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Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

19 posts in this topic

Hello,

I ran across an article that shows recent online shopping statistics. While most of the data we're aware of but do we really understand it and apply it to our own shops? 

The piece that stood out to me were the top reasons customers abandon carts. Shop owners have little control over the top and bottom reasons. Or do we? For the top reason, retailers have to base shipping costs based on what they pay.

 I remember @burt touching on the subject of a one-page checkout in a thread he started. Burt has taken out some checkout steps in his EDGE edition. Also, @Mort-lemur taunting success with Recover Cart Sales. We all can agree that once we get the customer in the checkout funnel, we want them feel reassured and experiencing a comfortable and seamless process. 

Is it time for a new one-page checkout process for BS EDGE? What can we do to keep the customer's attention throughout checkout? Let's discuss! 

Attention @raiwa @Tsimi @frankl @MrPhil @LeeFoster @Dan Cole and whomever wants to participate.

cart_abandon.png

Edited by discxpress

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Shipping is the main reason.

Show estimated shipping costs at the shopping_cart page?

wHiTeHaT likes this

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Shipping costs must be made clear to customers as soon as possible in the funnel. Some sites want you to register before they will give you a shipping quote, I always abandon my cart at those stores. 

Unfortunately this is the default behaviour for osC, however the modular shopping cart with shipping estimator goes a long way to fixing that deficiency.

The study shows one powerful statistic - 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores  - so if possible shopowners need to use that as a tool to convince shoppers to buy from them.

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Most online retailers base their shipping costs on 3 things - total order value, weight and ship to address. A good table shipping rate addon would help fix this for UK retailers. The Modular shopping cart addon as mentioned by @frankl will help too. For the most part though the top 3 cannot be controlled by the shop owner. Amusingly though most buyers don't consider the cost of travel and parking etc when going to the high street to buy something.

Checkout as a guest is an option to resolve those who do not want to register to complete a purchase.

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1, 3, and 4 are closely related. Giving shipping costs early in the process can be difficult for guests (you don't know the shipping address yet) and if you need to consolidate multiple items (by weight and volume) it can be difficult to estimate. If you have fixed overhead S&H costs, I would suggest not giving the shipping estimate per item as it's added to the cart, as the first few items are likely to show as quite high, and can drive away customers at that point. If your shipping and handling costs are per item and either distance-insensitive (e.g., USPS First Class) or you know the shipping address, it could be feasible to give the approximate shipping cost along the way. You may be able to give a range of shipping costs for each item (cheapest) if you don't know the shipping address. One thing you could do is make it obvious that the customer can enter their shipping address at any time, so that shipping costs (cheapest method) can be calculated on the fly. During checkout, bring up this address and ask only for update/confirmation.

For Free Shipping, this is usually based on purchase value, so you can show a running tally of "buy $XX.XX more and get free shipping on the entire order!".

5. A slow site is a general problem that you need to fix. It will cause problems for customers long before they get to checkout.

6. Some sort of guest checkout (Purchase Without Account) is good here. I suspect that most people hesitate to register for four reasons:

  1. They fear they will be innundated with spam. You need to make it clear when inviting people to register that they will be able to control the mailings coming to them at all times, and their email address will not be sent to others. All marketing mailings must be explicit "opt in", with no "opt out" or preselected "opt ins".
  2. They fear that you will hold their credit card number or other personal information for extended periods. You need to make it clear what data you will hold and how it is protected and used, before they start the registration process. Make it clear that whatever data protection laws apply, you will obey them.
  3. They fear that you will ask for a lot of additional information, dragging out the process. Once they have filled out the PWA information, something like, "Just add an ID and password to register with us, and you can speed through future purchases without having to fill in this information again! Here is the information we keep and how we use it and protect it, All marketing emails, etc. are under your control.". Make sure the form information they just typed in doesn't get vaporized when you go to the other pages! Being able to track an order with a shipping company should not depend on having an account with you (give them the UPS etc. Tracking Number in an "order has shipped" email).
  4. They figure they are unlikely to visit you again, and will probably have forgotten they even have an account by then (yet another password to remember). This one you can't do much about, except to make it easy to register if they find themselves shopping with you again. Any followup email or product review is an opportunity to suggest they register -- you can even offer (for a limited time) to pre-fill the registration form using this order's information (and a one-time code).

7. Obviously, having a tremendous amount of information requested is confusing and irritating, particularly if it's poorly organized. Be careful about cramming too much on one page. If you have multiple pages, show a progress bar of where the customer is in the checkout process, and what's coming up. 2 or 3 short, clear, pages are better than 5 or 6, or one that goes on forever. if the shipping address is different from the billing address, fill out the shipping address first, and then ask if billing is different (bring up the input form only if the customer says yes). Anything to be less intimidating and lengthy is helpful.

2 and 8. Duh. Not much you can do about these.

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6 hours ago, burt said:

Shipping is the main reason.

Show estimated shipping costs at the shopping_cart page?

I show shipping costs just under the product's price. I don't know how it affected sales because I haven't done A/B testing.

5 hours ago, frankl said:

The study shows one powerful statistic - 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores  - so if possible shopowners need to use that as a tool to convince shoppers to buy from them.

I try to incorporate as much of the shipping costs in the price as possible so I can present lower shipping price. When the big retailers can afford to have "loss leaders" where they lose money on some items just to gain traffic and cover the loss with more profitable items, it's hard to compete on that front.

5 hours ago, LeeFoster said:

Checkout as a guest is an option to resolve those who do not want to register to complete a purchase.

I use that as well. It seems to be the choice of most of my customers.

@burt @frankl @LeeFoster Thank you for your replies. What about one page checkout? Do you think it will help?

I do believe it will work for desktop and tablet but what about the much smaller smartphone screens?

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7 minutes ago, discxpress said:

 

@burt @frankl @LeeFoster Thank you for your replies. What about one page checkout? Do you think it will help?

I do believe it will work for desktop and tablet but what about the much smaller smartphone screens?

Yeah I think it would help.

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@MrPhil Thank you for that detailed and informative response! You bring knowledge to the table as always. Being detailed oriented is one key to success. 

What do you think about a one page checkout for BS EDGE? Do you think it will slow down the checkout process? I think it won't really speed up things but it will be more convenient because shoppers can avoid clicking through multiple screens which can be frustrating for those on a smaller screen.

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I don't think a one-page checkout is the Holy Grail... a customer has a certain amount of information to input, and putting it all on one page means more scrolling, regardless of the screen size. Multiple pages (within reason) are OK, so long as each page sticks to one related area (and is clean and minimal, with no product listings or other extraneous clutter that slows loading), there is a progress indicator, and the customer can easily jump back to an earlier page. Personally, I would rather see several clean, well-organized pages than one cluttered and disorganized page that goes on forever and ever. To each his own. You know your customer set, and what they are more likely to want and expect.

Note that when the customer has signed in to an existing account, the information should be presented for confirmation and update, to reassure the customer about where it's going and permit temporary or permanent update (don't forget to offer a password update). Thus, the amount of information presented, with or without account, should be about the same. Ask for the password again if they want to update their account. And don't forget to be under SSL if you are taking sensitive information, especially credit card numbers!

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45 minutes ago, MrPhil said:

I don't think a one-page checkout is the Holy Grail... a customer has a certain amount of information to input, and putting it all on one page means more scrolling, regardless of the screen size. Multiple pages (within reason) are OK, so long as each page sticks to one related area (and is clean and minimal, with no product listings or other extraneous clutter that slows loading), there is a progress indicator, and the customer can easily jump back to an earlier page. Personally, I would rather see several clean, well-organized pages than one cluttered and disorganized page that goes on forever and ever. To each his own. You know your customer set, and what they are more likely to want and expect.

Note that when the customer has signed in to an existing account, the information should be presented for confirmation and update, to reassure the customer about where it's going and permit temporary or permanent update (don't forget to offer a password update). Thus, the amount of information presented, with or without account, should be about the same. Ask for the password again if they want to update their account. And don't forget to be under SSL if you are taking sensitive information, especially credit card numbers!

Great points. Maybe using hooks on mobile screens to tell customers what's on the next page or what to do next. I've visited site where they've implemented one page checkout using tabs. As the customer completes one section, the next section expands. Also, there are options to go back and edit each section. It's mostly a 3 step process: Billing address, shipping address and then order confirmation where you would enter payment details.

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1. Try to offer better shipping cost? (Limited to carrier options)

2. Can't do much about it.

3. Can't do much about it. Try to offer better deal if possible?

4. Add shipping estimator in shopping cart page or/and mention it on the Shipping Info page.
   Many shops fail to add a Shipping Info and Payment Info link/pages to their shop. I would like to know what options are available there.
   I have seen shops with shipping estimators but still people asking in the live chat "How much is shipping to Finland?" or "Do you ship to Iran?" Those are people that cannot be helped. Or maybe the shop failed to inform that there is such estimator feature.

5. Don't over-design your shop. Don't use large, fancy background images or banners on every single page.
   Think that not everyone surfing your site is from the same country as you. Or maybe use a CDN service to speed things up a bit?

6. To be honest I dont like those kind of customers. Why is it such a big deal to quickly register? But then again it depends what shop it is or what the shop is selling.
   If it is a shop selling products that I might purchase again then creating an account is just logical to keep track of past orders and to avoid typing the address everytime I order.
   But would I create an account to order flowers or chocolate? Unless I do it regulary I think no is the answer.
   It's difficult to solve this one. I personally wouldn't want to add a purchase without account feature into my shop.

7. I prefer 2-3 pages for checkout if they are structured and clean. Shipping -> Payment -> Confirmation
   As Phil mentioned having one page but need to scroll down and down and down is not a solution.
   If you have a clean and easy checkout process and a customer still finds it too complicate well then nobody can help that person. Maybe he should stick to pick up at stores kinda thing then.

8. Duh! Never happens to me. When I surf the web and intend to purchase something I concentrate at the task at hand.

Edited by Tsimi
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2. Here is the big deal where can hook into a customers mind. Here you must show your services to the customer, like how you handle re-turnings/refunds, showcase all your payment options, be direct or close to an "estimated shipping time" like between 3-5 days. perhaps even give a first purchase discount.

When you sum above up for a customer who is not yet ready to purchase these services stay in their mind. The chance they come back increased. You can combine it to one word TRUST. 

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I use recover cart sales and find that lots of customers that do respond to any follow up emails say that they were just looking. In most cases I take this to be comparing prices between other sites. Several of those customers do actually come back and purchase.  I base all shipping costs on order weight and display estimated shipping costs on the cart page which hopefully alleviates many customer worries. I also collect the minimum needed information from the customer as most hate entering unnecessary information.

I do still have cart abandonments but I dont think a one page checkout would help. Keeping it simple seems to work. Have as few pages as you need but too much information on one page looks bad and can confuse. Also make sure that the checkout confirmation page is well laid out and contains all the information that a customer needs to check their order. I have also taken away the side columns on the checkout pages. That way there is less to distract any customers. I did try a guest checkout but had many problems with it after a customer has purchased so removed it. There has been no real loss of sales as far as I can see or tell.

I think the checkout type of a store should suit the customer base that is using the store. My customers tend to be male and older, so keeping things simple seems to work. You know your customers best so do what suits them best. If they buy mainly on mobile sites, make the checkout more mobile friendly.

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I can can count on one hand the amount of shopowners who have installed a "one page" checkout and kept it live after initial testing.

One page checkouts are usually super complicated, either with lots of form inputs on one page, or that one page is psuedo tabbed to make it appear smaller.  The long page is offputting by making people scroll - I hate doing this on my desktop, let alone doing it on a 4 inch mobile phone screen.  The tabbed page can work, but becomes annoying when customer misses an input on Tab 1 and has to find the tab, open it, find the input and fill it.

In my opinion and I have evangelised this for years based on what shopowners are telling me;

  1. cut down checkout as much as possible.  Less for inputs = happier customers
  2. show estimated shipping costs prior to checkout
  3. allow customers to see their order without having to sign in
  4. allow customers to set a password if they wish to sign in

One page checkouts are not the way forward for the vast majority of shops.

discxpress and 14steve14 like this

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Here's another thought.  On the shopping_cart page a new customer has no way to know how long the checkout process is going to be/take.

Why not extend out the stepwizard into the cart page, and/or put some text on there telling the customer how far they are from the end.

Cart: You are 6 minutes from completing the checkout.
Shipping Page:  You are 4 minutes from completing
etc

In addition, there are other things that can be done to help speed up the checkout; 
Googles Address Finder
Remove passwords entirely
Turn off all the no needed input fields
Save their card details (eg on Braintree/Stipe)
Use Paypal Express
etc

Tsimi, Dan Cole, Omar_one and 1 other like this

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6 hours ago, wHiTeHaT said:

When you sum above up for a customer who is not yet ready to purchase these services stay in their mind. The chance they come back increased. You can combine it to one word TRUST.

Great point. Thank you.

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3 hours ago, burt said:

Here's another thought.  On the shopping_cart page a new customer has no way to know how long the checkout process is going to be/take.

Why not extend out the stepwizard into the cart page, and/or put some text on there telling the customer how far they are from the end.

Cart: You are 6 minutes from completing the checkout.
Shipping Page:  You are 4 minutes from completing
etc

In addition, there are other things that can be done to help speed up the checkout; 
Googles Address Finder
Remove passwords entirely
Turn off all the no needed input fields
Save their card details (eg on Braintree/Stipe)
Use Paypal Express
etc

I like those ideas. A smooth user experience is the key. I've never encountered Google Address finder. Do you have module for it @burt?

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Just curious... does this "abandoned carts" only apply to human users? That is, have web crawlers pushing buttons and following links been weeded out? How about comparison shopping site bots/scrapers? I've heard of them loading up carts and then just walking away once they have the data they're looking for.

While I'm asking, is there a standard "inactive time" for a cart before you declare it abandoned? I suppose that someone might be called away in the middle of a shopping session (dinner time, bed time, favorite TV show, emergency, etc.) and would like to pick up where they left off, but that might be asking too much past an hour or two. If someone is already signed in, it shouldn't be too hard to preserve and restore their cart, but if they're guests, that could be harder.

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@MrPhil I use Recover Cart Sales module and I usually can associate first and last name with the carts. I'm aware of bots clicking buttons and adding things to carts.

I wait a day or two before I determine the cart is abandoned and send an email.

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