Shopping cart abandonment has always been a point of frustration for many e-commerce business owners.
A potential customer putting items into their shopping cart with an intent to buy, entering some of their credentials, and then suddenly abandoning the cart can be disheartening as it indicates that something went wrong during the user’s experience.
It leaves e-tailers wondering why they lost the sale. A global survey of e-commerce sites across industries shows that a median rate of 88.05% of carts were abandoned during 2020.
In order to increase conversions, e-commerce stores should make a point of analyzing their rate of cart abandonment against the benchmarks.
The metric can be determined by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of transactions initiated. A high abandonment rate often signals a poor user experience and has a direct impact on the revenue that an online business is able to generate.
In order to mitigate the loss of potential sales, e-tailers must be sure to fix the most common shopping cart abandonment fails.
Fail #1: Failing to Establish Trust Through a Good First Impression
With so many options available to consumers, they have become extremely discerning and can be put off by a number of elements during the user experience.
Competitive pricing and attractive products might drive customers to add items to the cart, but that won’t guarantee a sale.
Some things that can deter visitors from completing the checkout process include but are not limited to not showing a strong brand image on all pages, the poor loading speed of pages, and not clearly displaying critical information upfront.
Gaining trust and ensuring that users are satisfied with their experience on your site can be achieved, but it will require that you take an honest look at your site’s analytics to determine the exact point in the checkout process at which customers decide to exit without paying for your products.
To do this, businesses can utilize sophisticated analytics tools such as Woopra and Amplitude, or hire external e-commerce moderators.
To create a good first impression, businesses must make every effort to ensure that their e-commerce platforms are designed to be user-friendly and that professional imagery and graphic elements are featured throughout the user journey.
Fail #2: Charging High Additional Costs
Nothing frustrates consumers more than finding a product that they love, at an attractive price point, only to discover that they need to pay high shipping costs or taxes.
Oftentimes, consumers abandon their shopping carts because the price to ship the product is more expensive than the product itself.
In other instances, e-commerce stores make it difficult for potential buyers to see detailed shipping information, so these browsers are forced to go through the checkout process to get this information.
To fix this fail, online commerce platforms can do one or more of the following: Reduce shipping fees, place the link to the FAQ or shipping page on every product page, or incorporate additional costs like taxes into the price.
Offering free shipping and making it visible for the customer to see on the home page, even if it means hiking up the price of inventory, takes the guesswork out of the checkout process and gives the consumer peace of mind that they won’t need to spend over the amount that they have budgeted – thus leading to more conversions.
Fail #3: Enforcing Compulsory Account Creation
Making shoppers sign up for an account in order to make an online purchase might sound like a good idea for businesses that are focused on building an email database, but in reality, it is a major turn-off to customers that want a quick checkout.
From the potential buyer’s point of view, the process of creating an account on an e-commerce platform before checking out seems redundant and a nuisance, especially since some e-tailers require the same information again for the purpose of delivery.
Instead of forcing visitors to create an account, e-commerce businesses must allow for guest checkouts to drive an increased rate of conversions. Guest checkout allows users to complete their orders without registering for an account or logging in.
Fail #4: Having a Long Checkout Process
Another mistake that e-tailers make when it comes to shopping cart abandonment is making the consumer jump through several hoops before allowing them to enter their credentials on the payment page.
It’s important for e-commerce businesses to take a step back and get into the mindset of their customers. Including upsells and additional data collection pages in the checkout process presents an opportunity for increased revenue, the reality is that these tactics are a barrier to consumer acquisition.
Keeping the checkout process to a maximum of two pages significantly improves the rate of conversion for many online businesses. Instead of bombarding a potential customer with new products before a purchase is made, companies should reserve their upselling efforts for post-purchase email marketing.
This solution is a win-win as revenue stands to increase from the reduced rate of shopping cart abandonment, while also introducing consumers to new products that they can purchase after having a successful shopping experience.
Fail #5: Failing to Improve Page Load Speed
One of the key, but often overlooked, reasons why people abandon shopping carts, is the load speed of the e-commerce store’s pages. Customers tend to lose interest in your product or service, and their patience, if they have to wait for a page to load.
The rate at which a website’s page loads is attributed to its hosting provider. In other words, the hosting provider has the ability to either help or hinder time to first-byte TTFB.
An example of an e-merchant rectifying the problem of shopping cart abandonment by increasing page speed is My-Spycam. As part of their website optimization project, spy camera store My-Spycam sought to reduce their TTFB from over four seconds to two seconds.
Their strategy involved separating the areas of a page that changed on a per-user basis while caching everything else on a content delivery network (CDN).
My-Spycam modified Magento, their underlying eCommerce platform, to cache everything except for specific pages and page contents (such as a user’s shopping cart). Their efforts resulted in a faster page load speed and a reduced shopping cart abandonment rate.
Shopping cart abandonment metrics can make or break any online business
Unlike brick and mortar enterprises, where a consumer’s intent to purchase cannot be analyzed with quantitative data, online retailers have access to metrics that show them that a buyer intended to make a purchase but, in the end, chose to leave the site without any products. It is crucial for e-commerce businesses to see this data for what it is – a key marker of a poor online retail experience. P
rioritizing the elimination of chinks in the chain of the user purchasing experience will greatly improve revenue potential and sales.