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5 Reasons People Abandon their Shopping Cart

5 Reasons People Abandon their Shopping Cart


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Chief Revenue Officer, Matt Cox, spills the beans and shares the top 5 reasons why he abandons online purchases… see if you agree!
It’s probably the question we get asked more than any other at SaleCycle, but it’s also one that all of us – as consumers – can relate to as well! So I decided to put together the 5 main reasons for online shopping cart abandonment I would abandon a purchase online. And as you’re reading through, be honest with yourself, how many of them ring a bell?

1 High Shipping Costs

One of my biggest reasons for an abandonment is getting to the end of a shopping cart process, only to find out that it’s going to cost a significant amount more for shipping and handling. I’m always using price comparison tools so that I get the best deal, and if the shipping costs are too high, guess what? I’m going to look to purchase elsewhere.
There’s clearly a trade off here, as for smaller businesses shipping costs can remain high, but with many of the top online retailers offering free shipping at certain levels why not consider going for an up-sell? Set a value that makes sense for your business, be it $50, $100, $150 and be upfront about offering free shipping for orders over that level. for example go one step further and offer free shipping to anyone who is signed up as a rewards member (with no minimums!)… a great way to not only reduce abandonment, but encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

2 Poor Customer Service

As mentioned above myself and millions of others who shop online want to ensure we are getting the best possible price available, after all we all love a good deal!
However, as much as I want to get the best price possible, I’m going to go with the company or brand that offers me the best service and is trusted online, even if the prices are matched or similar. For example a company who offers a no quibble returns guarantee, especially when buying clothes, helps remove the risk and makes me feel comfortable to purchase. Ultimately if it doesn’t work out I’m safe in the knowledge that I can get my money back or switch it out for something different.
I recently had a negative experience when purchasing from a well known retailer and when my items didn’t fit, I found I had to pay a restocking fee for the privilege of returning them. Needless to say, I haven’t purchased from that site again and don’t intend to in the near future.
It’s honestly about instilling confidence in your customers, which builds trust and sets businesses up for success.

3 A Complicated Checkout

Another pain point for me is a complicated checkout process. If it takes too long, there’s a lengthy sign up or I’m forever having to enter my payment details, then this is a sure fire way to not only prevent me from purchasing a first time but also from becoming a repeat customer.
[one_half]The ideal site for me would be one where I can sign up and have my details saved so that next time I return, the process is streamlined and I can complete my purchase quickly. Amazon is a great example of this with their one click ordering. As soon as I’ve decided I’m ready to purchase, there are very few barriers in my way to prevent me from completing that order.[/one_half]

4 Lack of Payment Options

This leads into the next question that online retailers should ask themselves, “Are we providing the customer with several payment options?”
At home, I often find myself misplacing things. It’s usually my wallet. This means when it comes time to purchase online I can’t locate my credit card to actually pay for the items in my cart.
Sometimes the resulting search ends in success, however if it is time consuming the purchase often gets forgotten about or left for another time.[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Payment Methods by Survey Monkey[/one_half_last]
But one sure fire way of getting me to complete my purchase is providing alternatives, such as PayPal or Google Wallet. Ultimately it’s all about convenience for the customer.

5 Just Window Shopping

From time to time, I will have a few moments to kill and will look around online, reading and keeping up with friends and family. But one thing that has crept into my online behavior now more than ever is browsing, or window shopping.
If I’m in the market for something (like a new pool cue or part for my bike), I find myself browsing multiple sites looking at the things I would like to own but don’t really have an intention of purchasing at that exact moment. I’ll add items to my cart, but that’s about it.
[one_half]One thing that stands out in that whole process is that although I’m not a purchaser at that moment in time, I clearly have an interest in those particular items. And when the timing is right and the items are still in mind, I could be ready to purchase. What’s critical here is that the retailer remains visible to the customers who showed an interested in purchasing but perhaps needs a little help to complete.[/one_half]
Sending a well-designed, timely remarketing email with the customers shopping cart details displayed and saved for later, is an extremely effective way of getting some of these hot leads back to your site to complete a purchase. One of my favorites is French Connection’s abandonment email. Not only is it design led but it’s short, to the point and focused on the brand:

With an average global abandonment rate of 76% not only are abandonment emails an effective tool to recover abandoned carts from those just window shopping, but applied correctly, they are shown to build brand loyalty and can be extremely effective in recovering abandoned sales throughout all of the reasons discussed.

Need some inspiration?

For more great examples of how brands can tempt us abandoners back, check out our lookbooks, full of some awesome creatives from the world’s biggest and best-loved brands!
View Look Books


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2023 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report

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