Are Your Checkout Procedures Costing You Sales?

Online purchasing is no longer a niche activity. Many consumers consider buying products and services digitally a normal course of doing things. For many businesses, e-commerce has transformed them from a small shop to a vibrant 24-7 international operation. One area that is concerning is the rate at which consumers are abandoning their shopping carts. New research has come out that provides data on why so many customers do not complete the sale.

shopping-cart-abandonment-2011-300x225● Today, the online shopping cart abandonment rate is just over 70%
● In the past 4 years, it’s risen nearly 25%
● 36% of customers did not complete the sale because they thought the total cost, including shipping, was too high
● 27% did not finish the sale because they wanted to comparison shop before finalizing their purchase
● 41% abandoned their cart because of return policies

What This Means To You

Businesses put a good deal of time, effort and money into attracting customers to their digital storefront. It’s a shame that so much money is lost on the way to purchase. As frustrating as cart abandonment may be to you, imagine it from the consumer’s point of view. They’ve spent time researching products, making a purchase decision and selecting items only to have a roadblock (even just a perceived roadblock) stop them. How likely would you be to return to the online store another time? On average there are 5.6 pages from cart to checkout. In the majority of checkout processes, consumers did not see the shipping costs until the third page.
People shop online for convenience, while you may not stop them from comparison shopping, you can make the processes as painless as possible.
10% of online sites required registration before customers could complete the sale. This can be a major hurdle to overcome. The data you get can be invaluable, but at what cost? Offering a discount for registering or providing data gives you the ability to get then data but does not hinder the consumer.
Most sites tell consumers how many steps there are to checkout. This is important, if a consumer thinks that the process will go on for a long time, they are more likely to abandon the cart.
Besides streamlining the ordering process, also streamline the return process. The easier you make it to return an item. The more likely consumers are to purchase it.
For more information on developing more online revenue, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Center for Media Research; Forester Research: MarketingSherpa, Paypal, comScore


3 responses to “Are Your Checkout Procedures Costing You Sales?

  1. Agree, especially on how some e-shops are not user friendly and interesting to navigate. Good read thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Guys – Thanks for joining the conversation! You’re completely right about navigation problems. Problems compound when they don’t think of things in a mobile world as well.

      • Agree once again, most developers pay attention to desktop version of websites not really thinking realistically at the percentage of people that only browse the web onto tablets and smartphones.

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