All blog posts

Understanding The Top 5 Reasons Why Customers Abandon Their Online Carts And How To Boost Your Conversion Rates

Photo: Ostukaru_Kauri-artikkel
Photo: Ostukaru_Kauri-artikkel

Author: Kauri Ääremann

Imagine this scenario: You’ve carefully crafted your online store, stocked it with amazing products, and lured customers in with irresistible deals. But just when you think they’re about to hit that “Checkout” button, an axe murderer comes in and ruins everything. Okay, maybe not a literal axe murderer, but these five reasons for cart abandonment can be just as deadly to your conversion rates.

Table Of Content
The Hateful 5 Conversion Killers:

  • Extra Costs
  • Required to Create an Account
  • Slow delivery
  • Didn’t Trust The Site With Credit Card Information
  • Complicated Checkout Process

Testing The Changes You’ve Done To Your E-Commerce Site
The Importance Of Regularly Auditing Your E-Commerce Site

The Hateful 5 Conversion Killers
In this article, we will explore the main reasons why customers abandon their online carts and how they can impact your e-commerce business. From unexpected extra costs and the hassle of creating an account to concerns about slow delivery, credit card security, and complicated checkout processes, we will delve into each of these issues in detail. By understanding these pain points and finding ways to address them, you can optimize your online shopping experience and boost your conversion rates. Let’s dive in!

  1. Extra Costs
    Nearly 50% of U.S. consumers abandoned their online purchases at the checkout, citing additional costs like shipping, taxes, or fees as the primary reason. Additionally, a significant number of shoppers in the United States often abandoned their online purchases due to being required to create an account or experiencing slow delivery times.

    UnitedStates: cart abandonment reasons 2022 | Statista

    The most influential factor that prompted online shoppers worldwide to add products to their carts and complete purchases was free delivery, with over 50% of consumers indicating that this perk would increase their likelihood of buying online. Additionally, customer reviews and convenient return policies were also significant considerations for many online shoppers (Statista).

    Cost is a critical factor for shoppers, and it’s unsurprising that additional costs added during the checkout process are a major contributor to cart abandonment.

    When users are about to proceed to checkout, they typically have an expectation of the form-filling process that lies ahead. However, if they are uncertain about the total cost of their order, including taxes and shipping, it can create hesitation and reluctance to complete the checkout. Forcing users to fill out multiple form fields across several steps before revealing the total order cost, which may include unexpected fees or expensive shipping charges, can be discouraging. This late revelation of the total cost not only increases the likelihood of cart abandonment but can also result in users developing a negative perception of the website, feeling deceived by the incomplete initial order total provided.

    Shortcoming – shipping cost (or even estimation) is not provided to the customer:

    Good example – estimated shipping cost is shown to the customer:

    The high rate of cart abandonment during the online checkout process can be attributed to various factors, including additional costs like shipping, taxes, or fees, the requirement to create an account, slow delivery times, and the lack of transparency in revealing the total order cost. Free delivery, customer reviews, and convenient return policies were identified as influential factors that can increase online shoppers’ likelihood of completing a purchase. The cost is a critical consideration for shoppers, and unexpected expenses added during checkout can significantly impact their decision to proceed with the purchase. Providing clear and transparent information about the total order cost early in the checkout process can help reduce cart abandonment and improve the overall user experience on an online platform.

  2. Required To Create An Account
    When it comes to first-time customers in your online store, a fast and friction-free checkout experience is crucial. However, this can be hindered when they are asked to create an account. Fields that require unnecessary information, such as birthday, can be time-consuming and frustrating for shoppers who just want to make a single purchase. As a result, approximately 24% of cart abandonment occurs because of the requirement to create an account. Even for returning customers, remembering login credentials can be challenging, considering the average internet user has around 100 passwords to manage.

    To address this issue and improve the checkout experience for potential customers, offering a guest checkout option or an accelerated checkout option that remembers customer information can be an effective solution. By providing these alternatives, you can streamline the checkout process and reduce cart abandonment, ensuring a smoother and more convenient experience for your customers.

    Suggestion: It is advisable to always offer users the choice to proceed with the checkout process as a guest:

    Avoid – guest checkout is entirely missing:

  3. Slow Delivery
    Running an e-commerce business inevitably comes with shipping frustrations as an integral part of the process, regardless of whether you are engaged in B2B or B2C transactions. However, there are proactive measures you can take to preempt most issues. Whether you are shipping to businesses or individual customers, overcoming common e-commerce shipping challenges is crucial for the success of your company. With consumer expectations for superior shipping services increasing each year, it’s imperative to have a seamless shipping experience.

    Free Shipping
    The gold standard in e-commerce shipping is fast and free shipping. However, even free shipping on its own can be a powerful incentive, as shoppers often prioritize it over speedy shipping. When customers can receive their goods without paying any shipping costs, they tend to be more understanding of delays.

    One effective approach is to offer free shipping across the board, but this may not be feasible for all retailers, especially if they are dealing with heavy products. Alternatively, you can establish a free shipping threshold by identifying your median order value, which is the value that 50%of your orders exceed.

    If offering free shipping upfront is not feasible, you may consider retroactively providing it. This could involve reimbursing customers who experienced shipping delays by reaching out to them with discount codes or store credit to cover their shipping costs, or by issuing direct refunds.

    Give A Full Overview Of The Shipping Process
    What customers currently desire is increased communication regarding any hiccups in e-commerce shipping. Shoppers expect regular updates on the status of their shipments, as well as transparency about inventory, such as back orders or pre-orders, and any potential supply chain challenges, to avoid unexpected delays. Keeping customers informed about these factors is essential to meet their expectations and provide a positive shopping experience.

    When it comes to delivery speed, instead of solely indicating the shipping speed (e.g., “Delivery Speed: 3-5 Business Days”), it is recommended to provide users with a specific delivery date(e.g., “Delivery Date: June 16 – 18th”) for each available delivery option, with a focus on accuracy. This will provide customers with more precise information about when they can expect their shipment to arrive, enhancing their understanding and satisfaction with the delivery process.

    Do not show only the shipping speed:

    Communicate to the customer the specific delivery date or period:

    In Case Of Delay, Offer Discounts
    When customers are upset about delayed shipping in e-commerce, offering them a discount on their next purchase can help alleviate their concerns.

    Shoppers generally enjoy receiving deals, as evidenced by the fact that a significant percentage of US shoppers (64%) consider discounts important when shopping for clothes, with an additional 31% considering it somewhat important. This behavior is also observed in other industries, where the use of coupons is prevalent among a majority of customers.

    While customers may be disappointed with slow shipping times, knowing that they can save money on their next purchase with a discount can help incentivize them to shop with your business again. It’s almost as if they would be leaving money on the table if they don’t return. With some luck, the shipping time for their next purchase may not be as long, further enhancing their shopping experience.

  4. Didn’t Trust The Site With Credit Card Information
    Nearly 1.4 million individuals in the US in 2020 reported falling victim to identity theft. Given that online checkout, processes involve the submission of sensitive information such as credit card numbers and home addresses, it’s understandable that modern-day shoppers are concerned about their privacy when shopping online.

    Statistics reveal that approximately 18% of people abandon their online shopping carts due to a lack of trust in the website’s ability to safeguard their credit card information.

    To address this concern and build trust with customers, there are several measures that can be taken on your e-commerce website. These include:

    1. Installing an SSL certificate to ensure secure communication between the website and the user’s browser.
    2. Highlighting customer testimonials to showcase positive experiences and build social proof.
    3. Showcasing warranties or guarantees to provide reassurance about the quality and reliability of your products or services.

    These efforts can collectively help combat customer concerns about privacy and security, and improve the overall shopping experience on your e-commerce website.

  5. Complicated Checkout Process
    Don’t over-complicate the checkout process – less is better. Retailers often use popular form fields such as name, address, and birthday to gain insights about their customers. However, these information-seeking efforts may actually be driving customers away, with 17% of people abandoning their shopping carts due to a lengthy and complicated checkout process.

    The checkout experience is a critical factor that determines the success of your online store. A seamless and positive checkout process should lead shoppers to the purchase confirmation page with minimal clicks, while a cumbersome one may result in mid-way exits.

    Implementing improved checkout design can have a significant impact on conversion rates for an average large-sized e-commerce business, with a potential increase of 35.26%. In fact, it is estimated that optimizing the checkout flow and design could recover lost orders worth around $260 billion in total.

    Here are some key points to streamline your checkout process:
    • Simplify Form Fields: Keep the number of form fields to a minimum, only asking for essential information that is necessary for the purchase. Avoid long and complicated forms that can frustrate customers and lead to cart abandonment.
    • Guest Checkout Option: Provide an option for customers to checkout as guests without requiring them to create an account. This reduces friction and speeds up the checkout process for first-time or returning customers who prefer not to create an account.
    • Clear and Visible Progress Indicators: Clearly display the steps involved in the checkout process and provide progress indicators, so customers know how far they are in the process and what to expect next. This helps to manage customer expectations and reduce uncertainty.
    • Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure that your checkout process is optimized for mobile devices, as a growing number of customers make purchases using their smartphones. A mobile-friendly design with large buttons, easy navigation, and minimal typing requirements can significantly improve the checkout experience.
    • Multiple Payment Options: Offer a variety of payment options to cater to different customer preferences. This can include credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and other popular payment methods. Simplify the payment process with auto-fill features and minimize the number of steps required to complete the payment.
    • Trust and Security: Display trust badges, SSL certificates, and other security indicators prominently during the checkout process to reassure customers about the security of their personal and payment information. This can help to build trust and confidence in your e-commerce website.
    • Error-Free Checkout: Regularly test your checkout process for any errors or issues that may cause delays or errors during the payment process. Fix any technical glitches promptly to ensure a smooth and seamless checkout experience.

  6. Testing The Changes You’ve Done To Your E-Commerce Site
    Optimizing your web page’s conversion rate is crucial for online success. However, making changes without testing can be risky. A/B testing, which involves comparing two versions of a webpage, allows you to systematically evaluate and measure the impact of changes, helping you make informed decisions based on data.

    A/B testing, is a methodology used to compare two or more versions of a webpage or app to determine which one performs better in terms of a specific conversion goal. It involves randomly showing different variations of a page to users and using statistical analysis to determine the best-performing version.

    A/B testing allows you to ask focused questions about changes to your website or app and collect data to make data-informed decisions. It takes the guesswork out of website optimization and ensures that changes produce positive results by measuring their impact on metrics. Testing is a crucial tool for optimizing websites and apps, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and drive better conversion rates.

  7. The Importance Of Regularly Auditing Your E-Commerce Site
    Adapting to market changes is crucial for businesses to stay relevant and successful in today’s dynamic business landscape. Conducting regular CRO audits to monitor website performance and making necessary adjustments is an effective way to stay on top of market changes and meet the needs and expectations of the target audience. Understanding user behavior is also essential in improving customer experience and identifying opportunities for personalization and optimization. CRO solutions offer a cost-effective approach to increase conversions and generate higher ROI without requiring significant resources. Investing in CRO can result in a significant increase in revenue, even with the same traffic volume. By staying agile and proactive in adapting to market changes and understanding user behavior, businesses can optimize their website and drive growth in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

In Conclusion

Cart abandonment remains a significant challenge for e-commerce businesses, with various factors contributing to this issue. Extra costs such as shipping and taxes, the requirement to create an account, slow delivery times, and lack of transparency in revealing the total order cost are all common conversion killers that can result in lost sales. To optimize the online shopping experience and boost conversion rates, it’s crucial to address these pain points. Providing clear and transparent information about the total order cost early in the checkout process, offering guest checkout options or accelerated checkout options, and improving communication about shipping delays can all help reduce cart abandonment and improve the overall user experience. By understanding and addressing these challenges, e-commerce businesses can increase their chances of converting potential customers into loyal buyers.

Link to the original article on Conversiontigers.

All blog posts