4 Reasons for Cart Abandonment (And How to Prevent Them to Boost Conversions)

You’ve been struggling to drive conversions, and have decided to analyze user behavior to understand the problem. To your surprise, you find that people are interested in your products. They even go so far as to add items to their shopping carts. The only problem is, they don’t complete their purchases.

But why do customers abandon online shopping carts? And how can you prevent cart abandonment on your website?

First of all, don’t panic, because you’re not alone. In fact, according to the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for ecommerce retailers is around 69.23%.

In this post, you’re going to learn 4 of the most common reasons why customers abandon shopping carts. You’ll also learn how to reduce cart abandonment on your site to boost conversions.

4 Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

According to the previously-cited study by the Baymard Institute, and another study by Barilliance, here are the 4 most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

Reason #1: High and Unexpected Extra Charges

A shopper finds an item that they like, they consider the price, and then decide to make a purchase. However, once they get to the checkout page, they see something unexpected in the payment summary.

There are several extra charges — like shipping costs and taxes — added to the original price. Which causes the total cost of the item to be much more than they were expecting. This frustrates and angers many shoppers, causing them to abandon their shopping carts.

  • In the Barilliance study, the top reason for shopping cart abandonment was unexpected shipping costs.
  • The Baymard study found that 61% of people abandon their carts because the extra costs for shipping, taxes, or other fees were too high.
  • Another 24% of customers abandon shopping carts because they can’t see, or calculate the total cost of their orders upfront.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Solution #1

As a retailer, you can’t always waive the extra charges because it could result in a loss for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your conversion rate either. Instead, set realistic expectations right from the start so customers don’t face unexpected extra charges during checkout.

If you require a minimum purchase for free shipping, for example, make sure you display that information clearly and prominently on your product pages.

Even if your total order amount qualifies for free shipping on Amazon, not every item qualifies. Items that are not eligible for free shipping are normally from select third-party retailers.

Yet by taking care to clearly display the fixed shipping charge on the product page, Amazon makes sure customers won’t get an unpleasant surprise when they decide to checkout.

Even if charges vary from state to state, or country to country, you can give shoppers the option to estimate or calculate their shipping costs before they checkout.

That is exactly what LaQuan Smith does on their website. As you can see in the screenshot below, shoppers can select their country, state, or province. And then enter their zip code or postcode to estimate the cost of shipping.

This also solves another problem that causes abandoned carts — being unable to calculate the costs upfront. In addition to estimating the shipping costs, you can also provide an option to calculate extra charges, (like taxes or customs duties), so shoppers know exactly what to expect.

Read the full article on Shane Barker’s Digital Marketing blog.

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