If you own an online business you’re probably not only aware of but also frustrated by this issue that we call shopping cart abandonment. Although in physical stores, abandoning a half-full shopping cart and walking out without making a purchase would look a bit funny, it is a very common scenario in the online world.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

This is a situation in which a customer initiates a checkout process but exits the site without completing it. In this case, all the items that were meant to be bought are “abandoned” by them.

Online retailers can calculate their shopping cart abandonment rate by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of transactions that were initiated.

According to statistics, on average an online retailer loses over 75% of its sales to shopping cart abandonment.

Reasons for shopping cart abandonment

So why does this happen? If you are to combat this issue, it’s very important to find out what causes it in the first place.

Hidden costs

As consumers at some point we can all agree on the fact that hidden costs such as shipping costs and taxes are frustrating. Studies reveal that 25% of online customers have been put off by unexpected costs.

To combat this issue….

The best way to avoid any frustrations is to disclose all costs at the beginning of the transaction so that your prospects wouldn’t have any surprises during the checkout process. If disclosure of separate costs is too inconvenient, add all costs to the price of the item. This way your prospects can make clearer decisions about products and might actually end up buying more since they don’t have any “extra” costs to worry about.

The inconvenience of creating user accounts

We all tend to give up at the point where the boring process of creating a new user account comes up. Your prospects are the same. They usually stumble upon you when they’re in a hurry to get something done. Since speed is a factor of convenience, 22% of people who abandon their carts do so because of this process.

To combat this issue….

It’s better if your first time customers are given the opportunity to shop as guests. User accounts aren’t necessary for first time buyers. If they return to you it symbolizes their intention to stick with you and they are less likely to let having to create user accounts get in their way. Plus the convenience increases their chances of returning to you anyway!

Security concerns of payment

Here’s another one to which we can relate a lot. Online payment is one thing that we find hard to trust, at least for a while. Studies find that design flaws, outdated layouts, and having no SSL certificate can affect this lack of trust dramatically.

To combat this issue….

Any step that you may take to reassure your audience that you are trustworthy would work. You could use customer testimonials and product reviews for instance. Full disclosure of information about your business and yourself would also help people connect with your brand.

Inconveniently long checkout

The whole process of checking items out could get complicated and lengthy, putting a number of customers off. 28% of online shoppers abandon their carts for this reason.

To combat this issue….

The key to dealing with issues like this is to put yourself in their shoes. How would you like your checkout process to be? Don’t make it so formal and definitely don’t ask unnecessary questions in forms.

Lack of proper customer care

Now this one is important. If your business does not offer a friendly and helpful shopping experience then it’s no question as to why customers lose interest. Studies have found that 83% of shoppers need help when they’re shopping online. And 51% of these customers would have made a purchase had there been proper customer support such as live chats.

To combat this issue….

Well the solution is in the problem itself. Always make sure that your prospects are cared for in every way that you would want to be cared for as a consumer.

As always, what’s important in solving most customer related issues in a business is putting yourself in their shoes and walking a mile. It’s not at all difficult since we’re all customers and consumers at some point. Being able to relate to your prospects and using your creativity to cater to their needs will take you a long way. So good luck! Reach out to us if you have any concerns, suggestions or general feedback.