Why Are Online Customers Abandoning Shopping Carts? Is It Really Your Fault?

shoppingcart.jpgWell sort of. You can do some things to increase the purchase rate.

A survey conducted by PayPal and comScore revealed that unexpectedly high shipping fees are the number one reason consumers abandon online purchases. Checkout abandonment is a significant challenge for online merchants, with an estimated two out of every three consumers failing to pay for items they put in their shopping carts.
The survey showed that when customers see the amount of shipping costs, it gives them pause and they might not follow through with the actual purchase.
Amazon.com, a leader in e-commerce has addressed this shipping issue via its “Super Saver Shipping
Most customers are probably comfortable using a credit card, but other customers, who might be financially challenged or apprehensive shopping online might want to be billed, use PayPal, or have some other option (adding the charge to their phone bill for example) other than using their credit card.
Here’s a few things you might want to consider doing, to decrease shopping car abandonment:

  • Show customers know the estimated cost of shipping as the shopping card gets filled
  • Show customers what safety mechanisms you have against hackers by displaying logos from Verisign, Scan Alert (now owned by McAfee) and other online security services
  • Having live (or intelligent) chat service to answer customer questions

A summary of the survey findings include:

  • 43 percent of consumers didn’t pay for items in their shopping carts because shipping charges were too high
  • 36 percent of purchasers didn’t pay for items because they felt the total cost of the purchase was more expensive than anticipated
  • 27 percent of shoppers didn’t pay for items because they wanted to comparison shop at other websites before making a purchase
  • 16 percent of consumers didn’t pay for items because they could not contact customer support to answer questions
  • 14 percent of shoppers didn’t pay for items because they forgot their usernames and passwords for their store accounts created with the merchants