According to a 2017 Baymard Institute, an e-commerce consultancy, based in Copenhagen, report “more than 69% of online shopping carts that contain at least one item are later abandoned”. The report analyzed 37 different studies to arrive at the 69% average. Baymard has been analyzing US and EU combined online cart abandonment for seven years. The reason we like this report is that it weeds out the “just browsing” segment and bases all analysis on the remaining consumer reported reasons for cart abandonment within the ecommerce checkout process.
The Ghosts of Cart Abandonments Past
As I wrote about in The Invisible Sale, today’s self-educating buyers are doing more research to find the best deals – comparing prices, delivery dates, shipping costs and social feed recommendations. This has created an empowered consumer that is quick to punish lazy or digitally deaf ecommerce retailers by quickly clicking over to the competition when confronted with any hurdle to purchase. And it would seem, based on this year’s data that digital retailers continue to ignore the growing savviness and expectations of these self-educated buyers. This year’s top three reasons for online cart abandonment, during the checkout process, have not changed since we last looked at this study in 2016.
- 61% – Unexpected extra costs at checkout—sales tax, shipping fee… (33% in 2016)
- 35% – Shoppers being forced to create an account (23% in 2016)
- 27% – Complicated checkout process (18% in 2016)
BUT the percentage of abandonment associated with each reason has increased significantly, suggesting that today’s ecommerce retailers truly are digitally deaf.
Heed The Warning And Get More Jingle
Really retailers, really! Consider this from Baynard,
“The average large-sized e-commerce site can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout design. If we look at the combined e-commerce sales of $738 billion in the US and EU (source eMarketer, 2015), the potential for a 35.26% increase in conversion rate translates to $260 billion worth of lost orders which are recoverable through a better checkout flow & design.”
That’s B as in billions folks. I don’t know about you, but if I could make a handful of simple changes to improve the customer experience and my e-commerce cart conversion rate, I’d be in my web developer’s office yesterday.
It’s a Prime Time To Make a Change
Well, all of us online retailers and consumers are in luck because there are large and small online examples of how the design and flow of the cart experience can convert more consumers to customers – show all associated purchase costs upfront, offer both account and guest checkout options and make the path to purchase as simple and familiar as possible.
Here, the buyer just adds item(s) to cart, reviews the shopping cart that shows her all associated item costs with shipping calculated by state, and once the cost is deemed appropriate, she can quickly proceed to standard checkout or if she wants an even simpler way, she can use PayPal and the standard single-page checkout form takes you to purchase.
Let’s close with this. It’s perfectly ok to not believe in Santa — just don’t tell my kids, ok?
But it’s not ok to fail to believe in data or the need to respond to data. The writing is on the website folks… don’t just read it, act on it so that you too can have a very Merry Christmas selling season.