4 Reasons You’re Experiencing Shopping Cart Abandonment
Customer-Centricity | Industry Savvy

4 Reasons You’re Experiencing Shopping Cart Abandonment

on / by Sudar Ganes

There’s no getting away from it, the world of ecommerce is thriving and retailers across the globe are cashing in. The convenience of shopping online compared to a traditional bricks and mortar store is hard to dispute: you can browse and purchase almost anything from the comfort of your own home. However, despite the ecommerce boom, there is something that all online retailers have to actively combat, and that is Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA).

This increasingly common disruption, where users leave the site before completing their purchase, is affecting successful conversions on your ecommerce site. This means you’re losing potential customers and missing out on significant revenue.

So how valuable are these potentially-missed opportunities? Business Insider UK reports an expected $4 Trillion dollars worth of products will be abandoned online in 2015. Shopping Cart Abandonment is actually rising each year as more and more consumers are using ecommerce avenues.

Why You May Be Suffering

There are several different reasons why customers might not complete their purchase, ranging across multiple touchpoints of the customer journey. However, we can categorize these into four major problem areas:

  1. Security
  2. Cost
  3. Website UX/UI
  4. Personal Decisions

The following chart by Statista visualizes data collected by a 2012 study titled Reasons for consumers to drop out of an online purchase. The data is ranked in order of most troubling causes to less problematic ones.

Statista Chart

Chart Courtesy of Statista

1. Security

The ecommerce environment is one that can provide a personalised and private shopping experience, so users visiting your site want to feel secure when they are making a purchase. It’s as simple as that.

17% of users in the Statista study did not complete their purchase because of doubt in the security measures at the payment stage. On the other hand, excessive security checks also proved to be problematic with 18% of users abandoning their cart as a result. Some examples of excessive security can include: account verification when signing into the site, repetitive data input pages for personal and billing information and additional security screenings by credit card companies.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

2. Cost

The next major pain point for users was cost. The study cites that 32% of users abandoned their cart as a result of the total price being too high and even more users left as a result of finding competitive prices on another site.

However, the top price-related reason for Shopping Cart Abandonment is the user being presented with unexpected costs. These most commonly refer to shipping and handling costs or other ‘admin fees’ that the user may not have been aware of at the time of browsing. So it is extremely important to inform customers of the approximate total cost while they are shopping and adding items to their cart. Surprise charges and costs deter shoppers from completing their purchase. 56% of users did not convert when they were presented with last-minute fees that were not displayed earlier in the checkout process.

3. UX/UI

Issues in the user experience within a website’s navigation and user interface is the cause of many lost conversions in ecommerce.

Many users will abandon their cart as a result of the website’s navigation and UI being too complicated. Similarly, users may ‘give up’ as a result of the checkout process taking too long to complete. Poor design and complexity in the shopping experience can deter users from reaching checkout. A negative user experience will often result in the consumer feeling frustrated, discouraged and ultimately abandoning their cart.

Other back-end technical issues may also cause users to abandon their cart. This could include things like the site crashing, technical glitches/bugs, 404 pages and site time-outs. It is crucial that you have teams or software in place to mitigate these errors.

Ecommerce allows users to shop in a global marketplace. Consumers expect the product pricing to be displayed in their local currency and are influenced negatively when this is not the case. When presented with prices in a foreign currency 13% of users became discouraged and did not complete their purchase.


4. Impulse shopping

Another key problem area, that leads to SCA has to do with the user’s personal inclinations, decisions and the phenomenon of impulse shopping. Many users tend to casually browse and take part in the virtual equivalent to “window shopping”. They fill their cart with things that they like and would one day hope to own, but do not proceed through the checkout. This equates to about 37% of users who abandoned as a result of casual browsing. As many as 26% of users have also been found to back out of their purchase because they felt guilty and did not give into their impulsive desires to shop.

Next Steps

Now that we have introduced the 4 main causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment, how can you work on reducing it? We’ve written a brand new ebook giving you the essential insights you need to combat Shopping Cart Abandonment. Identifying and solving these issues will help you boost conversions, increase customer loyalty, and grow your revenue.

Shopping Cart Abandonment - Usabilla

Article by

Sudar Ganes

As an experienced researcher in the fields of marketing, sociology and UX, he is intrigued by the ways that users think and interact. Translating these insights ultimately helps in better product development and marketing.

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