Shopping Cart Abandonment – Seller’s Fault or Consumer Behavior?

Shopping Cart Abandonment – Seller’s Fault or Consumer Behavior?

By Chris Crum – Wed, 06/09/2010 – 2:21pm.

Why Are People Leaving Without Buying?

Shopping cart abandonment is a problem that continues to plague e-commerce sites. It’s certainly a topic we’ve discussed at SmallBusinessNewz in the past.

How do you keep people from leaving without buying? Tell us about your strategy.

There are certainly things you can do to optimize your online buying experience in efforts to reduce shopping cart abandonment, but it will likely never be enough to keep abandonment from happening at all.

Forrester Research recently put out a report looking at shopping cart abandonment. The firm says:

Despite improvements in site design and increased consumer comfort with online purchasing, 88% of Web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction. This is the same percentage as five years ago, suggesting that retailers have yet to address the primary drivers of cart abandonment: frustration with the amount of shipping costs, unpreparedness to make a purchase, and a desire to comparison-shop for a lower price. Cart abandonment highlights the opportunity for retailers to recover lost sales by clearing the path to purchase, clarifying shipping prices and delivery times up front, as well as testing various checkout scenarios.

SeeWhy Founder Charles Nicholls offered us some commentary on the subject (elaborated on in his blog post). “As website visitors gain online experience, even more visitors will abandon their shopping carts, and online comparison shopping will become ever more commonplace,” he says.

“We already know that highly-educated, experienced and wealthy shoppers are more likely to use voucher codes or look for them online,” says Nicholls. “Forrester found that web buyers who abandon shopping carts spend more online than those who don’t. What this tells us is that visitors who abandoned shopping carts are very valuable: higher income customers that are more tech savvy and use this knowledge to comparison shop and get better deals online.”

Among the stats he references specifically are:


–  More than two-thirds of shopping cart abandoners say they like to shop around before making a purchase.

– Nearly one-half of shopping cart abandoners say that they plan to conduct more online research before purchasing in order to get the best price.

“Despite optimization of shopping cart processes, shopping cart abandonment is here to stay,” Nicholls concludes. “This is in part because the top causes of shopping cart abandonment are not addressed by shopping cart optimization, because they are behavioral issues: website visitors not yet ready to buy, looking for a better deal, or concerned about the cost of shipping and handling, etc.”

What would you suggest to beyond the typical optimization processes to keep buyers from abandoning shopping carts?

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One Response to Shopping Cart Abandonment – Seller’s Fault or Consumer Behavior?

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