Almost all e-commerce businesses, at some point or the other, have been through the question – why great deals of people abandon the shopping cart?
Cart abandonment means when a shopper adds product(s) to the online cart and begins the checkout process but leaves the website before completing the purchase.
This situation is primarily a case with online shopping. As opposed to online shopping, it is rare to see someone abandon the shopping cart at the departmental store when queued up at the cash counter.
But as said, the online-centric problem is a major food for thought for e-commerce businesses. According to various estimates and researches, the percentage of shoppers abandoning the cart and bailing out from checkout, ranges anywhere between 67 percent through 80 percent, varying from website to website.
So what are the major reasons, why do people bail out at the last moment while shopping online?
Every quarter or so, you can find some company or the other releasing its survey outlining the primary reasons why users abandon their shopping cart. Most of the times the reports have the same repeated issues. The six biggest and most common reasons why people abandon the shopping cart are as follows.
- A complicated checkout process
- Limited payment options
- Shipping charges
- Security and payment
- Delivery and return policy
- Customer is there just to have a look
A Complicated Checkout Process
Many people checkout and then leave without making a purchase because of a lengthy and complicated checkout process. People also feel annoyed when the user is mandated to set up an account before placing an order. Many e-commerce companies that offer streamlined and easy-to-navigate processes in the checkout tend to have lesser fallouts as compared to the ones with too many things to do at checkout. Thus, minimizing the number of fields and modules a customer has to fill before making a purchase can entice people to go all the length to make a purchase.
Marketers believe, unless you are selling a product which is slightly complex – holiday package with multiple options of lodging, transport, etc., the checkout process shouldn’t be too complicated and should have minimum possible fields. The idea is basically to make the process as simple and short for the customer.
Limited Payment Options
Some customers are rigid while making a payment. Some customers are concerned while making a payment. In both cases, the customer has a predetermined choice of method of payment. If the method of payment is not available in the checkout, the customer is deterred and exists without making the payment. You, as an e-commerce merchant, want to give them choices.
The checkout page should feature payment options, but not limited to, credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and cash on delivery. When a customer sees a range of options to choose from they are likely to take up one option to make the payment.
Believe it or not, shipping charges associated with the price of a product is a big turndown for many customers. And if surveys by companies are believed, it is one of the biggest deterrents – a reason people checkout but left midway without making a payment.
International customers especially add to this number, since they do not often qualify for free shipping, irrespective of the amount they are spending.
Offering free shipping option at checkout for both domestic and international customers can increase purchases and promote brand loyalty.
Many sellers tend to have a minimum price threshold above which they offer free shipping. If you are following this strategy, you need to ensure the average purchase price is not very inflated, which works as a deterrent to the customer.
Security of payment
Every person today is concerned about his personal security online. With growing cases of hacking, cyber-attacks and information breaches online, people think twice before making a payment or giving out their details to a new website.
When a person reaches your website, it is of utmost importance to ensure the customer feels secure while leaving his/her details and making payment.
Most people leave the checkout process when they sense a slightest sign of bad in the process. Offering a sense of security to customers is not as difficult as webmasters think it is.
To make the process really secure, the website should have a valid SSL certificate and should offer a secure connection. Additionally, the details about the key people in the company, the contact numbers, and email addresses, etc., should be properly mentioned.
A customer should get the feeling that they can reach real people behind the business in case something goes wrong.
It is almost difficult to achieve a 100 percent checkout rate, but a strong e-commerce website that takes the security of the customer seriously, the rate of cart abandonment can surely be decreased.
Delivery and Return Policy
Shipping time and the cost of the product are two primary factors that play on the mind of the customer and influence purchase decisions. There are many e-commerce websites that wait until checkout to reveal the shipping cost associated with the product. This policy is a real deterrent irrespective of the amount of shipping charge.
To show shipping cost at the time of checkout gives rise to two things – one, it allows the customer to add items to the cart to check the final cost of the product, on seeing which the customer walks away; two, an unaware customer is deterred from going ahead with the purchase, since they are put off by the extra shipping cost.
The best option is to show the shipping cost upfront with the cost of the product. Also, it should be the case with the website’s return policy. Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from a website that has an easy and just return policy.
There Just To Have a Look
A great deal of people reach the checkout page and then abandon the purchase because they are just window shopping. Yes, just as shoppers in the physical world would visit stores to check out stuff with no real intention of buying, online buyers also visit online stores to check out products and prices.
Such people do not have an intention to buy and tend to abandon the cart most often.
A R Kouli is the founder and editor at Hoodielab – a leading handmade all over print clothes manufacturer and supplier. He likes writing about the latest trends and tips for the e-commerce industry.