The 7 Most Common Reasons for Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is without a doubt an eCommerce nightmare. It’s a massive missed opportunity and if you manage to cut down your cart abandonment rates, you could definitely rake in big money.

But to do that, you need to know the causes of cart abandonment. Only then can you actually get around to saving your precious carts. 

Here are the 7 most common causes of cart abandonment.

Unanswered questions

According to Forrester Research, 53% of customers would abandon their carts if they can’t find instant answers to their questions. But you wouldn’t want to overload and stuff your web pages with all the information possible. That wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing, and it could even result in keyword stuffing.

So, what do you do?

You could deploy an intelligent chatbot on your website to answer their questions immediately, without making them switch platforms or get on a phone call. It’s a quick way for them to get answers without making a lot of effort.

Unexpected costs

Imagine that you’re about to purchase something, happy that you found it at the best price possible. You add it to your cart, proceed to checkout, and then….BOOM… shipping costs.

As soon as you see that, some part of your mind starts screaming, “Run Forrest, Run!”

And… you’re outta there.

So, why would your customers feel any different? If you have unexpected costs popping up during checkout, you’ll find your customers abandoning carts faster than you can say, “No, don’t go!”

Complex checkout process

There’s a reason why Amazon patented 1-Click back in 1997, right? Even Apple saw how valuable that technology was and paid Amazon $1 million to license it.

Both these giants knew that complicated checkout procedures annoy customers and cause them to quit the purchase. You need to make your checkout process easier and reduce the customer effort involved in it.

Make something harder for your customers to do and they’ll be less likely to do it. Make it easier for them to do it though, and you’ll be an unstoppable force.

If you make your customers hop through multiple pages while trying to make the purchase or if you have a non-linear process, you’ll leave your customers dazed and confused.

A Baymard study has shown that 18% of online shoppers abandon their carts just because of long and complex checkout processes.

Limited payment options

You don’t want to be forcing your customers to make payments via methods that they don’t like using. They’re not too likely to take kindly to that.

If for whatever reason, a customer wants to make payments using a digital wallet, it should be possible for them to do that. It’s not a great idea to say, “Nah, it’s card or nothing here.”

If you do, it’s more likely to be nothing.

As a rule of thumb, you should accept all the commonly used payment options.

Shipping issues

If you don’t specify how low it will take for your products to be delivered, customers who need them by a certain time will abandon their carts. Set clear expectations around delivery times and don’t leave your customers wondering when they’ll receive their orders.

You could even use a WhatsApp bot to send shipping updates after they make their purchase in order to improve your customer experience and encourage repeat purchases.

No returns

If your return policy is non-existent, your customers will suspect you of selling substandard products. You’ll come off as a company that does not want to take accountability for your products and doesn’t really care about your customers.

So now, even if you’re selling high-quality products, your customers will still be afraid to make purchases. They’re thinking, “What if I get a bad one?”

Creating a great return policy can alleviate this anxiety. But there’s another benefit to free returns.

It makes your customers think that they can buy more products, try them out, and return them if they don’t like them. But, as Zappos experienced, when they do this, they end up making those additional purchases, but tend to keep more products instead of returning them.

That’s a classic case of the Endowment Effect in action; a cognitive bias that causes people to value things that they own much more than their actual value.

A lack of trust

If a customer has not made purchases from your eCommerce portal before, they may not trust you right off the bat. You need to win their trust and eliminate their doubts.

Use trust seals and trust logos to show that your payment processes are secure and verified. Display customer testimonials and product reviews to demonstrate social proof. Try to have the customers’ actual names and a photograph in your social proof so that it doesn’t seem made up.

A returns and cash-back policy plays a great role here as well. It shows your customers that you won’t leave them hanging if by any chance your products are not up to the mark.

About the Author: Jeremy is a marketer at Engati with an interest in marketing psychology and consumer neuroscience. Over the last year he has interviewed many of the world’s brightest Marketing, CX, AI, and Tech thought leaders for Engati CX.