Although it may seem like a small issue, the abandonment of online shopping carts translates into big bucks. A study found that in 2012 alone, shopping carts were being abandoned at an average rate of over 62%, according to Business Know How. For a typical site, this can mean that two-thirds of customers never make a purchase.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent the customer abandonment of your shopping cart. But in order to implement the right methods, it makes sense to first understand how customers use the online shopping cart, and how certain factors influence them during that time.
Statistics and Surveys
Looking at the numbers is a great way to get an understanding of how customers perceive the shopping cart and what they use it for. One great collection of stats published by Marketing Profs aggregated data in several categories.
Where the placement of items in shopping carts was concerned, it was reported that almost 60% of online shoppers only placed items in their cart that they planned to purchase. But there were also those who used shopping carts as a way to list and keep tracked of their desired items (19%), and those who used the online shopping cart as a way to collect desired items and then make their purchase when savings promotions were offered (14%). Interestingly, only eleven percent of online shoppers said that they purchase less than they abandon their carts.
How Shopping Happens
The largest number of respondents in the Marketing Profs survey, over forty percent, said they already know what they want and which store they are going to when they get online to shop. Once there, they check out almost immediately.
Just over thirty five percent of respondents said that they take the time to look for those stores that have what they want at the lowest price. Only twenty percent of online shoppers actually do so for fun. So from the numbers, it appears that online shopping is a serious business not only for you the store owner, but for your customers as well.
Customer Reaction to Ads
Interestingly, seventy percent of online shoppers in the Marketing Profs survey said that they don’t mind receiving ads or other web content about items, as long as those items have been targeted to their individual needs. Taking this a step further, online shoppers said their behavior was 2 times as likely to be influenced by these targeted ads and content. And where those ads were delivered via a mobile device, online shoppers were four times as likely to be influenced.
Now that you know how your online shoppers use your shopping cart and feel about ads, how are you going to keep them from abandoning their purchases? This is where it helps to know the reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
Why Do Customers Abandon Their Shopping Carts?
There are several reasons why customers may go elsewhere and leave their cart full of your items. One big reason is that the customer wants to find more information about a product by going elsewhere, only to find that they don’t like what they read. Another reason is the leaving of a shopping cart to look for coupons, which can result in the cart system timing out.
But online shoppers can also leave their carts due to the way the interface is constructed. For example, a cart system may be confusing which can be made simple by opting for service providers like Shopify who help you in setting it up. A shopper who can’t see their cart items may just decide it’s easier to abandon their cart. The same is true for customers who can’t find the ‘checkout’ button.
What You Can Do To Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment at Your Site
Although there are many reasons for customers abandoning their shopping cart that are not within your control, there are measures you can implement to reduce the chances of shopping cart abandonment on your site.
One way to do this is to make any incentives for purchasing, such as free shipping, as visible as possible on your site. The reason why it’s suggested store owners concentrate on shipping is that high shipping costs cause over forty percent of online shoppers to abandon their carts. Offering either free or flat-rate shipping and ensuring that these offers are repeated and highly visible can help.
A shopping cart that’s visible on every single page is another great way to ensure that your customer stays at your site. But how that shopping cart is made visible counts as well. One report revealed that online shoppers who had the ability to view their cart using a drop-down menu were twice as likely to stay at the site they were on than those who had to navigate to a separate page to see their cart.
Having several payment options can also reduce the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment. The important thing to remember is that there are many online shoppers who do not have a credit card. That being said consider online payment options that themselves offer options for those with credit cards and without. Another option may be to accept checks, which can make it easier for your non-technical customers to make their purchases.
Giving you customers a reminder that they have abandoned their cart is another way to get them to return to your site. As we all know, it’s incredibly easy to become distracted when shopping online, with many possible sites being visited in addition to the store that was originally entered. A carefully-crafted email campaign can increase transactions at your store. If you’d rather not send email, you may wish to check and see if another feature can be installed that allows your customers to save their purchases for another time. This can address the 41% of online shoppers who abandon their carts due to being unprepared to purchase.
The bottom lines is that once an online shopper abandons their cart, the momentum changes from sale-positive to sale-negative. Therefore, it’s much more efficient to attempt to motivate customers to complete their purchase while they are still at your store.