5 reasons customers abandon online shopping carts – and how you can stop them

The Baymard Institute’s much quoted research finding that 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned either before or during checkout is a real cause for concern among online retailers. There are many reasons a customer might give up on their order, but there are also plenty of ways you can leverage your eCommerce site and re-marketing tactics to try to change their minds and retain the sale.

1. ‘The site forced me to create an account’

30% of online shoppers say they will abandon their basket if they are forced to create an account. A simple solution is to offer a ‘guest checkout’ option that allows the customer to go through to payment entering the minimum amount of information required. If you want to encourage customers to create accounts, you can always ask them again at the point of completion.

2. ‘The shipping costs were surprisingly high’

Online shoppers are also easily put off by high or unexpected shipping costs (accounting for 56% of abandonments). Display delivery charges on your site before the checkout page so that they don’t come as a shock, and consider offering low cost or free options alongside standard and next day services even if they take longer to arrive. Your range of delivery options is especially important to consider if you have customers purchasing from other countries too, as they may also need to take duties and taxes into consideration.

3. ‘I was just browsing’ or ‘I got distracted’

Online shoppers know they can search around on different websites to get the best deal before they commit to buying, so consider a re-marketing email strategy to remind customers about their shopping cart and offer last-minute discounts. Be sure to include a snappy subject line to regain their attention, as well as details of what was in the cart and a link back to it. Images can also help remind them what they’ve left behind. Sending within the hour will maximise conversions as the user may still be online.

You can also employ the use of exit-intent software like Picreel to trigger pop-ups when it looks like a visitor is about to leave your site. If a customer isn’t ready to commit to their purchase, consider offering the option of saving the cart for later, or creating a wish list.

4. ‘The checkout didn’t look secure’

If a customer is new to your brand and website, they might be put off purchasing if the checkout doesn’t look secure. Make sure you are using a secure checkout provider and that trust marks are prominently displayed in order to boost confidence. Provide clear contact details for support if they need help and consider integrating a ‘live chat’ function into your site so that customers can get assistance without even leaving the web page.

5. ‘The site didn’t accept my preferred payment method’

Even if you accept a wide range of card payment options, many customers will also prefer to have alternatives available so that they don’t have to rummage in their wallet and then spend time entering all the card details. If you don’t already, consider offering payment via PayPal and BitCoin. While some credit cards, such as American Express, are not widely accepted due to higher fees than other cards for the retailer, it is also still worth offering as a payment option to avoid losing the sale altogether.

Outsourcing your eCommerce fulfilment could also help you improve customer satisfaction, keep shipping costs and arrival times down and ultimately convert more carts into sales.