Cart Abandonment 101

Shopping cart full of packages_CardinalCommerceIf your online business uses a shopping cart system for customer purchases, you likely observe many customers who make it part way through their shopping process but never complete the buy. On the other end of this online experience, retailers can’t tell why a customer failed to finish the transaction. Several factors can contribute to cart abandonment for online businesses.

Extra Fees

Sometimes buyers struggle with the shipping, handling, taxes, or additional fees which appear near the end of the transaction. Their initial interest in the product dwindles when they see costs added on later. Items that feature the full and final cost up front (or free shipping) with the product listing stand a better chance at being purchased in the end. Cart abandonment happens when the customer finds out about unexpected charges and decides the total price isn’t worth the purchase. 

Frustration with the Process

Various aspects of the shopping process can frustrate a customer. The hosting site or server may work slowly and delay what the buyer had hoped would be a quick process. The complexity of the payment process may cause cart abandonment as well. Customers want easy, simple fields for entering their address or credit card, with a minimum of clicks, and if too many optional details are added to the transaction, customers give up. It is worth the effort for online business owners to invest in an uncomplicated system that works fast.

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Nervous about Security

Fraud is a reality in the online retail world. So if a customer suspects that a credit card or PayPal transaction may be compromised in any way or if they don’t trust the merchant, the purchase will probably be left unfinished. Business owners who want to use credit card payment options need to provide a system that is secure. Posting images that confirm the use of a security system within the checkout section of the website can reassure customers that your business is doing all it can to provide a safe, private buying experience.

Additional Business Solutions

A live chat opportunity or toll-free line can encourage a frustrated shopper to complete the buying process. Free shipping is also a huge incentive for many buyers. Let shoppers browse and buy as “guests”: Cart abandonment happens often if first-time customers are required to fill out an extra page of registration details before they can buy. And lastly, consider emailing those who left a transaction unfinished. Offering a deal on the items in their cart might bring them back to finish that purchase.