Why do so many shoppers abandon shopping carts..

July 9, 2007

According to a new report from Marketing Sherpa shows that almost half of all online retail transactions are abandoned at the checkout stage. This constitutes the single biggest loss of revenue for many e-commerce sites.

There are large variations on abanodment rates ranging from as low as 15% to as high as 90%. The chart below shows the results of survey, and gives an idea of the variety of  reasons for customers leaving the checkout process.

Reasons for abandoning shopping carts

Some reasons may be omitted from these answers, such as customers’ level of trust in a website, but the data suggests some important conclusions:

  1. Many e-commerce checkout processes are suffering from design and usability problems which can be easily rectified.
    These include hidden charges, lack of clear delivery details, or poor usability.
  2. Business processes within the checkout area give customers problems
    User registration, shipping costs that customers consider too high, or overlong checkout processes.
  3. Some carts are abandoned for reasons beyond the control of the retailer.�
    Some people will add items to their basket and reach the checkout when comparison shopping, with no intention of buying.

These conclusions suggest that there is much that online retailers can do to reduce their abandonment rates. Case studies suggest a 10-15% reduction can be achieved through redesign, split-testing or a combination of the two.

For more, see our the full report by E-consultancy’s website (Online Retail 2007: Checkout Special by Dr Mike Baxter, which examines checkout best practice) or talk to me, Robert Faulkner on 020 8600 0500 for a verbal digest of the report.