The cart abandonment myth

Over the years we’ve seen a number of tactics, research, and myths generated by various sources as to why shopping cart abandonment happens. We’ve even seen a number of solution providers who use cart abandonment as a sales push tactic.

Over the years we’ve seen a number of tactics, research, and myths generated by various sources as to why shopping cart abandonment happens. We’ve even seen a number of solution providers who use cart abandonment as a sales push tactic.

Our recent online survey of cart abandonment shows varying results anywhere from 60% to 82% in abandonment figures. While these numbers may seem high, they’re not surprising. The truth is most abandonment happens because of simple predictable human behavioral issues. Security sometimes plays a part — but not for the reasons you might think. Security certainly isn’t the big shopping cart abandonment issue it use to be, unlike ten years ago. Today’s online shoppers are more flexible, educated and comfortable when it comes to buying products online. That’s why it’s one of the fastest growing global buying trends today!

With global increased use in mobile device shopping — the abandonment figures are largely inflated (these shoppers mostly add to cart to check final costs, then move to their PC to order for security reasons — hence the security risk factor shoppers consider these days). “Tire Kickers” are price checkers who want to know all the final costs, then abandon the final order process after obtaining the information (which is why most cart abandonment really happens). Those shoppers generally come back to buy either online or offline when they’re ready, providing you fulfilled price, information and delivery satisfaction issues. “Oops, I got distracted by a phone call...” shoppers are also a major factor these days.

These kinds of shoppers are the biggest inflation factors in cart abandonment figures.

In these cases, the shopper usually return to either complete their order online, or buy offline (or by phone)  if you’ve met their initial shopping criteria. Product, price, delivery, ease of use.

The problem is, how do you measure your cart abandonment for what it really is?

You can’t. It’s that simple. All you can do is dot your i’s and cross your t’s and perhaps provide further incentive to turn a tire kicker into a buyer.

Here are a few helpful hints on leveling your cart abandonment figures to a realistic and somewhat measurable state. We’ve also included some incentive suggestions which will help with sales conversions.

Review Your Shipping Costs and Policies

The highest actual checkout abandonment issue we’ve seen over the years has always been “high shipping costs”. Think of it this way — if someone adds to your cart, then abandons because of high shipping costs - that is what is considered a lost sale.

To help reduce this cart abandonment factor — use the “Product Level” shipping calculator option on your ShopFactory website. Also review your shipping calculations and product weights for various destinations, and ensure you are neither losing money, nor over inflating your shipping cost and markup on shipping with your customers.

If you are using an online automated rate calculator from your shipping provider — you must spot check rates regularly. If rates seem high for various destinations - you can contact your shipping provider to see about getting a further discount. Most shipping providers will give you a 5% to 10% “loyalty” discount if you do volume with them. But, you have to ask for it.

Use the same checkout practices that still hold true

Keep it simple. Remember, shopping online is just like shopping in the store. You want your customer to add to cart (whether single or multiple items), checkout and pay. ShopFactory keeps that simple for you with our simplified cart and quickstep cart to checkout secure form process.

Minimize or completely eliminate addon suggestion products, and other cross promotion tactics on your checkout pages. Don’t distract the buyer from completing the transaction. If there are other products that sell with the products they are purchasing, cross promote and market to them after the sale in your newsletters, or with targeted mailing. Include a newsletter and promotions sign-up on your “Thank You” page.

You should never have a “sign-up for an account” during the checkout process. That has always shown to increase lost sales. Simple checkout: add to cart, add shipping, enter payment information, submit — that’s the basics of what you want your shopper to do.

Other simple things you can do to close more online sales

Accept a wide variety of payment methods - include an icon or logo in your site header to easily show you accept those payments before they get to the checkout.

Include your sales phone number in your header — customers like to see this. If they see they can call and reach you easily — they’re more apt to make a blind purchase online.

Use a ShopFactory mini-cart which is visible on your site at all times, and the user can quickly click on to see the products they’ve added. The new ShopFactory mini-carts link back to products automatically for the visitor so they can make changes before entering check-out.

Use high quality images and include all the important product information on your product pages. Don’t leave anything out.

Highlight your sales, discounts available and specialty items prominently on your site or Homepage.