Five Reasons Skittish Aussie Shoppers Abandon Carts

The average abandoned cart rate currently sits at 69.8%. That means that only 30% of people who put products in their cart actually make it all the way through checkout. It’s disheartening, but it’s a fact of life. Shoppers get distracted, they find a better deal, or they are simply window shopping.

By ClearSale Country Manager Australia Ralph Kooi.

While these reasons are hard to argue with, there are some things that merchants can optimise to reduce the chance of people leaving their cart without buying. In a survey of Australian consumers we conducted in May of 2021, we discovered five fixable reasons that shoppers abandon their carts.

1. Shipping was too expensive or would take too long

Consumers today are all about convenience. Amazon’s next-day delivery service has given everyone incredibly high expectations for shipping, and if a brand can’t promise that a product will arrive in a timely manner, they’re going to go elsewhere.

As well as shipping taking too long, consumers don’t want to be slapped with excessive shipping costs. For many, the worst thing is making it all the way to checkout without realising the shipping costs haven’t been added to the total. It’s a sure-fire way to lose trust with consumers and have them abandon their cart without a second thought.

The easiest way to avoid shoppers abandoning their cart for shipping-related issues is for merchants to be upfront from the start. Letting customers know shipping timelines and exactly how much it’s going to cost reduces any nasty surprises and will convert more customers. Some brands offer customers free shipping if they spend over a certain amount. This increases the average order value and boosts overall profitability.

2. Extra hidden costs and fees

Australian shoppers are quick to abandon their carts when hidden costs and fees are added on at checkout. What was originally a reasonably priced purchase suddenly becomes very costly thanks to delivery fees, taxes, or import charges.

It can be tempting for merchants to hide away these hidden fees until the last moment when the customer appears to be more invested in the purchase, but this can actually do the opposite: turn shoppers off and lose trust.

It’s important for brands to be upfront from the start about any extra costs that a shopper might incur. They should either link to a policy page where customers can read all about any extra costs, or have it clearly stated on the relevant product pages.

3. Complicated or lengthy checkout process

When someone is in “buy mode”, they want to purchase as quickly as possible. The more hoops they have to jump through, the easier it is for them to abandon their cart or change their mind.

Confusing checkout processes are a key reason Australian shoppers abandon their cart, with good reason. The technology available today makes it easier than ever to create a slick experience from start to finish.

Providing frictionless payment options can help convert more customers and streamline the process. Buy now pay later (BNPL) services and subscription payments can make customers feel more comfortable making a purchase.

4. Doesn’t trust the site with credit card info

The survey found that Australian shoppers regularly abandon their carts because they don’t trust a site with their credit card information. Shoppers are more sceptical than ever when it comes to handing over their data, so this isn’t really a surprise, but it’s up to brands to make sure they’re putting measures in place to keep customers feeling happy and safe.

Customers want to be reassured that their private financial information will be kept safe, particularly if they haven’t shopped with the brand before.

Putting protocols in place to reassure customers can go a long way. Small features, like security badges, showcasing accepted credit card companies, and prominently displaying a privacy policy can make all the difference.  On top of this, it’s a good idea for merchants to implement an ecommerce fraud protection solution to keep both their customers and themselves safe.

5. Needed to create an account

Shoppers know that if they sign up with a brand, they’re going to be bombarded with emails. Aside from this, creating an account also marks an extra step in the purchasing process, which is another opportunity for shoppers to abandon their cart and go elsewhere.

For many shoppers, creating an account just isn’t something they want to do. It’s another password they have to remember, and another set of emails they have to receive every day.

Brands should give customers the power to create their own journey. Instead of forcing shoppers to create an account to make a purchase, merchants can offer them the chance to checkout as a guest where they only need to supply minimal information.

Not only does this reduce the amount of friction, but it helps establish trust with shoppers who are jaded from shopping with too many brands.

Reduce cart abandonment rate

Customers are going to abandon carts. It’s a fact of life. But, if merchants focus on implementing these measures and reducing the amount of friction in the checkout process, they can claw back some of the sales that might otherwise have been lost. It’s crucial that brands are upfront with shipping and other costs, simplify the checkout process, and make sure they’re putting security measures in place to reassure customers.


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