Abandoned Shopping carts (and how to reduce them)
Abandoned shopping carts are a familiar sight, there probably isn’t a single person over a certain age that hasn’t at least seen a picture of one being fished out of a local river or canal. Fortunately, as we have become more environmentally conscious, these sights are becoming less common, but in the online world it’s another matter. If you manage an e-commerce store then you’ll know that there are any number of reasons why shoppers will abandon their cart. These range from “I was just browsing” to “this checkout process is horrendous, can I just pay already?”, and all these are lost sales which reduces your income.
It probably won’t surprise you that, as an agency with a decade and a half of experience designing, building and optimising e-commerce sites, we at Xigen have an idea or two on how to reduce cart abandonment and convert those sales.
It has been shown that four out of five of abandoned carts occur at the checkout and the reasons may interest you – they certainly interest us! Here are just a few of the more popular reasons for your shoppers leaving you hanging…
Unexpected Extra costs
One of the biggest reasons for abandoned shopping carts are the “additional costs” like shipping, fees and tax. Showing these at the last minute, right before going to the payment stage is going to frustrate and annoy your customers no end and they’ll be closing that browser window right after the “How much?!?” exclamation.
Showing the customer all the charges and costs up front not only reduces the nasty surprises but also increases the chance that they will go down the checkout route in confidence
Creating an account
Forcing a user to create an account often puts a shopper off, especially if they are pushed for time. There may be several benefits to a shopper for doing this, especially if they intend coming back again, but many shoppers will be asking the question “why do I have to do this?”
Offering a guest checkout means that a user knows that they only need to create an account if they want to. Not only will the shopper now perceive this as their choice, but they are less likely to abandon their cart because of it.
An overcomplicated checkout process can cause a shopper a huge amount of frustration. Having to fill out a large form with lots of duplicate entries (billing and shipping addresses for example) can cause shopper frustration levels to rise.
Here at Xigen we can help improve and streamline the process, reducing the number of clicks and keypresses needed to get the information you need, and making it easy for the shopper.
How secure is the website? Does it use a secure payment provider? Are my card details stored by the website? All these are valid concerns that a shopper may have, especially in this security conscious day and age. If there’s no indication on the site that the payments are safe and secure, then they will very likely leave and go where they can be certain of security, and in the process creating abandoned shopping carts.
This one’s simple. If your site dies part way through the checkout process, not only will the shopper have to wait for the site to come back up again, but they may have to start the whole shopping process again. If the site is down for any period of time, that shopper and many others will have already gone elsewhere by the time it comes back up again!
Having a reliable hosting server that can cope with peak traffic periods will go a long way to reduce the likelihood of this happening. Fortunately (and by no means uncoincidentally!) this is one of the services that we offer here at Xigen.
A number of studies have been carried out on why carts are abandoned, and the most common reason by far is “just browsing”. For many shoppers, this is part of the pleasure of shopping and there isn’t much that can be done to reduce this phenomenon. After all, who doesn’t enjoy going into a warm, cosy, inviting bookshop and looking through the shelves to see if your favourite author has written a new story? This extends to the online world where the shopper can be comparing similar products across a number of different sites.
Just browsing is possibly the most difficult cause of abandoned carts to avoid, however with a series of carefully triggered emails it’s quite possible to get that shopper back to complete their shopping journey. Why not ask us how it can be done?
Here at Xigen we work hard to optimise your site and encourage those shoppers to make those purchases. With our help, you can reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts clogging your cash flow!