Understanding and Tackling Cart Abandonment in the Retail Industry
RetailTech Technology

Understanding and Tackling Cart Abandonment in the Retail Industry

By Rajarshi November 08, 2023 - 97 views

Cart abandonment is a common issue plaguing retail brands today. To get more customers to convert online, you will naturally require a better interface and site design along with more effective marketing. However, a whopping 70% of customers, on average, leave after they add items to their carts as per Baymard reports. This phenomenon, known as cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems for the retail industry today.

Before delving deeper into strategies for reducing cart abandonment, it is important to calculate the rate of abandonment first. This is possible by dividing the total completed purchase count by the number of carts created and subtracting the same from 1. This will help you work out the ways and means to lower your cart abandonment rates and bolster revenues accordingly. Here are some reasons for cart abandonment, which is different from e-commerce checkouts where customers abandon the purchase while checking out. 

Reasons for Cart Abandonment and Solutions for the Same

Here are some of the major reasons behind abandoned shopping carts and ways in which you can fix them. 

  • Higher additional expenditure (fees, shipping, taxes, etc.) – The retail industry often has to contend with abandoned shopping carts due to unexpected costs that customers face. Some customers add items to their carts just by viewing the final figure. Once they see added fees, they may not be likely to go ahead. The solution lies in providing all the costs upfront, including shipping, applicable, and other expected fees. These may be displayed on the detail pages of products by asking customers for zip codes. If customers are not as surprised after adding items to their carts, they are more likely to make the final purchase. 
  • Forced creation of accounts – One of the ways that may help retailers in reducing cart abandonment is not forcing users to create accounts. Forcing them to register or make an account for adding items to shopping carts breaks the cycle of purchases. This additional step may turn away some customers. Guest checkout is a good solution and not the forced creation of accounts. If you want to gather information, do this after the purchase is done at the confirmation page, asking customers whether they want to get email updates about special offers or likewise. 
  • Lengthy e-commerce checkouts – A time-consuming and complex checkout process sometimes makes customers abandon shopping carts and leave without making any payments. You should lower data entry and optimise checkouts to make things more streamlined and easier. Auto-save features are helpful along with automatic filling of forms. 
  • Security worries – Cart abandonment often results from customers worrying about the secure storage of their financial and personal details. You should adhere to regulatory guidelines for suitably storing credit card details and validating transactions while using a fraud management system for detecting and combating online fraud. To relieve customer fears and prevent them from abandoning their carts, showcase signals and seals of trust across the buying process. 
  • Limited shipping choices and slower delivery – Customers often anticipate timely delivery options and suitable shipping options. They often end up abandoning their carts when things do not match their expectations. Customers should thus get diverse shipping choices and the ability to personalise their shipping details, along with timelines and choosing between providers for better experiences. 
  • Issues with website performance – Issues like errors and crashes may make customers abandon their carts to find better experiences. Minor performance issues are not as likely to fend off customers, although they should still be combated. The shipping cart and checkout performance should be analysed and tested to measure downtime, load times, and overall responsiveness. Errors and weak points should be detected with an improvement in shopping cart performance. 
  • Problems with return policies – Cart abandonment often results from inadequate policies for returns and warranties. These are viewed by customers after adding items to their carts. The solution lies in offering a much better return policy and a better customer framework for enabling the same. 
  • Inadequate methods of payment – Customers look for convenient payment methods after adding items to their shopping carts. The fewer the available options, the more likely they are to abandon their carts. Hence, look to offer as many payment choices as possible, expanding steadily with the growth of your business. 
  • High up-selling – Cross-selling and up-selling may help enable higher sales while scaling up average order values accordingly. However, customers who are overwhelmed with these activities may end up abandoning their carts. You should test your analytics for up-selling and abandonment to understand their challenges. This will improve the way you cross-sell without losing out on your customers.  
  • Better deals elsewhere – Customers naturally have multiple options while purchasing items online. They will browse through online platforms and compare pricing accordingly. If they get better deals somewhere else, they may abandon shopping carts and choose more attractive offers likewise. You should look to mitigate this by offering competitive prices for customers along with better shipping, service, and other incentives. Use price points that challenge the competition after doing your homework on their offerings. 
  • Research and browsing – Customers often simply add items to their carts to gain more information on the same. This is because they do not have adequate information on the sale before they start the process of checkouts. While you cannot fully eliminate cart abandonment, you can lower the overall impact by offering product and service-based information before customers add items to their shopping carts. This lowers the need to start checkouts before obtaining this information and lowers overall abandonment. 

These are some strategies that will help you reduce cart abandonment, along with ensuring a better mobile-friendly platform while also ensuring that discount codes are integrated with the checkout process. The idea will be not to deter customers without codes from finishing purchase, while making it easier for customers with promo codes to checkout seamlessly. 


What causes cart abandonment in the retail industry, and how can businesses identify the underlying reasons?

Cart abandonment takes place due to several reasons including lengthy checkout processes, inadequate shipping and payment options, lack of a mobile-friendly website, higher additional costs, and so on. Businesses can identify these major reasons by using analytics and calculating their cart abandonment rates. 

What strategies can retailers implement to reduce cart abandonment rates and improve online conversion rates?

Retailers can implement several strategies for lowering cart abandonment rates and enhancing their rates of online conversions. These include providing cost-related information upfront, offering guest checkouts without forcing them to create accounts, enabling a mobile-friendly and responsive platform, offering multiple payment and shipping choices, and so on. 

How can personalised marketing and retargeting campaigns help re-engage potential customers who abandoned their carts?

Personalised retargeting and marketing campaigns can work excellently for re-engaging potential customers who abandoned their carts earlier. This helps in reaching out to them with tailored solutions at the right time along with building a higher value proposition for them which will encourage them to start buying again. 

What role do user experience and website optimisation play in preventing cart abandonment and enhancing the online shopping journey?

An optimised and easy-to-navigate website plays a huge role in combating cart abandonment and boosts the online shopping journey. At the same time, better user experience and mobile-friendly platforms also encourage people to spend more time on the e-commerce or retail portal. This makes them more comfortable in terms of online purchases and conversions. 

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