5 Mistakes E-Commerce Companies Make that Cause Customers to Abandon Their Shopping Carts

Blog Post04/30/2018

It’s one of the biggest pain points for ecommerce sites: nearly 70% of customers load their shopping carts with products – and then mysteriously disappear, according to research by the Baymard Institute. For mobile commerce, the number is even more alarming: 97% of mobile transactions are abandoned.Forrester Research estimates that ecommerce companies lose $31 billion in revenue by watching the majority of their customers abandon their shopping carts.

There are many reasons that customers walk away from purchases on ecommerce sites. Some are inherent to the shopper: they weren’t ready to buy, they found a better deal, they were surprised by the total cost, they didn’t get free shipping … the list goes on.

But many consumers ditch their shopping carts out of frustration over a bad customer experience, including time-sucking checkouts, slow-as-molasses websites, clunky user interfaces, and security concerns. Put simply, customers want shopping and checkout to be an effortless experience.

Ecommerce companies that don’t meet this standard may invest significant marketing dollars to draw customers to their sites – but will fail to convert them to buyers over annoyances that can be easily fixed.

Discover 5 things consumers hate about ecommerce sites, and what companies can do to avoid them

  1. CAPTCHA this. CAPTCHA is an extra step in the checkout process that demands buyers select certain images or enter a sequence of random numbers and letters on a site to prove they’re humans and not robots. Some consumers struggle to decipher these blurry images, and research shows that this frustration cuts customer conversion rates by more than 3%. The new audio CAPTCHAs fare even worse with a 50% give-up rate, according to research by Stanford University. Some retail sites instead choose to build “honey-pots” to catch the bots. Honey-pots are hidden fields buried within the form that bots will 'read'. For example, a hidden check-box or input which when selected or filled-out rejects the form submission.
  2. Fraud accusations. Legacy fraud and identity management systems can struggle to keep up with today’s fraudsters, and these unsophisticated platforms can lead to “false positives” that insult good customers. About 30% of transactions declined due to suspected fraud are legitimate, reports CardNotPresent.com. And a whopping $118 billion is left on the table every year due to wrongful rejections, states Javelin’s Future-Proofing Card Authorization study. Besides lost revenue, companies suffer wasted marketing spend, damaged brand reputation and the loss of angry customers who take their business to the competition. Moving toward an integrated fraud prevention and identity management system rather than siloes of point-solutions enables you to provide a smooth customer experience while protecting your bottom line.
  3. Forced accounts. Research shows that 22% of shoppers abandon their carts if there is no guest checkout. Creating an account is more than they’re willing to commit and can be viewed as an annoyance. Others are simply uncomfortable giving out personal information. While returns, exchanges and refunds can be a hassle without an account, a guest checkout is most beneficial to those least likely to have frequent orders from the same customers and is fairly simple to implement. Evaluate your business strategy to determine what’s best for your customer.
  4. Requiring too much information. Some customers become uneasy if you ask for too much personal information at checkout. To gain trust, stick to the most important information required to complete their order. If you really think additional information would be helpful, wait until the purchase is made and then offer an incentive, such as faster checkout in the future for shoppers who complete your form.
  5. Long and confusing checkout. Online customers won’t settle for anything less than a smooth, streamlined experience. Too many pages and unnecessary forms between your shop and checkout will send consumers bouncing to another site. Shopping carts should also be easy to edit and leave to continue shopping. Baymard estimates that 28% of carts were abandoned because of a checkout process that was “too long/complicated.” Keep your checkout process simple and eliminate unneeded steps.

Shoppers are most likely to finish their purchases if the process is simple and quick. Security measures like difficult passwords, CAPTCHAs, or cumbersome processes that slow checkout can cause friction that prompt disgruntled consumers to walk away.

Retailers have the need to balance effective security measures with a simple and quick process that provides a positive customer experience. To learn more about the challenges ecommerce companies face and how TransUnion can help, contact us today.

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