15 Reasons Customers Abandon Your Cart and Solutions

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They arrive on your site, take a look around, load items into their virtual cart. The next step is simple, right? All they have to do is buy from there! Wrong. If you have an eCommerce site, you know it just isn’t that simple, and for a variety of reasons, there could be things related to your site that hold people back from making a purchase with you. There are some things that have been discussed for a while on the blogs (and will be discussed again in this list), and there are other aspects that we are just unpacking as reasons people might abandon your cart in 2015. So sit back, and take note of the reasons on this list—it is our hope you can grow and get more consumers to finish with a purchase on your ecommerce site.

1. Customers are Presented with Unexpected Costs at the Time of Purchase

According to some recent research: 56 percent of shoppers said that one of the main reasons they left a site without completing their purchase was unexpected costs at checkout. We have all experienced this before. After you are done adding items to your cart, you decide to checkout and find that there are additional fees that were not presented to you on the original product page.

Lesson learned: Make your prices clear before people add them to your cart (and definitely before the check-out page is launched).

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2. Your Website Crashed or was too Slow to Tolerate

Depending on where you host your online store, this could be a very serious issue for you. Many online retailers host their websites on poor performing servers and as a result their site loads slow and crashes. If your site can not handle the traffic load, this is definitely going to frustrate your customer.

Lesson learned: Switch to a dedicated host so that not only does your site load faster, but spill-over consequences such as search visibility and sales will improve too.

3. Your Website Doesn’t Utilize a Preemptive System

First and foremost, it is really hard to know what you are doing poorly at without using a systemized method for tracking campaigns. Use a checkout diagnostic tool to help create weekly assessment reports—this can really help to identify issues with your checkout and provide further insight around your checkout process before you even turn your campaigns live.

Lesson learned: Before you turn on any of your campaigns use a checkout diagnostic tool.

4. The Follow Through: You Aren’t Capturing Emails

If you don’t get your customers emails at the time of their purchase or visit to the site, how are you suppose to remarket and get them to make a second or third purchase with your brand? If they are abandoning your shopping cart before purchase then you definitely need to find a way to get their email before the check-out portal. One way to do this is by using popups to get shoppers to enter an email address or create a membership-only site that requires login credentials. While the first is definitely a more easy-going approach, both of these methods will allow you to track shopping carts and email users when their carts have been abandoned. With this feature you can market directly to your shopper that has gone astray with gentle reminders.

Lesson learned: Capture emails either through a pop-up on your website or a membership-only feature.

5. Your Checkout Process is Slow and Long

People shop online out of convenience. It should make sense that when your checkout process is both slow and lengthy that you are going to lose some of your shoppers. A single page view is always going to be better than having your shopper click through multiple screens in order to make their purchase. A couple screens is one thing if it is efficient, but try to condense the the information to one screen if possible. Another option is to provide a sidebar with numbered steps (no more than 4 is advisable) so that the user can see how close they are to completion. Lastly, always give your customer to save their preferred payment and shipping information in order to make their checkout easier the next time they shop with you.

Lesson learned: Make sure your checkout is quick and painless. Always give customers the option to save payment information.

6. Shoppers Discover that Your Prices Aren’t Competitive

Keep in mind that there is always the chance that if a shopper abandoned their cart that they may have found a better deal somewhere else. Make sure that you make it a habit of checking your competitors and making sure that your price points are competitive for the industry that you are in.

Lesson learned: Have a competitive price point, and take the industry online market into account.

7. You Haven’t Optimized Your Checkout — and Consumers can Tell

Something that can be considered an umbrella for many of the things we have already discussed is that your check out process should be optimized. This extends beyond length and speed— it should appear secure, be intuitive, easy to use, and require as little information on their end as possible while also giving you the data you need for future marketing.

Lesson learned: Optimize checkout in everyday possible! Make it easy for people to make a purchase with you.

8. You Don’t Accept a Variety of Payment Methods

It is true that it can be more expensive to offer a variety of payment methods, it can definitely pay off—especially if this is a reason that you are losing customer. Think of it this way, site patrons may want to pay with a certain method, and if that isn’t available they are more likely to.

Lesson Learn: Integrate as many payment options into your site as possible to be accessible for all.

9. Your Shipping Cost is Unreasonably High for Most Customers

While this may be out of the question at first, your goal should be to offer the best shipping prices possible to your customers. Unfortunately, if your customers get to the check out page and discover that shipping prices are too high that is certainly a reason for them to abandon purchasing with your site. One way to offer free shipping is by placing a purchase minimum which is in your expense margins, and also beneficial to the customer. When you can do this make sure to offer a promotional message on the view cart page as well as the home page for your eCommerce component which says something, “Free Shipping on Orders Over $__.” Another thing that you can do is create a shipping calculator along with added tax on the view cart page so consumers are aware of the total price per purchase.

Lesson learned: Try to offer free shipping with a purchase minimum. Make your shipping prices competitive and offer a shipping and tax calculator at the time of check-out.

10. Your Customers Experience Technical Difficulties with their Shopping Cart

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many shoppers will get frustrated when their items don’t save to their cart correctly. This goes back to the idea of optimization: make sure that your site is functioning at the best level possible.

Lesson learned: Account for varying traffic levels and user interactions. Make sure that your online shopping cart is saving and operating correctly to make the best shopping experience possible.

11. You Don’t Take International Customers into Account

With the international market being available to eCommerce business, you need to take customers that are ordering abroad into account (especially in 2015)! This is something that businesses were not previously considering that needs to be taken in to account now. Most major online retailers accept international orders. If you are not yet, you definitely want to consider making that update as soon as it is feasible. Once you do it’s important that you display what the cost will be in the shopper’s local currency.

Lesson learned: Once you offer international shipping, have your website optimized to select for foreign currency, or the option to convert what the price will be for your customers ordering abroad.

12. You Don’t Show Images of Items Purchased at Check Out

Customers that are ordering in large quantities may want the ability to check and make sure that their order is accurate. One of the best ways to do this is by showing images at check out.

Lesson learned: You should provide clear thumbnails of the items the customer is purchasing.

13. You Don’t Display Security Logos

Sometimes shoppers don’t purchase because they are concerned about security—especially if your company is not yet established. A study was conducted by Get Elastic, where an online retailer discovered that by placing a security logo on their site their sales increased 4-6%. It is clear that most people feel more secure when they see that your site is well-protected.

Lesson learned: Provide security logos on your website to give shoppers peace of mind.

14. Editing the Cart is too Difficult

Everyone makes mistakes. If a shopper on your website made a mistake by the time they get to checkout, it should be very easy for them to go back and change what they need to, and then re-return to their cart. You don’t want them to get frustrated and leave.

Lesson learned: Make sure that it is really easy for customers to edit their cart and return right back to check out.

15. Your Website is too Focused on New Customers

According to this landing page obtaining new customers tends to remain a top priority for many e-commerce companies. While this is important, it is really critical that you don’t forget about your current and returning customers. These consumers are much more likely to make another purchase from your site than a new consumer is likely to make a first transaction.

Lesson learned: Offer incentives to returning customers at the time of check-out or send emails with rewards after purchase. Always remember the importance of returning customers.

Shopping cart Photo via Shutterstock

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4 Reactions
  1. Any company that forces me to add a product to the cart and then go a step or two into the checkout process before seeing shipping costs will probably see me abandon. I want to know the full cost before I start registering, giving an email or putting in any kind of information.

  2. Hello,
    I enjoy reading you blog. The abandon of shopping cart exit by the customers is the biggest concern for the eCommerce store owner. To find out the reason why customers are abandoning the shopping cart and improving accordingly is the most important thing for eCommerce stores to retain the customers. Below are some other reasons for abandon shopping carts.

    1. Registration Mandatory for Checkout
    2. Excessive Information Required
    3. Taxes Not Included in Price
    4. Checkout is not responsive

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