Distress of eCommerce – Shop Cart Abandonment – $4 Trillion Challenge: Shoppers Abandon Carts For Good Reasons…

Shopping cart abandonment is the nemesis of any business in eCommerce, or retailing, e-tailing, e-retailing… According to Baymard Institute; 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned– think about that: For every 100 potential customers, 67 of them leave without buying… 

This study is important because it’s a collection of 22 different studies containing statistics on eCommerce shopping cart abandonment… and other studies report a much higher abandonment rate, as high as 80.3%; clearly shopping cart abandonment is a big problem…

According to BI Intelligence; about $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year, but about 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy retailers… However, shopping cart abandonment is on increase and it will continue to do so as more consumers shift to online and mobile shopping…

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According to Annual Merchant Survey; the typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 67.91%… According to Meir Fox; average shopping cart abandonment rate is about 69%… That’s a frustrating figure because it means that despite all the time and resources an eCommerce business invests in providing the best overall shopping experience, more than ⅔ of shoppers are still leaving the website after substantial engagement without completing their orders…

According to Forrester; shopping cart abandonment causes an eCommerce brands to lose a staggering $18 billion in sales, and with about $4 trillion worth of merchandise predicted to be abandoned in digital carts… cart abandonment has become a burning issue that retailers can no longer afford to ignore… hence, the big challenge for many eCommerce brands is to create, implement a viable abandonment reduction strategy…

 According to eMarketer; smart retailers are recognizing that while some abandoned carts do indeed represent missed revenue opportunities, many others do not, e.g.; some consumers may just use the cart to compare online prices and shipping rates, or treat the cart as an ongoing shopping list, which is eventually converting in-store… Also, the rising number of consumers who research purchases via smartphone are inflating cart abandonment rates; they often place items in shopping carts through their phones but than prefer to switch over to a PC or laptop to complete the purchases… According to SeeWhy; an abandoned shopping cart does not automatically translate to a ‘lost sale’ because three-fourths of shoppers who have abandoned shopping carts say they plan to return to the retailer’s website or store to make a purchase…

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In the article Shopping Cart Abandonment Can Be Huge Opportunity by Cooper Smith writes: Shopping cart abandonment– when shoppers put items in an online shopping carts but then leave before completing the purchase– is the bane of the online retail industry but it’s also a huge opportunity; there are a range of techniques  proven to drive incremental conversion after customers have abandoned carts. Estimates based on real market impact of conversion techniques suggests that 63% ($2.52 trillion) of $4 trillion in unrealized revenue is recoverable. This may sound too good to be true, but research supports a belief that the scale of the opportunity at hand may be even greater than what current techniques have been able to demonstrate…

Recent consumer research reveals that three-quarters of shoppers who are abandoning carts plan on returning to the website or going in-store to complete their purchases… According to SeeWhy; analysis of over 60,000 abandoned carts found 54% of all carts that are successfully recovered are won back within first few hours after abandonment. Another 10% can be saved within first 48 hours and 82% recoverable within a week… Two of the most powerful  techniques to deal recovery of abandoned carts are:

  • Ad Retargeting: According to AdRoll; 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store, and retargeting brings back the other 98%. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit the website and by displaying retargeting ads as they visit other sites online… Retargeting ads are targeted as desired, e.g.; if a buyer comes to a site to purchase a hat, a retargeting ads for that same hat is displayed when the shopper is visiting other websites… as long as the other sites accept the ads, and many of the top sites online these days do…
  • Email Recovery Campaign: Another techniques is through email campaigns… Here’s how it works; a personalized email is sent to a shopper when they don’t complete a purchase… Typically, if they are using a multi-page checkout, it’s easy to get the shopper’s name and email address upfront… Then series of 1-3 emails are sent to that shopper at set intervals after they have abandoned the cart and left the website. These emails should include; pictures of item(s) selected; testimonials or reviews from other shoppers; guarantee and refund policy information; strong call to action to get them back to the website… Timing for the email campaign is critical, e.g.; 1st email– should go out within 24 hrs; 2nd email– send within 2 days; 3rd email– send within 1 week…

In the article Straight Talk About Shopping Cart Abandonment by Jeremy Smith writes: Shopping cart abandonment is a normal occurrence for an online business… hence, it’s best to accept it, but have a strategy on how to deal with it… A few facts about shopping cart abandonment:

  • Website Lacks Trust Factors: People won’t buy from a site that they can’t trust. Plain and simple: The best place for the trust factors is in the most critical phase of your site, i.e.; the checkout phase. Shopping cart abandonment happens because people get wary, anxious, jittery…
  • Website Has Usability Problems: When customers have problems– accessing, or navigating, or otherwise using the site, they become frustrated and abandon the shopping cart… Usability has an end goal; conversions, and easier the site is to use, the more conversions scored: It’s just that simple…
  • Checkout Process Is Long and Complicated: When the checkout procedure has more than six steps: It’s too complicated… The goal is to create a checkout process that is as simple as possible– Its kiss (keep it simple stupid) theory…
  • System Requires Account Creation Prior to Checkout: Perhaps one of the biggest barriers to a completed transaction is the ‘account creation’ requirement. If you’re requiring people to create an account in order to buy stuff, then you’re killing the conversion rate and racking up needlessly high abandonment rates… The whole ‘membership’ thing may seem like a good idea, but it often produces major cart abandonment issues…
  • Shipping Charges Take Shoppers by Surprise: Total openness regarding shipping policies is important; every online retail site must be totally upfront about shipping charges (or lack thereof)… Research of B2C e-commerce sites has determined that ‘unexpected costs’ are the biggest cause of shopping cart abandonment…
  • Don’t Have a Return Policy: Explicit return policy is more likely to encourage purchase and insure purchase satisfaction rather than invite returns. A prominent return policy doesn’t encourage a return; it discourages it… Having a solid return policy inspires confidence in buyers and shows a committed to customer service…
  • Payment Options Are Limited: Policies that limit customers’ ability to pay are policies that generate viral shopping cart abandonment: It’s that simple. The more payment options you give customers, the more customers you’ll reach…
  • Security Measures Are Too Strict or Too Lax: Users abandon shopping cart when they sense there are too few security measures in place… The goal is to give customers assurance that they’re not getting scammed or robbed… so they don’t lose confidence when it’s finally time to buy…
  • Shopping Cart Is Hard to Find: What good is a shopping cart when you can’t even find it? Shopping cart visibility is listed as one of the main reasons abandonment happens…
  • Coupon Codes Don’t Work: There are few things as frustrating as thinking you’re going to get a discount using a coupon code, then experience code problems or the code is nowhere to be found… It’s easy to eliminate coupons, and give consumer discount or best price… this makes things much simpler for the customer and easier for the business… and it reduces a major cause of shopping cart abandonment…
  • No Help During Checkout: Customer help services are important for eCommerce websites and they should provide a variety of ways to help consumers, e.g.; feature pop-ups, live chat, FYQ… customers that feel pampered will be good customers…

Making a purchase is an intensely emotional experience and these emotions must be positive and stable throughout the entire website, buying, checkout experience… When customers arrives at checkout they must feel delighted about the purchase they are about to make: It’s a psychological thing… However, when customers experience a sudden emotional shift… when they are preparing to check-out and pay, it can derails the entire process and cause them to abandon the shopping cart…

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Like it or not, customers are instinctively asking– ‘if’ questions, e.g.; If I’m not satisfied can I return it? If they screw-up my order can I get my money back? If I find a better deal somewhere can I send it back and get a refund? The key to minimizing cart abandonment is to think like a customer; review the shopping cart experience from the customer’s point of view… If the shopping cart experience ‘puts you off’ then fix it…

Hence to increase conversion rates, retailers need to question long-held assumptions about cart abandonment, reconsider strategies for turning consumer browsers into buyers– Cart abandonment is a challenge for retailers, eCommerce… but also an opportunity to make delightful impressions on customers, and sell more…