Abandonment Issues

Throughout my 10-plus years covering online marketing and commerce, one nagging issue that’s remained top-of-mind for all in the space has been shopping cart abandonment and how to stop it from happening.

In fact, a survey released by PayPal on June 23 showed that 45 percent of online shoppers abandoned their carts multiple times in the three weeks prior to the survey, which was conducted May 12 to May 15 by comScore. It polled 553 active shoppers who recently had abandoned shopping carts.

Throughout my 10-plus years covering online marketing and commerce, one nagging issue that’s remained top-of-mind for all in the space has been shopping cart abandonment and how to stop it from happening.

In fact, a survey released by PayPal on June 23 showed that 45 percent of online shoppers abandoned their carts multiple times in the three weeks prior to the survey, which was conducted May 12 to May 15 by comScore. It polled 553 active shoppers who recently had abandoned shopping carts.

Another finding: The average value of goods in abandoned shopping carts in the U.S. is $109.

High shipping costs, security concerns and lack of convenience were cited as the main reasons survey respondents abandoned their carts.

Although high shipping costs was cited as the No. 1 reason for cart abandonment, 40 percent of respondents said if they’d known shipping costs up front they might have completed their purchases.

Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents abandoned their carts because they wanted to comparison shop. Another 36 percent didn’t have enough money after shipping and handling charges were added to totals. Twenty-seven percent of respondents who abandoned their carts did so to search for coupons, although a third of those shoppers later returned to the same site to buy. An additional 20 percent purchased the items at brick-and-mortar stores or competitors’ Web sites.

Other reasons shoppers abandon their carts include the following:

  • 26 percent wanted to shop offline;
  • 24 percent couldn’t find preferred pay options;
  • 23 percent said the item was unavailable at checkout;
  • 22 percent couldn’t find customer support; and
  • 21 percent were concerned about the security of credit card data.

While this information may not solve your abandoned shopping cart problems, maybe it will give you some ideas as to how to improve them. If you make customer service easy to find on your site, for example, your abandonment rates may go down.

This is an excellent topic for an open dialogue. Have any of you seen improved shopping cart abandonment rates based on a strategy or technique you’ve implemented? If so, let us know by leaving a comment here. We’d love to hear from you!

Retailers Hope Free Shipping Day Improves Sales

Although the holiday shopping season may be shaping up to be a little better than expected for e-tailers, many are participating in the inaugural Free Shipping Day, taking place today.
On Free Shipping Day, participating merchants are offering free shipping to online shoppers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.
The day, which will become an annual event a la Cyber Monday, is yet another last-ditch effort to pull more sales from what could be a make-or-break time for many.

Although the holiday shopping season may be shaping up to be a little better than expected for e-tailers, many are participating in the inaugural Free Shipping Day, taking place today.
On Free Shipping Day, participating merchants are offering free shipping to online shoppers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.
The day, which will become an annual event a la Cyber Monday, is yet another last-ditch effort to pull more sales from what could be a make-or-break time for many.
E-tailers have embraced the idea, which was hatched by Luke Knowles, co-founder of FreeShipping.org, an online destination for consumers hoping to find e-tailers that offer free shipping deals. Participating merchants this year include: Amazon.com, Bloomingdale’s, Brookstone, Circuit City, Coldwater Creek, Crate & Barrel, Endless.com, Nordstrom, Sur La Table, Target and Zappos. There is no cost for retailers or shoppers to participate.
The organizers hope Free Shipping Day will join the ranks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as known parts of American shopping culture. Knowles is banking on Americans’ affliction with procrastination to fuel the day into becoming a popular annual event. What’s more, his stats show that online shipping slows considerably after Dec. 12.
As for next year’s Free Shipping Day, Knowles will consult with participating e-tailers to figure out the latest day possible during the holiday season they can guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. That day will be determined next month and likely fall between Dec. 17 and 19.