Top 9 Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment and How to Tackle Them

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most significant issues e-commerce sites have to deal with. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.8%. That means, around seven out of 10 people who placed orders in their cart failed to complete them.

To be fair, not all of them are at fault for why they abandoned their carts—there are other factors at play that prevented them from checking in their carts.

This post aims to identify what the top shopping cart abandonment reasons are and determine how your online store can solve each one to prevent lost sales and revenue.

#1 – High Extra Costs

Some online stores only show the taxes, shipping, and other fees on the checkout page. This practice makes buyers feel cheated since the product page’s price did not include the extra. Once they see that the price they must pay for is much more than the product page price, they’ll leave your site instantaneously.

Fix: Transparency is critical in the e-commerce industry. You have to be honest with your customers if you want them to keep buying from you. In this case, you must lay out the total product price, including extra costs, even before placing the item in their shopping carts. This way, buyers won’t be blindsided by the additional fees on the checkout price. 

#2 – Required to Create an Account

People want to buy products online as quickly and efficiently as possible. The last thing everybody wants to do when shopping online is to create an account for themselves. While the reason for creating an account is for users to personalize their profiles and connect them with other store outlets, it is purely for your store’s convenience. In the eyes of buyers, it’s another step that they have to take just to get what they want. And in most cases, people would instead abandon their carts than create their accounts.

Fix: Instead of forcing them to create an account, make it an option and enable guest checkout. This way, you can speed up the ordering process and get more people to buy from you. Another thing you can do is ask them to fill out their personal information after the order is complete. To encourage more buyers to create an account, offer a discount coupon on their next order.

#3 – Overcomplicated Process

Similar to the reason above, people don’t want to be bogged down by unnecessary steps just so they can make a purchase. For instance, while filling out one’s billing address is necessary to receive the item people ordered, it might be overkill for some to have to fill out the same details every single time.

Fix: Ideally, you can solve this problem by getting them to create an account, so they don’t have to enter the exact details every time they purchase. But if you enabled guest checkout, all you need for them to fill out is their email address. At the very least, you can add them to your mailing list, allowing you to execute your e-commerce email marketing strategy, part of which is to convince them to create an account and purchase from you again.

#4 – Lack of Trust on Site

Let’s face it: people won’t buy from a store they don’t trust. It needs to have established some form of authority to win over customers. And even if the shop has high-quality items available, it won’t necessarily instill confidence among buyers if it has a bad reputation or has no reputation at all.

Fix: At the very least, you want people to feel secure when placing an order on your site. For starters, establish a PCI-compliant e-commerce business so it can process credit card payments safely. Next, set up your website using hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) to prevent hackers from viewing sensitive information going in and out of your site. To make buyers feel safer, include trust seals on the checkout page, which show them that all security systems necessary for a smooth and secure transaction are in place.

#5 – Website Issues

As mentioned, cart abandonment is not just due to customer preferences. There are times that the website itself is the cause of the problem. For example, your store’s slow loading speed is causing buyers to become impatient and leave your site. Other times, buyers are led to an error page on your site, leading to them going to a different store to complete their purchase.

Fix: One of the biggest culprits for website performance is its web hosting provider. You need to migrate your site to a reliable platform that hosts websites using top-notch hardware and resources. This way, you can guarantee that your site will load as fast as possible and prevent buyers from abandoning their carts. Also, consider responsive customer support in your search for your e-commerce store’s web host. If and when your site encounters issues beyond your scope of knowledge, you need a support staff to address your concern quickly, so you don’t lose even more customers.

#6 – No Return Policy

Regarding customer safety, they want to receive the actual product they paid for. If they receive anything less than that, they should have the opportunity to return the product to the store and get their money back. Unfortunately, not all stores have a return policy in place. Or if they do have a return policy, the return window is too short, i.e., seven days or less, or they charge the shipping fee to the customer. As a result, there’s a lower chance that buyers will complete their orders.

Fix: The most straightforward way around this is to offer a generous but fair return policy. Write your policy as clearly as possible to eliminate confusion and problems later on. Then make the return policy page accessible by linking to it on product pages or your website footer.

#7 – Insufficient Payment Options

Supporting a variety of credit card payment methods should help buyers push through with the checkout process. However, some prefer different payment options for purchasing your products. Aside from popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, more people advocate for emerging gateways like Amazon Pay and Google Pay. And it’s only a matter of time before Bitcoin and cryptocurrency become preferred payment options for others.

Fix: Keep in mind that adding payment gateways to your e-commerce site costs money. Since you can’t offer all possible payment gateways to potential customers, focus on your audience’s most popular ones first. From here, you can add additional gateways as the demand for each increase.

#8 – No Coupon Code Available

People love a bargain, which is why they prefer waiting on a coupon code or sale if they want to buy the product now. At worst, they’ll search for a similar product on other stores that have an available coupon for it and purchase from that store instead.

Fix: If you regularly offer discounts and coupon codes, you need to find a better way to share them with your audience. The best way to do this is by getting them to join your email list and sending them the coupons using an email marketing platform. Doing so gives them more reason to join your list to receive discounts straight to their inbox. 

Also, a possible approach to decrease cart abandonment is to remove the “Apply Coupon Code” link or bar on the checkout page.

In people’s minds, they’d rather wait it out before you offer discount codes in the future instead of buying the product now. 

And if you do decide to remove the “Apply Coupon Code” on the checkout page, make sure that the discount code auto-applies once they click on the link from your email.

#9 – Lack of Express or Free Shipping

Just as important as shipping costs is the shipping speed. The faster people can receive the package they order from you, the higher the chances they’ll place an order on your website.

For others, free shipping also determines whether they should purchase on your site or not.

Fix: This is one of the few instances where people are willing to spend more as long as they get their hands on their purchases sooner. To implement this on your site, you must manually book a pickup for DHL Express or UPS. You can do this directly on your e-commerce platform. For instance, Shopify and Wix offer this option, making them a more attractive platform for those who want to start an e-commerce store.

Regarding free shipping, you can offer this option if they reach a certain amount for a single transaction on your site. Ideally, you should waive the shipping cost if a customer plans on buying thousands of dollars worth of products.

Conclusion

Shopping cart abandonment is inevitable among e-commerce sites. At this point, it’s a matter of determining which reasons are the most prevalent in your store and finding ways to solve them. The causes and fixes above should help you decrease cart abandonment and increase sales and revenue in no time.

Also, the ones listed above are just the top reasons for cart abandonment. A catch-all solution to the other cart abandonment problems is sending them an email just hours or days after they abandoned their carts. 

An overlooked reason why cart abandonment takes place is when a potential customer was about to buy something from your store but, due to whatever reason, was forced to step away from your site and completely forgot about it. By sending them not just one but a sequence of emails, you ensure that they are reminded to complete a purchase in your store.

 

Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in the digital marketing field. His work has been published on SEO and affiliate marketing websites like Monitor Backlinks, Niche Pursuits, Web Hosting Secret Revealed, and others.

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