In order for an e-commerce business to be successful, you must be able to understand exactly what your customers want. Mapping your buyer’s journey is crucial if you want to reach customers in the first place, but sealing the deal is the end goal.
And if you’re not doing anything to reduce shopping cart abandonment, then you’re missing out on a chance to improve your business and increase revenue. That’s why we’re going to take a look at the stages of abandonment and how you can connect with potential customers instead of leaving them behind.
What Is Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment is when a potential customer begins the check-out process, but never follows through with the purchase. This spans from a customer dropping an item in their cart and never going to check-out or someone who drops off amidst your check-out process.
As an e-commerce business, it’s important to pay attention to this behavior for many reasons. A high abandonment rate could mean poor user experience or a broken sales funnel. By learning how to reduce your abandonment rate, your business could be fixing a fundamental issue.
How to Calculate Abandoned Cart Rate
Learning how to calculate the abandoned cart rate is important so you understand the scope of this issue on your site. It’s natural to see people drop off, but if you have an extremely high rate (more on that below) then it indicates a problem.
To figure out your abandoned cart rate, take:
This will give you a total percentage of how many people are adding items, but not completing their purchase.
Good, Bad, and Average Checkout Abandonment Rates?
No matter how much you are able to reduce your abandonment rate, it will likely never be zero. You’ll always have some shoppers that simply decide not to complete the transaction. In other cases, it may also be abandoned for other reasons, like a credit card being declined.
So what are the benchmarks to gauge how good or bad your rate is?
Here are the 3 buckets that can help you assess where you stand in regards to an average checkout abandonment rate:
- Good: 10%-59%
- Average: 60%-74%
- Bad: 75%-higher
And since you can always climb up or down this scale at any time, it’s important to continue checking this rate over time. If you start to see it veer into a bad rate, then you’ll know it’s time to act.
8 Reasons Why Customers Abandon Shopping Carts
Understanding why customers abandon shopping carts is the next step to fixing your problem. This is the point where you need to put yourself in the shopper’s place and consider what barriers are keeping them from purchasing. Here are some of the top reasons for abandoning shopping carts to consider.
- Lack of Trust
Many web users can be uncomfortable or hesitant when providing their credit card information online. A lack of trust will lead shoppers to abandon their items because they don’t think it’s worth the risk.
- High Shipping Costs
When people are shopping online, it’s not a surprise that shipping costs make or break an order. If the cost is too high, consumers will leave the cart. Understanding the psychology of free shipping or low-cost shipping can help you see better conversions in your cart.
People look to online shopping because they are expecting a quick and easy process. If the customer feels your check-out process is too difficult or time-consuming, they’ll lose focus and leave.
One of the issues with online shopping is that oftentimes, people are simply browsing without the intent to purchase anything. Browsing can increase shopping cart abandonment because shoppers will add products to their cart, even though they don’t plan on making it through the check-out process.
- Lack of Payment Options
Customers tend to have preferred payment methods when buying online. If their preference isn’t available, they will most likely abandon their cart.
- Technical Problems
Technology isn’t always dependable and glitches can and will happen. When there are technical problems, a customer will likely abandon their cart.
Next Steps: How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
So you understand some of the causes of abandonment, but what can you do? Here are some of the common solutions you can try to help reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Being upfront about all costs, including shipping costs, taxes, and any other fees, reduces the shock of prices for shoppers. If they know what to expect, they will be less likely to leave.
Include Progress Indicators
Progress indicators allow shoppers to see where they are in the checkout process, as well as how much further they have before completion. This makes for a more pleasant experience.
Include Thumbnails of Products
Including thumbnails of products during the checkout process is a way to keep the purchase at the front of the shopper’s mind. If they are seeing what they’re buying, they will be more motivated to follow through with checking out.
The more time and work it takes for a shopper to navigate from browsing to checkout, the more likely they are to lose interest. Make it effortless for shoppers to add products to their carts and return to check-out.
Optimize Page Load Speeds
The faster the page loads, the more satisfied the shopper is going to be. Shoppers will be more motivated to purchase additional products if they don’t have to wait.
Provide Guest Check-Out Options
If a shopper feels forced into creating an account, they will often leave. Offering the ability to check out as a guest ensures you won’t be losing potential customers.
Use Trust Symbols
Using trust symbols reassures customers that your site is secure. As shoppers share sensitive information, like their credit card number and shipping address, they want to know it will be kept safe. Presenting PCI-DSS compliance and other safety seals will ease a customer’s hesitation.
Offer Several Payment Options
Shoppers have access to multiple payment options. So make sure you aren’t inhibiting a potential customer and work to provide the most popular payment options.
Create a Solid Refund & Return Policy
Including a good return policy offers shoppers peace of mind when buying online. Since online shoppers don’t have the luxury of seeing a product in person, they will be more motivated to make a purchase if they know they have the option of returning it.
Shopping Cart Recovery Tactics
Shopping cart recovery tactics can also play a key role in learning to reduce abandonment rates. While improving and optimizing the shopping cart experience is essential, some customers will still leave your site before making a purchase.
Implementing cart recovery allows you to grab the shopper’s attention, even after they have left your site, reminding them of what they were interested in. There are two main methods of incorporating shopping cart recovery:
Abandoned Cart Emails
If you have customers login to complete a purchase and abandon the site, you can take advantage of their contact information with automated email reminders. That combined with tactics, like a special limited offer our coupon, may motivate them to return to the site and complete their purchase.
Abandoned Cart Retargeting
By placing an ad pixel on your checkout page, you can also try remarketing specifically to users who visited that page. This is a great option if you’re running ads through Facebook or Google, as it can help remind customers of your product while they’re browsing online. Additionally, you don’t need to have their email address to use this tactic.
Need help creating a successful website or marketing strategy? Contact Tower Marketing today to get started today.
This blog was originally published on November 20, 2015. It was updated on September 20, 2021.