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Are You Getting a Handle on Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Posted By: SGK October 24, 2012

It frustrates online retailers when shoppers abandon a shopping cart before purchasing. It’s also difficult to know why the shopper bolted, because there are so many possible reasons, and those reasons have evolved as shoppers’ habits are impacted by factors like the adoption of smartphones, better checkout technologies and new online information sources. But every retailer has to get a handle on it – in fact, so does any company that wants “conversions,” including a business-to-business company that simply wants a visitor to download a white paper or request a free sample.

A good place to start optimizing your checkout system is this infographic, Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics. High shipping costs (44 percent) is the most-cited reason for abandonment, followed by “not ready to purchase” (41 percent), high product price (25 percent) and “saving for later consideration” (24 percent). For all retailers, shipping and product price points are the result of a relatively straightforward analysis: what does it cost to produce and ship the product, what are other retailers charging and what will shoppers pay?

We say “relatively” not because pricing easy but because the “not ready to purchase” and “saving for later” issues are harder to get clear answers on. And you’ll notice that they’re essentially as influential, in percentage terms, as price.

To get more clarity, you have to think like a shopper marketer and augment that with the improving technology for tracking your visitors’ web journey before purchase. A case in point is research by C3 Metrics, 37% of Online Transactions Exit Purchase Funnel via Brand Search.

C3’s key point is that marketers should realize that when a branded search is the last click before someone enters your site and makes a purchase, the search is likely “navigational”: the shopper is already fairly committed to the purchase and simply wants to find your store. In other words, don’t overspend on branded search thinking that it’s the decision “trigger.” Some of that money is better spent on “upper funnel” marketing in other internet realms, like social media.

For more on shopper marketing, the new purchase funnel and how technology and analytics are impacting the retailer/shopper relationship today, download the just-published SGK Patterns: Aligning to the New Shopper.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics