Finding Abandoned Shopping Carts a Home

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In this article, we discuss the main reasons for abandoned shopping carts and best practices on how to increase your conversions for these online shoppers. Some of the primary reasons for abandoned carts include: high shipping costs, comparison shopping and security.

I really dislike the phrase “abandoned shopping cart.” It makes me think of a lonely little basket stranded in the rain, full of soggy bags of groceries. It’s time for us to come together to put a stop to this and find these guys a nice place to call home.

In all seriousness, the issue of abandoned carts is an important one to your success – if customers are coming to your website, filling up on products and leaving without paying, then you’re missing out on closing the deal. In other words: abandoned carts = lost money.

But why are online shoppers leaving right before they click the “proceed to checkout” button? An article from eMarketer compiled various reports regarding the topic and came up with the following percentages and reasons for abandonment:

  • High shipping charges – 46%
  • Wanted to comparison shop – 37%
  • Lack of money – 36%
  • Wanted to look for a coupon – 27%
  • Wanted to shop offline – 26%
  • Couldn’t find preferred payment option – 24%
  • Item unavailable at checkout – 23%
  • Couldn’t find customer support – 22%
  • Security concerns – 21%

So now you know the major drivers, but how do you help drive up your conversion rate? Not a problem – just take advantage of these ideas and what your software has to offer. (And guess what? You can do all of these things using our solution.)

High Shipping Charges: Offer free or discounted shipping for orders of a certain amount or more. Consider ways to get negotiated rates from your providers and automatically offer them online. This business decision is an important one for your customers and your bottom line, so take some time to test different options.

Wanted to Comparison Shop: Make sure that the contents of your customers’ carts are saved so they can come back and purchase immediately. A lot of shoppers will add the exact same products across multiple sites to see where the best deal is. You can also track their email address to send a special deal if they don’t come back to purchase.

Lack of Money: We’d all like more money and we’d also like for everyone else to have more money so they can buy more. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. BUT you can offer a cool promotion or create a sense of urgency by offering a discount for a very limited time.

Wanted to look for a coupon: Have your coupons highlighted throughout your entire website. An easy solution is to have the coupon listed in your navigation menu so it shows up on every page of your website.

Wanted to shop offline: If you have a retail location where customers can pick up their purchase, enable in-store pickup as a shipping option. This saves both you and your customer shipping fees – win, win!

Couldn’t find their preferred payment option: Are you accepting all major credit cards directly on your site? Are you using PayPal or Google Checkout? The best way to find out what your customers want is to see the most popular payment options for previous orders. You might even send out a survey asking how they want to send money to you.

Item unavailable at checkout: This one gets me on a personal level – I get really upset when I’ve spent a ton of time putting my order together, only to see that it’s not in stock. One way to avoid this is to have products automatically not appear on the site when you’re out of inventory. An even better preventative idea is to set up alerts that automatically notify you when you’re running low on certain products.

Couldn’t find customer support: Sometimes people just need a little reassurance that someone is on the other end of the transaction. Quick fixes: put your customer support line or email address in the header of your website or utilize your LiveChat Software to immediately interact with customers at any time (it’s free, so why not?).

Security concerns: Customers are still a bit hesitant to send their hard-earned dollars over an invisible wire, and understandably so. Identity theft and credit card fraud is a major concern online. To help quell these fears, make sure your SSL seal appears in your navigation menu. Shoppers have become savvy enough to know what this means. Also, make sure that your provider holds itself to the highest security standards possible (PCI/CISP certification) to cover all the details from the hardware and hosting side.

Follow these guidelines and we can save these sad, unappreciated shopping carts from a life of hunger and misery – together, we can change the world one step at a time.

-Matt Winn, Marketing Associate

How do you deal with abandoned carts? What are your thoughts on the ideas in this article – are they helpful or not? Do you have any questions about abandoned carts? Leave a comment below!

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Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

4 Responses to “Finding Abandoned Shopping Carts a Home”

  1. Quora

    What are the best strategies for dealing with online shopping cart abandonment?…

    There are probably many reasons for abandoned carts but we have summed it up into nine main reasons: * High shipping charges – 46% * Wanted to comparison shop – 37% * Lack of money – 36% * Wanted to look for a coupon – 27% * Wanted to shop offl…

  2. Matt

    Hi Jimmy. You can actually pull the IP address within your abandoned cart report to see where it’s coming from. Check out this article for advice:

  3. Jimmy Nguyen

    You hit it right on the dot as to why people abandon their shopping carts. It would be great if Volusion could log their IP address so we could at least see their geographical location.

  4. Steven Hays

    Nice article Matt! Great advice!


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