June 20, 2019
Why are Aussies abandoning their online shopping carts?
If you’re anything like us, you love to shop online. We know we’re not alone when the worldwide annual total spend in online sales is forecasted to hit 2.2 trillion for 2019! What that statistic doesn’t show is the amount of times we have pressed ‘add to cart’ with little to no intention to purchase. It turns out that in Australia we have the worlds highest cart abandonment rate, with figures showing that over 60% of us are dropping off at some stage in the checkout process.

The industries that find themselves most affected by this trend are, in order: finance, charity (cue gasps), travel, retail and fashion. Gaming on the other hand, sees the lowest abandonment rates.

As digital marketers, you hear a lot of talk about engagement and expanding your audience, however an engaged consumer is not always guaranteed to buy.  Statistics show rates of abandonment are at their worst between 6pm and 9pm and as a whole, and it’s a trend that appears to be on the rise.  A number of key barriers to purchase fulfilment have been identified and are worth considering if you are an e-commerce retailer.

  • Extra costs: shipping costs are the number one reason for cart abandonment. Consider absorbing this cost into product or service pricing to lower the number of abandoned carts your business experiences. If you have to have shipping costs, be upfront about it and set the expectation early. 
  • Forced sign ups: not giving your customer the option to check out as a guest and forcing them to create an account can also be a red flag for consumers. Forming trust and facilitating an easy checkout should be the first priority. You need an initial purchase before you think about creating returning customers.
  • Complications: if there are too many steps, any errors or the site is too slow you could be losing a third of your potential customers. Ease of purchase is a huge advantage! Give your customer the best possible experience. This is where having an option to save details for future checkouts is advantageous.
  • Difficult returns: make it as easily as you viably can. Again, customer trust plays a big role in converting. If your customer feels they have the safety net of easy returns, they’re more likely to hit ‘confirm’.
  • Security check: security protected sites and including security badges such as those from the Norton extension build that trust we keep ranting on about. 
  • Cost: this is a no brainer. Consumers often flag this as their reason for not purchasing. This is where promotions can be utilised to get consumers over the line. Your cart is suddenly much more attractive when there is a free shipping or discount code on offer. Of course, the numbers need to be crunched and logistics need to be weighed up when considering a promotion. 

Whilst looking to increase sales conversions is important, it is just as important to recognise that an abandoned cart isn’t always something you can control or a bad thing. For some, their shopping cart is a wishlist and you must consider it as an opportunity to gauge your visitors intent.  It’s the e-version of window shopping! A consumer purchase pathway is rarely linear or straightforward so consider an abandoned cart a compliment to your brand and an opportunity to make use of retargeting tools to drive that final sale. Having a robust and multichannel approach to your marketing is, as always, the best place to start.