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Shopping Basket Abandonment – Top Reasons and How to Prevent it

According to the Baymard Institute a staggering 68%* of visitors to ecommerce sites abandon shopping baskets with goods in them. Just think what a difference you could make to your online revenue if you start converting those potential customers to sales.

Huge numbers of reasons are cited for shopping basket abandonment, but here’s our lowdown of those we come across the most and our ideas for reducing their impact:

Hidden Costs and High Postage Charges – Probably the biggest reason people hot-foot it from your checkout. Make sure your costs are clearly displayed up-front. If a user thinks they have a bargain, only to be faced by significantly increased costs at the last minute, chances are you’ll lose them. Postage, V.A.T. and booking charges are all culprits; make sure the customer knows what to expect before they get there.

Complicated and Forced Registration Process – A lot of potential customers are put off by giving out personal information, as well as the time and effort taken to fill in a complicated registration form. Think about whether it’s appropriate for your site to allow customers to check out as a guest. If you really do need them to register only ask for essential information.

Technical Problems – Is there anything more frustrating than a website that crashes just as you go to complete a purchase? Chances are you’re not going to return to try again. Make sure that having a reliable site is a priority for your business, there are plenty of reasonably priced great hosting companies around that can guarantee the stability of your site.

Security Concerns – These days most web users are informed about their online security and cautious about where they give up their details. They want to see evidence that the site they are trusting with their information has the right security measures in place. Use strong SSL authentication for web and data protection and if you’re collecting more sensitive information think about putting extra measures in place.

Just Browsing – There will always be visitors who like to browse to get an idea of prices. It’s debatable how much you can do to convert these visitors, but think about if there are any sales or marketing tools you can implement to encourage an impulse purchase, such as discounts and offers for new customers.

More generally it’s always worth making changes and doing some user testing, does the checkout form work better all on one page or across multiple short pages for example?

A relatively new development is taking action after a basket has been abandoned. Some companies are sending emails to users who have abandoned their basket and are making use of ad re-targeting companies to bring users back to their site.

For advice on how to create an effective ecommerce site, which minimises basket abandonment, contact us.

*http://baymard.com/lists/basket-abandonment-rate 

12 November 2014
Blog Author
Oliver Pluckrose
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Imperial College
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