Cart/basket abandonment occurs when shoppers add items to their shopping cart but leave the site before going through the checkout flow.
Cart Abandonment Rate is the percentage of online shoppers who abandon purchase even after adding items to their shopping carts.
The key statistics
Many organisations are not actively working on reducing their cart abandonment - potentially losing out on tons of revenue.
According to the Baymard Institute, there is an average abandonment rate of 69.57%. There is a lot of room to increase conversion rates.
According to Statista, the highest abandonment rate occurs in the travel sector. It stands at a worrying 85%.
Cart Abandonment Rate is high with smartphone users. Only 13% of the users make purchases to completion.
Businesses or industries that have a lot of complicated processes to complete have relatively lower conversion rates.
Why customers abandon shopping carts
There are many reasons why customers abandon their cart. The reasons can vary from website to website - so it is important to study the relevant metrics/analytics for your own e-commerce website.
The primary reasons are
Additional Costs at Checkout
It is frustrating to go through the purchasing process with the cost in mind, only for other exorbitant costs to come up. Everyone has had this experience when there are additional costs on top of the actual price.
As a business owner or an e-commerce site, provide enough information before checkout. When you disclose all the price details, customers know what they need to pay upfront. Be clear about the shipping rates.
It is the primary reason why users abandon their cart/basket.
No one wants to "create an account". People want to buy your product in the shortest possible time
Requiring them to create an account before buying only makes the process more complicated and unfavourable for most customers.
Instead, ask customers to sign –up after buying to make it easier to track their order.
I still emphasise that shoppers don't have much time to spend on your site. They want to buy and move on to other things.
The more involving the checkout process is, the high likelihood you will lose a customer. Make it simple.
Security & Trust
Many customers are very cautious about their bank or credit card details, they won't disclose any information if they doubt your system. Typos, bugs, bad design & error messages can all lead to a loss of trust.
Decreasing your Cart Abandonment Rate.
Common practices to increase conversions and maintain your customer base are
Transparency with Costs
Be open from the first time a customer clicks on your product. Disclose everything from price to the postage & packaging costs upfront. Don't surprise the potential customer.
Find a way of covering the shipping costs. The best approach is to slightly increase the price of the product to cover the postage & packaging.
A slow website is a turn-off for many people. Fast websites convert.
1 in 3 shoppers leave a website if they wait more than 5 seconds for a page to load
A Google study in 2020 showed that improving the website speed 0.1 second, increased the conversion rate for retail websites by 8.4%
Payment providers - Apple Pay / Google Pay / Paypal
Allowing users to pay with one-click solutions like Apple pay can dramatically increase conversion as Google & Apple systems already store most of the data - users can purchase in a few clicks.
Sending customers a follow up email to remind the user they added the product to the cart, but did not purchase it can increase conversion.
You can also engage users by asking why they did not complete the purchase - this could be a bug or they might tell you some of the reason above.
About Fraser Clark
I've been a professional developer for over 10 years. I've been consulting and developing websites & software for small businesses, multi-nationals & governments.