Are Abandoned Carts Cluttering Your Checkout?

Imagine you’re shopping in your local department store. You’ve found some fantastic bargains – so many that you’ve filled your shopping cart. You head toward the checkout, find an open register with no waiting and direct your cart that way. When you’re only a few feet away, you stop. You turn, leave your loaded cart where it is and walk away.

This is not something many of us would do in any brick-and-mortar store we visit. Why do we do it at online stores?

Abandoned Carts in E-commerce

When shoppers collect items into their online shopping carts then leave the site before completing the purchase, that’s known as cart abandonment. It is the perpetual thorn in the side of every online retailer. According to Business Insider, the statistics on this phenomenon are sobering:

  • Carts abandoned at the payment stage (46.1 percent)
  • Abandonment at checkout login (37.4 percent)
  • Shipping costs result in abandonment (35.7 percent)
  • Cart abandoned when visitor asked to enter billing address (20.9 percent)
  • Cart abandoned when visitor asked to enter shipping or delivery address (20.0 percent)

That’s a lot of potential revenue left to flounder on the virtual reality showroom floor.

Reasons for Abandoning E-commerce Carts

If visitors are coming to your site and leaving behind abandoned carts filled with products they never purchased, one of the first things you should probably do to correct this is find out the reasons people are abandoning their carts.

If you look at data collected on why people leave potential purchases behind, you can get a sense of what may be leading to the high rate of carts left behind.

  • Prices are too high. This is the most common reason cited for leaving carts behind. A retail merchant can conduct an analysis of his prices compared to his competitors. Ask customers what they’d be willing to pay for certain items to get an idea of price ranges with which your customers would be comfortable.
  • Tedious checkout process. Apparently, checkout is not the place to try to collect information from a customer. The more bogged down the checkout process becomes, the more likely the customer will get frustrated and abandon the cart.
  • Vague product descriptions. The more information you can supply to your customers, the better your chances of making a sale. Customers don’t want to read through a novel extolling the virtues of each product you sell, so keep your descriptions short, sweet and to the point.
  • Streamline for mobile devices. Your site must be mobile friendly; that’s just a fact of life. If it isn’t, potential customers will continue to walk away.

These are a few of the reasons people abandon shopping carts. Remedy these problems and you’ll see your conversion rates going up and percentage of abandoned carts going down.

Bring Those Customers Back

Many of the e-commerce software platforms include a feature that automatically sends customers reminders when they leave items behind in carts. These email reminders have become a standard feature in most software packages to reduce the percentage of orphaned carts left sitting around your website. But are they effective?

Apparently, they are. But there’s a trick to it: you should create a custom HTML version to complement the branding of your store. An abandoned cart is not the time for a generic response. You’re looking at an opportunity to reclaim customers you’ve lost. And you’ll want to do it without taking up all your time and resources. Look into an automated abandoned cart emailing plugin, such as Magento 2 Abandoned Cart Email.

Reminder emails can work when they are friendly. Start by simply asking the customer if they need help, for example. You can move on to offering discounts or any other enticements you may want to add. The goal is to bring the customer back, so write your abandoned cart emails like you’re writing to your best friend.

About the author

Pradeep is an entrepreneur and an E-commerce enthusiast. He is a Magento developer and specializes in creating Magento plugins. An avid follower of E-commerce technologies, he enjoys writing about various aspects of  E-commerce. He can be reached on:


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