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8 Checkout Mistakes That Lead to Cart Abandonment


The typical eCommerce customer journey involves the potential customer landing on the webpage, having a look at the products, adding the products they like to the cart, checking out and buying the product. 

But oftentimes this process does not flow as smoothly. 

About 3 in 4 customers terminate this journey after they add products to their cart, leading to cart abandonment – the biggest bane in any eCommerce retailer’s life.

Now, we’ve been talking long and hard about the causes behind cart abandonment; it’s solutions and the nuances of creating the perfect abandoned cart email. But now, it’s time to take a deep dive into different points of a user journey on an eCommerce website and try combating cart abandonment on a more molecular level. 

Defining Checkout Abandonment

Let’s start with the checkout page because this is the point that has the most drop-offs and can be fixed pretty easily. It’s not that the customer couldn’t find your site, or that they didn’t like anything on your online store. Those two reasons could be worked on different terms. But the customer had liked and added a product to their cart, and clicked on the checkout button with an intention to buy the product, and then abruptly terminated their session. This is called checkout abandonment. There are multiple reasons that could cause checkout abandonment and this blog will not only take you through the major reasons but also provide solutions to combat the same.

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8 Checkout Mistakes and Their Solutions

Before we proceed with the detailed causes and solutions of checkout abandonment, here’s a graph from Baymard that gives us detailed statistics for each checkout abandonment cause.

checkout abandonment statistics

1. Not Providing Guest Checkout

In an attempt to collect customer data, most online businesses force potential customers to create an account before they make a purchase. This is often time-consuming and can put many customers off. Most customers do not feel comfortable sharing too much of their information online. The outcome? The customer exits their shopping session, without completing their purchase. As seen from the graph, a good 28% of customers abandon their carts for this very reason.

guest checkout

The solution: Guest checkout. Employing guest checkout is a great way to reduce checkout abandonment. It makes the checkout process faster and seamless for customers and makes for a great online shopping experience. You can always ask for the customer’s email id to send shipping updates, in a way to collect user information. If an email id is not enough for the businesses marketing outreach plan, offer incentives to customers if they create an account. Or create strategic popups and hooks to collect user data throughout the website. 

2. Page Layout

Having a clean and intuitive website, but your checkout page is a mess? This could be another reason behind the rising cart abandonment numbers. The checkout page is where your customers trust your business with their data and money. This is where they seal their choice to make a purchase from your online store. No one likes a complicated, messy checkout! A massive 21% of customers abandon their carts for this very small reason.

checkout page layout

The solution: Changing up the layout of your checkout page should be at the very top of your priority list. Simplify the process as much as you can ( remove unnecessary steps!), the text should be easy to read, and terms and conditions displayed clearly. An easy checkout process ends the shopping experience on a good note for customers, helping form better bonds.

3. Privacy Issues

One of the major drawbacks when it comes to online shopping is the lack of human touch. And where there is a lack of human touch, there can be a lack of credibility and trust. Can the store be trusted with the user data and money? Will the provided payment details be used only for the intended purpose? In this digital era where data theft is at an all-new high, customers have every right to be varied. But what is your business doing to garner the customer’s trust?

privacy issues

The solution: Offer a high-quality shopping experience right from the start. Ensure that your website looks clean with good loading time and that the page does not crash. Avoid asking for too much information. A great way to garner trust is my peppering trust badges on the cart and checkout pages. Use prominent payment gateways and payment options and display their logos for an added trust element.

4. Customer Data Collection

In this digital era, the competition in the eCommerce space is stiff; online stores strive to give the best personalized shopping experience to their customers in order to land better conversions. Store owners, in an attempt to gather more information about their potential customers, oftentimes have long and elaborate checkout pages. This process takes too much time and customers usually find the process cumbersome and start mentally debating if the product is worth this hassle. If the answer is no, they wouldn’t think twice before exiting the page. At the end of the day, the question should be, is the customer data more important than the customer or the sale?

customer data collection

The solution: Nothing can be more important than creating a great bond with a customer. And the best way to do that is by providing the best customer experience, throughout the site, including the checkout page. There is absolutely no need to collect every single piece of data before the customer completes a purchase. There’s a good chance that you may lose the customer in the pursuit of collecting data. Collecting just the basic data, such as email ids and phone numbers are a great start. Other essential data can always be collected later on, through emails. If collecting data beforehand is non-negotiable for your business, then incentivize the process to hook the customer.

5. Inflated Costs

The display of inflated costs on the checkout page is single-handedly the biggest reason ( about 50%) behind high cart abandonment rates. Now, why do the costs seem inflated on the checkout page? Most websites display only the product cost on the product pages, excluding the taxes, shipping, and other potential costs. When these additional costs are added to the cost of the product on the checkout page, the price seems inflated, making the customer feel defrauded, or that the product has slipped out of their set budget.

inflated cost at checkout

The solution: It’s always a good move to display all costs upfront on the site. Add a disclaimer that the displayed cost is the final cost that a customer can expect on their checkout page. If it’s not possible to do so( shipping charges can differ from place to place), add a disclaimer that the cost is excluded from the additional costs, this way the customer will be informed, and not have an unpleasant surprise on the checkout page. 

6. Unsatisfactory Shipping/ Returns Policy

The biggest risk when it comes to ordering items online is whether the customer will like the product in person and/or if they will receive their order on time. This is why customers look for a satisfactory return and shipping policy before placing an order. If the shipping timeframe or the returns policy is not to their liking, the customer may not go ahead with the transaction.

shipping policy

The solution: It’s imperative for any online store to have a good return policy. It doesn’t have to be a generous 30-day return policy, even a 7-day policy will do for most customers. Focus on the shipping and safe delivery of your products. Partner with the most trustworthy delivery services that can get your products delivered on time, especially for time-bound festivals such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.

7. Limited Payment Options

With new payment options sprouting up every now and then, it’s important to keep your website updated to accommodate most methods, if not all. How can a customer make the sale, if the suitable payment option is unavailable on the site?

The solution: Adding more payment options is the only way to solve this problem. Agreed, It can take quite some time to set new payment options up, but the output is definitely worth the work. Credit/Debit cards, UPI, payment apps, cover at least the major players in every payment options category. Put up logos of the most popular trustworthy payment gateways and options you have available, this also helps in improving the trust factor of your business. 

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8. Lack of Support

Having a strong support team is important for any online business. But most businesses do not have a clear CTA on the checkout page. It may be the fag end of the user journey, but that doesn’t mean that the customer may not have doubts and queries in the last stage of the transaction. The payment might have failed, or the customer may be having trouble with a coupon code. It’s too much work for a customer to quit the payment session, go back to the website’s homepage and look for a support team. 

The solution: Online shopping is all about convenience. Make the experience as easy for your customers as possible. Add a clear cut CTA to the support. Or you can also link to support material such as FAQs and other do’s and don’ts. Anticipate any roadblock or query your customer might face and have the answer ready. 

Wrapping Up

There is no way to completely eradicate the menace of abandoned carts, but that doesn’t mean that businesses can’t innovate new ways to bring these numbers down. The points mentioned in this blog is not a one-off, but a constant cycle of experimentation and work to keep websites working at their optimum performance in order to combat cart abandonment. If you’re looking for unique ideas to bring down cart abandonment rates? Check out our ultimate guide on abandoned cart emails.

Archana Gunasekaran

Archana Gunasekaran

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