Understanding eCommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment for Better Holiday Season Preparation

Shopping cart abandonment is an everyday occurrence in the eCommerce industry, particularly retail eCommerce. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers flocked to online platforms like Amazon, Shipt, Walmart, Best Buy, and Thrive Market.                                                                                                              

However, not all online sellers, especially the new ones, are aware of the effects of cart abandonment on their business. Some sellers, although aware of its effects, choose not to take any action.  To encourage a proactive approach in mitigating these occurrences of eCommerce cart abandonment, here are some helpful facts and tips.

Becoming Familiar With eCommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment 

Shopping cart abandonment refers to any situation wherein a potential online buyer initiated the checkout process for an online order but ultimately discontinued the transaction before its actual completion. 

Not known to most online sellers and other eCommerce participants, cart abandonment is a worldwide phenomenon. Regardless of the country, region, state, or city, there are always buyers who don’t follow through with their online transactions.  

From 2006 to 2019, there has been a significant increase in online shoppers abandoning their cart and discontinuing their shopping experience. According to Statista’s 2018 survey, one of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment in the United States is the shipping cost of the item.

The number one consequence of multiple cart abandonment to any eCommerce store is a decrease in sales, which is why online sellers should have a better view of their store’s shopping cart abandonment rate to make necessary adjustments.

To calculate cart abandonment rate on your eCommerce store, you can follow the formula below: 

1 – (completed transaction / initiated shopping carts) x 100 = cart abandonment rate

By way of illustration, let’s say your online store has 50 completed purchases and 100 shopping carts were created, then the computation would be:

1 – (50 /100) x 100 = cart abandonment rate

1 – (0.50) x 100 = cart abandonment rate

0.50 x 100 = 50% cart abandonment rate

Understanding the cart abandonment rate for your online retail store means understanding the shopping behavior of your customers. The calculated rate may also be a good indicator of the convenience and accessibility of your store’s checkout process.    

Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment

Apart from the US cart abandonment data shown above, there are other factors that influence the decisions of buyers not to continue their online purchases. Below are some of the reasons why online shoppers abandon their carts.                                   

  • Website Performance Issues

One of the major problems that eCommerce store owners should look into is the overall performance of their eCommerce store. This is especially true for online sellers who have their own content management system or website for their products. 

When potential buyers encounter website errors, such as “Error 500,” they move to alternative websites with a better user experience.        

Suggested Solution: To avoid any hiccups, especially this coming holiday season, online sellers should check their system and perform necessary maintenance to avoid untimely website issues. 

  • Lack of Payment Method Diversification

Another factor for cart abandonment is the lack of multiple payment methods. Online shoppers shop online primarily for convenience, so payment inconvenience can and will cause shoppers to transfer to other online stores. 

Suggested Solution: eCommerce store owners should incorporate other payment methods on their website as well as the usual credit/debit card payment system. By adding online payment methods such as PayPal or Payoneer, customers will have reliable and trustworthy alternative payment options. 

  • Too Much Upselling

Although upselling or cross-selling increases profitability, this is not always the case. When you push shoppers for additional product or order upgrades during checkout, they might get annoyed and leave your online shop. Hence, losing potential sales in the process. 

Suggested Solution: This coming peak season for shopping, online stores should lessen upselling and make the checkout process more efficient and less complicated for online shoppers. 

  • Delivery Issues

During the checkout phase, shoppers usually abandon their shopping cart due to logistic concerns. The lack of shipping options and extended delivery periods frustrates online shoppers causing them to drop the checkout transaction.     

Suggested Solution: Do not simply rely on one delivery method or courier for your products. If you are serving a country or even providing services towards global audiences, you should expand your logistics partners. Look for logistic companies that have been tested and proven. 

  • Complicated Checkout Process

A tedious and long checkout process is one of the top culprits for shopping cart abandonment. Customers who are tasked to fill out long and irrelevant forms will be discouraged to finish the checkout process.  

Any additional steps that slow down the checkout transaction encourage online buyers to cancel their purchases from your eCommerce store.  

Suggested Solution: Fewer forms and a more convenient checkout process will likely entice buyers to continue and complete their shopping experience within your eCommerce store. 

Prioritize the Customer Experience 

One of the biggest driving factors to encourage customers to purchase, apart from the product itself, is the customer experience, which is why it is important to make necessary adjustments. Overall, the changes to be made are geared towards providing online shoppers with a convenient and less complicated shopping experience.       

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