Steps to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

 In Ecommerce

A metric that nearly all ecommerce sites dread is shopping cart abandonment. Customers abandon their shopping carts for many reasons however the most common reason is the checkout process. To ensure a better bottom line, ecommerce companies need to actively be reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Improving your checkout process will not only improve your sales, it will also provide your business with better customer satisfaction.

We would like to thank Forbes.com for their informative article on Improving Your Online Checkout Process

Abandonment Rates

Shopping cart abandonment rates are extremely high and are continuing to rise as online and mobile shopping grows. Some studies (I.e., Rejoiner) report that shopping cart abandonment is as high as 80%. The average abandonment rate reported by Baymard Institute is 67.91%. This number is the percentage of people who, instead of completing their purchase, will leave your site. Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest headaches for ecommerce businesses.

Common reasons why customers abandon their shopping carts

  • Unexpected costs (ex excessive shipping costs)
  • I was just browsing
  • Found a better price elsewhere
  • Price too expensive overall
  • Website navigation to complicated
  • Website crashed
  • Process was taking too long
  • Excessive payment security checks
  • Concerns about security
  • Poor delivery options
  • Website time out
  • Price presented in a foreign currency
  • Payment was declined

Shopping Cart Abandonment Prevention

1. Become mobile-friendly

It is important to have your checkout process responsive to mobile. A larger percentage of users than ever before are using their phone to complete transactions as well. Optimizing the checkout process for mobile will greatly improve sales.

2. Progress indicators

Customers need to be informed about where they are in the process. Customers can become very frustrated if the buying process is taking too long. Being able to see a clear path towards completion will increase the odds that a customer will follow through on the purchase.

3. Payment options

Detail your payment options early on in the checkout process so customers will not end up getting frustrated after going through the whole checkout process, only to find out that they do want to pay or can’t pay with the options available.

4. Memberships and accounts

Many online retailers require that the customer log in or create an account in order to continue. Creating an account takes time and effort. Conversely, most customers just want to complete a purchase un-hassled. Preventing this purchase by introducing a speed bump will result in abandonment, especially if you are a lesser known and small retailer. As a result, the best option is to make membership optional.

5. Security features

A leading cause of abandonment is a distrust of payment security. Customers are becoming more concerned about releasing their personal details and payment information.

6. Only request essential information

Finally, the less you ask for, the more they will be likely to buy. Online shopping has been around for a while now and customers generally know what information you need from them in order to complete an order. As a result, if a company asks for any extraneous information, it should only be marked as optional.

Shopping Cart Abandonment: A Major Challenge

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges facing online retailers today. Additionally, the finger of blame falls almost solely onto the online checkout process. As a result, many ecommerce site businesses are losing millions of dollars and are frustrating potential customers. To combat this, optimizing your checkout and decreasing shopping cart abandonment is a surefire path to greater levels of success.

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Lindsay Brown

Lindsay Brown is Operations Director of the Small Business Center of Excellence (SBCoE). Lindsay is Director of Digital Marketing and a partner at Modern Marketing Partners. Lindsay specializes in startups of all types, along with experience with technology brands. She is Google Analytics and AdWords certified, earning a Bachelor of Science from the Illinois State University.

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