Why customers abandon shopping carts

This can happen and it is an interesting conversation I have had with many online shop owners in the past. Sometimes if you see many abandoned shopping carts it can be a clear indication of a problem however it can also be normal to see this happen. So why do customers add products to a cart and then walk away? What causes it to happen and how can we win back some of these customers? An interesting question I would like to ask you is do you know how many people have abandoned their shopping carts on your website? If not you should check.

Baymard Institute (a research company) says on average 68% of all online shopping carts are abandoned, this statistic was take over an 8 year period however in 2013 this figure has climbed to over 74%, this might seem like a high number and you are right, so I would not panic if you find your number of abandoned carts is this high, its normal but it does mean that 7 out of every 10 visitors to your website will stop without buying anything, I believe it would be easier (and cheaper) to convert more of these customers to sales than to gain more traffic to your website.

So why do people abandon their shopping carts?

So the most common suggestion that people make when I discuss this topic with them is that visitors just simply change their mind at the very last moment. When we actually did a little looking into this we found that this was not entirely the case at all. In research carried out by the payment processing company WorldPay it was found that this was in fact the fifth most highest reason people did not buy, this means their are 4 bigger reasons your customers may have left a cart abandoned at your store this year. Your interested now I bet? So what are they? Have a look at our chart below:

Abandonded Shopping Carts

Lets have a look at some of the major problems that are facing customers visiting e-commerce shops and see what we can learn from them.

Problem 1 is that customers are faced with unexpected costs

That's right, over half of all people who visit online stores abandon their shopping cart when they see hidden costs appear, this can take the form of taxes that were not initially made clear, baggage or credit card processing fee's or shipment costs. In fact from a survey of 100 people that we carried out ourselves here in Ireland Website Design we found that the biggest culprit of this was the shipping costs, some times shipping costs can be very high and much higher than expect. This is the main reason over half of the carts were left abandoned, do you have hidden fee's on your website? If so consider fixing this issue now as you could be losing as much as 25% of your overall revenue for this reason.

Abandonded Shopping Carts

Problem 2 is that your visitor was just browsing

99% of first time customers will not buy on their first visit, this is unfortunately just part of the buying cycle online and is not something you can do about it, what you can do however is provide them with a good service, a great price, a secure feeling website and they will be sure to come back and buy on their subsequent visits. However do you know that 75% of these people who get to the cart do in fact come back on average and purchase the product?

We found some more research that showed us how long it took for people to actually come back and make the purchase:

    30% purchase in less than 20 minutes
    50% purchase in 20 minutes to an hour
    60% purchase in 1 to 3 hours
    65% purchase in 3 to 12 hours
    72% purchase in 12-24 hours
    80% purchase in 3-7 days
    95% purchase in 1-2 weeks
    100% purchase in more than 2 weeks

Abandonded Shopping Carts

Problem 3 price better somewhere else or price to expensive

It appears for a first time buyer at your website price is a major consideration, this is quite obvious and we all know people use the internet to shop around. We have some ideas for this that include: First time buyers discount, loyalty cards and simply prompt to call for help, with some human interaction maybe you can persuade someone it is better to spend a slightly higher amount with you than another shop.

Thanks for reading

So unfortunately that is as far as we are going to get with the different reasons why people abandon their carts however we have an extensive knowledge in e-commerce and converting visitors to sales, if you would like to ask our help with your e-commerce store then you should contact us right away.

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