Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment

Year over year online retail sales have increased as a total share of all retail purchases. According to Digital Commerce 360, in 2017, online sales accounted for 13% of all retail sales, up from 11.6% in 2016. The rising trend in online purchasing gives us a glimpse of the new world of retail, when a majority of all retail purchases are made online. In this new world, we are already seeing the new pain points and problems for online retailers, notably cart abandonment.

If you look up the different reasons for cart abandonment, you’re going to find graphics very similar to the one above provided by Statista. They all tell a similar story. Online shoppers don’t like to pay for shipping (thanks Amazon!), they hate having to create an account, and a lot of people didn’t come to your site with a high purchase intent to begin with.

The overall average cart abandonment rate across industries hovers around 77%, which accounts for trillions of dollars in uncaptured revenue. So how do you reduce your cart abandonment rate and put some of those abandoning dollars in your pocket? By making incremental changes across your purchasing funnel to reduce the number of shoppers leaving your site.

Unexpected Shipping Costs

“Just offer free shipping!” Easier said than done, right? Large retailers are already doing this because they have the infrastructure to handle it. But for the thousands of small online stores, this is a more daunting task. In this great article by Neil Patel, the author provides a guide to making free shipping profitable. It’s a good place to start.

If free shipping just isn’t in the cards for your online store however, then you can start by adding more transparency to your purchase funnel. The big e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce have plug-ins and apps that allow your shoppers to see what their estimated extra costs (shippings and taxes) are going to be for their purchase. Transparency prevents the shopper from feeling duped once they get to the end of the checkout process and get sticker shock at all the extra costs.

Create a New Account

First and foremost, if your e-commerce platform allows for Guest Checkout, then do it. Having to create an account is the second highest reason people abandon their purchase and you can then incentivise the customer to create an account with the information they already provided by offering future discounts and/or package tracking.

Every store owner wants more information on their customers because that data could potentially be very profitable in the long run. When a new customer creates an account, you’re more likely to turn them into a repeat customer. However, this comes at the cost of people not purchasing at all. If you’re dead set on having customers create accounts, then at the very least consider how important each field you have them fill out is to you. Each question you ask the customer before they complete their purchase is an additional friction point. While one extra field to fill out during the checkout process doesn’t seem like much, it might be the last straw for a buyer frustrated with your purchase funnel.

Conducting Research

How do you convert a shopper who doesn’t even view themselves as a shopper yet? Someone who came to your site with a plan in mind to look at items, look at prices, and then go comparison shop on other sites?

Answer: Customer Interaction. This can take many forms such as providing great customer support to answer questions on a product (this is critical for high ticket items) or providing time sensitive offers to intince those bargain hunters into a making the purchase.

This group of online shoppers is why we built Metrical’s Cart Abandonment Reduction Technology (CART™), an artificial intelligence (AI) powered funnel optimization solution that predicts where and when an online shopper is going to abandon their cart and allows retailers to engage with the shopper in real-time and convert them into a buyer.

By making incremental changes to their sales funnel, online retailers can create a more seamless purchasing process for their shoppers, increase conversion rates, and begin reducing their overall cart abandonment rate. In the not too distant future of online shopping supremacy, the retailers who are making changes now will be better positioned than the competition.


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