Why B2B Customers are Leaving Your Checkout and How You Can Make a Difference

By May 14, 2014B2B

The internet is full of quick tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Today, though, I want to take a step back to first understand WHY your customers are leaving their carts. In the rush for quick fixes to shopping cart abandonment, don’t lose sight of the core pain points that drive your customers to leave your checkout in the first place.

The all too familiar numbers of cart abandonment

First let’s start with the stats, which anyone involved in e-commerce probably knows by heart. The most common stats cited show a 67.91% rate of shopping cart abandonment. Not surprisingly, the top reasons all relate in some way to price, or cost.

A psychological approach to checkout

Why are you losing so many customers at checkout? Copyblogger takes a psychological approach to the numbers: “We do not want to part with our money — not necessarily because we’re cheap or poor, but because it causes us pain. Real pain.”

The practical tips in Copyblogger’s post on high converting checkouts relate more directly to driving consumer purchases, and making the price more palatable for them. Yet, the basic understanding of why your customers don’t want to pay sheds light on how you can capture more sales in your B2B cart, albeit in a very different way.

If you’re a B2B online merchant, what lies behind your customer’s pain? And if you’re a small business owner, why don’t you want to part with your money?

Your business customers’ decision to stay or go

Like Maslow’s pyramid, we can break down the purchasing decision at checkout into a hierarchy from basic needs to aspirations – from the customers who are evaluating whether they can pay, to those who are deciding whether they want to pay.

Your customers are really asking themselves 3 questions:

Question #1: Can I pay now?

Like any small business purchase, cash flow becomes a major issue at checkout. Many studies talk about high prices, comparison shopping, unexpected costs at checkout, etc. What’s also hiding between the lines, though, is the struggle for working capital. After all, if businesses had unlimited resources they wouldn’t find it as painful to pull the trigger and pay.

Once your customers reach the checkout, they have already bought into your product’s value to some degree. Here’s where you need to help them pay by integrating financing in your cart.

Check out how Apple holds its customers hands with financing offers at every step of the checkout:

Step One: The Product Page

I’ve already clicked on the item that I’m interested in buying – a MacBook Air.


Step Two: Choosing the Package

I clicked “Buy now” and can now select the MacBook Air model. Here’s where you can use financing to up-sell the customer on the higher models.


Step Three: Checking Out

Just before I check out, I see the 0-24 month financing appears again.


Question #2: How should I pay?

Some business owners get to the payments page and then realize that they first need to figure out how to pay – by cash, by credit card, by alternative payment methods, or by picking up the phone to request terms.

In this amazing infographic, by Milo, we learn that 56% of shoppers want to see a variety of payment methods at checkout.

option on checkiout

Paypal records a 14% increase in sales after adding Express Checkout to 100 U.S. merchants. Amazon Payments also helps customers breeze through checkouts, and Google wallet lets customers check out in two clicks. Find out what payment options your customers most prefer, and be sure to integrate them in your cart.

Question #3: Do I want to pay now?

Even if a business can pay, the business owner may not want to pay now.

To my mind, this is the most interesting part of the purchasing decision, and how the psychology of loss aversion ties into the case of your mainstream B2B customers.

Even businesses that aren’t strapped for cash still crunch the numbers at checkout to determine how the purchase will grow their businesses.

Your business savvy customers are thinking:

  • Do I want to complete the purchase now or use the cash for something else in the meantime, and come back to your cart later?
  • How much revenue can I generate by purchasing now as opposed to in the future?
  • How much revenue could this amount of cash generate through other business means or purchases?

You can tackle both sides of the trade-off between your customers’ desire for your product and the cost, or willingness to pay. On one hand, use your website content real estate to describe your product’s core value in growing their business. On the other hand, introduce financing to your checkout, so they’re giving up less in the purchase process.

Boosting your conversions with financing at checkout

By integrating financing in the payments page of your checkout, you enable your customers to get what they want now while paying later. Comparison shopping could mean looking for substitute products at lower prices or thinking about completely different products that the owner could buy with the same cash. In either case, your offering in-cart financing enables the owner to determine the value of this specific purchase on its own regard. If the revenue generated by the purchase pays off the cost of the financing, then the decision maker can proceed, regardless of other opportunities.