Last Updated on October 23, 2018
It happens even to the most addicted shopaholics online. They pick out the good stuff, add it to their carts, browse for more items, and in the middle of it all, suddenly decide to abandon their shopping carts.
Such is the dilemma of e-commerce businesses that strive to reel potential customer in, only to lose them before checkout. This can’t be happening for no reason at all. Something must be triggering the response, causing shoppers to choke at the very last minute.
Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts
To pull your business up, a great strategy would be to address the abandoned cart issue and find out what you can do to prevent them from leaving. Of course, before coming up with solutions, you have to find the root cause first.
Why are shoppers abandoning their carts?
They stumble across unexpected costs.
Most of the time, shoppers already have a pretty good idea of how much they are willing to spend on every shopping trip. So when they reach the checkout page and find out that there are additional fees outside of what they expect, it’s only natural for them to leave their carts, no matter how many goodies they have stored in it. That’s 56% of all shoppers, admitting that this is the main reason why they suddenly up and leave.
This is also an issue of trust. When people look at the prices attached to your products, they immediately trust this piece of information. So how do you think they would feel if they are suddenly charged extra when they reach the checkout page?
The site is too slow.
Kudos on putting in those extra hours just to market your e-commerce site and strategize on more ways to attract new customers. With all your efforts, you should be expecting a huge spike in your number of visitors. But what if your system suddenly feels overwhelmed with the huge volume? Your website slows down, and eventually, it crashes.
One reason why people shop online is because of the convenience of not having to leave the house to buy anything they need. But if the amount of time it takes to complete the entire purchase would almost be the same as the time required to drive to the actual store and buy it, then the latter would seem like a better idea after all.
The checkout process is long.
People avoid going to actual stores because of the long lines at the counter. Sometimes, lining up takes longer than picking out the stuff you need! So just imagine how frustrating it can be for customers to find the same thing on your checkout page. If anything, standing in line at an actual store would seem better, as it only requires you to stand there and move a few inches every few seconds. With long checkout processes, they would have to endure tons of questions and loading different pages just to pay for what they need.
Having a fast checkout process is vital to the survival of your company. But the checkout process doesn’t have to be slow. Take a look at Amazon. Their 1-click payment system is legendary in the E-commerce world. While you can’t have their exact technology, largely due to the fact that it’s patented, you can find similar plugins and applications that will increase conversions and decrease abandoned carts.
The payment methods are limited.
Customers often go online expecting that any e-commerce store would present a number of payment methods to them. After all, in building an online store, you would always have to think about your customers’ convenience. So just imagine how frustrating it could be for customers to find out that you don’t accept their preferred payment method. It’s a complete waste of time, having to pick out things that they’re willing to pay for, but are unable to do so.
Shipping costs are unreasonable.
This is something that has perpetually been on top of any customer’s list when asked why they abandon their carts at the very last minute. Every online shopper expects some sort of shipping fee. In fact, a lot of them would already have a pretty good idea of how much shipping would be, and have probably compared it with the money they’re going to spend should they decide to run to the store to buy a similar product instead. So what’s going to happen if there is a huge difference between the real shipping fee and the amount they usually expect?
If your potential customer might be scared by the high shipping fee, concerns about website data, maybe they left the house, maybe your site isn’t mobile friendly, maybe they intent to buy that same product from your competitor. Whatever the reason is, you should still try to send them email reminders with coupons or some soft of deals to encourage them to come back to your store.
There are doubts about the site’s security.
Although online shoppers are often aware that they would have to give up sensitive information like credit card numbers and shipping addresses, they agree to do so because they know that most sites offer protection for their customers’ data.
The moment they sense that they may not be fully protected, they immediately back down. This could be because of the lack of the usual icons and security logos that grace the checkout pages of most secure sites. It could also be because of the presence of different suspicious pop-ups that they don’t normally see in other checkout pages.
Editing the shopping cart is a challenge.
People change their minds sometimes. Even if they are 100% decided on buying something at the start, they may find themselves thinking twice about it as minutes pass. Some may also want to add more items on their list.
There are checkout pages that make it impossible to edit a customer’s shopping cart without having to start from the beginning. Some also find it difficult to manage the layout or the interface when the need to edit arises. So instead of going through all the trouble, customers decide to just forget about the purchase and find other options.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? If you feel that any of these could be a problem with your own site, then it’s time for some changes to be made.
Preventing the Abandonment of Shopping Carts
Now that we’ve addressed the major issues, it’s time for some change. Here are ways to ensure that your customers do not just get up and leave in the middle of shopping (unless there’s a fire or an earthquake).
Add a few “trust elements”.
There are things about certain websites that make customers feel more secure. This could come in many different forms.
Some add icons that say “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed”. Others add security logos, like the “Verisign Secured” icon or any other secure shopping trademarks. Logos of the Better Business Bureau are also common.
Social proof is also a great trust element. Place customer testimonials strategically around the website. Add these discreetly so that they do not distract the customer from their shopping, but still maintain a presence that allows customer to see them when they glance around any page.
Return policies are also a great way for you to earn any customer’s trust. Once they know that you are willing to put in some extra effort should they find the product unsatisfactory, they will be able to let go of their apprehension and feel that there is more credibility to your product and process.
Make everything easy.
From the way they navigate each page to the entire checkout process, you have to get rid of anything that complicates things. As much as possible, limit the steps that it takes to move from the shopping pages to the checkout page. Make it a priority to make the process easier for repeat customers as well. This will entice new customers to come back over and over again.
Lay out each page in a way that makes it easy to find the important buttons and tabs. Make sure your font sizes are perfect for your audience, and create some distinction to different buttons by playing with color and other design elements.
Always offer help.
No matter how clearly laid out your pages are, customers will always have a few questions popping out of their head. Make sure you give them easy access to your help options. As much as possible, don’t let them go to a different page just to get the answers they are looking for.
You’ll notice that a lot of websites now have a chat window popping out on the corner of the screen. This is one great way to make customers feel that they have support no matter which part of the website they go to.
Don’t make registration a requirement.
Automatically, people assume that creating their own account would not only result to spam mail, but to a complete waste of time answering questions. Allow first-timers to shop without having to log into their own account. This would make the initial shopping experience seamless for them. Once they have completed their purchase, a great experience will make them come back and consider creating their own account without you having to require them.
Make it easy to make changes.
Whether it’s a change in their orders or a change in their account details, it has to be very easy for customers to edit anything. Never let them go back to the start just to add or take out one item – majority of the time, they won’t even bother.
You can add “+” or “-“ buttons to make it easier for them to change the quantity. Also, make sure that should they decide to go to other pages, their shopping cart would still be saved and ready anytime they go back to check out.
The reasons why people abandon their shopping carts are understandable. However, this should not make you let go of the issue and just let them leave. It’s up to you to find ways to make them stay.
Always make sure you make this your top priority. Especially for first-time users, seeing how you take care of them will matter a lot. This would lead them not only to return and buy some more, but also to become an ambassador of your brand and promote your products to their entire network.