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Abandoned Carts in eCommerce. Is It Really a Problem?

abandoned-carts-in-ecommerce-is-it-really-a-problemeCommerce Statistics show that the percentage of abandoned carts may vary from 40 to 70% and it is a huge amount of lost profits. Of cause, very often the fault why it is happening lies on the side of merchants. Technical bugs, process defects, inconvenient interface – all such problems may be the cause of abandoned carts. But this is not always the merchant fault. In this article, we will discuss this topic in more depth.

First, let’s destroy some myths concerning abandon carts.

1. Abandoned carts are something bad and they mean that an online store has some problems

It is not always true. As in usual shops, there are some people, who visit the shop, search for something, test products and in fact buy nothing. The same situation may be during the online shopping. A certain percentage of customers will leave the store without a purchase. But why do users add products to the shopping carts? Is it always “talk” about the intention to buy? Let’s review some ideas:

  • Users can use the cart as a calculator. They plan their purchases soon and add a few items to cart to see the total cost. Most of online stores allow to do this without registration or login so it is a convenient feature to estimate the future shopping costs and compare these costs with other options.
  • Carts replace the function of identifying favorite products. For some reason, people may ignore the “add to wish list” button. And it is very convenient to put the favorite items directly in the cart, then not to search them again.
  • Users check the price, because they know that some online stores show additional costs only in the cart. It is an influence of previous experience. If users faced with the problem of hidden costs, they prefer to check the real value of products by adding them to their cart.

There may also be psychological characteristics, when the buyer needs time to decide, change their opinion several times, don’t know what they want and so on. Such users can add products to their cart, but buy nothing.

2. A high percentage of abandoned carts need to be reduced

Again, this is not quite right. Each business is unique and each store has its own index of abandoned carts, that can be considered as normal. Let’s look at some statistics.

online-shopping-cart-conversion-and-abandonment-rate-black-friday-stats-2011-2015

Source: Statista.com

All online stores have abandoned carts. Even during Black Friday, when people are very active in shopping and are primed for purchases, there is a high level of abandoned carts. This rate must be viewed in comparison with the past periods. Only in this case, you can determine whether it is a problem. If you have an opportunity to compare this figure with competitors or similar businesses, it can also give the real picture.

Next, we look at the most common mistakes that lead to abandoned carts.

  1. Hidden costs. Sometimes it is hard to search for the necessary product. The visitor can compare several options using different criteria such as prices, brands, models, producers and many others. Adding the product to carts means that the product meets the most of the criteria and if it will be discovered on this step that there are extra costs such as delivery cost or taxes, the user leaves the shopping cart. The product price is one of the most important criteria, so the visitor should be informed about the real costs before they add a product to the cart. Statistics show that this is the most frequent reason why the buyer does not complete the purchase.
primary-reason-for-digital-buyers-to-abandon-their-carts-in-the-united-states-as-of-2015

Source: Statista.com

  1. Incorrect information. Some online stores have a problem with the information update. For example, on the webpage it is indicated that the product can be ordered with quick delivery, but it is not available or cannot be delivered in the promised time. All such situations can be the reasons why the purchase is not completed.
  2. Complex and long checkout process. Most of online stores allow their guest users to add products to cart and don’t ask for a registration before they don’t decide what to buy. It is a good practice. But if a checkout procedure has many steps or user must do a lot of work, this fact can spoil everything and the user leaves the shopping cart. There are special modules for different e-platforms which allow organizing checkout procedure and make it easier. This procedure must be optimized as the one step checkout page. There shouldn’t be unnecessary information, which is not related to the purchase. For example, you don’t need to ask the visitor about the date of birth or hobbies, family members and so on.
  3. Advertising and beneficial offers. Adding product to cart is the purchase decision point. It is very important not to distract the customer at this stage. A banner with a more attractive price, information about upcoming discounts, a promotional code field, all such factors can induce the customer to postpone the purchase.
  4. The required payment method is not available. This is very unprofessional to lose customers due to the lack of the required payment methods. All popular methods must be available.
  5. Errors and bugs. Errors, misprints, all technical bugs may cause the users leave the online store. When the product is added to the shopping cart, even a small error can be as the reason that customer don’t trust the eCommerce company.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the rate of abandoned carts is just one of the indicators by which you can analyze the effectiveness of sales. As noted, it is important to consider this indicator compared to previous periods and only after this you can make conclusions. Every business is unique, and for each store there is its “good” and “bad”.

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Abandoned carts is not always the merchant fault. Technical bugs, process defects, inconvenient interface may be the cause of it. In this article, we will discuss this topic in more depth.