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Why Do People Abandon Carts?

By Snap Agency January 30, 2018

The most significant loss of revenue for most eCommerce companies is through abandoned carts. This problem is when people add products to their shopping, but then they fail to check out entirely, meaning that they decided not to purchase the product after initially being interested.

By reducing your abandoned cart rate, you can optimize your sales funnel and generate more revenue each month for your business. But first, you must understand why people abandon carts.

Hidden Costs

Perhaps the most common reason is that there are hidden costs that they weren’t initially aware of. These could be higher prices than were listed on the product page, extra shipping costs, sales taxes or import duties. While none of these are necessarily deal breakers, they can shock the customer and make them resistant to purchasing.

Instead, it’s best to be upfront with customers about the true cost of the good so that they can make a more informed decision about what they want to purchase.

Shipping is Too Expensive

In this day and age, most of us are accustomed to getting free shipping from companies like Amazon, and that has spoiled us. When we go to other eCommerce stores, we expect the same and when we see that there is a shipping cost we are likely to be hesitant.

But when that shipping cost is significant it can completely ruin the product, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth just before checkout, and that causes a vast number of abandoned carts. Ideally, you would be able to give free shipping to all of your customers, but if this is not possible, then you must endeavor to reduce the cost as much as possible to compete with Amazon.

They Aren’t Committed

Another reason which you might not have thought of is that the customer is just not that committed to the product. For example; if you were a clothing store they might add a dress to their basket because they liked the look of it, but when it came to checkout, they just didn’t want it enough to pay for it.

This is particularly common with items that aren’t thoughtless, i.e., they are expensive or complicated and are unlikely to be impulse purchases. Customers buying these types of products are likely to change their mind for no other reason than they decided that they no longer wanted to pay for the item.

Checkout is Too Complicated

However, many customers love your products, but they are just unwilling to go through a complicated checkout process to buy the item. Many of us are accustomed to being able to checkout with one-click, and the idea of having to sign up to an account and give over a vast amount of information is unappealing.

While it’s understandable that you would want people to give you their information so you can market to them, you are also losing customers in the process. To combat this, it’s often best to give your customers the opportunity to check out as a guest.

This removes a considerable barrier to purchase and makes it more likely that people will impulse buy your products because they can hand over their cash much quicker. On the other hand, by slowing the process down, you give people more time to convince themselves that they don’t need your product.

A laborious checkout process increases the barrier to purchase and can discourage even the most adamant customers. Instead, you should be doing the opposite and making it easy for them to purchase from you.

Shipping is Too Slow

On many stores, it’s not until you get to the checkout page that you can see how long it will take for the products to be delivered. This can lead to many abandoned carts if the shipping time is too slow for the customers. You might not think this applies to you if your shipping is relatively quick but many people demand two-day or overnight shipping.

The only way to figure out if this is a problem for your business is to talk to consumers and ask them their opinion. However, you can get a good gauge of the situation by looking at your competition and taking an average of your most successful competitions shipping times as a goal to aim towards.

Lack of Payment Options

In this day and age, there are so many different payment options that it’s often not acceptable to only take credit and Visa debit cards. Although it can be costly to accept other payment methods, especially if they are not used regularly, it’s more expensive to lose these customers who would otherwise abandon their carts.

Animosity towards traditional payment methods is growing, fueled by the recent popularity of cryptocurrencies and other alternative payment options. While it might not be necessary for every store to accept Bitcoin, it would be wise to consider it at least.

At the very least it makes sense to offer payment through popular serves like PayPal and AliPay. These services are becoming more popular, and many customers use them because they do not have credit or debit cards, which would otherwise prevent them from buying from you.

Found a Cheaper Alternative

Finally, it’s possible that some of your customers consider price above any other factor. While this subsection of your customer base is likely small, these people will search around for deals and offers, choosing to shop wherever it is cheapest for them at the time.

If they do find a cheaper alternative, then they will abandon their cart with you and shop with your competitors. It’s unlikely that you will be able to win these customers back with anything other than price because that is what they value above anything else.

In this case, you can choose to ignore these customers who are not loyal, or you can battle to drive your costs down so that you can offer lower prices. Unfortunately, this will obviously impact your overall revenue as you are now charging less to customers who would have purchased at the higher price point.

For this reason, many companies choose to ignore customers who abandon carts purely based on price because they will never be loyal and are often some of the least profitable customers to have.