Imagine if shopping in the real world were the same as shopping online. You walk into a supermarket, start filling your cart, and are suddenly distracted by a puppy playing with a nerf gun. You promptly forget about whatever is you were thinking of buying, watch the puppy for a while, then walk out of the store. Admittedly this scenario is….unlikely. However, this happens several times in the world of eCommerce.
Despite your best-laid plans, people will visit your eCommerce store, start shopping and then close the tab so they can watch the latest episode of Money Heist/Peaky Blinders and never return.
This is what shopping cart abandonment is, in simple words. To reduce a leak that's as big as the actual sales (globally, $4.6 trillion are lost to cart abandonment while the total sales are recorded as $4.28 trillion.) With that being said, with a whopping (almost) 70% of online buyers abandoning their shopping carts, something needs to be done. In this article, we will be looking at the top seven reasons for cart abandonment with their quick fixes included.
7 Reasons for Cart Abandonment
Being able to identify reasons you are losing sales will help you optimize your eCommerce website's buyer experience and add a healthy boost to your bottom line. Let's get started.
#1. High Additional Costs
The unexpected additional costs in the form of taxes, shipping & other fees when a customer adds an item and they make the customer rethink the purchase. Once the customer sees these fees added, there are many chances they will not proceed. This also includes surcharges, inability to apply coupons, inability to avail discounts, minimum order quantities (MOQs), and even payment gateway fees. The shock of unexpected costs usually occurs after the shopper enters the shipping information during the payment process, only to find out they have incurred additional charges they didn't anticipate.
Avoid misleading the customers before they get to the checkout page by providing clear shipping and other taxes beforehand. Try to create clear banners at the top of each page to make delivery and shipping charges clear. Genuine customers will appreciate it if you mention all costs upfront, including shipping cost, taxes apply, & other fees upfront. If customers are less surprised after adding an item, they are more likely to purchase.
#2 Being Forced To Create An Account
Ecommerce buyers want to do things promptly and usually want instant results. They expect convenience. Forcing users to create an account or to register in order to add items to a virtual shopping cart is always a bad but necessary idea. By adding a step of registration, you are adding one more step in the purchase cycle. Spending more effort than expected is a significant source of friction. For the online selling industry, the competition is already skyrocketing, and account creation is a big self-induced hurdle, making it an unpopular functionality. 22% of cart abandoners do not complete shopping because they are asked to create an account.
Don't force first-time buyers to first create an account before they can complete their order. Offer "Guest Checkout." And if you want the email & other necessary information for future marketing purposes, try collecting the information after the purchase is complete, at the confirmation step. However, don't completely give up on account creation, as a large chunk of your traffic will never land on your website again. The idea is to make the process less intrusive and gradual.
#3. Slow Delivery And Limited Shipping Orders
Source: HR Grapevine
If you haven't noticed yet, customers care a lot about shipping. The main component of the eCommerce experience is its delivery. Customers hope to have shipping options that suit their needs & on-time delivery. Slow shipping is the main reason for cart abandonment because some purchases are time-constrained (like anniversaries, birthdays, parties, or emergencies); if your goods are unable to deliver on time, customers are forced to abandon their carts. Also, another major reason to abort the shopping sprees is high shipping charges, something observed universally across all industries.
Provide your customers with a variety of shipping options and the ability to customize shipping details. Providing an estimated delivery date will reassure your online shoppers, helping to build up the anticipation of receiving their new purchase and ultimately encourage them to finish placing their orders. Try to keep your shipping charges reasonable, and you may also consider waiving them off when sending abandoned cart emails.
#4. Struggling With Complicated Checkout Processes
Shoppers want to cross the finish line as quickly and easily as possible. A complicated checkout process with many steps and multiple form fills can create friction & slow your shopper down. Long and confusing checkout processes are really annoying to the customers, as customers are looking for a smooth, convenient process, any additional steps hurt your user experience. Not only does this take away from the current checkout experience on your site by them, but it can also permanently prevent them from ever purchasing on your site again.
Pare steps, minimize data entry, minimize form elements, keep only necessary information and optimize the checkout to make it more streamlined and straightforward. Set up an autosave facility. Reduce the number of pages and steps in the checkout process and use third-party verifications if needed.
#5 Inadequate Return Policy
Source: Parcel Monitor
A survey says that 50% of online customers have admitted that they abandoned a purchase due to the absence of a return policy. But unfortunately, many stores put hard limits on their return. Customers often get return information after adding the product onto their carts; a shady return policy will cause customers to leave and seek a better place to buy the same product as they might find a better return policy elsewhere. Given the fact that return rates can go up to anywhere between 30% to 50%, this is a huge bottleneck of online businesses.
Bestow your customers a good return policy and a simple customer service system to help facilitate this. Clearly mention the return policy beforehand. If possible, offer free 30 days shipping & add pre-paid shipping labels too. This makes sure that you are able to track the number of returns & costs associated.
#6 Concerns Over Security
Unfortunately, thanks to online frauds, there are endless horror stories of people who have had their hard-earned money vanish into the thin air of cyberspace. Payment security is among the foremost reasons for cart abandonment, and it has a major impact on your overall approval ratings. Customers can be skeptical while buying stuff online, so it's your responsibility to comfort them that your site is a safe place for shopping online.
Make sure that you include security seals and credit logos to make your site a trustworthy site for your customers. It is obvious that customers expect that their credit card details and other financial and personal information will be stored safely, and the payment will be processed securely. According to a survey, nearly 48% of customers said that the use of trust badges significantly impacts online shopping.
We need to take the security of eCommerce sites very seriously. Therefore, the best option is to build your own site on Shopify or any other renowned eCommerce store builder. It provides a trustworthy payment gateway and an SSL certificate through GeoTrust to reassure customers that their transaction is completely private and secure. They can provide you with enterprise-grade site security at minimal pricing. Also, use a high-quality price management system to prevent fraud and follow PCI compliance guidelines to store credit card details properly.
#7. Major Website Performance Issues
Another reason why customers abandon shopping carts is that the website crashes and shows errors. In fact, it leads buyers to abandon their carts due to these minor performance problems directly impacting their experience of online shopping. In this case, customers often don't bother to go through the whole hassle of adding products to their carts and checking out again.
To ensure that your website is free of errors and not causing any of such issues, you can hire an in-house development team to continuously test your website and fix the problems if occurred. It's equally important to reserve extra capacity to deal with the traffic spike to ensure the smooth going of your website. That can be done easily using dockerization and DevOps.
We would like to bring to your notice that most of these reasons point towards refining the buyer journey on your website and reinforcing their trust in your brand. Right from account creation to checkout lay down extra emphasis on reducing the user actions to a bare minimum. Make the purchasing process intuitive and transparent while topping it up with features that make your web store look trustworthy. Above all, keep your word and offer an exclusive experience that caters to all your customer's needs and insecurities.
Also, have you implemented SMS marketing yet, for your online store? If not, you must seriously look into it. A well-executed SMS marketing setup and strategy can reduce your cart abandonment rates drastically. In fact, Win Back’s customers have seen a 34% recovery of abandoned carts. Phenomenal, isn’t it? Win Back’s customers also receive 35X ROI on every dollar they spend on Win back’s plans. To discuss this, reach out to the Win Back team through the live chat option on the website. You can also drop them an email to discuss how Win Back can help you reduce cart abandonment rates of your online store. We hope this article adds to your understanding of cart abandonment and helps you fix the issues discussed above.