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Abandoned baskets in an online shop. How to deal with them and how to prevent them?

An abandoned shopping cart means an unfinished shopping process. This is the bane of today's e-commerce sellers. There are many situations when a customer selects a product in an online shop, adds it to the basket but in the end does not buy it, because according to a study conducted by the Baymard Institute, almost 70 percent of transactions do not end with completing the order. What are the most common reasons and how can they be prevented? How to save an already abandoned shopping cart? Check out the advice from IdoSell.

Why do customers abandon their shopping cart?

According to research by the Baymard Institute (data from 2021), more than 68 percent of users abandon their shopping cart. A large proportion of abandonments are simply a natural consequence of how customers browse online shops. They often compare prices, save items for later, check gift options, discount codes, etc. The Baymard Institute points out that 58 percent of customers have abandoned a shopping cart in the past three months because "I was just browsing the offer but wasn't ready to buy".

However, the institute has identified the most important reasons for shopping cart abandonment at the checkout stage, the stage where the retailer has direct influence. Find out what the most common reasons are and why as many as two out of three customers decide not to complete their purchase.

  • Additional costs too high - 49 percent

Additional costs, such as delivery, payment or taxes, are the most common reason for shopping cart abandonment. According to the Baymard Institute, half of all shoppers do not finish their shopping because they find out about delivery costs or additional charges at the very end. This happens when e-shops tempt customers with free delivery, but do not explain right away that it's only from a certain amount. Such situations not only discourage the finalisation of the order, but also undermine the credibility of the shop. Communication with the customer should be clear from the very beginning.

IdoSell tip: Keep delivery costs as low as possible. Don't be tempted to make money on delivery! This can cause a lot of customers to abandon the shopping cart because they will feel cheated and the profit will only be apparent.

  • Need to create an account - 24 percent

Being required to register with an online shop leads to cart abandonment in 24 out of 100 cases. The prospect of entering a large amount of data can put customers off.

IdoSell tip: in most cases, it is advisable to offer the customer a choice: placing an order without creating an account, logging into a previously created account or offering to register in the e-store.

  • Too long delivery or no reliable information on delivery time - 19 percent

Customers have clear expectations about delivery. If the delivery time is prolonged and the costs overstated, there is a high probability that the buyer will not complete his order.

It is worth thinking about the order threshold above which you offer customers free delivery. What are the rules?

- The threshold should be reasonably achievable - in a trinket shop it should be lower than, for example, in a corporate clothing shop. Currently the free delivery amount in many shops is PLN 99 or less, and customers are starting to demand it.
- Setting a ceiling for free delivery is a very interesting mechanism to increase the value of the basket. If the average customer in your shop spends 85 PLN, offer free delivery from 99 PLN. Chances are the shopper will add a little something to their basket to get the products for free delivery.

  • Too long and complicated ordering process - 18 percent

18 out of 100 shopping cart abandonment is an unintuitive and overly complicated ordering process. The solution could be a one-step ordering process, where all the elements are on one subpage. Check out what One Step Checkout looks like in IdoSell shops.

There should be only as many items as necessary in the shopping cart.

IdoSell Tip: Remove all unnecessary components that might distract your customer and make them leave the shop. What should you remove? E.g. the footer and menu links. What should be left? Preferably only the shopping cart, i.e. products, forward and back buttons (in some cases you can remove the back button or make it smaller in relation to other elements).

This way the customer in the shopping cart naturally moves on to the next steps and is not distracted by the other elements.

  • Lack of trust in shop - 17 percent

Lack of trust accounts for 17 percent of shopping cart abandonments. This happens most often in new and unknown shops, and there are many of them on the market. How can you counteract this? Remember to add so-called social proof, e.g. reviews of your customers, safety certificates and other elements which show your credibility.

  • In-store errors occur - 12 percent

This is one of the hardest baskets to salvage because if there are errors in the shop, and it doesn't work properly, the customer will probably never come back.

What is an error in the shop? Showing products that are out of stock and can no longer be bought. Let's assume your customer is looking for a rug. He has spent two hours browsing the range, chosen a product, compared it with others and finally decided. He will buy a green woollen kilim. After adding it to the shopping cart, a message appears saying that this model has been out of stock for several weeks.

Imagine that the same customer has not yet left the shop. He chose another colour that was available. However, in this case too, there was an error and the choice led to a dead end.

For the retailer, this is a shot in the knee. The customer will not only leave the shop, but will also be upset that he has wasted his time and bought nothing.

An online shop must be functional and navigating it must be intuitive.

  • The return policy is unclear and too complicated - 11 percent.

A customer who shops in an online shop does not have the opportunity to see the product before buying it. Therefore, product descriptions and pictures must be accurate and reflect the product perfectly. Also the return policy of an online shop should be as simple as possible. The consumer has the right to return goods which he bought on the internet. Sellers should not make this difficult.

  • In the list of payment methods there is not one that the customer would like to pay - 7 percent

Offer your customers a large choice of payment methods and gain their trust. The more options, the better. Merchants should offer BLIK, paybylink (as some banks have limits on BLIK), payment cards. A deferred payment option is also useful.

  • Credit card rejected - 4 percent

Rejection of the payment card that the shopper wanted to pay is the reason for abandoning the shopping cart in 4 out of 100 situations.

How to recover an abandoned cart?

The average cart abandonment rate is 68.8 percent. This means that only 31 percent of customers complete and pay for their purchase. Of course, it's impossible to achieve a 0 percent abandonment rate, but research by the Baymard Institute suggests that the average e-commerce site can improve its conversion rate by 35 percent just by improving the ordering process. Therefore, it is worth fighting for the customer.

Checkout in an online shop. How to build it right?

Recovering customers and reducing the number of abandoned shopping carts should work in two ways. Firstly, preventive measures, and secondly, marketing measures calculated to win back customers.

Preventive measures include optimising an online shop, i.e. refining product prices, shop layout, descriptions and images. The shop should attract the customer. Learn the nine elements of optimising your shop for Google.

How to recover already abandoned shopping carts? E.g. by using marketing automation. Encourage customers to return to your shop and complete their purchase. How does marketing automation work? There are external tools, such as Revhuner, which has an integration with IdoSell and deals strictly with abandoned baskets or SALESmanago. If a customer enters an online shop, adds goods to the cart but does not complete the purchase, they will get an email reminding them of the abandoned cart after some time (according to their settings): "Hey, we noticed that you left some products in your cart. Go back and complete your shopping". If this does not work, the retailer may offer a special offer, such as an additional discount or free shipping.

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