Why do customers abandon shopping carts -- and what makes the mobile experience so different? The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 72% across all devices. But according to our recent study, mobile devices (excluding digital downloads) have an astounding 97% abandonment rate. Here are some techniques for improving the mobile shopping experience.
Why visitors abandon mobile shopping carts
There are two main reasons that customers place items into shopping carts but then don’t complete their purchases.
Price: There may be a price objection -- in particular the cost of shipping and handling -- as well as the desire to look for a promo code or better deal somewhere else.
Timing: Consumers may not be ready to buy, but are putting items in a shopping cart so they can easily find them when they are ready.
While both of these apply to mobile devices as well, there are three additional factors that marketers must consider to better understand mobile’s inflated abandonment rate:
1. Device purpose
Consumers who own a PC, tablet and smartphone use each device for different things and at different times of the day:
Desktop: Primary purchasing device, the desktop is safe, secure, and stores their information
Smartphone: Getting up-to-date information on the move; keeping in touch, socializing
Tablet: Browsing and entertainment
Generalizations are always risky, and it would be wrong to say that there are no purchases made on smartphones. Mobile ecommerce is growing very fast, but from a small base.
2. Device usability
Two times out of three, a tablet will be used for a mobile purchase; the screens are larger. Larger fingers don’t mesh well with small touchscreen keyboards on phones, as we all know only too well from our own experiences entering passwords.
However, there are practical optimization techniques you can use to make it easier to enter data on mobile devices. For starters, understanding where a customer’s attention goes on mobile devices can help predict better call-to-action button placement. The top, left-hand corner gets the highest attention. For example, if customers are focused on finding store opening hours and locations on their mobile devices, then make this information prominent in the top, left-hand corner.
And if customers are adding items into their mobile carts, there’s a good chance they are saving that purchase for later. So it makes sense to send them a mobile-optimized email reminder, with a link back to their cart, that they can use to purchase once back at their PC.
The absence of mobile payments contributes significantly to the 97% abandonment rate. Entering payment details and getting it all right the first time is far too difficult on a mobile device.
The payment industry is working to address this problem, but if you store credit card information with customer account details, you can make it very easy to purchase for existing customers.
If this doesn’t work for you, I suggest you don’t waste your time trying to optimize the mobile purchase process until there are better payment options available.
It is important to consider that adding an item to a shopping cart is a step toward the purchase process -- a signal of intent (so make it easy to do on all devices). And following up with email remarketing will ensure you get the sale -- although through a different device.