Cart Abandonment : Inevitable or quite easily revocable?

Let’s get this straight. No one strolls up to the checkout counter after a solid hour of shopping only to change their mind on a whim and dump their goods. This extends to the digital sphere as well. Cart abandonment is the virtual equivalent of the last second flip flop activity we were just talking about.

Now, cart abandonment is a terrible hurdle for online retailers to cross. In 2014, the Business Insider estimated the sum of merchandise that made the shopping cart but not the payment gateway. The total value was at just about $4 trillion, and the number can only have increased in recent years.

However, this is where we need to go back to the previous point. We must look at just how this seemingly simple problem has been allowed to escalate this much. The customer has practically spent a considerable amount of time browsing through your site. She picked out stuff she wants and added it to her cart, only to make a glorious U-turn at the last second.

Reasons for cart abandonment

Sure, there may be people who take last-ditch impulsive decisions. Sometimes they suddenly realize their wallets are a bit on the short side, but these figures are negligible. If you’re letting potential customers slip through at the very end, it’s for a far more fundamental reason. Your checkout process is putting them off and driving them away.

Of course, you’re always going to wind up with a few disgruntled customers. They might ditch their shopping midway, even if your checkout process is smooth and quick. That’s just the law of the world. The only way to woo these people back is to send well-crafted push notifications. Something that is like those shown below, but that’s a story for another day.

Shopping Cart
Shopping Cart product

The majority of cart drop-offs, though, can be traced back to basic errors that are easily sorted out. In fact, here’s a list of common cart abandonment reasons Baymard put together back in 2016.

Reasons for cart abandonment

Let us now attempt to delve into the general customer psyche, and explore the common hurdles they face. Let’s come up with simple fixes that can help you convert casual window shoppers into full-blown customers.

1. General Annoyance

This is perhaps the most persistent, but least talked about, the reason for potential customers ditching their transactions midway. There might be other, more specific reasons too (which we’ve explored below). However, an abstract sense of frustration while waiting to buy a product online is the digital equivalent of standing at the checkout. The person behind the counter might start reeling off pointless information about redundant offers and discounts. Addressing this intangible source of irritation is where marketers and website designers earn their dough, and here are a few simple remedies

  • Short checkout process

    Make a judgment call as to a reasonable length to the checkout process, bothering the customers for details only when absolutely necessary. Too little might make your site seem non-authentic and make your customers wary. However, too many details will definitely annoy them midway through the process.

  • Status clarity

If you must indeed have several columns to fill making checking out a lengthy process, clearly and explicitly showcase the number of steps left to reach the end goal i.e the final payment, in order to let the customer stay on top of the whole process. Subtly including pop-ups of the actual product might also help remind the customer the reason she’s here in the first place and persuade her to complete the transaction.

  • Store replication

Good stores are ones that read customer psychology inside out and prepare well in advance. Having shopping carts handy in each aisle is a key trait in encouraging compulsive shoppers who tend to purchase products on impulse. If these shoppers have to walk all the way back to fetch carts it gives them time to think about their potential purchase. So it  might increases the chances of them not following through. Similarly, your online store has to emphasize quick, smooth navigation between cart and product page. It would encourage instinctive shopping and reduce the burden on customers who want to shop for multiple products.

2. Security concerns

If you start paying close attention to the intricacies of cart abandonment, you’ll notice that a huge chunk of the stalling happens at the payment phase. If you’re at the receiving end of this quite frequently, the implication is that your security standards are questionable at best.

While this can obviously be rectified by boosting compliances, security checks, and general safety protocols. It provides the website with the impression that a customer imprints into his mind and is irrevocable on a deeper level. When it comes to security concerns, especially with respect to their money, customers you once lose due to a lack of trust and belief are really hard to win back.

This tentatively extends to poor security as well as service when it comes to the actual payment itself. A delayed response from the third-party service provider while swiping a credit card, for example, might result in the customer giving up and halting the transaction through no particular fault of your own. Staying on top of all third party communication happening through your site will alert you to these types of potential pitfalls fairly quickly.

Error Processing transaction

3. Payment variety

Alright, this is something that you can easily solve and shouldn’t be this huge a hassle in the first place. This is an age of countless payment options ranging from the convenient to the obscure. So, people tend to have very specific preferences as to how they want to pay for their purchases. However, most eCommerce sites seem to believe, that offering just one or two payment options is perfectly fine.

However, they fail to realize that people are extremely obstinate when it comes to exploring a payment gateway different to the one they’re used to. Thus sometimes they tend to even view it as a strong identity trait. Long story short, it’s difficult to convince a potential customer to use your suggested payment option to complete the purchase than the one she already has in mind. So, take time to research the popular payment modes that are currently doing the rounds. Incorporate them into your site to deter your shoppers from opting out of their purchases at the last minute.

So there you go. Taking these tips on board is sure to boost your cart abandonment strategy. It will also help you turn deserted shopping carts into a dough for your store.

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