Shopping Cart Abandonment Is On The Rise: Don’t Leave Money On The Table

Cart abandonment rates continue to increase, from 65.23% in 2012 to 68.63% in January 2016, according to the latest figures from the Baymard Institute. This is based on the average of 33 studies, from IBM to Forrester, with the percentage of abandoned carts rising 15% in the last five years.sodastream payment page

That’s a lot of money left on the table.

According to Business Insider, that’s $4 trillion worth of abandoned carts, with only 1 in 4 customers completing a purchase. E-commerce continues to grow at an impressive pace, but even in world-leading markets, such as America, it only accounts for 7.5% of overall retail sales (as of Q4 2015). Consequently, online retailers are watching overall sales increase, whilst abandon rates continue to rise.

So, if you want to increase online sales instead of pursuing new customers the easiest way to increase revenue is to reduce the rate of abandoned shopping baskets.

Consider how much it is costing in terms of marketing to online prospects. If only 1 in 4 of these customers complete a purchase that’s 75% of your marketing budget going to waste. Furthermore, if that proportion of customers find it difficult to complete an online purchase, it’s likely that those who do manage to buy from you will think twice before returning again.

This means that those retailers with a high cart abandonment rate are not only losing out on new customers, but also damaging their reputation with potentially loyal customers. We all know that it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than to gain a new one, which is another compelling reason to ensure that customers with products in their basket make that purchase.

Why Do Customers Abandon Shopping Baskets?

Here are five key reasons that results in an abandoned shopping basket, and advice for reducing this risk.

#1: Retailer doesn’t have a mobile-responsive website or app

Mobile already accounts for 30% of online revenues. With leading manufacturers such as Apple, reducing handset sizes – making browsing more convenient – that figure is going to increase. However, websites that are not mobile responsive offer a very unsatisfactory user experience.

Mobile shopping should be easier to navigate than using a browser. Serve a customer a fully optimised mobile website (or an app), to ensure that everything from images to checkout save them time, thereby encourage more sales.

#2: Online stores that insist customers create an account

Being asked, or rather forced, to create an account, results in around 25% of web visitors giving up on a shopping experience. Instead signing up for an account should be optional after a sale is complete.

Customers are already providing enough details to create an account, therefore asking “Would you like to save your details for next time?” is part of the experience, rather than a barrier at a critical phase.

#3: Poor website performance

Slow loading websites lose sales. Not only does Google penalise them; customers give up, especially on phones and tablets. Consumers want a fast, seamless process, for browsing and buying.

Constantly test on different devices, browsers, and where possible, from different countries, to ensure international customers are getting the same experience as those who live locally.

#4: Too many steps in the checkout process

The more clicks it takes, the more customers give up. Online retail stores are still figuring out what physical stores worked out decades ago: once a customer has what they need, make the payment process as painless as possible.

Retailers are not flying blind when it comes to design features. Work with UX designers, use analytics and heat maps; gain a customers eye-view of your own store to ensure you have created a simple, easy-to-use checkout.

#5: Restricted payment options

When it comes to the moment of truth, customers need to know two things: is this secure, and can I pay with whatever method I want? Provide both. Studies show that customers don’t necessarily know all the security verification brands, but they know that they want them visible.

Numerous payment options are also reassuring, which means including alternative payment methods, including Apple & Android Pay. Make sure you pick the relevant localised payment options for each market.

Ensuring customers complete a sale isn’t 100% within your control (some will always be just browsing), but there’s no good reason to watch so much money walk back out of the door. Buck the trend of rising abandoned carts with the following five steps:

  1. Fully optimised for mobiles and tablets,
  2. Has a guest option,
  3. Fast loading, on browsers, phones, tablets; at home and abroad,
  4. Simple, short and sweet checkout forms,
  5. Multiple and secure payment options.

For advice on optimising your payment pages for customer conversions, read this blog:

What does the Ultimate Payment Transaction Page look like?