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Top 6 Reasons Why Customers Abandon Their Carts in 2021

How much revenue have you lost in the last 30 days from abandoned carts? I'm guessing, pretty much.

A staggering 88% of all online orders are abandoned. Smarter customers mean brands have a crucial mission to find out what their customers want before they know it themselves. But before you start rallying your team to pivot, why not just ask your customers why they didn't complete their purchase? We did.

We analyzed over 514,719 text conversations with abandoned shoppers. And we're going to share with you the real reasons behind why most customers are abandoning their carts.

We summarized these top 6 spicy behavioral insights for you, and we'll show you what you can do to solve them.

So let's jump to it.

Why are shoppers abandoning their carts?

Shoppers who place products into their shopping cart and leave without completing their purchase are your hottest leads. They're one step away from making that purchase— but didn't.

And that's why you're here. You have 30-minutes to nudge these customers back to the check out to complete their purchase, so how do you do that?

This question has stumped brands for years. Just take a look at the graph below showing you that eCommerce cart abandonment rates have been rising steadily for the last 13 years.

If you're still relying on one-way marketing blasts to do the job this year, it spells a huge missed opportunity for you to understand the deeper insights on your customers and grow your tribe. Reaching out to your customers with two-way messaging enriches their relationships with your brand and the data that feeds back to you and your marketing team.

The biggest mistake you'll be making this year is if you're not using your abandoned carts as an opportunity to understand your customers at scale. It's your brand's turn to start a conversation with your customers this 2021.

Here are the 6 top reasons for cart abandonment as told by 500k conversations with real customers:

1. Payment issues

Your customers are lazier than you would expect. Your checkout process should be the easiest and most seamless last leg of your customer's buying journey.

According to a study, 8% of customers will abandon their carts if they don't see a payment method they want.

If you're offering limited payment options, chances are they won't retry again after their payment was declined. This adds up to about 4% of your customers who came so close, but yet so far.

Turn window shoppers into paying customers at the checkout

It's important to offer prominent payment options and a little more just to make sure those shopping carts reach their final destination. So here's what you can do:

  • Cover the basics and take payment through online banking, debit cards and all major credit cards: Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Diner's Club, Maestro
  • Take a look at your target audience to see which payment methods you can prioritize. You can add more payment methods like PayPal, AmazonPay, Shop Pay, Apple & Google Pay
  • Allow payments using a Guest Check Out. They've come this far to buy from your store, not to create an account— ask only for their essential information.
  • Offer payment options that support buy now, pay later. Allow interest-free installments and split payments to make it easier for your customers to buy higher-priced items. Here's a popular one, Afterpay.
  • Reach out to them during the crucial micro-moments before a sale is lost for good
  • Make it easy for shoppers to reach out - have 24/7 support via email, live chat and SMS
  • Incentivize them to try again by offering them a discount

2. Unexpected Fees

Everyone loves free stuff, so it's an unwelcome surprise to see a shipping fee calculated a check out just before you hit that "Buy" button. People want free shipping and guaranteed free returns.

Looking to tip the odds in your favor? If you start to offer free shipping, you'll be 5 times more likely to have people buying from you.

Here's what you can do about it

If you're already offering free shipping from your store, that's great! Make sure you tell the world. Let your customers know they'll be treated to this at the checkout everywhere on your website—on a bold welcome banner, at the footer, and at the check out again for good measure.

However, if you're still considering how you can offer free or discounted shipping while conserving your margins, here's what you can do:

  • Build your shipping costs into your product prices
  • Be transparent about it. Your customers will appreciate the authenticity, and it'll earn you more trust points with them
  • Exercise a free shipping threshold, offer free shipping only after a cart passes a certain dollar amount
  • Emphasize and educate them on your unique selling point. Shoppers are more willing to spend more based on perceived value

3. Technical Issues

There's been a glitch in the matrix.  Emptied carts, expired discount codes, and a website built like a maze usually spells out a bad shopping experience for online shoppers.

Almost 50% of your customers will drop their carts because a discount code isn't working. We found an interesting one — customers who abandon their carts because they were unable to edit them.

How you can help them through it

Focus on smoothing out the wrinkles in your customer experience in these major areas:

  • Test your website on all major web browsers
  • Make sure your store's website is mobile-friendly. Mobile Commerce is here to stay and is projected to contribute to 31% of the total US eCommerce market this year
  • Enable instant support for your customers through email, live chat, or try a conversational approach over text messaging
  • Provide live technical assistance from real people to humanize their customer's journey
  • Double and triple test to see if your discounts work
  • Mistakes happen. Consider reaching out personally to offer them the discount again and guide them through the purchase
  • Make sure your store is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and loads fast.

Brand recognition is important, so make sure you keep everything consistent on your website from a branding perspective. Also, optimizing your store's theme and layout is one of the hidden ways you can easily recover lost profits this year.

4. Long Shipping Times

73.6% of consumers reported delivery is most important to the overall shopping experience. And same-day shipping is what motivates 49% to buy from you.

With some countries like the UK and US experiencing shipping delays due to COVID-19 it's important to know how to stay communicated with your customers.

Most common instances that contribute to delayed shipping times:

  • Huge delays from COVID-19
  • Lack of details of shipping and delivery on the website
  • Lack of company information and communication

How to avoid complains and refunds

  1. Address company information on shipping and delivery details on your website to inform shoppers
  2. Draw attention to important notifications for your customers using a call-out bar or a pop-up on your website. Here's a great one you can customize according to your website.
  3. Make sure to include customer support contacts for them to get in touch with you
  4. Build a strategy that will keep customers always in the loop and keep their trust levels up until their order arrives
  5. Reassure customers dealing with long wait times with extra communication and manage their expectations with real-time updates

If you're able to interact with your customers in real-time, they'll not only appreciate being kept in the loop and the instant support.

Managing your customers' expectations can give your store a competitive edge— and bad customer support might cost you more than a refund.

5. Trust Issues

Customers are trusting you with their personal information. It's important to make sure they know you have taken the proper security measures to earn their trust. This includes both your first-time shoppers and paying customers as well.

Customers' trust is hard-earned, but easily lost. A survey found that 58% of shoppers dropped their carts because they doubted the payment security.

Aside from firewalls and data encryption, 93% of customers will read reviews to determine the quality of a business. User-generated content (UGC) holds way over 76% of buying decisions.

Remember we told you how important brand recognition is? 71% of consumers are persuaded by it and more likely to commit to a purchase.

How to build trust with your customers

  • Wear your Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates like a badge—on your website
  • Make sure you comply with the standards of the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).
  • Enable PayPal as a payment option
  • Focus on getting more reviews and ratings from your customers
  • Ensure you deliver excellent customer support to improve brand experience
  • Establish a social media presence
  • Work with a professional copywriter to ensure clarity in your messages to customers

6. Lack of Product Information

The customer is always right. And all the right customers have questions. Especially when it comes to consumer products such as skincare, apparel, food and beverage, or nutrition.

If your website is tight-lipped on the following: product information, reviews, instant support, and contact for assistance. You'll need to fix your FAQ section fast.

Be the number they call when they need answers

We mean this figuratively, here's your to-do list:

  • Don't make your customers call or visit your site to get support or information
  • Add an FAQ section in the footer of your website where they can easily find it
  • Update your FAQ section with the answer to every possible question a shopper might have
  • Add a chat widget to your website to help solve your customers' problem in real-time

Read how an Australian skincare brand leveraged SMS to recommend products to their customers in real-time and drove 30x in ROI.

Listen to your customers and act on their feedback

The biggest lesson here is, modern customers have mercurial preferences and even bigger demands to be met. Brands will need to figure out a cost-effective way to keep them nurtured and engaged through every stage of their journey.

In summary, here are the 6 takeaway lessons you can learn from over 500,000 real conversations with real customers on cart abandonment:

  1. Your checkout is where window shoppers become your paying customers. Make it seamless.
  2. Make your shipping costs visible to avoid unexpected fees and complains
  3. Help them through technical issues with real-time support
  4. Be transparent. Reassure delivery and manage expectations for any fulfillment delays
  5. Provide 24/7 support via email, SMS and live chat to build trust
  6. Display clear and concise product information

The only way you can offer real value to your customers is by engaging with them frequently and gain insights through real-time feedback. It's time to amp up your support game and turn your website into a growth engine. Taking a conversational approach is how you'll gain a competitive edge in 2021.

If you'd like to learn how a conversational approach can help you recover 5x more abandoned carts today, book a demo or get 14-days free and start talking to your customers today.

If you loved these insights, watch the full talk: "Lessons from 514,719 Customer Conversations — The Less Obvious Playbook to Optimizing Your Ecommerce Business" hosted by Cartloop's co-founder and COO, Lisa Popovici. Watch it here.

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Yong Jun-Li

Jun-Li is a content person at Cartloop. When she's not writing a blog article, you can find her collecting a new hobby or doing yoga.

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