Cart Abandonment Happens – Tips to Lessen It.

Your business is profitable and your website is humming along. For some reason, though, people are putting products in their shopping cart and not finishing the purchase. There are several shopping cart abandonment reasons.

The research experts at the Baymard Institute conducted a Reasons for Abandonment During Checkout study and looked at 1,799 responses to the questions: Have you abandoned any online purchases during the checkout process in the past three months? If so, for what reasons?

Here’s the results:

Shopping Cart Abandonment Reasons

Here’s a closer look at some of the shopping cart abandonment reasons and how to cut down on them:

Unexpected Shipping and Other Costs

You’ve picked the size and color of those spiffy new hiking boots you’ve had your eye on, put them in your cart and hit “Checkout Now”. Suddenly the price is a lot more than what you previously saw. You don’t buy them, leave the website and go to your favorite weather site to check the forecast.

Shipping costs, taxes*, handling fees and other costs (e.g., you might need to buy a complementary item along with the original product) are the biggest reasons people don’t finish a purchase and abandon their carts.

To avoid “cart shock”, do your best to make sure when you advertise something on your website as costing $24.99, the cart price is as close to that as possible. Be transparent and disclose all of a product’s costs before someone puts it in their cart.

As for shipping, if feasible put that in the product’s upfront cost. If not, make sure you’re using the cheapest possible shipping method. Whatever you do, don’t play games with shipping by trying to increase margins with it because you could lose a lot of repeat, paying customers. notes that “a reduction in shipping fees by just $1.30 will massively reduce your abandonment rate. Especially when you consider that 62% of people ALWAYS choose the cheapest shipping option.”

You could also offer free shipping for first-time buyers, repeat and other special customers or ship it for free for orders over x amount of dollars.

*As of Oct. 1, 2018, twelve states collected a sales tax on online purchases.

Creating a New User Account

Remember, the customer is king. And most customers don’t want to be hassled with having to do something they don’t want to do, like create an account on your website to make a purchase. People are also more aware of data privacy issues and don’t want their information stolen.

It’s crucial that you allow a “Guest” checkout option. Put it right next to the “Create a New Account” box so customers see both choices. By offering the guest checkout you’ll make the purchase process faster, easier and more convenient.

The Long and Winding Checkout Road (with apologies to the Beatles!)

28% of the respondents to the Baymard Institute’s Reasons for Abandonment During Checkout survey cited a difficult checkout as the reason for not finishing the purchase.

Again, fast, easy and convenient is crucial here. Make the checkout process clear and simple. Don’t make your customer jump through hoops, provide unnecessary information or fill out three pages of questions.

Analyze every step and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If anything is confusing, or doesn’t flow well, fix it. Look at the required information for the form fields and make sure it’s all concise and easy to understand.

Consider every detail, including the font size of the copy (it should be legible and easy to read). After customers have finished adding to their cart and click “Checkout Now”, make sure they’re sent to one page only to pay and complete the process. Don’t add anything to the payment page, like too many graphics or videos, that could confuse your customer or cause the page to load slowly.

Going Mobile – And More Abandonment

Smartphones are great for GPS-guided directions, watching dog surfing videos and taking hot-air balloon selfies, but when it comes to making online purchases there are some drawbacks.

And yes, people are shopping with their phones but it’s still difficult to fill out all the form fields necessary at checkout to complete the purchase on a smartphone.

Business Insider pointed out that “mobile phones represented 46% of global e-commerce traffic in Q2 2016 but just 27% of purchases… indicating that conversion rates are still low on mobile.” (But these numbers are rising, see Cart Abandonment – Recapture Lost Customers.)

There’s even a digital marketing term for this (as if we needed more!) – Mobile Buyer Abandonment (MBA). To avoid falling victim to MBA keep in mind the above suggestions and make sure your web page is optimized for mobile users.

With smartphones used everywhere, it’s crucial that people can easily buy products on your mobile site. Also, does your site offer a variety of payment choices, like PayPal or Apple Pay? Which leads us to more shopping cart abandonment reasons…

Not Enough Payment Options

While it may not be feasible to offer every type of digital payment, you should offer some. Services like PayPal are fast, easy and can make your checkout process more convenient (especially for Millennials, who grew up in the digital era and quickly pick up new technologies).

You should also try to survey your customers to see which payment methods they prefer (and your transaction data will also show the most-popular methods used). Also, check your competitor’s websites to see how they accept payment.

Not Being Able to See or Calculate the Total Order

You add two or three things to your shopping cart and think, cool, online retail therapy is great! Then reality quickly sets in and you want to know where you’re at in terms of the total cost of your order.

To avoid frustrating customers and not keeping them apprised of their order show them either their cart or total price once they start putting items in their cart. This also comes in handy if someone say has a budget of $100 or a gift card and they want to know where they’re at in terms of spending.

And who knows, it could even bring in more revenue. If someone likes rounding off numbers and has a $25 gift card they might be thinking, I’ll spend another $25 and make it an even $50.

Quick Links: Other Related Posts

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