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The Three Biggest Reasons For Shopping Cart Abandonment

If you’re running an e-commerce business selling products of any kind, it’s more than likely you’ve lost some of your sales to shopping cart abandonment. It happens all the time: a potential customer visits your store, adds products to their cart, and leaves before purchasing it.

Depending on which source you ask, stores lose anywhere from 69% to 77% of total sales to it, which is an incredibly high amount. It’s frustrating, to say the least, but the good news is that there’s plenty you can do to minimize it and bring that percentage down several notches.

We’re going to go over the biggest reasons behind shopping cart abandonment and some strategies you can employ to make sure it doesn’t happen as much.

Why The Change Of Heart?

There’s a long list of potential reasons why someone would abandon their cart after adding products to it. We’ve listed the top three reasons for shopping cart abandonment.

  • High Taxes and Shipping Costs

The top reason for shopping cart abandonment is, almost without exception, high or unexpected added costs.

This happens all the time: the customer reaches the final stage of the purchase only to discover there’s an unexpected tax attached to the product, or that the international shipping cost is much too high, driving up the total cost of their purchase. This is where almost half of the abandonment takes place.

  • Required User Account

Another major reason is the website requiring a user account. This can be particularly frustrating for the shopper if it only appears at the very last stage of the purchase. If they’ve already picked out the item, added it to their cart, and are ready to checkout when the website asks them to sign up to continue, many users will simply quit unless they’re absolutely desperate for the purchase.

  • Long, Complicated Checkout Process

You can only expect shoppers to have so much patience during the checkout process. If the process involves page after page of reviewing the products, selecting options, and entering details, it only gives the consumer more and more opportunities for second thoughts about the purchase. Shopper’s guilt is a very real thing and you’d want to minimize that as much as possible.

Here’s What You Can Do

While there are other reasons for shopping cart abandonment, like concerns about payment security, website errors, or the lack of an upfront total cost, the three mentioned above are by far the most common. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Surprises Can Be Bad

If there are in fact taxes that will be added to the product’s cost, it should be mentioned visibly in a spot the shopper can easily see, so they’re not disappointed on the checkout screen that the item is pricier than they were led to believe. The same is also true for international shipping costs.

Some sellers deliberately hide these until the last page in hopes that the customers will go through with the process, but that’s not a good strategy and can backfire.

  • Guests Are Welcome

It’s generally encouraged that you have the option of guest checkout, so shoppers can buy without signing in. If your store absolutely requires the user to create an account to purchase goods, don’t leave this for the very last stage of the purchase.

Most stores asking for an account also require you to go to your email to verify the account, which can be a big interruption. If an account is required, make sure the shopper knows about it beforehand (ideally during, or even before, they’re browsing through products).

  • Simple Is Better

An overcomplicated checkout process can be draining for the customer, and moreover, it’s unnecessary. Really the only things required are basic information (name, address, and some contact information like an email address or a contact number).

And above everything, don’t make the checkout process last more than one page, it’s simply not needed and gives the shopper more opportunity to rethink their decision.

All in all, you’d be hard put to completely get rid of shopping cart abandonment. After all, some people simply do not actually wish to make a purchase at the time and simply add items to their cart for research or bookmarking purposes. This is one of the reasons it helps to have a cart icon atop the website indicating how many items it contains, so shoppers are reminded of it when they revisit your store. It is, though, very possible to reduce the abandonment rate considerably by improving the user experience on the website.

For more on improving your online shopping experience, stay tuned to our blog and social media.