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Guide | September 17, 2021

Best Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment in eCommerce

Imagine this: you are going shopping in a huge supermarket. The supermarket is great - you can easily find everything you need, all the products have reasonable prices and the employees there seem really helpful. Just as you finish loading your cart and heading to the checkout section, you suddenly sê a movie premiere at the theater right across the street. Right away, you join the curious crowd to see what’s going on and your cart is totally forgotten behind.

This seems absurd in real life, but it’s exactly what is happening in the digital landscape for eCommerce retailers - the cart abandonment issue.

With the world’s average shopping cart abandonment rate around 69%, eCommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment. But hey, customers must have a demand to search for our store and add products to cart in the first place, right? 

Then what happens after customers leave your site? 

Research from Statista found that when UK shoppers abandon carts, less than a third return to buy it. A quarter of them buys the same product from a competitor.

cart abandonment

Research from Statista found that when UK shoppers abandon carts, less than a third return to buy them. A quarter of them buys the same product from a competitor.

Money is being lost or given to the competitors every second - What can we do? In this article, SmartOSC will explain why people abandon their carts and what online retailers can do about it. We hope that this knowledge will bring you one step closer to converting browsers into customers.   

Shopping cart abandonment - the single largest obstacle for eCommerce retailers

Shopping cart abandonment happens when a customer adds an item or items to their online shopping cart but leaves without finishing the checkout process. In fact, cart abandonment is the single largest obstacle for global eCommerce sites. Let’s take a look at how bad things really are, according to Wordstream

  • With almost 85% carts abandonment, the travel sector has the highest abandonment rates of any eCommerce vertical.
  • Mobile is the device option with the smallest completion at just 8.5% while the other device (tablets and laptops) hover around 13%.
  • Average shopping cart abandonment rates rise on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays - as high as almost 90%.

How to calculate the cart abandonment rate?

To calculate the cart abandonment rate, you use the equation: (total number of completed purchases) / (number of created carts). Subtract from one, then multiply by 100.

For example, if you have 500 carts created, and 100 completed purchases, then your cart abandonment rate is 80%.

Top common reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment 

Now we know just how bleak things are for eCommerce marketers, let's talk about the main reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Every eCommerce store is different, but the following reasons are some common issues that SmartOSC has seen to be the same challenges in cart abandonment:

The long or confusing checkout process 

Interesting fact: 18% of people abandon their shopping cart because of a long and complicated checkout process. (Source)

The average US checkout flow contains a minimum of 23 forms elements by default, from basic things such as name, address, and birthday to preferred products and shipping agencies. These fields are great sources to help you understand your customers better without having to actually ask them in person. But at the same time, they are making impatient customers exit your site altogether due to impatience or feeling invaded.

Lack of trust 

Interesting facts: 17% of people abandon their online shopping carts because they didn’t trust the site with their credit cards. (Source)

Most web users aren’t always comfortable providing credit card info online, especially on sites they haven’t made a purchase before. This problem can’t be solved just by adjusting some design elements or running promotion campaigns, but the social proof and a strong brand name can. Using strategy to get the previous user leave reviews and pictures or a generous return policy can also help allay customer concerns.

Read more: Create a Product Review Strategy for your eCommerce Store

High shipping costs 

Interesting facts: 49% of people abandon their shopping cart because extra costs at checkout were too high. (Source)

Do you know that free delivery is the incentive that’s most effective in convincing people to buy something from an online store? Thus, the opposite situation in which customers see how much their order costs with shipping can make such a huge impact on abandoned shopping carts.

Lack of payment options 

Unlike the long checkout process, customers with existing demand love your price and stick to the buying journey until they realize that they have to download another app/ sign up for another payment gateway to make a purchase. Customers often have strong preferences of how they would like to pay, and only complete a purchase if their preferred method is presented. Reduce this problem by offering the most popular payment methods for your target audience such as Amex and PayPal.

To achieve this, you need to figure out your buyer persona: where do they live? What’s their demographic and what are their favorite payment methods? Below is a suggestion for an online retailers whose business services a large proportion of European customers.

nearly 60% of Europeans tend to abandon their shopping cart if they cannot pay via their favorite payment method
Do you know that nearly 60% of Europeans tend to abandon their shopping cart if they cannot pay via their favorite payment method?

Consumers want access to a payment method that they have experience with because they trust that it's a safe option or simply because it's more convenient. Important is that merchants consider the country from which the product is ordered - especially for cross-border eCommerce because preferred payment methods vary between markets.

Technical problems 

All technology is susceptible to technical issues and glitches. Be sure to monitor your analytics and do regular reviews of the checkout process to ensure there are no show-stopping bugs. Also, ensure that the code on your checkout page is optimized so there are no long load times.

If you are running a large-scale eCommerce site, the need to manage and improve the site so it performs smoothly and seamlessly is constant.

See how SmartOSC reformed the old website of Ricoh - the Japanese giant in manufacturing electrical appliances to deploy a new digital platform, support 9 regional websites that improve customer engagement, communication and personalized content, but still conveys corporate branding.

See the Work that wins the Most sophisticated implementation in the SEA category at Sitecore Experience Awards HERE.

Best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment

Be transparent about all costs

There is nothing worse than making your customers feel like they are fooled, especially when it comes to prices. Don’t let them expect to pay X amount to discover later that there is a whole other mess of hidden costs, fees, and surcharges, making them pay a painful X++.

Include progress indicators on the checkout page

To convert those impatient consumers, a progress indicator to let them see where they are in the checkout process, and how much further they have to go is essential. 

show progress indicator

Showing the progress and shipping option can encourage shoppers to convert better.

A near-completed progress bar can also serve as a visual reinforcement for shoppers to continue with their purchases. Shoppers might be even more motivated to complete their purchase if they’ve seen how much they’ve already invested in your checkout. 

Make navigation between cart and store effortless

You would want your customers to add items to their cart and move on browsing the rest of the story effortlessly - the less work they have to do, the more likely they spend time on your site to shop and thus, convert. Some retailers have also made it possible for shoppers to checkout directly from the product page to minimize the number of clicks and page views necessary to complete a transaction.

Optimize page load speeds

Customers now have more information, options, power, and less patience. Thus, the last thing you want is for a customer to wait or frustrate over the question “if their order went through successfully?”. Having a fast-loading page can satisfy your shoppers’ demand for a speedy checkout experience. Not only will your customers be happier, but they’ll also be more inclined to buy additional products from your website because they wouldn’t have to wait as long.

Offer several payment options

Do you know that nearly 60% of Europeans tend to abandon their shopping cart if they cannot pay via their favorite payment method?

The same goes for customers in Asia and other continents. People just want the most convenient experience (remember, they have several choices, you are competing against other business competitors as well as those on popular marketplaces). Amongst some of the most popular payment methods are:

  • Shopping apps (Shop Pay and PayPal)
  • Digital wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay)
  • Buy now, pay later (Shop Pay Installments, Klarna, Four, and AfterPay)

According to Shopify, 1 in 4 merchants using Shop Pay Installments double their average order value when allowing customers to spread the cost over monthly payments. Customers can spread the cost of higher ticket items over a longer period. 

That explains why to buy now, pay later payments have grown by 215% in 2021. Should You Add Buy Now, Pay Later to Your Ecommerce Store? Check out HERE.

A/B testing is the key

But overall, there can be millions of reasons why a customer abandoning their carts - meaning there can be many potential ways to solve them. That’s why A/B testing can be the key to solve the problem that has bothered most online retailers in the world.

SmartOSC has recently had a new partnership with a leading provider of digital experience platform solutions, Optimizely. Optimizely allows you to easily make changes to your site through a visual editor (no coding required) and then split your traffic so that visitors to your site are randomly shown either the original version of your site or the version with your changes. Filling Optimizely with enough data will enable its advanced statistical engine to tell you which version of your page performs better, which version of your site has a lower shopping cart abandonment rate, and exactly how big the impact on your business will be.

Read more about the partnership HERE

Wrap up: Why a trustworthy eCommerce platform is essential

All in all, the journey to recouping lost eCommerce revenue doesn’t start at the checkout page. You have to look at a bigger picture, which is a smooth and seamless process applying a thorough understanding of how likely a customer is to complete their purchase. That success is rooted in choosing a best-in-class eCommerce platform.

Choosing the right platform among the main big players in the market: Magento (Adobe Commerce), Shopify, BigCommerce is hard enough, but the real challenges lay in the hand of the technical partner you choose: are they capable of turning your vision into reality? How is their profile and how have the previous projects turned out? 

Check out our previous Work and Capabilities and don’t forget to subscribe to manage today's needs and prepare for your eCommerce’s future.

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