It happens regularly, and most of us have done it ourselves. A customer is on an ecommerce website, looking at various items, and adding some of them to their shopping cart. Then something happens during their experience, and they make the decision to abandon the website and its associated shopping cart, meaning that the brand lost both a sale and a potential customer.
According to a report from the Baymard Institute, shopping carts are abandoned an incredible 69.57% of the time! Shopping cart abandonment costs brands billions of dollars each year, and yet it can be avoided through usability studies, redesigns, and customer-centric ecommerce practices. This article will look at the various ways brands can avoid shopping cart abandonment and increase ROI by understanding the bottlenecks and pain points that are the leading causes of abandonment.
Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Deborah Goldring, associate professor of marketing at Stetson University’s School of Business Administration shared some of the reasons that customers abandon shopping carts. It’s important to understand that shopping cart abandonment isn’t always about the loss of a purchase. There is also the phenomenon of near-purchase activity, according to Goldring. “Customers use shopping carts as a shopping list and may save items for a later time. They use it for price and shipping comparisons. They may shop online and then purchase in-store,” she said.
Organizations that are successful at customer experience design can reduce shopping cart abandonment and encourage purchases. “Ecommerce sites with the highest conversion rates focus on providing a high level of information, enjoyment, sociability, and aesthetics,“ she said.
Is your shopping cart experience suffering from sub-optimal usability issues? This could be impacting your abandonment rate. Goldring advises that sellers do all they can to ensure they design a customer experience with easy-to-use shopping carts and smooth checkouts capabilities.
“One common usability flaw is to assume that the least number of steps to check out is better and will improve conversion rates. However, usability testing may uncover that for a significant group of customers, this is not the case. A complex check-out process that requires more information than merely an address and credit card number likely cannot be oversimplified into a ‘one-click’ type of check out process,” she said.
The Baymard Institute report indicated that 58.6% of online shoppers in the United States have abandoned a shopping cart within the last 3 months because they were “just browsing/not ready to buy.” Other reasons for abandonment include:
- Extra costs were too high (shipping, taxes, fees) (50%)
- The site wanted the customer to create an account (28%)
- Too long/complicated checkout process (21%)
- Couldn’t see/calculate total order cost upfront (18%)
- Delivery time was too slow (18%)
- Didn’t trust the site with credit card info (17%)
- Website errors/crashed (13%)
- Return policy was lacking (10%)
- Not enough payment options (6%)
- The credit card was declined (4%)
Related Article: Analyzing the Growth of the Ecommerce Subscription Model
The Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Metric
One metric that brands should monitor is the cart