With the current pandemic forcing holiday shoppers to do more of their shopping online, it has become much more important to provide a pleasant online shopping experience. When a customer leaves a shopping cart behind full of goods they intended to purchase, you know that something went wrong. They bailed before completing the transaction. This is known as shopping cart abandonment.
Shopping cart abandonment has been researched in many studies. There are many reasons why this happens and the majority of the time that a customer abandons their shopping cart is because of the checkout process.
Keep Checkout Simple
Shoppers want simplicity. They already have their credit card in hand as they begin the checkout process. From completed studies, we know that the most common reasons for abandonment are unexpected fees, higher than expected shipping costs, requests for unnecessary information that a customer cannot opt-out of such as a birthdate on purchases that have no age requirement. The biggest cause of cart abandonment is a long checkout process that includes more than one page.
About Those Studies
We’ve mentioned above some of the reasons why customers abandon their shopping carts. Other reasons for leaving include website crashes, broken hyperlinks or a payment area that doesn’t convey professionalism and instill confidence in the user. Knowing why potential customers leave their cart is important in identifying and fixing issues. Some simple changes to a website may boost sales. Here is what the most recent study found as the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
- 50% said they leave their carts due to additional fees and shipping costs.
- 28% left because they had to set up an account.
- 21% felt the checkout process was too long and complicated.
Simplifying the checkout process can result in an increase of 35.26% completed transactions. That is a huge increase in sales for any business.
- Eliminate Surprises
When making online purchases, customers don’t like to be surprised by hidden fees that aren’t disclosed until arriving at the payment section. prior to checkout. This is a prime reason for abandoning a cart. The study shows that consumers will leave your site and visit another merchant and pay more for the same product elsewhere.
- Display All Added Fees in Advance
Instead of adding fees during the checkout process, make it clear what added fees might be assessed during the shopping process. As an example, if an item is particularly heavy and will cost a lot to ship, consider adding a button next to the item/price that says, “Calculate Shipping Fees”. This gives the shopper their fist notification that shipping charges will be added.
- Lump the Shipping Costs into the Product Price
Free shipping is a big thing these days. Especially during the holiday season when many houses are seeing UPS and postal deliveries arriving daily. Just ask Amazon Prime members how much they love free shipping. As a business owner, you know shipping isn’t free. Consider including the estimated cost of shipping in the price displayed to the customer. Some sites include free shipping for all purchases and some have minimum price points before free shipping is offered.
Create Guest Checkout Option
Returning Customer and Guest Checkout Option
While capturing the data of your customer can provide great marketing benefits for you, forcing potential customers to complete an exhaustive account set-up will likely drive away potential customers. Asking someone to create a username and password and then provide personal information before being able to shop or purchase is a turn-off. Simplify the process by offering the option of completing the purchase as a guest. This saves time and improves the user experience.
Shorten Checkout Process
A primary reason for cart abandonment before checkout is the long process of information to input and share. Keep the process short and simple:
- Product Information – This shares every detail the customer needs to know about the product before purchasing such as size, quantity, and price.
- Billing and Shipping Address – The billing and shipping address may be different, so it’s important to have the correct information for both. But if they’re the same, be sure to add a toggle button option that auto-fills the shipping address when selected. Do not make them enter the same information twice.
- Payment – The easier this information is to input, the more likely the consumer is to make a purchase. Make sure that you accept all major brands of credit cards.
- Allow auto-fill features in the payment section. Many customers store their credit card information in their browser and can insert credit card details with a single click.
- Confirmation – Reviewing and confirming the three steps above will help the customer identify mistakes when sharing information. While this is an extra step that is completely necessary, it is of great convenience.
Benefits of a Simplified Checkout Process
From a significant impact in sales to creating a positive user experience, providing a simplified checkout process offers benefits to both your customer and your business. Adding a Guest Checkout option or providing free shipping are just two ideas that will reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts left behind. To learn more about the most recent Cart Abandonment study completed by Baymard Institute, click HERE.