Shopping Cart Abandonment – Help Guide

By | Last Updated: 29th May 2019 | This post may contain Affiliate Links

For e-commerce owners across the world, cart abandonment can be hugely frustrating, after all the sales you’re potentially using could be the difference between hitting sales targets or not. Without knowing why customers are abandoning their carts, it’s impossible to reduce the cart abandonment rate.

Could you imagine walking into a supermarket, loading your trolley with goods then getting to the checkouts and simply walking away – after all that’s what cart abandonment is and the problem seems to be getting worse.

As of 2018, the average cart abandonment rate was 75.6% for all sectors, the highest rate was in the travel sector at 81.1%, the lowest abandon rate was in the fashion sector at 69.1% – as you can see it’s a major problem for every e-commerce business.

According to a Barclaycard survey, British shoppers abandon online baskets worth almost £30 a month, potentially resulting in more than £18bn in lost sales every year.

There’re many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts online, to help you and your business, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

Unexpected Delivery Costs – Hidden costs are the main reason your visitors leave without purchasing, how many times have you added a product to the cart only to see a large delivery cost to be added on, it happens all the time. Similarly, you should also pay close attention to other hidden costs such as taxes which can be added too. You should obviously fully disclose all costs to your customers, after all digital shopper’s regard transparency as one of their trust factors when it comes to purchasing online.

Having to Create an Account – For many people simply having to enter more details can be a huge annoyance and this can include creating an account. How often have you been on a website that asks you to verify your account information before you can make a purchase, it’s not required in today’s world. At the end of the day, customers expect convenience, customers want to do things quickly and have instant results. To combat this issue, you should be offering a guest checkout to all of your customers, some will then naturally sign up for an account at a later stage should they wish. Remember the shopping cart process needs to be kept as simple and easy as possible.

Too Many Steps – Following on from the last point, you need to think about how many steps or clicks a customer must take before purchasing. Some checkouts can have up to five separate pages before an order is placed, that’s far too many. You need to streamline the process and have a one-page checkout, where all the information is presented on a single page. If for whatever reason you need to have more than one page, it’s recommended to include a progress indicator, clearly showing customers where they are in the checkout process.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Website

Multiple Payment Options – When creating your ecommerce checkout pages, you don’t want anything to come between your customers and making a purchase. If you’re only offering a single payment option, you’re putting obstacles in the way, after all consumers have more choices of how to pay for goods online than ever before. Obviously popular payment processors include PayPal, but mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger demographics.

Payment Security – Speaking of payments, online security is obviously at the forefront of most people’s minds. Major causes for suspicion include design flaws, outdated layouts, missing images, and no SSL certificate. Many of these things can be easily changed to help build confidence in your website and business, for additional trust remember to put your full contact details on your checkout page, this can sometimes work well in a lot of sectors.

No Coupon Code – Yes, believe it or not… not having a coupon or discount code section can put a lot of people off. After all, online customers are more savvy than they use to be. Customers go searching for deals and discounts all the time, this means if you don’t offer discount codes your customers may go to a competitor instead. According to Statista, 8% of customers cite not being able to find a coupon code as the primary reason for abandoning their cart.

Returns Policy – Although extremely important, legal documents can be boring – but a lot of people do read them. This includes your returns policy, terms and conditions and more. Research indicates 67% of shoppers will check your return policy before buying from you. Equally, 72% of shoppers are willing to spend more and buy more frequently from brands that make the return experience simple. If your business profits allow, offer a free return policy to build the trust and confidence of your customers, you can then compare if this strategy has had a positive effect on your figures or not.

Customer Support – Sometimes people just need a little help and guidance along the way, or they may have a question which needs answering before they make a purchase. Did you know that 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase according to a report by LivePerson. Of course, not every business has the man-power or resources for live support, however if you can afford to do it, the statistics show that it could be fruitful for your business in the long run.

As you can see, there’s lots of different reasons why customers may abandon their shopping carts. The next stage is up to you, as the only thing which will decrease abandon cart rates is action. It’s recommended to perform an assessment of your current website and see how it compares to the points mentioned in this video – once you have completed your assessment you can then start making changes to your wider e-commerce website.

Professional Marketing Expert with extensive experience within traditional and digital marketing, business and e-commerce. Also proficient with several coding languages, web development and more. Equally this is re-enforced through over ten years of experience plus a UK university degree - educational accomplishments include being awarded prestigious accolades such as Best Dissertation Award and Citation Awards.