Abandoned shopping cart rates in the ecommerce world are huge. You rarely see someone abandon a physical shopping cart at a brick-and-mortar location, but the practice is ubiquitous online. Why is it happening, and what can you do to change the situation?
How big of an issue is shopping cart abandonment?
“Shopping cart abandonment” refers to when customers choose items while on an ecommerce site but never finish checking out. Worldwide, the abandonment rate is close to 70 percent, and that number represents a huge loss of sales. Every year, the value of all those items left unbought in online shopping carts adds up to around $18 billion.
Some level of cart abandonment is just part of the online shopping experience. Some people come just to look. Some visitors want to tally up costs with tax and shipping included and are doing initial research. You’re unlikely to make these people budge, but you should be strategically working to lower numbers among the rest of your abandoners.
People often do things for more than one reason, but there are a few significant factors in abandonment rates. These include costs which get too high once taxes, fees, and shipping got included; being required to create an account with no guest checkout option available; a long, complicated checkout process; and even security concerns about your site.
Step One: Differentiate between abandoning a cart and abandoning during the checkout experience
Many of those who are just browsing, getting ideas, or doing research on costs never even initiate the checkout experience. Your cart abandonment numbers might not be as helpful as you think. A much better measure is your checkout abandonment rate.
Customers who drop away during the checkout experience may do so because of costs or just because they’ve changed their minds. But a lot of people do it because the checkout experience is frustrating. If you find this number is significantly higher than your general abandonment rate, then you’ve zeroed in on the problem: a poor checkout experience.
Step Two: Make checkout seamless and effortless
This requires thoughtful effort, marketing expertise, development and IT skills, and lots of time if you’re doing it all yourself. Your digital marketing department may know what should happen, but not how it should happen. Your IT people may have the expertise to make it happen, given enough time, but don’t have a personal understanding of why it’s important and how it affects your end goal.
Revamp your checkout process, optimize it for mobile, meet your goals, and get it done fast by working with third parties like brightpattern.com. They can have you up and running quickly with a seamless process that offers consumers what they really want. Buyers will get a personalized experience that maintains context through omnichannel integration of all communication channels.
Step Three: Keep the checkout process safe
The nicest checkout experience in the world won’t keep people from abandoning the process if they don’t trust your site security. People have never been so aware of cybersecurity and the need to protect their personal and financial information online. You have to convince consumers that you’re taking their security seriously.
You need software with strict PCI compliance that’s backed up with third-party certification from Compliance Point. These features keep your site safe for consumers sharing their sensitive information while also offering you a tangible way to show people you’re concerned with their privacy.
There are many reasons for cart abandonment, but a key player is the online checkout experience itself. Make sure you’re offering an integrated, seamless, and safe experience that makes amazing customer service a top priority. This will take you a long way towards reducing those abandonment numbers.