Why do online customers abandon shopping carts?

Written by Sid Vel

Topics: Ecommerce

A recent study conducted by Paypal revealed some useful statistics that act as key indicators to why web shoppers abandon shopping carts. Let us have a look at what the indicators are and discuss a few ideas that can help overcome those pitfalls.

1) High shipping (delivery) costs: 46%

I never buy from sites that ask me to pay for shipping. What’s the point of buying online!? Try to include the package and delivery charges in the published price of the products. Optimise the online business model so that you can cut deals with shipping solutions and logistics providers. You do not want to lose a customer to Amazon that will provide free delivery for products over £5.

2) Wanted to comparison shop: 37%

List your products on Google Base, Price Runner and other price comparison websites. This can bring new traffic and also allow customers to compare your products with your competitors. The danger here is that you might lose the customer even if your competitor offers the same product for a slight price variation. You might have to spend time comparing the prices of similar products, over the internet, before you publish your price.

3) Could not afford to pay the checkout cost: 36%

Can’t do much if a customer does not have the money to pay. Try using attractive promotions and deals. Customers shop over the internet so that they can save money and time.

4) Went discount coupon hunting at the checkout stage: 27%

If you do not publish discount vouchers or coupons on the internet, do not provide a box asking for Coupon Codes during the checkout. This would make the customer want to go search for coupon codes that relate to your website. They might end up not finding one and abandon the cart.

5) Wanted to shop offline: 26%

Consumers love to touch and feel a product before buying it. This can drive them to compare prices on the website and then go to the store that offers the product of their choice at the best suited price. Even if a customer is prepared to buy a product over the internet, the instinct of instant gratification might force them to go to a nearby store and get the product instantly than waiting for it to be shipped and delivered.

A good work around this can be to announce fast and prompt deliveries using call to actions (banners). Also optimise your supply chain processes so that goods ordered up to late in the evening can still be delivered the next day.

6) Couldn’t find preferred pay option: 24%

Visa and MasterCard are the most popular cards. All payment gateways should accept them. Try to accommodate niche cards like American Express. You might have to pay extra bucks to offer the option, but decide if it will be an absolute necessity.

Some customers might not feel comfortable using their credit cards over the internet. You could possibly offer offline options like accepting payment over the phone, cheques, bank transfers, etc. The downside of offline payment processing is that you need additional staff/time to handle the transactions.

7) Item unavailable at checkout: 23%

Though this is a rare situation, it could happen that a product gets purchased by a customer and goes out of stock by the time another customer adds it to the cart. Not much can be done to avoid this situation, unless you allow back orders. With the back ordering option you can still sell the product and source the additional stock than loosing out on the sale.

8) Couldn’t find customer support: 22%

I would never buy from a website if I can’t find a customer service contact number or address displayed on a website. Flash your phone number and email address on the home page. Also dedicate a page for terms and conditions. Customers who are new to your website need to reassured that you will treat them as a premium customer and offer the best possible service.

9) Security concerns: 21%

If you have a shared SSL security certificate, consider getting your own SSL certificate. There are a range of SSL certificates that you can buy that will allow your customers to shop with confidence that their details and credit card information will not land in the wrong hands. Promote the site’s security measures on the home page of the website.

Ecommerce is a very competitive market as you are in a very big pond of retailers. It is absolutely necessary that you make sure not to lose any potential customer (who has put a product on the shopping cart). For eCommerce consultation and website solutions at affordable costs, contact Optimise Web. Also attend the free ebusiness workshops organised by your local Business Gateway.

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