How to Calculate and Improve Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

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If you run an e-commerce business, you should know the following statistics about cart abandonment rates as they have a significant impact on your success. A study by Barnyard Institute, for instance, estimates that 69.5% of online shoppers abandon their carts prior to completing the transaction. Sometimes the cart abandonment rate reaches a staggering 81%. Cart abandonment rates are even higher among mobile users, and can easily reach 85.6%. These stats mean that, for every ten shoppers you bring in through your marketing efforts, seven don’t complete their transaction. And, that’s a wasted opportunity and wasted money.shopping cart abandonment

Reasons for cart abandonment vary from shopper to shopper, with high shipping costs accounting for 44%, 41% are simply not ready to purchase right now, while 12% leave because you asked for too much information before completing the order.

Discovering which problems contribute most significantly to cart abandonment is the first step toward fixing the problem. Hence, this article focuses on how to calculate and improve your shopping cart abandonment rate.

What is an abandoned cart?

You may see situations where a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t complete the transaction process. Cart abandonment happens at any stage in the purchase process but is most common at the checkout stage.  You must determine why cart abandonment happens then determine strategies to reduce abandonment rates.

Calculating cart abandonment rates

You calculate your abandonment rate fairly easily by looking at the number of people who complete their purchase versus those who added items to the cart but didn’t complete the transaction. The ratio between items purchased and items added to the cart gives you a holistic picture of what is happening on your e-commerce platform. These metrics are readily available on Google Analytics and some e-commerce platforms also provide critical information for calculating cart abandonment rates. Once you have the rate, convert it to a percentage by dividing completed purchase by shopping carts that have at least one item and multiplying by 100.

Calculating the abandonment rate is one thing but you’re not finished yet. You must now understand what it means for your business. Answer the WHY and see and how to improve the situation so that more people complete the checkout process. You also need a second step to ensure that the customers come back, requiring that you have a strategy in place for an aggressive follow-up.

Shopping cart abandonment reasons

Various reasons make a customer abandon their shopping cart, and we will look at a few of them below. Once you identify what the issues are on your e-commerce platforms, you can take appropriate remedial measures. Let’s delve into it in more detail below.

Hidden or unexpected costs

Transparency on your e-commerce site reduces abandonment. Don’t hide costs thinking you can trick customers into making the purchase once the item is in their cart. This works better in brick and mortar stores where there’s a psychological rationale that motivates customers to own items after physically possessing them. This doesn’t work in virtual stores since customers don’t touch and feel the products. Thus, share all the costs a customer incurs on your e-commerce platform. Some business owners blindside you with unexpected expenses when you reach the checkout or are too aggressive in their efforts to upsell a visitor. Adding costs such as shipping, insurance, additional taxes, as well as additional produces causes the cart total to swell and consumers might abandon the cart rather than remove unnecessary items. Most people know what they want to spend from the beginning, and they drop the cart when it’s more than that number.

shopping cart abandonment rates

They don’t trust your site

Customers may also abandon their carts if they don’t trust your website. Your customers share a lot of information with you, including credit card information, home address, and telephone number, among others. Therefore, you must take the steps necessary to guard your platform from hackers and make sure visitors know the steps you’ve taken to ensure their privacy and security. A customer feels more secure dealing with you when they can see that you have security measures in place. Adding badges such as BBBOnline shows you care about your visitors.

Another important measure to take is installing an SSL certificate (BTW, this also boosts your SEO). We recommend an EV SSL certificate, such as  EV SSL certificate (ideal for e-commerce) to signify that you take the privacy and security of your customer data seriously.

An EV SSL certificate is a sign that you have the highest level of security authentication on your platform.  It shows that you have gone through the relevant verification process and are the rightful, legal owner of your domain and business.

If you wish to purchase EV SSL, then Comodo SSL certificate is an ideal solution as well as cost-effective. You get multiple benefits such as browser recognition, a trust logo seal, and free PCI scanning services, among others.

The checkout process is too lengthy

Anyone who shops an online platform wants to get in and out quickly, especially if they’re using a mobile device. By the time the customers make up their mind that they are buying an item, they already know what it is and how much they want to spend. But when they reach the checkout stage, the process is sometimes too lengthy, asking for a lot of information that’s nice for the business but doesn’t help the customer or ensure their item gets delivered.

Completing the purchase should be a simple, quick action. Minimize any procedures that take too long. Avoid asking for too much information on the check out forms. Ideally, you should keep it as short as possible and try to avoid overwhelming the customers.

Amazon, for instance, uses 1-click shopping when customers are signed in. They can do this because they already have your address, credit card, etc. Asking customers to repeat this information frustrates consumers.

Slow, unresponsive websites

By now, you know how responsive design is critical for SEO. With almost 50% of shoppers doing so from their mobile devices, you must join this particular bandwagon. Here’s another reason for ensuring your website is optimized for mobile. Online shoppers using mobile devices want quick, easy to navigate websites with images that load fast. Provide an excellent experience to anyone visiting your platform. Ensure your pages are fast loading and easy to navigate. Keep the design simple, have the right descriptors, use high-quality visuals or videos, among other things to enhance the code to ensure your website looks great on any platform.

The idea is to provide convenience to your customers wherever they are.  They should be able to shop from the train, the bus, at the park, while eating in a restaurant, and everywhere else. Increasingly, even retail establishments provide internet access to facilitate customer shopping.

Final thoughts

An abandoned cart creates problems for almost any business operating on an online platform. That’s why businesses constantly seek to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. With continual monitoring and creative efforts at managing your abandonment rates, you’ll optimize the income from your e-commerce efforts.

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