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UX Strategies to Combat High Cart Abandonment Rate

UX Strategies to Combat High Cart Abandonment Rate
Daria Krasovskaya
•  10.01.2023
Do you feel like you did everything to make your website look intuitive and user-friendly, yet you still fight a large number of the shopping carts being abandoned? We had looked at the cause of this seemingly natural behavior of users and created a list of the most frustrating elements in the online shopping journey and proposed solutions to avoid abandoned baskets and boost your sales.

This article will make you understand the reasons that cause visitors to leave your website before completing the purchase, confirmed by research. On top of that, you will find solutions to fix these common issues.

What is cart abandonment?

Abandonment happens when a website’s visitor leaves before completing the desired action. It is safe to say that a certain amount of abandonment is normal. On average, more than 70% of people who add a product to their cart leave before completing the checkout process.

“Cart abandonment rate is used in eCommerce to define the ratio between visitors who purchase on the site and those who leave the site before completing the purchase.”

The average conversion rate is just around 3% meaning that globally, only 3% of visitors finish the purchase. But it‘s also important to keep in mind that there has to be a reason behind every unfinished purchase.cart abandonment rate

Why do cart abandonment and low conversion rates happen?

There are various irreversible reasons why your conversion rate can be low. First of all, it is because visitors might just come to explore your products or services through some ad. Or they just came to compare the prices or decided to buy the product in a store instead.

Another reason might be the overall accessibility of the website, which means that it is not fast enough, bombarding with too many pop-ups, or being unresponsive and not optimized for devices. In fact, the mobile device abandonment rate is 85% on average, which is much higher compared to tablets and desktops.

And into the last group belong visitors who already put an item into their cart but left it there. But why would they leave at the last step? This clearly means that the abandonment could be reversed. And did you know that just by implementing a better checkout design you can achieve a 35.26% increase in conversion rate?

How to find out what is the cart abandonment rate on my website?

Every e-commerce site is different and the reasons, why people leave their carts, may vary. Before you jump to the 10 most common reasons, you might be interested in one of the best tools for analyzing user behavior on your own e-commerce site.  

Thanks to the Session recording tool, you can record and replay the visitor’s entire journey on your website. This recording will definitely help you understand what is going on when someone visits your website.

What are the most common reasons for cart abandonment?

Based on the 2021 study made on 4 329 adults from the US everyone can improve the checkout process to minimize abandonment. So, what are the most common reasons why visitors leave before checkout?

1.Extra costs were too high

It can be quite disappointing for the customer to be ready to buy a product and then being “surprised” by unexpectedly high costs for shipping, taxes and other fees.

What can you do?

  • Show the fees upfront so they are not unexpected, or you can come up with different shipping options, for example. The faster the shipping, the more it would cost, leaving the decision on the customer.

2.Website forcing the user to create an account

Not everyone is a fan of creating an account on every single website when it‘s not necessary. People may be in a rush or just not seeing a value in creating an account for a one-time purchase. So, if you force them to do so, they leave.

What can you do?  

  • By implementing a guest checkout, you can achieve a significantly higher conversion rate.

3.Delivery was too slow

Some customers are willing to pay more to get the product faster because they might need it in one or two days. Not offering an option like this leads to another unfinished purchase.

What can you do?  

  • come up with different delivery methods 
  • offer various delivery times 

4.Too long or complicated checkout process

Visitors who get to the checkout stage expect the purchase to be easy and effortless. If the checkout page is full of multiple fields and complex forms, it will interrupt the user‘s checkout flow. In fact, more than 2 out of 10 shoppers will back out of such a transaction.

What can you do? 

  • Keep it short and simple
  • Do a one short one-page checkout / give the user chunks of the process – which would be also shown on a progress bar
  • Eliminate all the unnecessary fields
  • Provide a drop-down menu
  • Have an auto-fill to reduce data entry
  • Set up auto-save so people don‘t lose their shopping cart content after they return
  • Use a checkbox at billing and shipping address. They are often the same and thanks to the checkbox customer doesn‘t need to fill in the same information again

5.Website looked untrustworthy/suspicious

It doesn‘t matter how secure and well-made the website is. It was proven that security icons and badges displayed on a website make the customer feel more secure on a website, especially when it comes to entering credit card information.

What can you do? 

  • display your SSL certificate
  • third party business’s legitimacy trust badges
  • use a padlock icon

6.Total order costs were hidden or couldn‘t be calculated up-front

Some people are aware that the price of the product won‘t be the final cost of the whole purchase. And not being able to see if shopping on the site is worth their time can be frustrating and that way customers won‘t even make it to the checkout page.

What can you do? 

  • Be transparent about all the costs up-front
  • How much is the shopping cart worth so far? Is there free shipping on purchases above a certain value? Make it clear and easy to find

7.Website had errors / crashed

All technology is prone to technical issues and glitches. However, for customers, a broken site is not worth their time and money.

What can you do? 

  • Monitor your analytics
  • Do regular reviews of the website from the homepage to checkout to make sure there are no issues stopping people from finishing the purchase
  • It might be a good idea to use popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.

8.Returns policy wasn‘t satisfactory

UPS survey from 2017 showed that 68% of consumers view returns policies before making a purchase. According to the Metapack survey, 56% of shoppers had been deterred from shopping due to insufficient return policy. Even though it might seem that the business would save money by making it difficult for customers to return the goods, it is not worth it. Customers read these policies and need to be ensured that if the product doesn‘t fulfill their needs, it can be easily sent back and refunded.

What can you do? 

  • Look at your refund policy and adjust it to be beneficial to customers
  • Ensure your visitors that returning goods will be no hassle

9.There weren‘t enough payment methods

Offering more payment options can eliminate another potential reason why customers abandon their cart.

What can you do? 

  • Implement more payment options 
  • From the conventional method which is a payment card, well-known PayPal, to ApplePay increasing in popularity 

10. The credit card was declined

Another user-experience decreasing moment is, when at the last step of the checkout process system shows “Card declined by processor”. It means that the card of the potential customer who wanted to buy a product was declined somewhere in the processing network. Typically by the cardholder’s bank. This issue doesn‘t include situations, where the fields were filled incorrectly by the customer. 

What can you do? 

  • Ask customers to try to use other cards or payment methods (such as Paypal, ApplePay etc.)

Cart abandonment rate statistics by industry

Even though the overall abandonment rate is around 75% on average, from the statistics it is clear to see why it is important to compare your abandonment rate to the abandonment in the same industry – because there can be a significant difference between different sectors and different products. cart abandonment rates

For example, if you would do business with games with 75% abandonment rate, it would put you quite below the average.

How to calculate the cart abandonment rate?

If you have access to analytics and are curious about the abandonment rate of your eCommerce site, all you need to get is the number of transactions completed and shopping cards initiated. For example, imagine having 300 visitors who put something into their shopping cart and 100 visitors who actually placed an order.

1 – (370/500) = 1- 0.74 = 0.26

0.26 x 100 = 26% cart abandonment rate

Look upon the industry you are in with your products and now you can see if you are doing better or worse than an average business within the same industry.how to calculate cart abandonment rate

Get more sales by improving the user experience

This article once again confirmed the importance of good UX. There are no shortcuts in the eCommerce business. Take the time to analyze your website data and optimize it accordingly. Your reward will be satisfied customers and a higher number of completed purchases. If you‘ve found this article insightful, learn more about improving your e-commerce UX in another article from our Usability Testing section!

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