Cart abandonment is a common issue that affects many e-commerce businesses. It refers to the act of adding items to a shopping cart but leaving the website before completing the purchase.
Cart abandonment can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line, as it means lost sales and revenue. In fact, according to research, the average cart abandonment rate is around 70%, which means that for every 10 shoppers who add items to their cart, only 3 will complete the purchase.
As an e-commerce business owner, it’s important to understand why customers abandon their carts and what you can do to reduce cart abandonment rates. In this blog post, we’ll explore the main causes of cart abandonment and provide actionable tips for reducing it on your website.
Understanding the Reasons for Cart Abandonment
In autumn 2022, nearly 44% of online shoppers worldwide abandoned their shopping carts due to issues with delivery options.
These issues included the unavailability of preferred delivery methods and providers, as well as anticipated delivery delays. Payment options were the second most common reason for incomplete e-commerce purchases, affecting approximately 40% of shoppers.
Image: Top reasons for cart abandonment among online shoppers worldwide. Source: Statista
Here are some prime reasons for cart abandonment:
1. High Shipping Costs
One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment is high shipping costs. Customers may be deterred by unexpected shipping fees or may feel that the cost of shipping outweighs the benefits of the purchase. To reduce cart abandonment due to high shipping costs, consider offering free shipping or flat-rate shipping. If that’s not possible, be transparent about shipping costs and provide estimated delivery dates.
2. Complicated Checkout Process
A complicated or lengthy checkout process can also contribute to cart abandonment. Customers may become frustrated with having to fill out multiple forms or create an account before they can complete their purchase. To streamline the checkout process, simplify the checkout flow, offer guest checkout, reduce the number of form fields, and use progress indicators.
3. Lack of Trust in the Website or Payment Process
Customers may abandon their carts if they don’t trust the website or payment process. This can be due to a lack of security measures or unclear return policies.
Approximately 18% of US shoppers leave their carts behind for this reason.
To build trust and credibility, display trust badges and security seals, include customer reviews and ratings, and provide clear return policies and contact information.
4. Comparison Shopping
Customers may abandon their carts if they are comparison shopping or looking for a better deal elsewhere. To reduce cart abandonment due to comparison shopping, consider offering price matching or limited-time offers and discounts.
5. Lack of Urgency
Finally, customers may abandon their carts if they don’t feel a sense of urgency to complete their purchase. To create urgency and incentivize purchases, use limited-time offers and discounts, display low stock alerts, and offer free gifts or samples with purchase.
6. Return and Refund Policies
Customers can become frustrated by complicated or restrictive return and refund policies.
They generally prefer straightforward and hassle-free processes for returning or exchanging products. Worldwide, approximately 32% of consumers abandon their shopping carts due to these issues.
In the US, 12% of consumers do not complete their purchases because they find the return policies to be unsatisfactory.
7. Payment Options
One of the most significant customer pain points in e-commerce is payment options. If customers are unable to pay using their preferred method, they are more likely to abandon their shopping cart.
A global survey conducted in 2022 revealed that 40% of online shoppers worldwide abandoned their carts due to a lack of preferred payment methods.
Another survey conducted in 2023 by the Baymard Institute found that 11% of US shoppers abandoned their carts due to a lack of payment options.Payment options are one of the biggest customer pain points in e-commerce. If customers are not able to pay using their preferred method, they are more likely to abandon their cart.
8. Website Usability
If a website is poorly designed or confusing, customers may find it challenging to locate what they need, which can lead to frustration and abandoned shopping carts.
9. Mobile Experience
Customers now expect brands to provide a comprehensive mobile experience, and a lack of mobile optimization can be a significant issue as mobile shopping continues to grow.
Customers want a seamless shopping experience on their smartphones.
According to Google research, 64% of smartphone users expect a site to load in 4 seconds or less, and 40% of consumers have turned to a competitor for a better mobile experience.
Additionally, 1 in 4 shoppers abandon their carts if a site’s navigation is too complex.
Poor mobile experience can negatively impact a company’s reputation beyond losing a sale.
It can leave users feeling deeply frustrated, with 48% expressing frustration and irritation when encountering non-mobile-friendly sites.
Furthermore, 36% feel their time is wasted on such websites, and 52% are less inclined to interact with a company due to a subpar mobile experience.
When a website doesn’t function well on their smartphones, 48% of users perceive a lack of care for their business.
10. Out of Stock Items
Because popular items tend to sell out quickly, customers who add them to their cart and return a few minutes later may find that the desired product is out of stock, which can be disappointing and lead to cart abandonment.
To address this issue, implementing inventory management strategies and providing real-time stock updates is crucial to improving the overall shopping experience and reducing disappointment among buyers.
11. Lack of Product Information
Customers may find it difficult to make informed decisions, particularly for complex or technical products, if the product information is incomplete or insufficient.
12. Hidden Fees
When unexpected fees, such as additional charges during the checkout process, arise, it can result in a loss of trust and ultimately lead to cart abandonment.
Image: Main reasons why US consumers abandon their orders during the checkout process in 2022. Source: Statista
13. Inadequate Personalization
Personalized recommendations and content tailored to customers’ interests and past behavior are highly valued by customers. A lack of personalization can result in a less engaging shopping experience.
Strategies for Reducing Cart Abandonment
To combat cart abandonment, retailers and ecommerce brands must carefully assess the customer pain points and address them in order to provide a seamless shopping experience. Here are some of the strategies to incorporate in order to reduce ecommerce shopping cart abandonment.
1. Streamline the Checkout Process
To minimize friction during the checkout process, it’s crucial to streamline it for a seamless experience.
- Simplify the checkout flow:
Eliminate unnecessary steps and distractions, keeping the process straightforward and easy to follow.
- Offer guest checkout:
Allow customers to make purchases without requiring them to create an account, reducing barriers to completion.
- Reduce the number of form fields:
Minimize the amount of information customers need to input, making it quick and hassle-free.
- Use progress indicators:
Clearly indicate the steps involved in the checkout process, giving customers a sense of progress and reducing uncertainty.
2. Address Shipping Costs and Delivery Times
High shipping costs and uncertain delivery times are common reasons for cart abandonment. Mitigate these concerns to encourage customers to complete their purchase.
- Offer free shipping or flat-rate shipping:
Absorbing or standardizing shipping costs can incentivize customers to proceed with their purchase.
- Provide estimated delivery dates:
Clearly communicate when customers can expect their items to arrive, setting realistic expectations.
- Be transparent about shipping costs and policies:
Display shipping costs upfront and provide clear information on return policies, ensuring customers feel informed and confident in their purchase.
3. Build Trust and Credibility
Building trust is essential for reducing cart abandonment. Establish credibility and address customer concerns to instill confidence in your brand.
- Display trust badges and security seals:
Showcase recognized security certifications to reassure customers that their personal information is protected.
- Include customer reviews and ratings:
Highlight positive feedback from satisfied customers to build social proof and trust in your products or services.
- Provide clear return policies and contact information:
Clearly communicate your return policy, making it easy for customers to reach out with any questions or concerns.
4. Create Urgency and Incentivize Purchases
Creating a sense of urgency and offering incentives can help nudge customers towards completing their purchase.
- Use limited-time offers and discounts:
Implement time-limited promotions or discounts to create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate action.
- Display low stock alerts:
Highlight when items are running low in stock, motivating customers to make a purchase before missing out.
- Offer free gifts or samples with purchase:
Provide additional value by offering complimentary gifts or samples, enticing customers to finalize their order.
Implementing these strategies requires ongoing monitoring, testing, and optimization to continuously improve the checkout experience and reduce cart abandonment rates.
5. Incorporate Video Shopping to Reduce Cart Abandonment
Incorporating video shopping can reduce cart abandonment and enhance the shopping experience.
Video shopping allows customers to engage with products in an immersive way, providing a better understanding of the product’s features, benefits, and functionality. Here are a few ways to incorporate video shopping:
- Product Demonstrations:
Video demonstrations of products help customers make informed purchasing decisions and reduce cart abandonment.
For example, a clothing retailer can showcase videos of models wearing different outfits to give customers a better idea of how the clothes will look on them.
- Virtual Try-Ons:
Offering virtual try-ons through video shopping can significantly reduce cart abandonment for industries like cosmetics, eyewear, or home decor.
Customers can virtually try on products or visualize how they would look in their own space using AR or VR technology.
- Live Product Q&A Sessions:
Hosting live stream shopping and Q&A sessions where customers can ask questions about products in real-time builds trust and confidence in the product, reducing cart abandonment.
For example, an electronics retailer can host live video sessions where experts answer customer questions about the features and functionality of different gadgets.
6. Retarget Shoppers with Ads
Retargeting ads can display targeted and personalized ads to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, reminding them of the products they were interested in and encouraging them to return and complete their purchase.
- Display Ads:
Show targeted ads to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, reminding them of the products they were interested in and encouraging them to return and complete their purchase.
- Dynamic Product Ads:
Utilize dynamic product ads to show personalized ads featuring the exact products that customers abandoned in their carts, increasing the chances of re-engagement.
- Social Media Retargeting:
Leverage social media platforms to retarget customers with ads based on their previous shopping behavior, reaching them where they spend a significant amount of time online.
7. Send Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails to Bring Back Lost Shoppers
Shopping cart abandonment emails are automated messages sent to customers who have left items in their carts, reminding them of the abandoned products and encouraging them to return and complete their purchase, often with personalized incentives or discounts.
- Reminder Emails:
Send automated emails to customers who have abandoned their carts, reminding them of the items they left behind and encouraging them to complete their purchase. Include a clear call-to-action and possibly offer a discount or incentive to entice them back.
Personalize shopping cart abandonment emails by addressing customers by name and including images and descriptions of the abandoned products. This personal touch can increase the likelihood of re-engagement.
- Follow-up Emails:
Implement a series of follow-up emails to remind customers about their abandoned carts over a period of time. Gradually escalate the urgency or offer additional incentives to encourage them to return and complete their purchase.
Cart abandonment is a significant challenge for e-commerce businesses, but it can be addressed with the right strategies.
By understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment and implementing effective solutions, businesses can reduce cart abandonment rates and improve their bottom line.
Providing a seamless and personalized shopping experience, offering incentives, simplifying the checkout process, and utilizing retargeting ads and shopping cart abandonment emails are some of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment on your website.
By prioritizing customer needs and preferences, businesses can build trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to increased conversions and revenue.