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Are Abandoned Shopping Carts a Problem?

Are Abandoned Shopping Carts a Problem?

I received an email from eCommerce Insights recently, within which was an article that drew my attention. It revolved around the online shopping experience, which is something I’m quite familiar with (ahem!), and it made for a very interesting reading!

Did You Know?

A recent survey has suggested that, on average, over 67% of online shopping experiences where items are “added to cart” result in abandoned shopping carts, with no sale being made. This is clearly a huge proportion of potential sales and the result would cause a significant dent in any recipient company’s revenues.

You Have to Get it Right!

So, the first question that springs to mind with regard to this statistic, at least to me, is why? Sure, I’ve added items to my cart and not completed the transaction many times, as I dare say most of us have. But as I say, why is the percentage so high?

The article gave a few examples of reasons provided for non-completion and I can relate to some, as I’m sure you will be able to. Thinking more about my own reasons though, they tend to include reasons such as time, change of mind, or even being sidetracked, forgetting about it and closing my PC down without realising the web page was still open. All result in abandoned shopping carts…

What Can You Do About It?

The article goes on to demonstrate what Argos has done to combat the statistic. Rather than repeat it, I’ll let you read the article for yourself.

When I showed Steve the article, he was less surprised than I was, finding that statistic lower than he would have imagined. However, he made me aware of an incident last year when he was purchasing my wedding anniversary present online (awwww). He ended up adding to the abandoned shopping carts statistic by not completing the transaction.

A matter of minutes after he left the website, he received a telephone call from the retailer (he had completed the majority of the purchase process, but abandoned when he realised the delivery time scales he needed couldn’t be guaranteed). The retailer asked why he had abandoned and Steve explained it was purely a matter that the website couldn’t guarantee delivery within the time scales he needed. He was assured there and then that his delivery requirements could be met and that they would send the item Special Delivery with no added cost to Steve! Thanks to this proactivity, the retailer recovered what would otherwise have been a lost sale (and I received a wonderful wedding anniversary present).

Be Proactive

Whatever the method, if you’re a business that has an online purchasing facility, you must have a working knowledge of the percentage of abandoned shopping carts you suffer. If the number is high, you need to understand why – is it a shortfall in the customer experience, too many variables, too much information being sought? Can you analyse the statistic further? Most importantly, how can you work to reduce the percentage in a proactive and quick manner?

Speed is of the essence when afced with an abandoned shopping cart, as one of the reasons the article refers to is price and it’s so easy to visit other sites whilst shopping, so you need to keep the customer on your site and your site alone!

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