It’s no secret that online shopping is on the rise. In fact, a study by Forrester Research shows that U.S. e-commerce sales will reach $619 billion by 2021. But what may come as a surprise is that one of the biggest challenges online retailers face is high shopping cart abandonment rates. In other words, shoppers are filling their carts with items but then leaving the site without buying anything. So why is this happening and what can be done about it? Let’s take a look.
For people that aren’t too tech-savvy, internet-driven, or frequent online buyers, the title of this article might not make a lot of sense – let me explain
It refers to an online shopper visiting a website of their choice that is deemed as an e-commerce site – i.e., a website that allows visitors to buy and sell physical goods, services and products over the internet (instead of physically having to go to a shop in person). Thus, a shopping cart refers to your virtual shopping cart housing the items you wish to buy, whereas an abandoned shopping cart means a potential customer/shopper left without actually completing the process of purchasing the items.
One would ask – why go through all the trouble of going to a website, taking the time to browse through several products, building up a shopping cart… just to up and leave, essentially, completely wasting their time? Unfortunately, abandoned carts is a common problem that online companies have to deal with, directly impacting sales and revenue. However, what motivates a shopper to abandon a transaction? Below we have a look at several reasons which might contribute towards an abandoned cart:
Lack of trust
Several visitors are still wary and uncomfortable with adding their card details online. Building a strong and reputable brand will help with this aspect, but as a smaller/lesser-known supplier, people are hesitant due to a fear of being scammed or robbed. In order to give potential customers peace of mind, a decent return policy also works wonders.
High shipping costs is one of the biggest reasons for abandoned cart rates. What is the point of buying an item on special if the shipping fees are higher than the actual items itself? In that case, it is more beneficial driving to a store instead to save money. An ideal solution is offering free shipping for purchase above a certain amount, therefore satisfying your customer and securing a sale at the same time.
Not all site visitors browse your site and add items to carts with the actual intent to buy. Window shopping also applies to online shopping and for some people also act as a way to budget for future possible purchases. A great way to incentivize casual browsers to actually purchase it to offer time-limited once-off specials and promos, thereby creating a sense of urgency.
Every potential client has their own preferred method of payment. No one wants to struggle making a payment or endure a tedious process, which might result in getting fed up and abandoning the purchase altogether. Customers also often like to see a variety of payment options to choose from, because it gives them the choice to choose the easiest and fastest option.
One of the best aspects of online shopping is the ease of browsing and finding good deals. In this era, almost everyone is online and battling it out to be competitive in their respective markets. A good way of luring interest is offering discounts and coupons in order to be one step in front of your competitors.
Ensuring that your website is easy to browse and simple to understand when you’re having it developed is crucial. It is also of utmost importance to ensure that your website is well optimized and mobile friendly, as a large percentage of customers use cellphones to browse online. If you make it too complicated and difficult for possible customers to see what you are offering or find what they are looking for, you are risking losing a sale.