Like a shopping cart careening toward a parked car, when customers abandon their carts on your website before making a purchase, the outcome is never good. Each time a customer leaves their shopping cart in the middle of the checkout process, your business loses valuable revenue.
In fact, shopping cart abandonment costs merchants trillions each year. So, we’re here to let you know what you can do to decrease shopping cart abandonment, increase potential revenue, and control your costs.
Cart Abandonment 101
First, it’s important to understand the reasons online shoppers abandon their carts without paying.
The five biggest catalysts are:
1. Unexpected shipping costs and hidden fees
2. Required user accounts
3. Browsing or comparison shopping
4. Payment security
5. A complex checkout process
Below is an explanation of each of these and recommended solutions. You have more control than you might realize when it comes to preventing many of these deserted shopping carts.
1. Unexpected shipping fees and other hidden costs.
There’s nothing worse for consumers than getting one step away from clicking the “Pay Now” button only to find that there are additional taxes, shipping, or handling fees. For this reason alone, 25% of shoppers leave your site with credit card in hand. Be transparent with your customers. Full transparency is of high value to digital shoppers.
Be sure you have a clear pricing structure for items and offer free shipping whenever possible. This is especially useful for comparison shoppers who can find a similar item on another site without shipping costs. (You can build shipping fees into your product pricing and offer “free” shipping, as a way to control costs even further.)
2. The second most common reason for leaving items in the cart is forcing shoppers to create an account upon checkout.
Another 22% of shoppers don’t want to take the time to create a user profile and enter a bunch of “required” information just to buy an item or two. Your customers want value and convenience when they shop on your site.
Are you providing both?
Of course, you want to collect valuable customer information so you can remarket to first-time shoppers, but don’t scare them away from completing an order. Give them the option, but don’t make it mandatory. This is a win-win situation because when you create a positive first-time shopping experience your customer is more likely to come back the next time.
3. “I was just looking,” is another common reason shoppers leave without buying.
Sure, it’s typical to get browsers and comparison shoppers who aren’t quite ready to purchase yet, but maybe they’ll come back later – if you make it easy enough and worth it. Perhaps they are concerned about shipping costs, or finding the best price on a particular item. Give shoppers incentives to return. How does your company compare to competitors? Can you offer a price-match guarantee or a money-back option to ensure that when customers are ready to purchase, they do revisit your site for the best offer?
4. Payment security is a concern.
Shoppers are wary of making online purchases if your site doesn’t appear secure. Is your site outdated, missing images, or confusing to the customer? Keep your site up to date and financially secure, including making sure all your merchant accounts are PCI compliant. Also, it’s a good idea to add customer testimonials and positive reviews about your business and products.
Additionally, provide a phone number, email, or chat window to let customers ask questions and know they are dealing with real people who want to ensure a satisfying user experience.
5. A long, confusing checkout process is a deal-breaker.
Complex checkout processes can make shoppers have a less-than-satisfying experience, resulting in shopping cart abandonment of nearly 10%. Streamline your checkout system to reduce the number of screens customers have to navigate through for payment options. Make it easy for shoppers to apply discount codes, select a shipping option, and choose a payment method.
With these reasons in mind, examine your sales and shopping cart abandonment rates from your last sales quarter. Are customer service oversights, unintentional mistakes, or missing information on your website or in the checkout process contributing to shopping cart abandonment? What areas do you need to improve to minimize discarded carts and control costs more effectively?
Remember, some of the same issues that contribute to shopping cart abandonment can also lead to chargebacks – another culprit for lost revenue and excessive merchant fees. If you need help analyzing your e-commerce site and reviewing the efficiency and security of your merchant accounts, the financial experts at Merchant Broker can help.
It’s our mission to streamline your process, reveal any hidden fees, and recover lost revenue.
We have over 10 years of experience analyzing businesses and e-commerce accounts, and we’ll alert you to any risk factors regarding chargebacks, security, PCI compliance, and technology support. Contact us to find out more about partnering with Merchant Broker.