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5 common reasons for shopping cart abandonment and how to prevent them

5 common reasons for shopping cart abandonment and how to prevent them


In the past year, online shopping has boomed. With customers stuck indoors, many swapped in-store purchases for online splurges, and this trend is set to continue.

With some of the biggest retailers seeing a huge increase in online purchases – the rise in e-commerce shopping is most definitely here to stay.  And it’s not just the retail giants turning to online salese-commerce platforms such as Shopify have flourished with businesses of all sizes scrambling to get online.

Despite this, 69% of shopping carts are abandoned before the purchase is completed, and this number is on the rise. But why is this so bad for businesses?

Whilst it can be seen as a customer just changing their mind, the effects are not to be understated. If a shopper abandons their cart mid-purchase, you risk losing that customer and valuable revenue.

Luckily for businesses, many of these reasons are easily avoided with the right know-how. To help businesses with their e-commerce journey, we’ve put together a list of the top five reasons for shopping cart abandonment and what you can do to get your customers back.

1. Unexpected charges

Nobody likes unexpected costs – from emergency plumbers to unexpected vet bills. Yet many businesses add on unexpected charges at the last minute. By adding on costs such as delivery at a later stage, you run the risk of losing customers as their basket becomes too expensive. With 28% of customers abandoning a cart if they see an unexpected delivery cost, it pays to be upfront.

Try to offer competitive shopping costs laid out at the offset, or better still, if you can, consider offering free shipping.

2. A complicated checkout

Your customers are busy, so why not make life easier for them? A lengthy checkout process can deter many customers, so it’s best to keep the checkout process as simple as possible. Try to keep the information needed from each customer small to make the process short and simple. Simple enough to fit even the busiest of schedules.

3. Trust issues

With customers inputting sensitive information such as bank details and addresses, they want to know their personal data is protected. By not having secure payment assurances, clear returns policies, and money-back-guarantees, many customers opt to purchase elsewhere. To push more sales over the line, make sure your site is secure, with clear returns and money-back guarantees.

If you are a lesser-known brand, try to include customer testimonials and social proof to help reassure your customers.

4. Payment problems

Imagine this – you’ve found the perfect shirt online. You go to checkout, but wait? Card declined.

Try as you might to finish the checkout, if there are back-end payment issues, you’ll be forced to abandon the cart.

So that you don’t leave customers unable to pay for their products, consider adding alternative options such as PayPal just in case.

5. Change of heart

Sometimes, customers change their mind. Whether they decide to save their money for a rainy day, or just don’t need your product anymore, customers can have a change of heart.

Whilst there is little you can do to prevent this, one thing that you can do is add a wish list function to your site. That way, if customers are on the fence, they can always save items for later and come back when they are ready to buy. This is especially useful for shoppers higher up in the sales funnel.

In conclusion…

Whilst customers abandoning their shopping carts mid-purchase is a big issue for many businesses, with a bit of time and effort, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of shoppers ditching their trolleys.

By making sure you remove unnecessary distractions, provide accurate delivery information, and reduce hidden costs, you can guide your customers into closing the sale. Not only this, but by also carrying out tests on your own site and conducting exit surveys, you can gauge why your customers are leaving and act accordingly.



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