Top Reasons For Abandonment:
56% – shipping costs too high
41% – item unavailable.
29% – site difficult to use.
21% – order wouldn’t go through.
Source: Yankee Group
55% would revisit a site often if free shipping
46% consider shipping costs a major on-line shopping issue.
Source: Ernst & Young
Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts
- Shorten the process! Visitors get frustrated easily with a shopping cart system that asks for repeat data entry – like billing and shipping addresses when identical. Cart abandonment has been shown to drop as much as 12% per page eliminated.
- Make it fast! Slow forms piss people off. Use a tool like the HTML Toolbox tool to be sure your pages are moving quickly. Keep in mind that using SSL (https://) slows all web pages a little bit.
- Test Test Test. Even the smallest odd behavior benign error message will cause people to bail out. People flee if they even suspect that things are awry.
- Beg them not to leave. A 25% improvement in sales was shown when a pop-up was added on the shopping cart system that would give them $5.00 off their purchase if they please, please please finish their order. Get creative!
- Secure personal data. Any perceived security lapse will boost abandonment fast. For example… programmers know that carts shown inside of “frames” are still secure, but the padlock doesn’t appear on most browsers. To your customers, this is an unsafe page and many will not use it. Sometimes you must show the padlock even when it’s really not that important just to pacify jittery shoppers.
- Answer questions before they are asked… If there is any question about who, what, when, where, why on any field in your cart, explain it with a little pop up they can click on, or better yet, use a “mouse over auto pop up” like the one we use on sitecreations.com in places. A general FAQ should be available without losing the cart flow… that is, make it possible to review frequent questions while leaving your cart in “pause” mode.
- No 800 number? Get one! Customers like to know they can contact a live person and might not have abandoned their carts if one were available. Online chat tools serve a similar purpose, and are now becoming the tool of choice for multi-tasking customers. 800 numbers are very, very cheap, and can be routed over your standard office line. VOIP providers often provide them even cheaper, but make sure your VOIP works! Customers hate choppy, difficult to understand telephone conversations.
- Choose shipping amounts carefully, after testing! Many will lower the prices of their products to rate well in comparison shopping engines such as Froogle and shopping.com, and then try to charge more for shipping and handling. This is not always the best idea, unless you’ve tested it to be sure your customers don’t grumble. Always do a slider test. Get your conversion rate at one shipping point, then raise your shipping prices until you notice a change… then back down a notch. Figure out what your market will bear.
So as you build your store, consider these tips as part of your main design constraints, and you can avoid one of the largest problems of any ecommerce store!