  2. Comparison Shopping: People are searching for the best deal online, so they will do a little comparison shopping before settling on your website. Shoppers will open different websites in multiple tabs, add their desired items to the shopping cart, and then compare the totals. If they're comparing prices, then the cheapest shopping cart wins. It's important to have competitive prices that will prevent customers from going to another website.
  3. Not Enough Payment Options: Just because you prefer to use a certain payment processor doesn't mean your customers have to be. While millions of customers use PayPal, there are many who aren't familiar with this company or had a poor experience and won't do their business with them. To prevent customers from abandoning their shopping carts, you should include more than one payment method. Include a credit card processor aside from PayPal.
  4. Confusing Registration Process: When you require customers to register for an account to make an online purchase, they end up with a confusing process. Your customer may not feel comfortable with the idea of answering too many questions or creating a password. If they registered for an account in the past but forgot their password, they will need to reset their password or have the information sent to their e-mail.
    To reduce customers from abandoning their shopping carts, you can give them to option to check out as a guest. Or, you can ask them to create an account with their social media account, which provides a quick and easy process. Most customers have a Facebook account to start with.
  5. No Return Policy: It's important to make customers feel confident about the purchase that they're making. If your customer leaves your shopping cart to look for your return policy and doesn't see one, they may go to another site that has one. To prevent this from happening, you should include the details about your return policy in the final steps of the checkout process. Include a link with more information about your return policy that pop-ups as opposed to taking them to another page.

5 Ways To Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

  1. Display Clear Security Logos: Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they can trust your website. It's important to display clear security logos throughout your website. You should also make sure your website has an SSL certificate, even if a third-party payment processor handles all of your online transactions. Include security badges and details in a clear section of your website to reassure your customers.
  2. Avoid the Registration Process: Forcing your customers to register to make an online purchase will have them clicking to another website, especially if the registration process is complicated. Include guest checkout and make the registration process easier by including as little information as possible, such as an e-mail address and name or date of birth to start. Create your online forms and give your customers the option to complete the registration process using a social media login. Offer attractive features such as wishlists and saving purchases for later checkout.
  3. Display Your Contact Information: Providing this information reassures your customers. You want to make sure your customers can reach you by e-mail, telephone, and mail. Include a chat box on the checkout page for quick responses to questions or concerns. Displaying contact information on almost every page of your website will keep your customers around.
  4. Guarantee Price and Refunds: Thirty percent of customers abandon their cart if the total price is higher than the one previously displayed due to shipping costs and sales tax. Be as transparent about your prices and final prices as much as possible. Offer a clear and easy refund policy. Don't forget to include reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers to build up trust with potential customers.
  5. Offer Multiple Payment Options: The more payment options you offer, the more likely customers are willing to shop with your website. Google Wallet and PayPal are two of the most popular payment options available for e-commerce merchants. Both of these payment processors accept credit card and debit card payments through their systems. Offer other payment options such as Skrill or Payza, and new currencies such as Bitcoin.

Including the smallest details can increase conversions and decrease shopping abandonment. Including some of these measures can reduce shopping cart abandonment if you're struggling to make sales. Allowing live chat support, guest checkout, and social media logins are some great ways to build up trust before purchase. While some of these measures are costly, the benefits will be worth the struggle in the long run.

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