E-commerce is booming, especially in light of recent events when governments are taking an initiative for creating a cashless economy. E-commerce has not only provided the convenience of shopping with complete privacy, but it has also provided the means to use various flexible payment options without having to travel to a brick and mortar establishment.
However, the worst thing that can happen with an e-commerce business is customers abandoning their virtual shopping carts. When the business is so close to converting a deal, abandonment raises a lot of questions about the service although not all reasons may be related to the performance of the online store itself.
Statistics reveal that 91% of online shoppers will abandon their virtual shopping carts before the transaction is completed. Let’s examine the top reasons why consumers abandon their virtual shopping carts.
Although most e-commerce stores provide free shipping above a certain purchase order value, not all products or stores may offer this service. Hence, you might have to bear shipping costs. The costs may not seem a lot if you order in bulk. However, for small orders or individual purchases, high shipping costs can deter customers and they can change their mind at the last minute. This leads to virtual shopping cart abandonment.
Online shoppers like to browse items and can change their decisions based on several reasons. They might have saved some products in the shopping cart, but it could be postponed for later consideration or they might drop the idea of purchasing the product completely.
One of the reasons why consumers search products from online stores is the availability of discounts, low price deals, and comparatively lower prices than the ones associated with brick and mortar establishments. Initially the product might have captured the attention of the customer, but during the checkout process, the high costs (total or individual) can deter the customer from completing the transaction. Hence, high product price can lead to shopping cart abandonment.
This is probably the most common customer driven reason for abandoned shopping carts. Online shoppers are no different than regular shoppers. They like to “window-shop” and browse products. The only advantage that online shoppers have is that they can save the products in the shopping cart or save the URLs of the product pages. When these shoppers save products in the shopping cart and leave them there for later consideration, it counts as shopping cart abandonment. However, this is not a complete loss of opportunity. There is still hope that the customer may complete the transaction at a later date.
Customers love checkout processes that are simple and hassle-free. Not every customer would like to register with the website and provide the details for completing the transaction. This usually happens when the customer does not have enough trust in the services offered or is a first time customer of the respective e-commerce store. Online stores that provide guest checkout are at a lower risk of shopping cart abandonment.
If a customer wishes to register with the website, the process should be simple, fast and should be completed with minimum information. No one likes to spend a lot of time filling up forms or online profiles before proceeding to the checkout process. You must have done the same thing when shopping online. So it should not be difficult for you to understand what other online shoppers experience when it comes to collecting excessive information before checkout.
The importance of a simple and hassle-free checkout process can never be undermined. It should ideally include the details of the person, address and payment. By adding unnecessary hurdles, the chances of, shopping cart abandonment are quite high. Moreover, the customer may never order from the online store again and also post reviews or spread the word around which means more lost opportunities.
A slow website, especially one that crashes, raises a lot of concerns from a consumer’s perspective. It can also lead to multiple payment deductions or delayed processing of the payment. Both of these scenarios reduce the customer’s confidence in the store’s services. Plus, it affects the overall user experience. Online shoppers are more like to abandon shopping carts if the website is slow or performs poorly.
The price calculation needs to be kept simple and inclusive of taxes or other applicable costs. When the customer reaches the checkout stage and realizes that the addition of the taxes are going to cost more than the expected amount, it could lead to shopping cart abandonment. If the customer really wants the product, then this might not be a problem. However, it is better to avoid such issues in order to target the majority of online shoppers.
Flexible payment options are one of the most lucrative features of online stores that draw customers to the website. People like the convenience provided by different payment methods including cash on delivery, payment by debit / credit card, and the possibility of obtaining an installment facility. If an online store has insufficient payment options, customers can abandon their virtual shopping carts and even seek other online stores for their needs.
This is not a technical issue. However, slow shipping is a major turn-off for customers, especially if high shipping costs were charged for the order. First time customers usually read reviews before ordering from an online store. For a returning customer, a single delayed shipping experience can cause doubts about the credibility of the store’s services. If multiple cases of slow shipping is reported, then customers can abandon their shopping carts to avoid the inconvenience of delayed delivery.
Poor customer service has a major role to play in the abandonment of shopping carts. Customers may want to ask about the status of their delivery or refunds (in case incorrect or damaged product is delivered to them). If the customer’s queries and complaints are not addressed by the customer support team, then no online shopper will want to engage with the brand at all. This is also an important factor which influences purchase decisions and leads to abandonment of shopping carts in the last minute.
Some online stores consider it a good approach to spam customers with offers and deals even at the checkout stage. This is not a good promotional strategy. In fact, it seems like a desperate attempt at sales and this can deter customers from completing the checkout process. If irrelevant offers are shown as pop-up images, then it can deter the customer from visiting the online store in the future. Now that is a precious opportunity lost which can influence other potential customers.
More than 60% of online shoppers access, e-commerce stores from their mobile devices. These devices can include smartphones and tablets that have different dimensions and configurations. So a single format doesn’t work for all devices. If the checkout process is not optimized for omnichannel shopping, then the shoppers can abandon their shopping carts due to lack of trust in the checkout process. After all, transaction security is the most serious concern amongst online shoppers and this can affect purchase decisions considerably.
First-time customers remain a priority for most online stores. However, returning customers also constitute a considerable portion of sales. The website should not be first-time-customer centric as this will not appeal to those shoppers who have order products from the website earlier and wish to make another purchase.