An abandoned cart is what happens when customers add items to their carts only to drop the purchasing process.
The causes for abandoned carts can depend on the industry. Generally, it can indicate that users are not ready to purchase. Abandoned carts are not a hopeless case, however. Marketers can urge customers to revisit their carts with nudges like push notifications, retargeting ads, and email alerts.
The impact of abandoned carts is measured through the shopping cart abandonment rate. This is calculated by taking the total number of successful purchases and dividing it by the total number of transactions that were started by adding items to a cart. A high abandonment rate can indicate a problem in the sales funnel or the customer experience.
Main Reasons for Abandoned Carts
Here are some of the most common reasons for abandoned carts:
- Visitors are not ready to purchase. They can only be browsing or using the cart to add products to their wish list.
- Customers found the product at a cheaper price elsewhere. Shoppers often do not push through a purchase without seeking reviews and comparing prices.
- Shoppers are not willing to pay for the high shipping costs. This can be easily avoided by being transparent with costs in the beginning or offering free or discounted shipping.
- There are too many steps before purchase. Shoppers like convenience. When the process is long or complex, they can be swayed to reconsider their purchase and look elsewhere.
- Visitors do not trust the website. They might be hesitant to give out their credit card information to a site they are unfamiliar with.
- There are technical problems on the website, or it is too slow to load. Shoppers will not hesitate to abandon their carts for other sites that are bug-free.
Reducing Abandoned Carts
Brands and retailers can optimize the purchase process to prevent abandoned carts through the following:
- Make it easy for shoppers to add products to their cart, return to shopping, and purchase. The more there is to do for customers, the less likely are they to continue with buying. You can allow users to checkout as a guest.
- Be upfront with additional costs, including taxes and shipping fees. Being transparent can help customers decide if the product is worth it.
- Offer live customer support. This lets visitors think they can count on your brand should any issues arise from purchasing.
- Allow a variety of payment options. Shoppers can be ready to purchase but might come up with an obstacle if they cannot pay through their preferred method.