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The Curse of Abandoned Carts - What's Going On?

Updated: May 18, 2022

It’s an end result no Shopify store owner wants to see - you've spent countless hours creating what you consider to be the ultimate Shopify experience, but something along the way just wasn't enough. Abandoned carts, whilst frustrating, are completely natural in the process of the market. According to recent statistics from the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate lies at just under 70%.

So what’s going on? Well, various studies on abandoned carts lead to a few select reasons as to why you might not be getting those key sales. Some are as unchangeable at the tides, whilst others are things you can actively change to mitigate lost revenue.

Streamline that site

Let’s be honest for a second - humans are lazy. As a consumer, your attention span is only as long as convenience allows it to be. Customers don’t want to be waiting around for fancy graphics to load on your Shopify store or to deal with pop-ups. Chances are if you’re trying too hard, that’s where you’re losing those users and gaining abandoned shopping carts.

This is one of the most prominent reasons people quit before they’ve checked out. If a website doesn’t optimise its ease of use, customer retention can drop by 35%. Ensure that traversing your site is simple and easy to retain those vital customers.

Information overload is a real buzzkill. It’s important to know when enough is enough. Do customers really need to know your life story on the front page of your Shopify store, or is this something that should be accessible for those with an explicit interest?

Extra Cost, Extra Loss

Quite often, you’ll find abandoned carts are prominent on sites like eBay when sellers sneakily use huge delivery charges to ramp up the original ticket price. Mitigate this in your own Shopify store by any means. Extra costs that aren't initially conveyed by store owners is actually the number one reason why shoppers tend to go elsewhere halfway through a purchasing decision.

In a survey, Baymard found that over 55% of shoppers will immediately click off a site if a hidden cost is found during the checkout process. Transparency is absolutely key here. You don’t want to gain a reputation as a site that jacks up the price halfway through a sale as this will have a hugely negative effect on customer retention, too.

Things like shipping, taxes (especially for overseas transactions) and warranty charges can really shock customers if they aren’t made clear as quickly as possible. Leaving it until the very final page is a good way to ruin a sale. Remember, if shipping is a huge consideration for you monetarily speaking, you can use a loyalty program and discounted shipping rewards to bring back customers.

Mobiles Exist Too

Depending on the type of store, you’ll often find that a lot of customers will be half-mindedly browsing your site on their phones. This is a huge part of preparing for the mitigation of abandoned carts. High-quality graphics and other memory-intensive features are an incredibly good way to get shoppers to abandon your site.

Around 57% of customers will most likely leave your site if it needs more than three or five seconds to load and an even more worrying 80% of those will never return. This is further bolstered on mobile since it’s such an easy piece of tech to lose interest in - consider that computers require the user to move away from them, whilst mobiles can be moved away instead.

Consider making alternative choices for your mobile format. These choices, which usually involve cutting the technological fat of your site, are simple but really effective for keeping customers on your site. There’s a reason why the format has a higher rate of cart abandonment.

Account for Accounts

People really hate to make commitments in SMEs, especially when they are browsing for a one-time purchase. It’s for this and the redundancy of such tasks that mandatory account creation is a poison in an otherwise good transaction. This isn’t to say account creation, in general, is a bad idea - far from it! Forcing customers to input unneeded details, however, is a quickfire way to put any browsing buyer off.

Ironically, requiring an account for the purposes of marketing is a pretty good way to drop customer retention. 34% of surveyed customers agreed that requiring an account is a no go for them, making it the second most common reason for abandoned carts. It’s a mixture of

convolution and outright reluctance to give away information.

Consider the option for guest accounts to convey the initial investment that account creation has on a customer base and feature account creation as an option for returning customers, that way you get the best of both worlds. Featuring the option to create an account from Google or other social media accounts is a great way to garner recurring customers with ease.

Let Shoppers Shop

A hard truth here is that some people just won't complete transactions. You’re never going to get a 100% transaction rate because that’s just not how retail works. People are going to either get distracted or just make a decision not to go through with a purchase halfway through.

The real task here isn’t to get a perfect score, it’s to get a better score. Sure, it’s worthwhile to keep trying new ways of perfecting the art of the checkout, but don’t stress yourself out. Focus on perfecting these glaring issues and once you’re satisfied, focus on gaining site retention rather than 100% successful checkouts.

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