Why Cart Abandonment Happens - and What to Do to Avoid Losing Sales

Most - if not all - e-commerce store owners are sadly familiar with cart abandonment - when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but...

Why Cart Abandonment Happens - and What to Do to Avoid Losing Sales

Most - if not all - e-commerce store owners are sadly familiar with cart abandonment - when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but then exits the store without completing the purchase. Although seeing a potential client leaving empty-handed can be such a heart-wrenching feeling, it is not at all personal. According to recent statistics, almost 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts. That's a lot of potential sales that you're missing on! 

In fact, research shows that shopping cart abandonment costs e-commerce companies $18 billion each year. That's a staggering number! So what can be done to prevent cart abandonment and recoup those lost sales? 

In this post, we're going to discuss the statistics around cart abandonment, how to prevent it from happening in your store, and what you can do to bring back customers who have already abandoned their carts. Let's get started!

Why do people abandon carts?

Browsing through online stores and mobile apps is the new window shopping. Sometimes you just want to gather gift ideas, compare prices, learn about new products or… is simply planning to redecorate a house that you don't even own (yet). 

The good news is that somehow the user got to your store: it means your marketing efforts are paying back. Whether product SEO is on point, or you chose the perfect influencer to advertise your merchandise, you've managed to attract a potential customer. You've attracted the attention of a potential customer with your product, now all you need to do is convert them into buyers. Even if the user does not purchase a product right away, you may have sparked their interest. And they might come back! Now, they know you. Numbers don't lie: in the UK, 31% of shoppers come back to the same website at a later date and complete a transaction, according to Statista

But what if they actually add things to their cart, start the checkout process, and then drop it? They've gotten to the last bit of the sales funnel, and frustratingly something made them lose interest. Luckily, there are ways to lower the number of abandoned carts and keep those sales coming in. You must consider why the customer decided not to proceed with the purchase. It's time to act upon it! It is possible to reduce abandonment rates by looking at your own processes and the main reasons why potential shoppers bounce and leave online stores before a successful checkout. 

1. Extra costs are too high

For almost half (48%) of the online customers, extra costs (like shipping, taxes and fees) are the main reason why they abandon carts. These costs can add up pretty quickly, turning a sweet deal into a bad purchasing decision. It is no surprise that free delivery is the leading reason among internet users for buying a product when shopping online, followed closely by coupons and discounts. 

HOW TO GET AROUND IT: Be transparent and make it clear which costs are involved - 16% of customers abandon carts because they cannot calculate upfront how much money will actually go into their purchase. This is a huge problem for many people, which leads them to give up on the idea altogether and shop somewhere else or just not buy anything online at all! To avoid this issue you should make it clear which costs are involved before shoppers click “buy” so there aren't any unpleasant surprises when they arrive at checkout, and they will be more like to complete the purchase.

If possible, offer free or discounted delivery. It is the top incentive to shop online, and 93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping options are available, whereas 58% of consumers add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. Have they left already? A cheeky push notification offering free shipping or a discount code might instantly bring back the almost lost customer. We’ve got you covered: abandoned cart push notifications come as standard with any StoreLab package. The notifications are super easy to set up and are a great way to remind your customers they've forgotten something in their shopping experience.

2. They need to create an account

Shoppers want their buying experience to be easy, smooth and seamless. For one out of every four potential customers, it is bye-bye if they're asked to create an account. Yet another password with lower-case and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters? It's a pass for them. 

HOW TO GET AROUND IT: A guest checkout option is the best bet! A first-time buyer might think it is too much information to share at that moment. Once they receive their product and are satisfied with the purchase, they will come back and may feel happy to set up an account.

3. A complicated checkout process

The average checkout contains 11.8 form fields, according to Baymard Institute. The amount of information requested for a simple online purchase seems like a waste of time for shoppers, and 17% of them abandon orders because of a too long or complicated checkout process. Baymard Institute found that most sites only need 8 form fields in total for a checkout flow. 

HOW TO GET AROUND IT: Streamlining your checkout process is key! E-commerce stores can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate though better checkout design. Offer a more straightforward form, only requesting essential information from the customer. Do you really need to know their middle name? Less clutter on customers' part leads to more satisfaction from them checking out quickly.


So there you have it:  the three main reasons shoppers abandon their carts. However, with the right approach and our helpful tips, you can keep those potential shoppers from leaving – and increase your revenue in the process. By understanding what makes people tick, you can can make your customers happy throughout their shopping experience. 

By implementing just a few changes you can help ensure that more of your customers complete their purchase and become loyal brand advocates. Time to improve conversions and make customers come back for more! Contact StoreLab to learn how a mobile app can enhance a shopper experience, with seamless checkout and free push notifications.

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