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Cart abandonment unstoppable

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Tuesday June 15, 2010 )

A recent study finds that even with the best shopping cart processes, high levels of cart abandonment is something we just need to come to terms with.

Reporting on a Forrester Research study, BizReports says the more opportunities a consumer has to locate a best price, the more shopping cart abandonment will occur.

Forrester’s study found 88% of consumers have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction. While that sounds pretty high, think about all the online shopping people do – I’m surprised it’s not 100%. The number merchants need to be concerned about is the abandonment rate in their own carts.

Consumers who abandoned shopping carts were surveyed and the following were the most popular reasons for abandonment.

Cost of shipping (44%)
Unprepared to purchase (41%)
Price-checking (27%)
Price too high (25%)

The cost of shipping reason continually pops up in the studies I’ve read over the years. It gives people a severe case of sticker shock as they don’t learn about it (usually) until the end of the shopping process and they head to checkout.

Tyre kickers and price checkers you can’t do a lot about except let them save the contents of their cart, so if they do come back, they don’t have to run through it all again.

While I certainly agree there will always be a level of abandonment and it will likely always be quite high, there are lots of things online merchants can do to minimize it. Some strategies might cost a chunk of change, others won’t cost a cent aside from a little time. Pick up some tips for reducing shopping cart abandonment.


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