Here’s the answer to one of the biggest questions in digital marketing: why consumers abandon carts.
It’s no small problem, given that the desktop abandonment rate ranges between 78% and 82%, according to a new study by Metrical and Skava.
The rate for mobile — a growing percentage of total online shopping — is even higher: 90%. That requires many follow-up emails.
Why do people bolt? The biggest reason is that they are browsing and not ready to commit. But there’s another issue:shipping. Almost 30% of shoppers leave because shipping costs are too high, or are not presented upfront in the browsing process, the study reports.
The latter problem can easily be fixed — with shipping rate calculators or plugins, per the report. Still, the rates are too high for many consumers.
Another cause of attrition is that shoppers are not being taken to the cart page as soon as they add an item to the cart: All they can see is that the item has been added.
But here’s a surprise (for those who easily flummoxed at checkout): Only a tiny percentage leave because the process is too complicated.
Here are the stats:
Whatever the cause, those lost sales can make the difference between profit and loss.
"By reducing cart abandonment rates by just a percentage or two, a retailer can have a dramatic (positive) impact on their top-line revenue,” states Zabe Agha, founder and CEO of Metrical.
Agha continues: "Take, for example, a retailer with an 85% CAR. This means that of the people that added an item to their cart, only 15% converted. If retailers reduced their CAR by just 1.5%, they would add an additional 10% in top-line revenue."
A recent study by Campaigner shows that free shipping is the leading turnaround device in cart abandonment emails. That’s in line with Metrical’s findings, with one difference: Campaigner cites high prices as the third-most prevalent reason for abandonment.
However, Agha warns against overdoing discounts in recapture emails.
"Retailers are constantly jumping to offer discounts to convert shoppers that abandoned their carts,” he says. “Starting with why the shopper left in the first place better allows retailers to tailor their messaging and incentives accordingly. Don’t give away margin when a few extra loyalty points or free or reduced shipping will do."
Yuval Yatskan, VP of marketing at Skava, observes that it was “definitely an a-ha moment to discover that the number one reason for cart abandonment among customers with an intent to buy was too high or otherwise unclear shopping costs. Similarly, the usual suspects such as a cumbersome checking out process or problematic reviews were quite low on the list."