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Overcoming the Top 7 Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment


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If you own an e-commerce storefront or work for a company that sells products and services online, you probably know a simple and frustrating fact: shopping cart abandonment is common.

What is its frequency? For every 10 shopping carts created, only about three will result in completed transactions. According to the Baymard Institute, an independent web usability research institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. This figure is based on 41 different studies.

The Baymard Institute found an interesting reason for shopping cart abandonment when conducting its own study. Of all US online shoppers who abandoned a cart in the previous three months, the top reason for 58% of respondents was that they were just browsing or not ready to buy anything. it would be. However, the institute did not list it among its top reasons for dropping out. They considered it unsolvable.

The other reasons for shopping cart abandonment are easier to tackle head-on and hence this article will focus on those factors. If you start considering the following reasons and implementing strategies to overcome them, you will help your business or employer increase sales significantly. You might even persuade more casual shoppers who start a shopping cart to complete their checkout.

7 Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

Here are the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment and strategies to overcome the factors. The list follows results from the Baymard Institute study, which gave respondents the option to choose more than one reason for abandoning their shopping carts. The reasons are in order from the most frequently chosen reason to the least, with the exception of “just browsing”, which was excluded.

Cart Abandonment Reasons
PHOTO: Concordia Saint Paul University

1. Additional costs are too high (shipping, taxes, fees) – 55%

It is reasonable to imagine how consumers abandon shopping carts after seeing unexpected and expensive costs. Shipping, taxes and fees can add to the total amount of an order far beyond the actual price of the products.

An easy way to meet customer needs is to provide all the information up front. If something like shipping incurs extra charges, make that information easy to notice. Having a level of transparency early in the buying process will help assure consumers that they can trust the business or website. Also consider how, according to a report from the National Retail Federation (NRF), shoppers are reviewing shipping costs before they even get to the checkout page. Sixty-five percent research free shipping thresholds before starting a cart.

Otherwise, consider free shipping. For orders under $50, 75% of consumers in the NRF study expected free shipping, up from 68% in the previous year’s report. In a survey by e-commerce fulfillment service provider Dotcom Distribution, 91% of 1,400 consumers surveyed said free shipping would make them more likely to become repeat customers.

Consider increasing the price of items to provide customers with free shipping and related benefits.

2. Mandatory to create an account — 34%

Consumers who need to create an account may be hesitant to complete the purchase. It takes time to create “yet another” account, and for some people, they don’t want their personal and sensitive information saved on another website.

It’s true that there are benefits on both ends when payment requires customers to create an account to make a purchase. Customers benefit from not having to re-enter information in the future, and they receive personalized offers and recommendations. Businesses also benefit from personalized offers and recommendations, as well as other marketing opportunities. Plus, accounts make returns, exchanges, and refunds easy.

If the storefront has a solid base of repeat customers, you might consider requiring accounts, but appealing to customers’ desire for a guest account is generally a good idea. In particular, this can help reverse the trend of abandoned carts on mobile when payment speed is limited. Mobile solutions provider Moovweb analyzed 1.8 million smartphone sessions and found that paying as a guest increased mobile conversion rates. The revenue share of mobile shoppers who opted to checkout as a guest was 13% higher than that of logged-in users.

3. Checkout process too long/complicated — 26%

This reason goes hand in hand with the required account creation. Buyers want to complete the checkout process as quickly as possible, and if it takes too long – due to the need to create an account or otherwise – they may walk away.

A Baymard Institute article noted that the average checkout flow had 14.88 field forms, twice as many as needed. For most payments, websites can reduce form elements by 20-60%.

4. Unable to see/calculate total cost in advance — 21%

Some buyers just create their order because they want to see what it will cost. For them it is a mystery; they don’t have the information they need up front.

So provide the information in advance. If shipping is free and there are no hidden costs, incorporate it on the website’s homepage and in marketing. Help customers understand what they’ll be paying as quickly as possible to eliminate any questions they may have about the cost of an order.

5. Didn’t trust the site with credit card information – 17%

One of the most problematic reasons for shopping cart abandonment involves security issues. This is of particular concern because it can undermine the root of an e-commerce business.

Many factors can contribute to this lack of confidence. If a site is outdated, has missing images, or other design flaws, it can bring the entire website and business into question. Evaluating the look and feel of the website against competitors can reveal opportunities for improvement on this front. A more direct reason may be the absence of SSL certificates, which indicates that the website is secure. Make sure it’s there and consider putting a security seal on the site. The Baymard Institute conducted a survey and found Norton, McAfee, TRUSTe, and BBB Accredited seals to be the most trusted security seals.

6. Website Had Errors/Crashed – 17%

This reason complements the previous entry on the list. Any error or lack of performance of e-commerce sites can sow doubt in the minds of consumers. This even extends to an issue like site speed. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load.

7. Delivery was too slow — 16%

If the shipping is too slow – yes, even if it’s free – the sale may not occur.

In the NRF report, 39% of consumers said they expected two-day shipping to be free, and 29% forfeited a purchase because two-day shipping wasn’t free. Unfortunately for some companies, this may be the new norm. Amazon has popularized “free” two-day delivery for paying Prime customers, making fast delivery an expectation for many shoppers. In May 2019, Walmart announced it would offer free two-day shipping, matching Amazon in, as Bloomberg dubbed it, the e-commerce “arms race”.

It’s clear that businesses need to keep abreast of online consumer expectations and best practices for e-commerce sites. Otherwise, abandoned carts and lower sales can result. You can learn the skills to run your business or help other businesses navigate e-commerce with an online MBA. In a fully online format, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the business world.

Both of these Concordia, St. Paul programs offer small class sizes with a personal learning environment focused on your success. Learn from knowledgeable professors who have industry experience. Get started today with CSP.

Concordia University, St. Paul Online was founded in 1893 as a Christian liberal arts college dedicated to providing students with an exceptional education to prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.