For online businesses with their main goal of selling products, shopping cart abandonment can mean the difference between profitability and loss. But since recent surveys suggest that less than 50% of retailers know their shopping cart abandonment rate, let’s review what it is and why it is important to know.
What is “shopping cart abandonment”?
Basically, shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor initiates your checkout process but leaves before completing their purchase.
Why is it important to know?
Industry publications report a 70% average shopping cart abandonment rate for the majority of retailers. Since, on average, websites convert visitors-to-sales at a rate of 1% to 2% then 98% to 99% of the visitors to your website leave without purchasing!
These percentages identify an enormous improvement opportunity for online businesses.
A Traditional Retail Example of Shopping Cart Abandonment.
Let me illustrate shopping cart abandonment using a traditional department store.
Imagine walking into your local department store to pick up a gift for a friend’s wedding.
You find the three items you want but together the price exceeds your budget so you drop one of them and head with just two to the checkout counter.
When you get close to the checkout counter, you grow frustrated with the long lines ahead. After a ten minute wait in line, the cashier asks you to complete a membership form before they will compete your purchase.
The membership form requires your driver’s license information so you pull out your wallet while people behind you start huffing impatiently.
As you register, you mind lingers about whether two items is just too much for your friend’s wedding gift. “I mean they only gave us one item for our wedding” you think. So you ask the cashier to remove one of the items.
While ringing up your one item, the credit card reader fails. After the fourth swap by the cashier, you panic wandering if your card has just been charged four times.
At this point you give up and leave the store empty handed. While storming out you wander if the department store up the street will make your purchase any easier.
Know These Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
This example is filled with some of the top reasons why visitors to your website may abandon their shopping carts. A recent study by Vividence Corporation, a Customer Experience Management company, reported the most significant reasons for Internet shopping cart abandonment are:
o High shipping prices or long delivery times
o Comparison shopping and browsing
o Changed Mind
o Total cost of items is too high
o Checkout process is too long
o Checkout requires too much personal information
o Site requires registration before purchase
o Site is unstable or unreliable
o Checkout process is confusing
Seven Shopping Cart Abandonment Solutions for Your Online Business
Although some of these reasons may be outside your control such as a visitor changing their minds, the majority is manageable and can be reduced by incorporating seven improvements into your …