Why Do Online Shoppers Leave So Many Items In Their Carts?

Price Matters Most Online
Why do consumers leave so many items in their carts when they shop online?

That question has become the bane of eCommerce’s existence and one that numerous retailers have been trying (and failing) to solve.

In 2014 alone, about $4 trillion in merchandise was simply abandoned and never purchased in online shopping carts by consumers. Breaking that number down even further, the online shopping cart abandonment rate is 61 percent on desktop, 71 percent on tablets and 81 percent on mobile.

Think about that for a moment — a staggering 81 percent of customers who want to buy things on their mobile phone abandon that process at the checkout experience.

What’s going on here?

Quite simply put, making shoppers jump through too many “hoops” in the online purchasing process by having to fill out numerous fields before they can even place their order is off-putting and inconvenient. And shoppers don’t like things that are off-putting and inconvenient.

Business Insider’s analyst firm, BI Intelligence, recently studied the issue of shopping cart abandonment and tried to figure out why customers typically quit on the process.

What they found is that 46.1 percent of all cart abandonments occur at the payment stage; 37.4 percent occur at checkout login; 35.7 percent occur when the customer sees the actual shipping costs and then reconsiders; 20.9 percent occur when the customer has to enter their billing address; and 20 percent occur when the customer has to enter their shipping or delivery address.

“Four of the top five reasons users are bailing out of the checkout process stem from the logistics of entering information through desktop or mobile. Only one reason, the shipping costs, actually had to do with price,” according to Business Insider. “This shows that eCommerce retailers are coming up short with regard to the checkout process. Lengthy or complicated checkout forms, such as entering shipping addresses or payment information, account for approximately 39 percent of U.S. cart abandonments.”

Business Insider found that online shopping cart abandonment was actually increasing. In 2013, 74 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned by shoppers, up from 72 percent in 2012 and 69 percent in 2011.

According to a report from the analyst firm Retail Next, online will account for or influence 59 percent of U.S. retail purchases by 2018, but 55 percent of shoppers who buy online said they would prefer to visit an actual brick-and-mortar store to make their purchases.

Some retailers and companies have already begun exploring ways to improve the mobile checkout experience.

One of those companies is Moovweb, a company that works with retailers, like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and GNC, to increase reach, engagement and conversions for mobile customers.

“The mobile web is where your customers are, so we think it’s time you made the most of it,” according to Moovweb. “Our products enrich every part of the mobile web experience, from discovery to checkout, to drive the highest conversions. And with Apple Pay for the web on the way, we’re ready to help you win Black Friday.”

Moovweb says that its “optimized” checkout flow improves conversion rates by 25 percent.

Moovweb also recently announced a partnership with Apple to optimize its platform for Apple Pay’s long-anticipated debut on mobile web.

“The shopping cart abandonment rates on mobile web are disastrous,” Ajay Kapur, CEO and founder of Moovweb, said in a statement announcing the Apple partnership. “Mobile’s inherently short sessions paired with the frustration of manually entering credit card information causes businesses to lose a staggering number of customers at the final stage of the path to purchase. With Apple Pay’s impending expansion into mobile web, we expect to see a whole new era of mobile shopping.”

So, to recap, customers want an easy online checkout experience, especially when it comes to mobile. Retailers would be wise to explore further ways to streamline and simplify the checkout process if they want to see less customers abandoning products in their carts while shopping online.