Cart abandonment is one of the biggest reasons for lost sales, with more than 68 percent of online shopping carts abandoned before the transaction is completed, according to a study by Baymard Institute. If two out of three people who came into your grocery store left before buying anything, you'd be out of business.
Although cart abandonment can occur at any point when a shopper feels frustrated or lost, we’re going to focus on the checkout process, as 46 percent of cart abandonments occur at this stage.
To provide a better understanding of why your shoppers are jumping ship at this critical point in their shopping journey, we’ve narrowed down the three most common reasons for cart abandonment at checkout and what steps you need to take to keep them on track.
Reason #1: Unexpected Costs
Almost two-thirds of consumers abandon their carts because extra costs are too high (shipping, tax, fees), and one-quarter abandon their carts because they couldn’t see or calculate their total order cost as they built out their carts, according to the Baymard Institute study.
The Solution: An Ever-present and Accurate Cart Total
You need to ensure there are absolutely no surprises for your shoppers when it’s time to check out. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- The estimated total should always be visible during the online shopping journey. A locked website header, including the shopper’s total, is an excellent place to host this.
- The estimated total should include all added products, any coupons or offers redeemed, and all extra costs like tax, shipping and handling fees.
- The total should adjust in real time as items are added and offers are redeemed, and should automatically recalculate taxes and associated fees.
- If the fulfillment method (delivery or pickup) will significantly impact the estimated total, ask your shoppers to choose their method at the start of their purchase. Communicate the value of making this choice (an accurate total) and if they decide not to provide this information, then communicate that their total is “only an estimate that might change based on delivery method chosen."
Reason #2: Limited Fulfillment Options
If a shopper goes through an entire online shop and at checkout they can’t get the delivery or pickup time they desire, there's a good chance they'll give up.
It’s all about expectations. In the same way that shoppers will abandon carts due to unexpected costs, they'll leave if they can't get the delivery/pickup time slot they were expecting.
The Solution: The Option to Pre-reserve a Time Slot
Offer your shoppers the opportunity to pre-reserve a time slot at the start of their shopping trip, or at any point throughout it. Communicate the benefit of reserving this upfront, and you'll prevent any frustration they would otherwise experience from not getting the time slot they want.
As a bonus, this will accelerate the checkout flow, as there will be one less one step for them to complete.
Reason #3: Complicated Checkout Process
Lengthy or complicated checkout forms, such as entering shipping addresses or payment information, account for approximately 39 percent of U.S. cart abandonments, according to a recent report by Business Intelligence.
The last thing your shoppers want to do is hang around longer than they need to once they're done with their shop. This is a key moment in the purchase journey, and a quick, painless checkout will determine whether a sale is completed or lost.
The Solution: Make the Entire Process Quick and Painless
It’s the details that count. Make every single step as quick and easy as possible. Here are a few tips:
- When providing a delivery time slot, highlight which day is today and tomorrow. Customers don’t always know the date and shouldn’t have to look it up.
- Allow the shopper to remove an item with multiple units from an order in a single click, rather than having to press the “minus” button multiple times, or edit the quantity and type in “0”.
- Allow the shopper to save their credit card info i to speed up payment, so they don’t have to enter it again on subsequent transactions, and support Apple/Samsung Pay so they don’t have to add a credit card at all.
- Within the checkout flow, clearly outline what the current step is and how many steps are left, setting clear expectations and creating the feeling that they are “almost done."
Cart abandonment is a very real problem and can be detrimental to your sales. The good news is there are easy solutions you can implement around the checkout experience, like setting expectations regarding cost and fulfillment, as well as a simple checkout process, which will create a noticeable impact on your abandonment rate.