Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment and Ways to Reduce it

By December 18, 2019Blog
how to reduce shopping cart abandonment

If there’s one thing that keeps online store owners awake at night, it’s the issue of abandoned carts. Luckily, there are simple actions you can take to solve the biggest challenge facing online businesses, and get your online profits back on track.

Small businesses are the unsung heroes of the US economy. You’ve put a ton of effort into your product design, built a great looking Magento or BigCommerce store, and made sure the customer journey is flawless.

Why is it then that most of your visitors aren’t converting into customers?

The latest data from SalesCycle shows the ecommerce shopping cart abandonment rate is almost 80% across all sectors. That’s a significant number of people who are browsing your site, being enticed by your products to add them to their basket, but then leaving without ever completing their transaction.

If your business could convert even half of those into paying customers it would be a game-changing moment. So, let’s dig into what you can do.

1. Be transparent on costs throughout the user journey

According to a 2019 study by Barilliance, the number one reason users abandon carts is a high or unexpected charge at checkout. Your visitor has found the product they want, and excitedly decided to make a purchase. They click through to buy, but see something that makes them stop; a charge they weren’t expecting now showing in the payment summary.

These charges are usually shipping costs, but could also be local taxes or other associated handling or processing fees you add on. They can cause confusion, frustration, or anger, and result in a lost sale.

Take Action:

It’s crucial to set expectations right from the start:

  • If you require a minimum spend to qualify for free shipping, make sure you display that information prominently.
  • If your charges may vary from state to state or country to country, give the visitor a way of estimating costs before they checkout.

2. Provide appropriate levels of payment security

If you’re using one of the major ecommerce platforms, it’s likely you’ll have the required secure payment processes in place. However, are you making it clear to your customers that their data is being handled in a safe and secure way?

According to research commissioned by Amazon Pay, 19% of visitors cite payment security concerns as the main reason for not completing their purchase. Their fears aren’t unfounded. Shape Security reported in 2018 that some 90% of total login attempts to online retailers’ websites were illegitimate hacking attempts.

Your customers don’t need to know the intricacies of how checkout flows are CI DSS 3.2 certified or the difference between http and https. However, they do want to feel like they’re protected against credit card data breaches. The simplest way to do this is to provide visual cues (known as ‘trustmarks’) during the purchase process. Take a close look at competitors in your industry and you’ll likely see a Verisign, McAfee, BBB or TRUSTe symbol. While you may not notice them on every site visit, it’s obvious when they’re not there.

For the big ecommerce platforms, these may already be baked into the template. If you have a more custom setup it’s worth looking into what logos you can add to ensure your checkout page is seen as trustworthy.

Take Action:

  • Provide ‘trustmarks’ (e.g. Verisign, McAfee, BBB or TRUSTe) during the purchase process

3. Offer flexible payment options

According to research by Column Five Media, 56% of respondents said they would be swayed to purchase if multiple payment options are offered.

Just because a customer has the means to pay upfront, it doesn’t mean they want to. Your customers have their own businesses to run, and they’re valuing the cash they spend now against the revenue it will generate.

The option of financing through a service like Behalf lets your customer make the purchase now, but have options to stagger their payments over a timeframe that suits their needs. You can significantly reduce your BigCommerce abandoned cart rate if your customers see a more manageable number on the payment screen, reducing their concerns about cutting into their current cash flow. And the best part is, once you’re signed up with Behalf, our BigCommerce app can be easily integrated within your ecommerce checkout.

Integrating financing throughout the sales process (and being clear about the associated fees) will show your customers that you’re willing to help them with their purchases.

Take Action:

  • Offer multiple payment options
  • Integrate financing throughout the sales process and be clear about the associated fees

4. Reduce the steps in your checkout workflow

Customers make purchases online because it’s quicker and more convenient.

Anything your website does to detract from that will reduce conversions and revenue, and increase the chances of cart abandonment.

Forcing visitors to create a new account to complete their purchase will frustrate potential customers, especially if your products are likely to be one-off or irregular purchases. A guest login (or no login at all) is a must to maximise conversions, even if it dents your data capture ambitions.

Take Action:

  • Reduce the number of form fields required for checkout and payment.
  • Take out any fields that aren’t absolutely necessary for customers to complete their purchases.

5. Create an integrated experience

Research shows a clear trend towards the ‘omnichannel shopper’, with customers spending more on brands with an integrated strategy. So why are only 22% of retailers making this a top priority?

Customers often research a product first and then complete the purchase on a completely different device and/or channel. It’s vital you understand not just where your visitors are shopping, but that you also provide a unified shopping experience across all available channels or touchpoints.

This could be as simple as ensuring your logged-in customers’ carts are retained from when they switch from the mobile device they were using to research to the laptop they’re planning to use to transact. There’s nothing more off-putting to a customer than having to start from scratch.

The Harvard Business Review found that customers who partake in deliberate searching before making a purchase often have a higher average order value (AOV) when they do buy. By mastering your omnichannel strategy, you can be everywhere at once, while increasing  your online sales dramatically.

Keep in mind that retargeting based on cart abandonment is a tried and tested re-engagement tactic. Whether that’s through email, display, PPC or social media advertising, just because the basket was closed once doesn’t mean the sales opportunity is lost forever.

Take Action:

  • Create an omnichannel shopping experience across all available touchpoints
  • Retarget customers to reduce cart abandonment rate

Check out the Behalf BigCommerce App

*This post is for informational purposes only, not financial advice. Any reference to a web site of another party, does not constitute or imply endorsement.