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Shopping cart abandonment has been an issue for e-commerce retailers since the advent of online shopping. It directly and dramatically impacts revenue, so much so that it costs online retailers an estimated $18 billion in lost sales revenue each year.

Ouch, right?

While shopping cart abandonment rates vary by industry, products, and target market, the average cart abandonment rate is 70%.

How does your shopping cart abandonment rate compare? If you’re not sure, the math is easy. Simply ​​divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of created carts. Subtract from one, then multiply by 100. We suggest doing this for an entire year to get the most accurate picture.

What can be done if you’re less than thrilled with your current cart abandonment rate?

As it turns out, a lot.

Here are the top reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and what online businesses can do to mitigate these issues and move customers through to the finish line.

Common Reasons Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts

Nearly half of all shoppers who abandon their carts do so because of shipping-related issues. Unexpected fees, high costs or limited delivery options will send shoppers packing. Given how frequently shopping carts are abandoned due to shipping and the many nuances of shipping, we recently shared an in-depth guide on how to mitigate shipping-related cart abandonment.

But what about the other half of shoppers who abandon their carts? Why did they leave without making a purchase?

It’s likely due to one–or several–of the following reasons.

Difficult Website Navigation

Customers expect to move easily between product pages and their shopping cart. Once they add an item to the cart, they may want to navigate back to that specific product page or to another shopping page. This should be a seamless experience.

How to fix it: To understand what may be tripping up your customers, ask friends and family to spend time on your site, shopping and moving through the purchase process. This simple exercise will give you great insight into the experience your customers are having. If there are numerous issues, you may want to work with your web developer to update and improve navigation, or switch to an e-commerce website platform that offers templates or built-in apps to streamline and optimize the process.

Long Checkout Process 

Checkout needs to be quick and simple. Shoppers will lose patience if you require too many steps or forms. Shoppers will also flee your site if they are forced to create an account in order to checkout. First-time customers may want to try your products first before committing to an account.

How to fix it: Only make necessary information a requirement, such as billing address, shipping address, and form of payment. Everything else–how did you hear about us, is this a gift, do you have a promo code, what’s your favorite color–must be optional. Also, consider including a progress indicator on the checkout page and thumbnail photos of products in the shopping cart. Both reassure shoppers that checkout will be quick and accurate.

Security Concerns

Given the number of network security attacks that result in the theft of personal and financial information, many people are cautious about handing over their credentials to another business they don’t quite know yet. E-commerce sites that have slow load page times, crash out of the blue, or lack security badges can cause shoppers to think twice about completing a purchase.

How to fix it: Make sure your website has HTTPS certification, and display relevant security badges on your website and through the checkout process. If your site is riddled with glitches or broken links, you may want to invest in a website audit and work with a web development team to ensure an error-free website experience.

Comparison Shopping

Long gone are the days when shoppers would sit down with circulars and ads in the Sunday paper to compare sales. Now they comparison shop online. One common tactic is to add items to a cart and begin the checkout process to understand shipping fees and costs. The comparison shopper will then purchase from whatever retailer offers the best price and fastest shipping.

How to fix it: When someone abandons their cart at this stage, try offering a 10 to 20% discount to encourage them to complete the transaction.

Few Payment Options

Today’s shoppers expect numerous payment options at checkout. If you don’t offer an option that is most convenient for them, they may abandon their cart.

How to fix it: Include PayPal, Apple Pay, and buy-now-pay-later options, in addition to the standard credit/debit card option.

Unclear Return and Refund Policy 

Be upfront and transparent about return and refund policies. Shoppers are much more comfortable making a purchase when they know they can easily return it.

How to fix this: Include policy information throughout your website and at checkout.

Long Delivery Timeframe 

Though few shoppers expect next-day or two-day shipping from a smaller e-commerce retailer, they do expect to receive their purchases within a reasonable timeframe. If your delivery timeframe is three or five days longer than the competition, they’ll likely shop with your competitor.

How to fix it: This is where a third-party e-commerce fulfillment partner comes in handy. Many have built-in distribution networks and can help expedite delivery times.

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment

With 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF takes pride in providing customized fulfillment and shipping solutions that support your business goals. As an extension of your business, our team will work hand-in-hand with you to proactively navigate the challenges of shopping cart abandonment.

Contact GLF’s team of e-commerce fulfillment experts today to learn how we can help grow your business.