3 Reasons Your Customers Are Abandoning Their Carts

Cart Abandonment – You’re not alone…

  If you’re like most e-commerce merchants, you’ve suffered the heartbreak of watching a customer fill their cart with items, start to check out, and then… nothing. While it can be disheartening to think about all of those lost sales, you might be comforted to know that you’re not alone in your predicament. Baymard Institute cites 24 studies from 2006 to 2013 in determining that 67.89% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. That means the average store owner has better odds of correctly guessing a coin flip than converting a customer. Our friends at UserTesting,  watched thousands of videos documenting the frustration customers go through while navigating e-commerce stores. Through thier research, they’ve learned the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment – and what you can do to prevent it.  

1. It might be too early in the relationship.

Nobody wants to be on the wrong end of an “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation, but within the context of your relationship with your customers, it’s just something you have to accept sometimes. One of the best things about shopping online is being able to hop from store to store in a matter of seconds and without ever leaving your seat. This makes it very easy for customers to compare prices to find the best deals. While this is great for consumers, online store owners like you probably don’t feel the warm fuzzies when you think of customers leaving your site.  

What to do?

Since comparison shopping isn’t going away anytime soon, the best way to keep customers on your site is to offer a great experience. Make sure to let your brand’s personality shine through. Focus on customer-centric features, and don’t distract customers with too many different choices or confusing navigation. For new visitors, the first time they visit your site is like a first date. If they like what they see, they’ll come back when they’re ready.  

2. The checkout process is too difficult.

Whether it’s the lack of a guest checkout feature, or even the inability for a customer to use their preferred payment method, there are a number of potential pitfalls that can cause a customer to abandon ship as they’re checking out. See the videos below for one of the most common customer complaints about checking out and a solution from REC:

What to do?

  • Don’t require registration. Many customers don’t want to go through the effort of creating another account with another password they have to remember — especially if they only plan on buying from your site occasionally. If you absolutely have to make your visitors register, consider giving them the option to register using their social media accounts to make the process faster for them.
  • Include all popular payment types. We’re not just talking about popular credit card types, but also popular online payment methods. Are you already using PayPal or Google Wallet? If not, these payment methods and other similar services might be worth exploring. Not only do they give your customers more payment options, they also make it that much easier to check out.

3. Customers aren’t sure they can trust you.

Part of the challenge of running an e-commerce store is easing customer fears. Customers already have a sense of detachment because they can’t physically touch the product they’re buying, and if you don’t have in-store pickup, they have to wait for their order to be shipped. There’s also the worry that sensitive payment and personal information can be compromised.  

What to do?

  • Use security icons and trust symbols. Customers look for ways to assure themselves that it’s safe to hand over their payment information, and this is especially true for smaller e-commerce sites. Don’t be afraid to show off your trust marks — these little icons go a long way toward building customer trust.
  • Make it easy to contact customer support. Make sure your contact information is handy for when your customers need it most. If your resources allow for it, implement live chat to let your customers get help in real time.

Trust symbols reduce cart abandonment

Trust signals reduce cart abandonment

Optimizing your shopping cart is no easy task, and there really is no magic formula, because every online store’s customers have different needs. What works for your competitors may not necessarily work for you. The only way to be certain of what works is by testing your online store regularly. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the likelihood that a customer will make a purchase is based on his or her experience on your site. If you provide an easy, enjoyable experience, you’ll see fewer abandoned carts and more happy customers!