Now they browse through your products.
Bravo – they found what they were looking for!
Now they add it to their cart.
And now they leave without making a single purchase.
Wait, what happened?
Cart abandonment happened.
And here’s how to stop it.
What is Cart Abandonment / Cart Abandonment Rate?
As the name gives away, shopping cart abandonment is when a user adds one or more products in the e-shopping cart, and they don’t carry on to the purchase.
The metric that measures shopping cart abandonment is called “abandonment rate”, and you can calculate it using this formula:
Cart Abandonment Rate = (Transactions Initiated – Transactions Completed) / Transactions Initiated
So has Cart Abandonment always been like this?
With one word, – Yes. Cart abandonment is a thing since the dawn of eCommerce, and its rate is getting a bit higher year by year.
But is your cart abandonment high or low?
The truth is that shopping cart abandonment differs from industry to industry.
Most statistics agree: Global cart abandonment is around 88%.
So what are the most frequent reasons that lead to cart abandonment and what can you do about it? Here follow the top cart abandonment solutions.
Cart Abandonment Problem #1: Shipping Cost
There are many reasons a customer might abandon their cart, but this one takes the cake.
Shipping cost is the #1 reason that prevents your customers from completing their purchase. More than half of carts are abandoned due to the extra cost, which is usually shipping cost. However, extra cost also comes in the form of taxes and fees as well. There are dozens of different currencies around the world, but all customers agree on this: Hidden costs suck! Hidden costs annoy them, irritate them and make them feel stupid.
Shipping cost causes cart abandonment in multiple ways: In most cases, the added costs of shipping that customers don’t see until the end of their purchase journey caught them by surprise.
In other cases, customers abandon their carts because their total purchase wouldn’t reach the minimum amount to qualify for free shipping.
Since shipping is the most significant factor in cart abandonment, it should be your top priority in the no-purchase battle. If you see a high number of abandoned carts on your eCommerce store, here are four cart abandonment solutions regarding shipping costs:
A. Leave no hidden cost for the last purchase tab
State all costs from the outset. Be 100% transparent. Transparency as a value is highly appreciated by most consumers and is crucial for your store’s success. Eliminate every surprise. Learn from the best. Ask yourself: what would Amazon do?
Let’s say I want to purchase this pair of Sony headphones from London. This will cost me £80. Also, I don’t have to pay anything for shipping, as Amazon is letting me know which deliveries within the UK borders are free. On the other hand, things change if I want to buy from Athens because in this case, free shipping is not a thing anymore. What’s important here though is that Amazon lets you know it’s not. Not only that, but it also breaks down the shipping cost and provides extra info regarding the total cost.
Furthermore, I can see the total purchase cost, as the sum of Product + Shipping.
Is by any chance tipping the courier mandatory by law in your country? Then say it!
B. Offer more than one shipping carriers.
Delivery is a very demanding and highly competitive industry to be in. One single mistake on the delivery company’s part can ruin customer experience and make the customer never to want to trust this company again. There are already more problems faced by couriers than you can count. If the customer has had a bad experience with the one shipping carrier you collaborate with, then in a certain way, you force them to reject your product as well.
Apart from providing more shipping carriers to choose from, you should also –
C. Give more shipping options
Such options may include delivery speed and rates. This choice, of course, will overlap the choice of any carrier.
D. Offer them free shipping
For this strategy to be profitable, you can either:
Include the shipping price in the final price.
Or offer Free Shipping when customers order over a certain amount.
This common tactic not only reduces your cart abandonment rate but also increases your average order value (AOV).
Entice your shopper to add a few more items to their cart by offering them free shipping over a certain amount.
Cart Abandonment Reason #2: No Guest Checkout
So, your customer did their research, browsed your store, decided what they want to buy, added everything they want, and now they are absolutely ready to give you their hard-earned money. For some reason though, you’d rather take their address than their money. Why?!
Unless you believe postal codes can be a valid currency in any sort of market, you should stop bothering your customers with questions regarding their profiles.
Profiling your customers is vital for your marketing strategies, alright. But you should not prioritize some data over a purchase. You can always ask for additional information after the checkout process.
Enable guest checkout. Unless you own some kind of elitist members-only only club, you shouldn’t close your e-store door to non-members
Imagine a brick-and-mortar shop. Do you have to be a member to shop from your local grocery stores? The answer is no.
Being a member usually comes with benefits, but it’s not mandatory to be one if you want to buy a bag of tomatoes and some lettuce.
Enabling guest checkout might be easier than you think.
This is how you can enable guest checkout on WooCommerce:
And this is how you do it on Shopify:
Cart Abandonment Reason #3: Complicated Checkout Process
This one is similar to the lack of a guest checkout option, but it’s not the same. A complicated checkout process is about the checkout process taking more time than it should.
Every form field you throw at your customer is one more obstacle between them and the finish line to complete their purchase.
If you had to take only one piece of information, that should be your potential shoppers’ email. Making anything else a priority is just a bad idea at this point.
The email address of your customer is digital gold. It’s about opening a direct channel between them and you.
Only ask for the necessary information.
Additionally, streamline your site’s navigation. Reducing the “number of screens” from initiation to completion is a great way to reduce time.
Show the steps your customer will have to make to the checkout and let them know where they are at. You can write it, e.g. “Step 2 of 4”, or show it like here:
Or you can apply both.
Need more inspiration? Below is what Dribble, the popular designer community, does in the checkout phase:
The fewer things you ask, the higher the percentage for the customer to make it to the ‘I’m Giving Yoy My Money’ button.
Also, don’t forget, that you can pre-fill fields wherever you can.
You don’t have to ask customers to fill out both a billing address and a shipping address when, more often than not, they are identical. Instead, give them a simple checkbox that customers can click so that the billing address fields are filled out with the information from the shipping address fields.
Also, asking for their zip code should automatically pre-fill other forms like region, city, and state. Let those fields be editable, though, in case your customer wants to make any changes.
Cart Abandonment Reason #4: Payment Security concerns
Long story short, I was searching for a particular (obscure) pair of shoes and found them in an eCommerce store. I hit ‘Add to Cart’ and went for the checkout. Now, I never had bought anything from that website before, neither did I know or have heard the retailer’s name. So I wanted to make sure that everything is OK. The first thing I usually do in these kinds of situations is to look for an SSL certificate.
If you are new to the internets, first of all, welcome! Second, let me tell you about SSL. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is found in the address bar on the top of your browser. SSL is a method used to secure and encrypt sensitive information like credit cards, usernames, passwords, and other private data sent over the Internet. Website pages secured with SSL are those branded with HTTPS in their URL address. Like the one, you are on right now!
Back to the story I was telling you, I looked for a certificate, but there was none. Alarm #1 went off. I looked at the header and footer for an ‘About Us’ section. None. Alarm #2 went off. Then I visited the company’s Facebook page. 200 Likes. Alarm #3 went off, and at that point, I was sure the page was a scam; I would have to find the shoes elsewhere.
When it comes to your new customers, you have to earn their trust. It would be a shame if you had a 100% legit eCommerce store and lost clients to something as basic as an SSL certificate.
Lack of SSL certificate, missing images, design flaws, old layouts. All of these can be enough to scare potential customers off – them and their $€¥.
Last but not least, make sure you’re PCI compliant. Whether you process your own card payments or use a third-party provider, by ensuring you’re PCI compliant you’ll guarantee your customers’ cardholder data is completely secure – for them as much as you.
A. Get an SSL certificate
If you didn’t get it along with your domain purchase, you can add it anytime from an SSL Certificate Provider by visiting ssl.com. In WordPress, there is a free plugin for that, the Really Simple SSL.
B. Be as transparent as possible
Provide full contact information, such as a phone number and an address, besides your social media info.
C. Write an ‘About Us’ section
The truth is most customers don’t give a damn about who you are and what you’ve done. They are on your website for your stuff – not your character. Nevertheless, some of them will want to learn more about you to feel reassured or because they are just curious. You have to give them this option. Spend a few paragraphs talking about your brand and the people working for the business.
D. Enable reviews
Allow your customers to talk in public about your products and services. And when the shit hit the fan, this is how you can deal with angry customers on social media. Again, it’s about transparency. Show your potential customers that you care about their opinion, no matter if it’s good or bad.
E. Fix every flaw you can find on your website
Check the copies, and check the designs as well.
Cart Abandonment Reason #5: Not enough payment methods
Different customers prefer different payment methods. Customers expect multiple payment methods. For security reasons, many of your shoppers don’t want to use their credit or debit cards for online reasons. They may prefer a different method. Here are the preferred payment methods in a few European countries:
If you are Irish, but your e-business has a global audience, it doesn’t really matter if your fellow countrymen prefer debit card payments over Paypal.
In general, the more payment methods you give, the less cart abandonment you should expect.
It comes as no surprise that the cart abandonment solution to not enough payment methods is more payment methods. Such methods include:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Mobile payment apps
- Payment gateways
- Online banking
And while you’re at it, you can also include a money-back guarantee. A money-back guarantee creates trust and credibility for your product and your business.
Protip: only a few customers ever return to ask for their money back.
To sum up, the Top 5 cart abandonment problems and cart abandonment solutions are:
1. Shipping cost – Be price-transparent
2. Lack of guest checkout option – Include one
3. Complicated checkout process – Simplify the checkout process
4. Payment security concerns – Inspire trust
5. Insufficient payment methods – Provide more