Baymard Institute recently did a collective study of 37 surveys and statistics on eCommerce and its shopping cart abandonment rates. The study found that the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate pegs at a whopping 69.23%!

To put that in perspective, every 69 out of 100 visitors to an online store abandon their shopping carts without making a purchase.

Forrester Research has found that cart abandonment costs online retailers more than $18 Billion annually.

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge challenge that almost every eCommerce player has to endure. It is saddening to see all your SEO, PPC, marketing efforts go waste in bringing the visitor until the payment page, but not making a purchase.

But, what causes cart abandonment? What makes the interested prospective buyers shy away from making the buying decision? Turns out that there are specific reasons that are universally applicable to the eCommerce industry that leads to the 69% cart abandonment. Here are some of them:

Hidden/Exorbitant Shipping costs

Hidden shipping costs or exorbitant delivery charges take away the cost benefit that eCommerce has over brick and mortar stores. Even with the discount factored in, high shipping costs can make a customer rethink the decision to buy the product.

How to conquer it?

Be transparent about shipping costs. It is best to disclose them along with the product price so that customers are aware of the final price right in the shopping cart page or each individual product pages.

Checkout process feels like a difficult maze

Bringing customers until the checkout page itself is a battle of its own. You don’t want to lose the final round by asking too much of them. Keep the checkout process as simple as possible.

How to conquer it?

Amazon was able to champion the eCommerce game with the one-click checkout process which was even patented later. Even if your store cannot enable the one-click process, you can set up an one-page checkout process.

Be careful to ask only minimal and essential information that the customer would feel safe to provide and you will need to process the order. You can mine the customer’s past shopping history and show relevant information that will reduce the number of clicks. You can also include information like shipping instructions, delivery time, payment methods, saved cards, etc. to make it easy.

Additionally, the effort put in for entering credit card numbers can also be reduced using tokenization. Tokenization is a way of saving card numbers for future transactions in a secure way adhering to PCI compliance.

Fear of credit information misuse

According to a study by National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) 26% of American shoppers are hesitant to shop online due to security and privacy concerns. Man in the middle attacks, online snooping, credit card frauds, and several other forms of cyber security threats are making them skeptical about shopping online.

How to conquer it?

Trust seals from popular security agencies, payment verified certificates from credit card or payment aggregators, SSL certificates for all store pages, etc. can help instill confidence in customers. In fact, the customers of today specifically look for these trust signals before proceeding to complete the payment. So it is a good practice to splash the information throughout the store takes cyber security seriously.

No serious intent of buying (wishlisting)

Wishlists are an effective way to hit the middle ground where the customer wants to buy a product, but is not in a situation to buy it right away. This could either be due to the customer’s choice of postponing the purchase or because the store has ran out of stock.

Unfortunately, wishlists have became a facility for customers to keep adding products to wishlists aimlessly without any serious intention of buying.

How to conquer it?

Use email marketing to reach out to customers who have added products on their wishlist but haven’t bought them for long. Use drip email campaigns carrying customized offers like discount coupons, promo codes, same day delivery, etc. to convert wishlist items into purchases.

Payment did not get through

No matter how reliable an Internet service a customer uses, there are times, when the payment crashes midway. It gives a quick window for the customer to rethink their purchase decision and abandon it. Although it is no mistake of the online store, instances like these end up in cart abandonment.

How to conquer it?

Use retargeting emails to remind customers of the failed transactions. If required, the store can also offer promo codes or additional discounts to complete the transaction than let it add to cart abandonment.

Social Proof

The trouble with online shopping is that, customers not always get to know the product until it is delivered. They always would like to know a third party opinion, somebody who has already bought it and used it before making their own decision. If a product of their choice does not have social proof, like star ratings, user reviews, etc. to support the buying decision, the product might get abandoned sooner or later.

How to conquer it?

Display social proof of sale. BrightLocal study found that more than 85% of customers treat online reviews at par with suggestions from their close ones. Showing the number of people who have purchased the product, star rating and user reviews in the form of text, images or videos can go a long way in convincing the customer to buy the product than abandon the cart.

Mobile Responsiveness

With mobile-first becoming the default strategy for all eCommerce players, mobile experience is also a critical element that needs maximum attention. Retailers who fail to give the mobile experience the importance it deserves will have to experience a high rate of cart abandonment. Online stores that render a mobile experience as good as, or even better than their desktop version will be able to sell the most.

How to conquer it?

Focus on delivering a superior mobile experience. Fine tune the navigation for easier product browsing, quicker adding of products to shopping carts, and hassle-free mobile payments. The mobile experience should be consistent across mobile apps as well as the mobile-responsive website.

Bringing It Altogether

Cart abandonment is a serious dampener for eCommerce retailers. While it cannot be completely prevented, there are measures like the ones described above that help in keeping it to a minimum.