early, abandoned shopping carts pose an $18 billion problem for eCommerce merchants. About 7 out of every 10 online sales are abandoned in-cart.
While many of those lost sales are simply a result of fickle shopper behavior, a large portion of them come down to bad customer experience. See, customer neglect is at the core of many shopping cart abandonment woes.
Frequently, digital shopping cart abandonment is simply a symptom of far larger eCommerce problems.
For one, many eCommerce problems stem from poor online store design. One of the most important steps you can take to avoid this issue is ensuring that your eCommerce website design is user-friendly.
We recommend creating your online store with a designer-made eCommerce template that takes customer experience into consideration.
The road to abandoned cart recovery usually starts by understanding what drives your customers.
Below, we dive into many of the reasons your customer base might be ghosting your checkout process—and what you can do to win back lost sales.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Online shopping cart abandonment is when a new or existing customer begins the checkout process for purchase with some level of buying intent but fails to complete their order.
Items left in the cart are considered abandoned unless the shopper returns to buy them from your eCommerce business.
Shopping cart abandonment is a thorn in the collective side of the eCommerce world. Baymard Institute reports the documented global shopping cart abandonment rate at just under 70%. It can often be much higher than this, so it’s important to understand the “whys” of shopping cart abandonment to get to the “hows” of reducing abandonment and closing more sales.
Issues Causing Abandoned Shopping Carts
There’s no single reason that customers abandon items in their digital shopping carts.
It’s a phenomenon that happens because of countless factors. From the flow of the checkout process to a lack of fulfillment and/or payment options, the list of checkout hangups keeps growing with time.
Hidden or covert shipping fees account for 50% of shopping cart abandonments. This includes higher than expected shipping costs, handling fees, taxes and duty fees (for international shipping).
Some pickup locations can also incur remote or extended area surcharges. Needless to say, all fees related to shipping and handling should be listed clearly throughout the entire checkout process.
Technical issues with your website’s performance and with shopping cart function and flow are major reasons shoppers don’t complete a purchase.
A webpage’s failure to load, issues with online identity verification, inability to add or revise cart items, and payment processing glitches can cause shoppers to abort their items and move on to other virtual pursuits.
Roughly 20% of shoppers abandon their carts because the checkout process is too complex.
The online checkout process should be as easy to navigate as the offline one. In the bricks-and-mortar world, shoppers bring their cart or basket to the checkout line, have their items scanned, provide their payment method, and leave with their purchase and receipt.
That’s just four tried-and-true steps from start to finish. Online, this process should be similar with (perhaps) one extra before order submission: order review.
Lack of Product Images
Since digital shopping lacks the tactile experiences of in-store purchasing, it’s important for shoppers to clearly see what they’ve added to their cart (including product size and color).
Cart items should be clearly displayed and easy to change or revise. Providing a link back to the product page of an item can also help reassure customers that what they’ve added to their cart is the correct item.
Arguably, the most common reason for shopping cart abandonment is a lack of free shipping or, perhaps more accurately, the high cost of shipping.
This isn’t quite the same as covert shipping costs, but it falls within the umbrella of extra or “too high” costs which, according to Statista, is the #1 reason that Shoppers are abandoning their orders in 2021. Free shipping paired with a value threshold (e.g., free shipping for orders $50 or more) is one way to provide more flexibility with shipping costs.
People want options—this is as true for payment methods as it is for shipping and fulfillment options. Per the Statista data, not having enough payment options is one of the top-10 reasons that shoppers are abandoning their virtual carts. We’re creatures of habit and we like using preferred online payment solutions like Apple Pay, PayPal, go-to credit card options like MasterCard and Visa.
Insufficient inventory is a key reason for shopping cart abandonment. This issue is exacerbated when shoppers learn that an item is out of stock once they’ve begun the checkout process.
This can also cause a poor overall checkout experience (something that more than half of consumers cite as a reason they wouldn’t return to an eCommerce website).
The list of cart abandonment issues is infinite, but we realize your time might not be. The above represents a tactical overview of the most pressing areas to address when looking to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Low Buying Intent
Tire kickers and window shoppers—the browsers, not buyers of the world—still exist in the realm of digital commerce.
A recent article in Today notes that online shopping carts have become a new form of window shopping, with customers creating nearly 47% more shopping baskets since the start of the pandemic. Many shoppers add items to their cart without any intention of buying them.