In a brick & mortar store, it is highly unlikely that a buyer will add products to the shopping cart and leave without completing the purchase whereas, with online stores, almost 77% of shopping carts are abandoned. Spain and the United States are the countries with the least percentage of carts being abandoned, Europe and China are among the countries with the highest abandon rate.
Baymard Institute has found that on average, around 69.57% online shopping carts are abandoned. This is why cart abandonment features among the top challenges e-commerce players face along with dwindling conversion rates and delivering omnichannel customer experience.
Shopping Cart Abandonment – The Reasons
Shopping cart abandonment is costing e-commerce players a lot of money. The increasing cost of customer acquisition goes waste when carts are abandoned. E-commerce players are willing to control the increasing abandonment rate and working on the factors, below are some of the critical reasons why shopping carts are abandoned:
- Better pricing offered by the competitor
- Lack of trust in the store
- Additional taxes or shipping charges
- Complicated login and checkout process
- Lack of security on the checkout page
- Prolonged delivery estimate
- Slow website
- Satisfactory return policy
- Lack of payment options
- Excessive upselling
- No coupon code available or offered
Also Read: B2B E-commerce Challenges & Solutions
How to Control Cart Abandonment Rate?
Once online stores have spent time finding out the reason why carts are abandoned, it gets easier to control it. Competitor benchmarking and customer journey mapping are two tools that e-commerce players can rely on for discovering factors leading to cart abandonment.
Controlling the cart abandonment rate is not a one time exercise, it is a process that needs to be repeated for a specified period. Some of the fixes are long term and permanent; reverting these changes will impact the cart abandonment rate negatively.
Proven Methods and Tips to Control Shopping Cart Abandonment
1. Be Transparent About Pricing
A huge percentage of carts are abandoned due to addition of hidden taxes and shipping charges. Prompting people about the actual price (cost of product + taxes/shipping charges) helps people make better decisions and they are most likely to buy a product when prices are revealed in full.
Experts feel disclosing the final price on the product page is a good practice and it increases the overall trust and adds up to quality customer experience. Since 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a quality experience, it makes sense to adopt practices that improve trust and customer satisfaction.
2. Offer Free Shipping after a Threshold
The e-commerce world is well-aware of the power of free. The free return feature has worked wonders for online stores. A study found 56% of people check return policies before placing an order, free return and instant refund are the most offerings that convince people to shop from a store.
Now that half of sellers are offering free shipping, people are accustomed to not paying for shipping. A study discloses, customers are likely to cancel their orders if they are asked to pay for delivery. Offering free shipping once the value of the cart crosses a threshold is a great way of reducing cart abandonment rate. An additional benefit of offering free shipping after a threshold includes:
Increases the Average Order Value: To get free shipping every time, people will try to products in bulk leading to a decent increase in the average order value.
Offers Upselling Opportunities: Prompting people with relevant products on the checkout page with a call to actions like “Add these to get Free Shipping” can work like magic. People often need these products but are hesitant to buy but they can be lured in buying them with free shipping.
3. Simplify the Checkout Process
Everything on the Internet starts with a search, the journey from search to checkout involves many important steps like product discovery, research, comparison, and add to cart. It doesn’t make sense to lose a customer who has crossed multiple hurdles only to abandon the cart in the end.
Simplifying the checkout process is important because it can make or break the chances of a sale. With new customers the online stores need to be extra careful, asking them to create an account from scratch and fill in “first name, last name, email and address” will kill the sale.
E-commerce stores should adopt the one-step login process, where the customer logins in through mobile number with an OTP or with an email id. Using a one-time password is a great way of verifying the genuineness of the buyer.
4. Add a Progress Indicator
An average checkout process involves 5.08 steps and customers are expected to abandon carts when the checkout process has more than 3 steps. A simple addition of “progress indicator bar” can prove to be game-changing.
Letting people know “how far they have come and how less is left to go” is a great way of keeping people from abandoning the cart. Such a status bar impacts people subconsciously and convinces them to complete the purchase.
E-commerce stores that implemented progress indicator bar experience a drop of 2-5% in cart abandonment rate within the first few weeks.
5. Highlight Your Return Policy
79% of customers shop from a site only if it offers free returns and 92% of shoppers are expected to come back if returns are easily processed. Having a robust return policy that allows customers to buy with peace of mind is important.
Amazon has spoiled people with choices and now every online store is expected to offer a similar experience. Using return policy to sell products is a great marketing strategy; it helps people gain confidence that their money is safe.
Putting your return policy details on the following pages can help:
- On the product page where users can see it clearly
- On the cart along with the final price
- In the My Order segment, it stops people from canceling the product
6. Leverage the Power of Quality Catalog
E-commerce players can leverage the power of quality catalog to stop users from abandoning cart even when additional shipping charges are levied. When customers are influenced to stick with the product through quality and illustrative catalog, they willing to pay higher price. A Statista study has proved that 84% of customers are willing to pay extra for quality customer experience.
Poor representation of the product is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why carts are abandoned. Since people research and compare products before buying, an online store that has presented the product properly will always win.
Below are some pointers to make your product catalog user-friendly
- Use only high-quality images
- Use images with white background
- Remove all kind of watermark or URLs from the image
- Never use images with intense graphic or bold colors
Use Product Description to Influence Decision Making
A well-written product description that illustrates the features of a product simplifies the decision-making process. By highlighting the multiple USPs of the product, online stores allow people to identify whether this product suits their needs or not.
A well-written product description, when combined with quality images and highlighted return policy, makes it tough for customers to not buy it. Helping customer’s travel from the search page to checkout is a long and tiring process and e-commerce players must ensure that they are putting their best foot forward at all stages.
Other benefits of a well-prepared descriptions
- Improved search engine ranking
- The on-site search ranking also improves
- Easy to identify products and club them for Theme Based Bucketing
- Can be categorized easily for up-selling and cross-selling tabs
7. Improve Site Speed
The fact that “delay of one-second costs Amazon’s e-commerce business a loss of $1.6 Billion annually”, emphasizes the importance of site speed. In the age of 4G penetration, a slow site is perhaps the worst thing about your business. Improving site speed will help people find and buy products faster.
It is also necessary to improve the overall site speed because your competitors are and they are likely to take away all your customers. Here are the other reasons why you should focus on site speed:
- Site speed is an important search engine ranking factor
- It improves the overall customer experience
- Allows people to buy desired products within seconds
- Saves time and make customers feel empowered
Only if carts were not abandoned, e-commerce stores would have generated more revenue than they can imagine. When people abandon carts they are subconsciously making notes to never buy from that online store, which kills the future purchases too.
By making little changes on the platform, e-commerce players can stop customers from abandoning carts. Small fixes like highlighting return policy, adding progress bars and improving site speed can go a long way in controlling cart abandonment and making e-commerce stores successful.