We all shop online on regular basis and I should call it as WINDOW SHOPPING rather as many of us just check out new products daily on several online stores. This is obvious because we are humans and we have a habit of checking a product twice or thrice on different websites to find the best possible deal. I had ordered a jacket few days back from flipkart.com (the site I always lands up after navigating a dozen of other online stores). I checked several other websites to find a jacket for me. While doing this many times I selected my jacket and proceeded to the checkout process, but finally I ended up with closing the tab on my browser and decided to check some other website to find best deal. So, the point is I started a session on many websites or in simple words I initialized the transaction process and in the final step I quit and my shopping cart (the cart in which my products are stored for that particular session) is ABANDONED. But why I am telling you all this? Reason, I want to tell you that for me it’s a normal process that I just left the website but for a website owner abandoned shopping carts is a matter of great concern. So, here in this post I will share some statics and solutions for online stores to reduce the rate of abandoned shopping carts (I will not say stop) to improve user experience on their website.

According to a survey by Baymard Institutes, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 66.22%. This is really a big matter of concern for online merchandisers as it says only 33.78% of visitors completed the transaction process. Although most visitors like to compare the products before buying and this is the most common reason for shopping cart abandonment. But there are ways to reduce this rate by implementing few user friendly techniques on your website. There is a very useful resource in the form of Inforgrahic at Searchengineland. Let’s discuss firstly the possible reasons for a visitor to quit your website without any transaction. Below I have mentioned some of them. Have a look.
  • Comparison Shopping
  • Cost of shipping is high
  • Product was out of stock
  • Technical issues with the cart
  • No time to complete the transaction
  • Uncomfortable with buying process (not secured)
  • Desired payment method was not available
  • Checkout process was so weird

These are few reasons due to which a potential buyer will quit your online store without any transaction and resulting in an increase in cart abandonment rate of your website. There are methods to improve your website’s performance and reduce the rate. I will call it as optimizing your online store’s shopping cart or checkout process.

1. Use free or flexible shipping methods – Do not hide anything

According to experts about 40% of potential buyers leave your online stores due to uncomfortable or high shipping costs. And about more than 20% of this 40% quit due to non visibility of shipping costs. So it is very important to analyze your shipping costs and procedures. A quick tip is to mention all the details like shipping costs and the time it will take to deliver the product (possible) will be beneficial.

2. Avoid hidden charges

No one likes hidden charges in any transaction On-line or Off-line. According to a survey by Webcredible featured at BizReport says that about 50% of your potential buyers quit transaction in the end as they hate surprises at checkout time. So, it will be a best practice to mention total cost incurred for a buying a particular product. But, there is another side of the coin, as always. It is required to add some additional taxes or charges at the end of the buying process which can be calculated according to the quantity of the product and the shipping location. We cannot deny this fact. So, there is a quick tip to set a calculator sort of tool in your cart which will calculate the taxes and other extra charges according to the shipping location and quantity. Here a user will enter the quantity and shipping location in the beginning only to get an idea about the final cost of the product.

3. More number of pages involved in checkout process really sucks

At times we have to go through number of pages to proceed towards the checkout page or final page of the transaction. These pages ask for some additional information from buyers like forms, questions, etc. We know these details are important in terms of long relationships with a buyer but it creates lots of problems as a potential buyer can lose temper by seeing such forms or pages. A quick tip will be to setup an express checkout option for those buyers who want to complete transaction quickly. If a potential buyer is in rush to buy the product he/she will defiantly love this option.

4. This website wants me to create a new account. It’s annoying.

Almost all the Ecommerce websites I had ever visited prompted me to create a new account on their website to continue shopping with them. I hated this part and I know others also feel same as this part is really annoying and unnecessary. The reason is I have to maintain a new login ID and password for a new site. I know we use same login credential every time but still it’s irritating. Again I will repeat there are things which we feel not good for us but for others, like website owners it’s important. Again a quick tip for webmasters, create a guest checkout option for people who feels creating a new account is a waste of time like me. Using this option user can directly proceed to checkout without registering any account. Still you can ask for creating an account in the end of the transaction. IF they wish they will register.

5. Allow every possible payment option in a SECURED way

There are various means of payment options available today and visitors of your online store can choose any mode of payment according to their preference. Some payment options are common such as paying through Credit cards or debit card, but implementing these modes of payment on your online store is not at all enough. This may cause some potential buyers of your store to switch to some other store due to non availability of their preferred mode of payment. So, it will be beneficial to integrate as many modes of payment with your online store as you can.

Security is also important factor while doing online transactions. At times we feel uncomfortable or nervous while paying for their transactions. This anxiety is obvious as it is not easy to trust anyone in this matter of concern. A quick tip for this is to place a third party logo on your website so that buyers can feel comfortable while paying you. The ultimate goal is to tell buyers that we are totally SECURED and your details will not be leaked at any cost.

6. Miscellaneous Tweaks

There are few more options/recommendations/changes that are important for online stores to stop their potential buyers to quit the website without buying anything. Most of these are already in place on many websites but these are worth considering for newbie. Have a look below.

  • Make your checkout process quick and easy. This can be achieved by omitting some unnecessary details in the checkout form like occupation, industry, phone number, etc.
  • Use the option of shipping location same as the permanent address. If a user will click on this check box address will be copied as it is form the permanent address.
  • Highlight discounts and special offers going on your website throughout the checkout process. This will improve buyer’s consistency with your website.
  • Drop a mail to user’s mail id stating that you have abandoned our shopping cart. You can ask for a specific reason for doing this so that you can improve your website structure. Be aware to frame your Email template in a way so that the receiver will not feel bad.
  • Improve your website page download speed. You can use Cookie free asynchronous java script code within your carts to increase the page speed.
It is a well known fact that setting up an online business is very easy but it requires loads of efforts and hard work to make money out of it. After all ROI is the only factor that matters. This fact is a great matter of concern for those online stores who are stepping in the jungle of competitors recently. As a concluding part I would like to say that do everything to get most out of your online business and above content is just a small part of it.

By: Anurag Sharma
9/5/2013 01:08:53 pm

I just created a weebly account after finding your blog, thanks.


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