Shopping Cart Abandonment DURING COVID-19 has declined. eCommerce conversion rates have increased.

Covid -19 affect shopping cart abandonmentShopping cart abandonment is always top of mind for eCommerce merchants. But a lot has changed in 2020. Everything about how we work, how we shop, and how we buy consumer goods is different from any time before.
While many of the problems with shopping cart abandonment remain the same, we’ve seen positive changes. Of course, it’s likely these trends will balance out as consumers fall into the new normal. But it’s what we learn from it that will empower us to continue to improve the consumer experience.
Historically, shopping cart abandonment hovers around 75%, but mobile cart abandonment tallies at almost 86%.

However, since Covid-19, we’ve seen eCommerce cart abandonment decrease, and conversions increase.

This is not surprising. The pandemic has forced people to stay home, and yet, they still need to find ways to obtain goods. More people are shopping online and having consumer goods delivered than ever before.
All of this buying online has had a dramatic effect on U.S. conversion rates, which peaked at an increase of more than 113%! Conversions have increased, average order value has increased, and cart abandonment has decreased.

Why Do Customers Abandon Shopping Carts?
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Many of the reasons consumers put an item they want in their cart and leave without purchasing it haven’t changed. This tells us we still have an opportunity to address those reasons and continue to enjoy increased conversions.
Mobile shopping cart abandonment numbers are still significantly greater than computer abandonment. eCommerce merchants must focus on having a mobile-ready website. Mobile sales accounted for $2.32 Trillion dollars in 2019. That number was predicted to increase by more than 25% in 2020, but that was before we knew about Covid-19.
As Gen Z ages up, mobile users will increase significantly. They are a generation that’s grown up with technology. They’re very comfortable conducting all aspects of daily life on their mobile device. Not only are there more mobile users, but time on mobile devices is increasing as well.
Unexpected costs and shipping charges are still the number one reasons consumers walk away from a purchase. 66% of Millennials will wait for their item to go on sale to make the purchase. This makes the case for shopping cart reminder emails and offering a coupon or discount along with the reminder.
And, obviously, with more and more online shopping comes increased concern over security. It’s more important than ever for eCommerce merchants to focus on website security. But it’s also important to instill that confidence in your customers.
Read on for more in-depth information on how shopping cart abandonment affects your eCommerce business.
In addition, our article on ways to design your website for conversions gives lots of tips on how to tweak certain aspects of your eCommerce site to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

How Shopping Cart Abandonment Affects Your Business

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People are doing most of their shopping online these days. Shoppers find the perfect item, then place it into their “shopping cart,” often with the intent to complete the purchase. However, statistics show three out of four consumers don’t follow through with actually purchasing the item. In the eCommerce world, we call this shopping cart abandonment. And it results in a significant loss in revenue for businesses.

In fact, studies have shown that up to four TRILLION dollars in sales are lost because of shopping cart abandonment.  The reasons for leaving vary and may have nothing to do with customers changing their minds.  Reasons can include everything from unexpected costs such as high shipping charges to payment security concerns, or even wanting more payment options.  Sometimes, customers leave the cart in search of discount codes or coupons. If they don’t find one, they may not complete the purchase.

Many aspects of an eCommerce website can lead to increases in shopping cart abandonment.  

First off, if there are limited ways to pay, customers may not be able to complete a purchase. Most websites accept credit cards nowadays, but there are still some small businesses that may fulfill orders by phone or email. If you offer multiple ways to pay, either by accepting credit cards, PayPal, or ACH, you’re more likely to increase sales. Customers want options for how to pay for their items. And they want the purchase process to be easy and streamlined.

Requiring customers to create an account in order to make a purchase increases shopping cart abandonment.

Again, this goes back to keeping it simple. People don’t want to have to go through setting up an account, adding their information, and THEN finally finish check out or make the actual purchase. Merchant account specialists and experts recommend allowing “Guest” checkout on websites. It’s also smart to keep the number of steps required for purchase completion to a minimum.   

Offering your customers the ability to become a “member” for special discounts and sale information is a great idea. However, most eCommerce customers do not want to be forced to create an account.  Consumers will often cite that they want a quick and seamless transaction, as well as having concern for the security of their information.

Consumers cite unexpected costs, particularly shipping charges, as one of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment.

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Sometimes, the shipping costs nearly as much as the item being purchased. I’m sure many of us can relate to being slightly outraged over such charges. The end result is often no purchase at all. To prevent this, industry experts suggest displaying shipping charges upfront or offering flat-rate shipping for a minimum purchase amount. Also, make sure that shipping costs are easy for customers to navigate to and understand before looking into a purchase.

Overall, there are three guiding principles that merchant account specialists suggest utilizing to have a more welcoming website: Reduce fear, build trust and credibility, and reinforce benefits to purchasing.

For example, when asked for a customer’s phone number, people may wonder if they’ll start receiving calls from the business. Or they may simply be fearful of giving out personal information.  By adding a small disclaimer such as “for shipping related questions only,” you can put the customer’s mind at ease. This also helps to develop a relationship of trust with the customer. Building trust often translates into repeat business.  

Another way to build trust is through the use of website security badges. You want to show people that your website meets all security requirements and is safe to buy from. Displaying Trust Signals and Security Seals such as BBB, Norton, and McAfee to name a few, help build trust with your customers.  It is amazing how many customers abandon their purchase just because there is not a security seal on the secure payments page.  Also, include statements on your site or in your terms of service that customer security is a top priority. This will go a long way to making new customers feel welcome and secure.

Is there hope to regain a sale after shopping cart abandonment?  What can you do to get a customer back?

Thankfully, all hope is not lost. Businesses who communicate with customers report higher levels of conversion than ones who don’t. Statistics reflect that certain communication methods in particular led to the recovery of the sale.  For example, sending an email reminder to the customer that he/she has items in their cart has proven to result in about 30% recovery rate.  Also, studies show that the optimal time to send this email is around 30 minutes after the initial abandonment.  Some shopping cart platforms even make creating and automating this task a breeze. 

Another way that merchants can increase shopping cart conversions is by offering the item at a discount. Around 54% of online shoppers say they are “very likely” to purchase abandoned items if they were offered at a lower cost.  Discount codes, coupons, and free shipping are all enticements that often result in shopping cart conversion. In addition, it creates goodwill and that often encourages a new customer to return for future purchases. Imagine if you could convert up to 50% of your abandoned shopping carts into purchases!

Convert those shopping carts to sales by keeping it simple.

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And finally, as we stressed earlier, keeping things simple goes a long way towards converting those shopping carts to sales.

Don’t make customers set up accounts. Or require them to fill in information that generally isn’t needed for the purchase. There are other opportunities to reach out to the customer for offers such as loyalty programs. But the first step is getting them to become a customer.

By streamlining the buying process, you increase your chances that the customer will follow through with the purchase. Once the purchase is complete, you can focus on creating a loyal customer that returns again and again. Creating a solid follow-up program with incentives to become a “member” oftentimes provides you the marketing opportunities you’re looking for.

If your business needs reliable, trustworthy, and reasonably priced payment-processing solutions, give Bankcard Brokers a call today.  We not only offer the best rates, but we also work hard to provide you with top-notch service so you can focus on other activities, such as generating revenue!  Whether you’re just getting started or you simply need a better merchant account to accept credit cards, we’re here to help.


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