E-retailing: why are 69% of online shopping carts abandoned before checkout?

E-retailing: why are 69% of online shopping carts abandoned before checkout?

When it comes to saving the customer time, online retailers tend to go above and beyond to encourage online shoppers to finalise their purchases. Astonishingly, however, almost 70% of shopping carts never make it to checkout – a frustrating state of affairs for businesses looking to improving the customer experience!
So, what goes on during these crucial final steps on the user’s purchase journey? Whether due to lack of time, feelings of uncertainty about a purchase, or frustration with the buying process on the part of the customer, these unsuccessful transactions represent a significant loss of sales for your business. Read on as we examine the main factors that interfere with the online purchase process – as well as the solutions available!

Failure to display shipping and delivery costs dissuades customers from completing their purchase

When conducting an online purchase, delivery or shipping fees are often added to the order total only at the very end of the transaction, depending on the user’s delivery address and/or the final basket total. Receiving this information at such a late stage in the buying process is often perceived extremely negatively by the customer, causing just over a third (35.7%) of abandoned shopping carts.

The solution lies in correctly identifying the user’s shipping address, region or country. Thanks to this important data – shared directly by the customer or obtained via geolocation – the e-retailer is able to calculate and display information regarding shipping costs while the visitor browses. Informed about delivery fees as soon as they select an item, the customer is far more likely to continue with their transaction.

Mandatory user accounts: bad news for your business’ conversion rate

Encouraging – or, in some cases, obliging – users to register in order to complete an online purchase can have an extremely negative impact on your business’ conversion rate. In fact, 37.4% of all instances of shopping cart abandonment result from what the customer perceives as lengthy or unnecessary input of information: filling out fields, detailing account information, or responding to duplicate demands (i.e. shipping information and billing information). This becomes even more problematic when we consider that more and more online transactions are being conducted via smartphones and/or tablets, whose smaller screens and keyboards tend to make information input more difficult.

It’s at this important stage of the purchase process that localisation – and, more specifically, autocompletion – can positively influence the transaction outcome:

  • Addresses inputted with the help of autofill functions are accurate and comprehensive, optimizing the delivery process
  • Crucial billing and/or delivery information is filled out automatically – saving the client a significant amount of time

If your business is looking to offer customers a smooth, streamlined and professional online purchase experience, consider Google Places’ Autocomplete API functionality.

Guest checkout still requires a certain amount of customer input

Even in the case of optional user registration, where visitors are not required to create an account in order to complete checkout, customers are still required to input certain key information – such as billing and delivery addresses – when finalising their purchase. The default mode of input should assume that these two fields are identical, allowing customers to avoid manually inputting the same information twice, as in most cases (especially BtoC), the delivery address tends to match the billing address.

Web Geo Services’ expert suggestion? Link localisation software with your e-commerce website’s delivery/billing information page to optimize the user experience.

Confirmation text messages: responsible for almost 50% of abandoned shopping carts

Today, automated text messages confirming or validating a customer’s purchase via a unique code are key to ensuring a safe, secure transaction. Unfortunately, this also means that a high proportion of online shoppers – 46.1%, to be precise – abandon their shopping carts after failing to receive a confirmation message, whether due to lack of battery or poor reception.

So, how can you protect your business from this potential pitfall? Thanks to geolocation, confirmation messages can be used as a selective measure to discourage fraud while optimizing the user experience for the majority of customers.
For example, if a customer located in Hong Kong selects a product for delivery to an address in China, using a bank card located in Germany, it’s possible that a fraudulent transaction is taking place. Woosmap’s flexible API sends a confirmation text message in cases of suspected fraud, depending on the potential risk as estimated by geolocation data. Using Woosmap’s application to cross-check delivery address, billing address and purchase location results in confirmation or ‘unique code’ messages being sent only when necessary, allowing ‘normal’ user transactions to proceed without further delay.

Still not sure how to make sense of shopping cart abandonment? Web Geo Services can point you in the right direction, allowing you to optimise your site’s UX for an improved conversion rate. Take a look at our infographic all about the perfect online checkout here!