What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when a visitor on your website adds one or more products to the basket but doesn’t purchase. It’s essentially like someone filling their trolly with food and then leaving it in the aisles and walking away from the shop.

If you were asked to guess what percentage of carts are abandoned, what percentage would you say? 10%, 30%, maybe even 50%?

Shockingly, research done by Baymard Institute found that the figure is more likely between 70% and 80%, depending on device type. It’s important to note that mobile phone users had the highest percentage of cart abandonment compared to other devices, and the majority of website traffic now comes from mobile devices.

Why should this matter to me?

How many competitors do you have selling a similar product online to yours? First, your customers must have found you online, using a search engine or a cleverly placed social advert, and chosen you over your competitors.

So, you’ve managed to stand out online above your competitors, and your potential customers must find something they like on your site. They might even do additional research before filling their shopping cart, such as reading independent reviews.

You’ve already had to battle the odds to ensure you stand out from the crowd and finally have a potential sale. However, 8 out of 10 of your customers who get to this stage are just leaving your site without converting.

Depending on how competitive your industry is and how much traffic your site usually has, you could be losing thousands in potential sales.

Why do people abandon carts?

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one quick answer to this one. Think about your online shopping habits; why have you decided to abandon a cart in the past?

Some of the top reasons for cart abandonment are:

  • Shipping isn’t free and will make the final cost much more expensive.
  • Returns aren’t free or are a hassle, which could cause you to lose faith in the company’s reputation.
  • The website doesn’t seem very trustworthy. It might look dated, the images aren’t loading properly, and the copy seems bland.
  • Paypal or Google Pay aren’t options when it comes to paying.
  • The website provides little information, and you don’t feel you know much about the company besides its products.
  • The checkout process is too complicated.

You might choose not to complete an online transaction for many different reasons. As with most of these issues, there is something you can do about it to ensure your customers don’t make the same mistake.

The Top Reasons For Cart Abandonment

In a survey conducted by Baymard, the number one reason for abandoning a cart was the unforeseen extra costs, such as shipping and undisclosed taxes.

top reasons for cart abandonment | Laser red

Ultimately, customers don’t like completing additional steps, such as creating an account, and value sites that are upfront with costs and charges. Having a site that can be trusted is also important to your potential customers.

If you’re concerned that one of these things could be impacting your conversions, don’t worry. There are several solutions which can have your cart abandonment percentages reduced and your overall conversions skyrocketing.

Hidden Extra Costs

Customers purchasing smaller items don’t want their overall cost to double once shipping is added. We know that customers love free shipping, but we also know that shipping isn’t free.

To protect your profit margins, you can follow in the footsteps of giants, like Amazon, who incorporate shipping costs into their items. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping above a certain amount and make this amount clear to the customer.

Tax is another cost often added at the end of a checkout process. Show your prices, including tax, or have a prominent switcher in the header to switch between showing prices including and excluding tax.

As well as your pricing structure, it’s worth taking some time to look at what your competitors are offering and remaining competitive. If you’re offering a product at a similar initial price point but have free shipping, many customers could choose them over you.

Slow delivery times

With the rise of Amazon Prime, customers are used to instant gratification and can find it off-putting having to wait too long for their products. Long delivery times mean customers are more likely to go elsewhere or buy in-store even if the price is right.

Offer an express delivery option at checkout (even if you have to offer it at an increased cost) so they have the option to get their product sooner. Having your standard delivery service shown as “free” might even entice them to wait a little longer rather than paying for the upgrade.

The site isn’t trustworthy

Strong, clear branding, consistently used across all platforms, will establish and build trust in your brand. It goes without saying, but an SSL is a must, along with easy-to-find contact details and good FAQs.

In addition, ensuring your website looks modern and is easy to navigate helps build trust. People don’t trust websites that look like they’ve been thrown together and aren’t regularly maintained.

Live Chat is another great way to increase trust and give your customers a way to have their questions answered in real-time. Just be careful to ensure the live chat box doesn’t take up too much space on the page or keep popping up; the last thing you want to do is annoy your potential customers and accidentally encourage cart abandonment.

The website crashed

It may seem obvious, but if your website crashes, hangs, or shows errors that aren’t user-friendly, potential customers will quickly go elsewhere. It’s like walking into a shop where all the lights are flickering, and it looks generally worn down – you turn around and go elsewhere.

Make sure your website has been tested in multiple browsers and devices and that the purchase process is smooth and error-free. Investing in a high-quality website will help you avoid lost conversions.

Confusing returns policy

Not having a clear returns process, especially for purchases like clothing, can put potential customers off. Customers like to know if they don’t like your product, they can easily send it back.

Having a clear link to your returns policy at checkout will help build your credibility. Giving your customers all the information they need early on will help them build trust with your brand.

Limited payment methods

Not everyone has their credit card details memorised or saved on their device. Give your customers as many payment options as possible, not just credit or debit cards.

Having an option like PayPal also helps build trust as customers recognise their brand and know their payment details are safe. By partnering with them, you show that your site is safe and endorsed by a trusted company.

What can I do to minimise cart abandonment?

Start by doing a little research and seeing what your competitors are offering and how their sites look. This might seem like an obvious first step, but checking what is standard for your industry can give you a good starting point to build on.

Once you’ve found out what’s standard for your industry, start thinking about how you can be better. Simply offering free shipping won’t be enough even if none of your competitors are offering this.

You need to think about your entire customer journey from when they land on your site to when they leave. Make sure your website is designed to the highest standards and built for safety and speed.

Make sure everything is easy to find, including your returns policy, and that your website copy is clear and targeted to your customers. It’ll be easier for people to buy from you if they don’t need to go elsewhere to research what your products do.

Make it easy to complete the checkout process, and don’t have any hidden costs waiting to pop up. The easier you can make every step, the more likely your customers will convert.

Contact our team if you’re still unsure how to ensure your customers don’t abandon their carts. Who are on hand to drive more leads to your website.