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Why do we abandon baskets online?

By Anna Metcalfe | 07 Oct, 2015

We all get frustrated at the high level of shopping basket abandonments, reported at around 67% of all online baskets, but many would argue that this is just part of the buying process and it presents plenty of opportunities in itself.

In this blog, we look at why people abandon baskets and in the future we’ll consider how you can create a very rewarding strategy for those that choose not to shop with you…yet.

The facts can haunt you. 7 out of 10 will abandon their basket. 99% of visitors will not shop with you on their first visit. The lost income projection is huge. But is this really any different to a high street retailer? Let’s look at the key reasons why shoppers decide to abandon their basket, using an interesting report by Worldplay.

Reason 1: presented with unexpected costs (56%)

Surprises are not a good thing where money is concerned. Having chosen the goods that they wish to buy, they don’t want to find an unexpected cost is to be added. This might be surprisingly high postage costs or perhaps a card processing fee. The clearer you can make the communication of costs BEFORE they shop, the lower your level of abandoned baskets will be.

Reason 2: just browsing (37%)

Another report highlights the frustrating fact that the vast majority of shoppers will not buy on their first visit. In fact here is an interesting breakdown to give you an idea:

  • 30% purchase in less than 20 minutes
  • 50% purchase in 20 minutes to an hour
  • 60% purchase in 1 to 3 hours
  • 65% purchase in 3 to 12 hours
  • 72% purchase in 12-24 hours
  • 80% purchase in 3-7 days
  • 95% purchase in 1-2 weeks
  • 100% purchase in more than 2 weeks

Whether this stacks up for your business or not, it highlights the point clearly. Keeping in touch with customers during their first few days and weeks of knowing you is really important and can help to move them towards purchasing faster. But don’t over-do it as that can have the opposite effect!

Reason 3: found a better price elsewhere (36%)

We’ve all done this one! Does this mean that we’re doomed to compete on price alone? No. Whilst price clearly does matter, many other factors are at play and it seems it also depends on the type and value or purchase. For example, research suggests that a far higher percentage of baskets are abandoned when the purchase total is low. Abandonment is much lower on higher value items.

Whatever the reason and purchase value, you need to be quick to communicate factors such as free delivery (if available), fast delivery, customer support and any awards or accreditations. Highlight the strengths that you possess and try to make the price less important. That said, price competitiveness is clearly a key issue when it is so easy to view the competition so make sure you’re generally comparable.

Reasons 4 -10

The list goes on and so at this stage, the most important thing is for you to consider the reasons for abandoned baskets and consider how you might respond to them. With that in mind, here’s the remaining seven to ponder:

4: overall price too expensive (32%)

5: decided against buying (26%)

6: website navigation too complicated (25%)

7: website crashed (24%)

8: process was taking too long (24%)

9: excessive payment security checks (18%)

10: concerns about payment security (17%)

Anna Metcalfe
About Anna Metcalfe

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