Conversion Wednesday – Shopping Cart Abandonment

By Dan G


Why do people abandon shopping carts? There are many reasons behind cart abandonment. But I think we can boil those reasons down into 5 major categories:

  • Comparison Shopping
  • Options
  • Confusion
  • Impatience
  • Fear

In today’s video, we’ll go through this list and reveal how you may be able to resolve and prevent these cart abandonments from happening on your site.

The eCommerce world is like a local farmer’s market. People like to have a variety of options when they’re strolling the parking lot. However, the less options there are, the less likely they are to stick around. Because if there’s only one guy selling apples. Number one, there’s no comparison shopping to be done and Number two, what’s the likelihood of you getting a good deal on apples? (Let me give you a hint: Its not so good.) Thus, more people are apt to leave or “abandon their cart”.

Switching to the eCommerce world now, it’s not unusual for consumers to go right through the buying process all the way to the checkout stage for the sole purpose of getting a true indication of what their FINAL PURCHASE PRICE will be including tax and shipping. Comparison shoppers will repeat this process on many sites before making a purchase.

So what can you do to keep “comparison shoppers” from abandoning your site? You not only need to strive to have the best prices, but you also need to strive to have the best and biggest variety of options. That means color options, size options, and payment options! Offering as many payment options as possible allows your customers to pay more likely than not with their favorite payment method. And letting your clients know which payment options are available up-front improves conversion rates and reduces shopping cart abandonment.

Okay, So now let’s say a shopper visits your site and gets confused from mixed messages or just the checkout process in general. Of course they’re going to abandon their cart in hopes of finding a less-confusing experience. This is a major issue because consumers may get confused about how the process works, about added costs such as shipping, or distracted by other elements on the pages. Confusing shipping rate messaging or Charging excessive shipping rates can cause many e-shoppers to leave without completing the purchase process altogether. One way to reduce confusion abandonment is to be up-front and consistent on shipping costs and all of your messaging. In the cart, you can also try to utilize Live shipping rates from a shipping provider to stay on top of fluctuating shipping rates.

Another cause of cart abandonment is “Impatience”. If a shopper finds that there are too many checkout pages, shopping cart pages that load slowly, or sites that require registration before purchase, or even requests for too much non-purchase related information, any and all of those factors can send other-wise potential shoppers fleeing from your site. To counter this, get yourself and others to “test” your cart by looking specifically for ways to streamline the checkout process and shoppers to the order-confirmation pages as quick as possible by reducing the number of required fields and page-loads to get to that point.

Last but not least, we have those shoppers that get scared before clicking that final “checkout” button. Keep in mind that the consumer is about to hand over their credit card details to a complete stranger, and if they have any degree of common sense, they’ll be wary and rightly so. Anything that seems a little out of the ordinary on order forms that ask for too much personal or unnecessary information may scare them away. To thwart this issue, again make sure you streamline your process, reduce site errors in all browsers, and place “trustworthy” logos like “Verisign”, “PayPal” and “Better Business Bureau” logos in a prime location on your checkout pages to reassure your shoppers.

So there you have it. Those are the 5 most common reasons for cart abandonment. Now that you are aware of these errors and how to deal with them. Is there any assistance you might be yearning for in finding and repairing these abandonment reasons on your site? If so, please consider utilizing our testing program.

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