Abandonment carts? Why it happens and how to avoid it

Alessandro Dell'Anna

Oct. 12, 2017

carts abandoned

A research conducted by Compass (Ecommerce Checkout Abandonment Rate 2016) shows how 25% of customers leave the cart before completing the payment. In this article we will discuss the previous step, when many customers after adding products to the cart leave the site without purchasing anything.
This happens at least with the 70% of people, adding products to the cart. It is alarming! Let’s try to understand what causes the these abandonment and how to avoid it.

In the ecommerce business there is nothing more frustrating than knowing that the people are visiting your site, seeing the products of your catalog and planning to purchase from your store, but suddenly they decide not to complete the purchase.
The abandonment of the purchases is one of the greatest and expensive challenges that the ecommerce can meet. Fortunately, it is a problem that can be solved with some ideas and the right amount effort and resources. In this post, we will try to detect which are the causes the cart abandonment of the cart and to limit as much as possible (avoid it completely is really impossible) this problem.

Cart abandonment: causes and impact

To properly evaluate the impact of abandoned cart on your ecommerce take a look at these statistics:

  • The average rate of cart abandonment is 68%. — Baymard Institute
  • The 99% of the people who visit an ecommerce does not want to buy during the first visit. Of those that add a product to the cart, 25% will never return, while 75% of them will leave the site with the intention of returning. — EY Studios
  • 27% of online shoppers have abandoned a order because of "the complexity or the length of the checkout process". — Baymard Institute 
  • The 8.6% of online shoppers have abandoned the cart in the last 3 months because they are not ready or not convinced to purchase. — Baymard Institute 
  • Approximately a value of 4,000 billion euros of products have been abandoned this year (2017) but approximately 63% of these are potentially recoverable. — BI Intelligence
  • If a store that bills $25,000/month could retrieve only the 25% of its abandoned cart would grow their profits of about €45,000 each year — Shopify

As you can see the problem of abandoned carts is a serious issue and has to deal with the utmost competence. Before attempting to resolve the problem we have to understand exactly why potential customers decide not to buy from your online store.

Why do customers abandon the cart?

For the most part of e-commerce, the problem is due to 6 main factors:

  • #1 Lack of trust - The main reason why consumers online abandon their cart before the purchase has to do with confidence. Despite the growing popularity of online purchases, consumers are still relatively cautious in freely provide their personal information to another company on the Internet. If you do not feel confident about who is demanding your information you simply not risk.
  • #2 Lack of transparency - another reason why consumers do not complete purchases has to do with transparency. In particular if during the steps of purchase they find out that there are additional costs, not mentioned or hidden costs (such as shipping costs), or the process is hardly comprehensible, they may not purchase.
  • #3 Bad User Experience - The user experience, i.e. the fluidity of navigation, the clarity, the speed of page loading, compatibility with mobile devices are all aspects that have to do with the user experience. All these aspects together can positively influence the propensity to buy and consequently increase the confidence in the site. Remember that for every second of waiting for the page to load, you will lose the 7% of the conversions (completion of purchase).
  • #4 Lack of conditions of refund - trade policies for returning products are crucial for the success of an online business. For many clients this is the first information that they seek before making a purchase. The lack of information for this aspect translate in a lack of transparency. Give all the information immediately, in the most clear and transparent way possible.
  • #5 Payment Methods - offering the highest possible number of payment options allows you to convert a lot more. Offer all possible credit cards, Paypal, Bitcoin, Amazon Pay, ....
  • #6 Registration to the site - require customers to register for every single purchase may unsettle the potential buyers and make people perceive the purchase online as a time loss. This could significantly reduce your conversion rate. The "Guest checkout" allows you to purchase without registration.

How to reduce cart abandonment rate?

How to reduce the rate of cart abandonment?
Now you know the potential impact that the cart abandonment can have on your business. 
In order to reduce it there are a lot of strategies that will allow you to reduce the abandonment:

Here are 6 tactics to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

  • #1 Trusted Logos - 61% of consumers do not make a purchase if the logo of company is not visible. The logo gives to the customers a sense safety, reliability in the treatment of the information. This is true both in the management of pesonal data and in the management of financial data (SSL Security Certificate in this plays a key role). The presence of logos which guarantee the absence of malware, phishing, viruses in general considerably increases the trust that the user is going to put in your store. 
    Example of Trust Badges (image source: Sellbrite)
  • #2 offer free shipping - according to VWO the 61% of users abandons the purchase if the free shipping is not available on your on line store. If you still do not offer free shipping, you can do it even temporarily, managing it as a form of advertising. You could slightly reduce your budget in advertising and invest it in free shipping. A good practice that we recommend to do is set some thresholds: for example you can decide to offer free of charge shipping for the first 100 orders of the month. Remember to communicate very well this your shipping strategy to the end user. Even if you cannot offer free shipping, remember in every case to communicate it immediately on your online store. (Transparency).

  • #3 simplify the "check-out" - Simplify the payment process is fundamental to ensure greater conversion effectiveness. A long and exhausting process without checks disperse the effort to acquire public. You have to built payment processes that are simple, fast, without redundancy of information. 
    We have to be sure that customers always know at which point in the check-out process thay are (Registration, Shipping, Payment,...). To accelerate the process you may consider to use the registration form with Facebook, Paypal, Amazon. If well managed these registration processes allow you to greatly accelerate the of check-out operations
  • #4 improve the speed of your site - for every second gained during the page loading your ecommerce will increase the rate of cart abandonment of 5%. You should spend a good part of your budget to make sure that the page load time is sufficiently fast.

    See the ratio between the page loading speed of the site and abandoned carts (source Kissmetrics)
  • #5 Allow the purchase without registration – You should always allow the possibility of an "express checkout" without the registration. Often this option favors positively the propensity to conclude the purchase. Registration should always be a choice. Sometimes customes prefer avoid registration to not lose time, but in other cases users do not want to leave their data in the fear of being harassed with not appreciated emails and other form of communications.
  • #6 offer more payment options - always offer at least 3 payment options. Choose the best 3 options for the reference market, not only the 3 most common or widespread. Analyze which are the best for your online customers, this can give an increase of 32% your conversion rate. For example in the case of mobile devices, enter the credit card number and all related information is practically impossible and this discourages buyers. Often the mobile-users use Paypal because they are not obliged to type in long series of digits that have to be checked and rechecked in case of errors. Some people in Italy still prefer to pay in cash on delivery (in case you do not trust sufficiently merchant). Finally offer the bank transfer (especially at the end of the month) is a good option for those who for one reason or another have reached the limit of their card and do not currently have viable alternatives for the payment.

Here are a few ideas are condensed in a infographic (source EYStudios) where you can find data and important observations to reduce the rate of cart abandonment.


Carrelli abbandonati

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