This article originally appeared in Progressive Grocer on December 12, 2016.
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest reasons for lost sales, with more than 68 percent of online shopping carts abandoned before the transaction is completed, according to a study by Baymard Institute. If two out of three people that came into your grocery store left before buying anything, you would be out of business!
Although cart abandonment can occur at any point when a shopper feels frustrated or lost, we’re going to focus on the checkout process, as 46% of cart abandonments occur at this stage.
In order to provide a better understanding of why your shoppers are jumping ship at this critical point in their shop, we’ve narrowed down the three most common reasons for cart abandonment at the point of checkout and what steps you need to take to keep them on track:
Reason #1: Unexpected costs
Almost two thirds of consumers abandon their carts because extra costs are too high (shipping, tax, fees), and one quarter abandon their carts because they couldn’t see or calculate their total order cost up-front, according to the Baymard Institute study.
The Solution: An ever-present and accurate cart total
You need to ensure that there are absolutely no surprises for your shoppers when it’s time to check out. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- The estimated total should always be visible during the online shop. Include the total in your website header and lock the header in place.
- The estimated total should include all added products, any coupons or offers redeemed, and all extra costs like tax, shipping and handling fees.
- The total should adjust in real time as items are added and offers are redeemed, and should automatically re-calculate taxes and associated fees.
If the fulfilment method (delivery or pickup) will significantly impact the estimated total, ask your shoppers to choose their method at the start of their shop. Communicate the value of making this choice (an accurate total) and if they decide not to provide this information then communicate that their total is “only an estimate that might change based on delivery method chosen”.
Reason #2: Limited Fulfilment options
If a shopper goes through an entire online shop and at checkout they can’t get the delivery or pickup time that they want, there is a good chance they will give up.
It’s all about expectations. In the same way that shoppers will abandon carts due to unexpected costs, they will leave if they cannot get the delivery / pickup time slot that they were expecting.
The Solution: The option to pre-reserve a timeslot
Offer your shoppers the opportunity to pre-reserve a timeslot at the start of their shopping trip, or at any point throughout it. Communicate the benefit of reserving this up front and you will prevent any frustration that they would otherwise experience from not getting the time slot that they want.
As a bonus, this will accelerate the checkout flow, as there will be one less one step for them to complete.
Reason #3: Complicated checkout process
Lengthy or complicated checkout forms, such as entering shipping addresses or payment information, account for approximately 39% of U.S. cart abandonments, according to a recent report by Business Intelligence.
The last thing your shoppers want to do is hang around longer than they need to once they are done their shop. This is a key moment in the purchase journey and a quick, painless checkout will determine whether a sale is completed or lost.
The Solution: Make the entire process quick & painless
It’s the details that count. Make every single step as quick and easy as possible. Here are a few tips:
- When providing a delivery time slot, highlight which day is today and tomorrow. Customers don’t always know the date and shouldn’t have to look it up.
- Allow the shopper to remove an item with multiple units from an order in a single click, rather than having to press the “minus” button multiple times, or edit the quantity and type in “0”.
- Allow the shopper to save their credit card info in order to speed up payment, so they don’t have to enter it again on subsequent transactions. Support Apple / Samsung pay so that they don’t have to add a credit card at all.
- Within the checkout flow, clearly outline what the current step is and how many steps are left, setting clear expectations and creating the feeling that they are “almost done”
Cart abandonment is a very real problem and can be detrimental to your sales. The good news is there are easy solutions that you can implement around the checkout experience, like setting expectations around cost and fulfilment, as well as a very simple checkout process, which will create a noticeable impact on your abandonment rate. Go ahead and get started today!