Cart abandonment is a huge issue in the online world. According to Statista, the cart abandonment rate increased from 59.8% in 2006 to 69.23% in 2017. And it will rise if we don’t pay attention to the problem.
According to numerous studies, there are ways to manage cart abandonment and lower the rates just enough to improve your sales process. But, even more encouraging, a drop of only a few percentage points can lead to significantly increased sales!
So how do you make it real?
Read on to learn why people leave their shopping carts just before clicking the ‘Buy’ button? And if you are considering setting up an eCommerce business online, start with this guide from Foundr.
Top 5 Cart Abandonment Reasons [and Solutions]
There are many reasons for a customer to abandon a shopping cart, but according to statistics, five tend to pop up more often (as described in the graphic below).
Now, look at each of these situations and learn the most effective solutions to increase sales and reduce cart abandonment.
Extra Costs That Overcome Expectations (60%)
This is the number one reason online shoppers mention in any survey about cart abandonment, and it’s rather easy to understand.
The extra costs can show up from hidden costs such as a gift-wrapping fee (mentioned only during checkout) or taxes. Still, in most cases, the shipping costs make people abandon the cart. Because this is usually added at the end of the checkout process, it can greatly impact buyers.
- Clearly state any extra taxes or fees in a visible location on the site or bundle all the extra costs in the product’s price;
- Mention the cost of transport from the very beginning to reduce the impact;
- If you have the possibility, offer free shipping. However, if you can’t afford to support the shipping cost for every order, set a limit the customer has to pay for shipping (some online stores set the limit to $50, $75, and even $100). Furthermore, you can offer free shipping for holiday shopping or Valentine’s, depending on the type of products you sell.
- For inspiration, check out this case study on how free shipping lifted sales by 20% and learn more about the impact of free shipping on conversion rates and cart sizes.
Overall, the solution is to be transparent with your pricing policy and eliminate as many extra costs as possible. It’s better to include everything in the price of the product than to have extra costs piling up at the end of the checkout process.
A New User Account (37%)
It may not take longer than 5 minutes, but it is the second most popular reason for cart abandonment. Users don’t like the idea of creating yet another account, making up a complicated password, and filling in their profile details before they can click Buy – they want to click Buy!
So, if you make it complicated from the beginning, they’ll happily spend those 5 minutes looking at your competitors’ sites.
In this case, the possible solution seems rather simple: a simplified checkout. Furthermore, the so-called “guest checkout” has been the most important factor in increasing shopping cart conversion rates by more than 48% of online retailers. Therefore, a simplified form of the checkout page (i.e., single-page checkout) is another possible solution that proved useful in this A/B test for the Official Vancouver 2010 Olympic Store, increasing conversion rates by 21.8%.
Isn’t it what we’ve been looking for?
Well, it depends. If we dig deeper, we may find information about cases when multi-page checkout converted 38% better than a single page.
So what do you do now?
The ideal solution is to test. Study all relevant case studies in your industry and start testing on your online store.
Checkout Too Complicated (28%)
Right up there, with new account fatigue, we find complicated checkout. While these two may seem the same, they’re not because a checkout process can be complicated whether you have an account on the site or not.
Long forms, misleading labels, and a checkout process that takes the customer through several pages are a recipe for disaster in online shopping! Also, if the cart software is buggy or loads slowly, these are huge red flags for anyone trying to place an order.
- Test the checkout process and make sure it is loading fast, without errors or frustrating (and unnecessary) mandatory fields. For this, use reliable eCommerce software and make sure the hosting server can support even the most crowded hours of the day;
- Reduce the amount of information required from the customer – it’s only natural to want to know more about your audience, but the checkout form is not where you want to do it;
- Avoid asking for redundant information – for instance, use a checkbox so customers can indicate that the billing and shipping address are the same.
Transaction Process is Not Transparent (23%)
Yes, it is similar to the first reason on our list (extra costs being too high), but the reasoning is a bit different. In the first case, we assumed the extra costs were clearly stated at the end of the checkout process, and the final amount exceeded expectations.
In this case, the customer doesn’t understand the formula behind the final amount because he doesn’t see a clear list of costs. Also, most users like to know the final cost even before entering the checkout process. If this isn’t possible, you may lose more than a client since your reputation may also be on the line.
When establishing trust, transparency is one of the most important elements in online shopping. Start with a clear pricing structure and continue with a detailed refund policy and accurate product descriptions.
Customers will appreciate an online platform that keeps things clear, well-structured, and simple.
Websites with Errors (20%)
Slow-loading pages, forms that don’t work as they should, error messages, and interface bugs create an unpleasant shopping experience. As it turns out, it’s enough to have slow-loading pages for users to start questioning your site’s health and your company’s reliability, according to this CDNetworks infographic.
We live in the era of cyber-attacks and data breaches, so you can’t blame users for not trusting a site with errors. Luckily, these are easy to fix by hiring a professional to diagnose slow pages or interface errors. It may require a significant financial investment, but it will be worth it in the long term.
In the end, all these issues are nothing more than common sense. However, an eCommerce site owner may overlook some of these aspects. So, before you get disenchanted with online commerce, do an in-depth analysis of your site. You may be surprised by the results!