Fear Of Checkout: Emotional Reasons For Cart Abandonment

Email teams often have to guess why consumers are abandoning carts. Triggered reminders typically address price or product issues without getting at the real problem: the shopper’s emotional state. That's judging by "Consumer Trends for 2022," a study by Brandwatch. 

People both buy and do not buy for various reasons. Take these reasons for cart abandonment: 

Insecurity — Consumers may be feeling better financially, but their concerns haven’t entirely disappeared, as shown by these tweets:  

  • My newest hobby is going online shopping when there is a sale, adding stuff I want to the cart, then leaving the tab open for a few days so all of the items in my cart sell out. I don’t feel guilty spending my money, but I also didn’t have to make the decision myself.
  • I love looking at online shops, adding things to my cart and then cry a little bit in the corner bc I’m not even actually buying the items bc i’m trying to save up.



The answer to this inaction may be layaway plans that let a customer pay over time.  

Procrastination — This, too, is tied to anxiety and depression. “One of the knock-on effects of procrastination reported by consumers is filling up virtual shopping charts without finishing the order,” the study notes.  

Wishful Thinking — This type of window shopping spells low purchase intent. Consider these behaviors:

  • When I say I’m “online shopping,” I’m just adding s++t to my cart and leaving it there to collect dust lol.
  • “Adding a million things to my online shopping cart knowing good and well I’m not buying a damn thing.” 

These are difficult issues to address, especially if you don’t know the root causes. 

“While there isn't much brands can do about certain consumer behaviors like window shopping online, investigating cart abandonment could mean finding improvements in the areas that can be controlled (such as poor UX, confusing checkout process, limited payment options, and security concerns).”

Of course, this cuts both ways — some people also complete orders for the wrong reasons, as in:   

  • F**k this pandemic. I can’t keep buying things online just to have something to look forward to.
  • Why do I feel as though I need to order something online every single day?

“While consumers turned to ecommerce as a safer and more convenient option at the beginning of the pandemic, months later that motivation started shifting,” the study observes. “Consumers started using online shopping as a coping mechanism to fight ever-growing quarantine fatigue.”

What are brands supposed to do — stop encouraging impulse buys? 


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