Why do Customers abandon their Shopping Carts?

An independent web research company concluded 67.5% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. Increasingly much time is spent optimising web pages and pricing strategies. However, the last stage of the customer journey, i.e. completing the transaction and making a purchase, is given little significance.

Customers often have five stages in their customer journey - entering the website, browsing products, evaluating and assessing products, managing the cart and finally checkout. More often, customer exhibit positive emotions during the first three stages of the customer journey which more often than not drastically change to frustration and confusion during the final two stages. The key factors that lead to the customer dissatisfaction at the checkout stage are often, the number of fields and forms required at this stage. Furthermore, they often have to part with a great deal of personal and financial information. To add to this malarkey, there is added distraction from up selling banners on the side or down the bottom of the page distracting customers and taking them away from the end goal of making a purchase.


Simple measures can help remedy cart abandonment, ask for the customer’s email address at the first stage when they begin to manage their cart. If they do happen to abandon their carts, you can send them an email reminding them of what is waiting in their basket. Furthermore, try keep it simple, allow Paypal transactions, avoid up-selling, only ask for fields that you need, for e.g.: ask for one phone number instead of a work, fax and a mobile phone number. The fewer the fields customers have to fill, less daunting the task of making a purchase appears to a customer. Make it short, sweet and snappy.

Other causes of negative emotions among customers are the high shipping costs and forced account setup. Allow for guest checkouts, which allow customers to set up accounts later. Furthermore, display the cart with price inclusive of shipping before the customer reaches cart management stage and if they haven't reached the minimum amount for shipping make it abundantly clear while they are still at the browsing stage. Emphasise the price guarantee and return policy to ensure peace of mind to the customer.

Wednesday 24th December 2014

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