How the eCommerce Industry Can Combat Cart Abandonment

The pandemic has boosted the adoption of e-commerce as consumers have turned to accessing all kinds of essential services online. The convenience and flexibility offered by online transactions, a growing internet base, smartphone penetration and favorable market conditions will continue to drive e-commerce in India.

Last year, the e-commerce market was pegged at $84 billion in India, which is expected to grow to $350 billion by 2030. Globally, e-commerce sales were estimated at around 4.9 trillion in 2021, and could reach $7.4 trillion by 2025.

The catch: cart abandonment

The phenomenon of shoppers browsing online stores but abandoning the cart without completing the transaction (via checkout) is cart abandonment. And in India, as around the world, shopping cart abandonment is a perennial and crippling problem for e-commerce players. The average cart abandonment rate in India is around 51%, according to India Marketers. Universally, the average e-commerce cart abandonment rate is around 75%.

Worse, those numbers skyrocket during holidays and parties, when the war for customer attention reaches a frenzy. For e-commerce entities, losing more than half of customers to abandoned carts only inflates customer acquisition costs (CAC via advertising and marketing).

The good news: you can fight cart abandonment by understanding why customers leave their goods without completing a purchase. It is possible to mitigate this problem and stem potential revenue losses with the appropriate countermeasures.

Here are some reasons for this peculiar behavior and ways to counter cart abandonment:

Unexpected/high delivery costs: Hidden or unexpected delivery costs are the reason why visitors abandon their purchases. Hidden tax costs can also lead to abandonment.
Tip: Make sure all costs are mentioned in advance.

The need to create an account: Nearly 1/4th of customers abandon their cart when asked to create an account.

After spending a considerable amount of time browsing the online store, selecting items, and then waiting for the cart to load, your customer’s patience is wearing thin. Having to create an account to complete the transaction is sure to break the trip. Instead of having to create the account, visitors prefer to abandon the cart. After all, online shoppers expect convenience, not complicated procedures.
Tip: Offer the option to checkout as a guest and avoid creating a regular guest account.

Designed for large screens: A website designed to be displayed on mobile phones can easily be scaled to be displayed on a tablet, laptop or PC. But if the design is intended for large screens, it cannot be easily minimized to be seen on smaller screens. This will lead to reduced clarity and distortion.

Remember that over 50% of online shoppers transact through their smartphone. If shoppers have to constantly zoom in and out to see a product properly, it can ruin their shopping experience.
Tip: Make your layout mobile-first or at least mobile-friendly for better customer conversion.

Tedious Checkout Process: About 1/5th of users may abandon carts if the checkout process is lengthy. Therefore, minimum time and limited steps can result in higher conversions. Consumers prefer to spend more time browsing and buying and less on payment procedures.
Tip: Have a simpler checkout process, allowing for a seamless and frictionless shopping and shopping experience.

Simply browse to buy later: These days, it’s common for a potential buyer to compare prices, find the best deals available, and then decide where to buy. Thus, even if goods are stored in the shopping cart, they can be quickly abandoned for a better offer offered on another site.

Nonetheless, once these customers are satisfied with viewing various brands and products, they will likely come back later and complete the purchase.
Tip: You can’t stop such behavior, but you can better engage them with a pleasant browsing experience that keeps them coming back and completing the purchase process later.

Payment Security Issues: During the checkout process, if a customer finds anything wrong with the site, including outdated layouts, poor quality images, design flaws, lack of a padlock icon or an SSL certificate, etc., the cart could be abandoned immediately without a second thought.
Tip: Make sure all security measures are in place, as well as up-to-date designs to avoid unwanted security issues.

Absence of express shipping: This may seem counterintuitive, as data indicates that shoppers don’t like high shipping costs. But there are times when expensive items or gifts for specific occasions need to be delivered on time. In such situations, visitors will abandon the purchase for a site that promises express deliveries if an online order cannot be delivered the next day. Users are willing to pay a premium for express shipping since cost is not a constraint.
Tip: Provide express delivery (even if it’s chargeable) for the discerning shopper. Such an option can increase sales.

Unsatisfactory return policy: Online shoppers always check if a return policy is available before checking out. Although this policy is provided, strict deadlines or related constraints should not be imposed.
Tip: Have a return policy with no fees involved, which will likely encourage greater conversions.

Lack of customer support: Online shoppers expect fast and convenient service. Many visitors, especially newbies, need help checking out items or paying.
Tip: Have user-friendly features including live chats, bots, FAQs, and other forms of customer support that clarify doubts or resolve payment issues. This will make them more confident and likely to complete the purchase.

Lack of a personalized shopping experience: Customers who visit a site more than once are thrilled when an item they last thought of suddenly appears when they return. It saves time going through an entire catalog repeatedly, especially if they’ve forgotten what caught their eye earlier. Or a personalized thank you note sent with the product can make them feel special.
Tip: Gen Z and millennial consumers expect personalization from their favorite brands. Personalization increases the chances of converting visitors into recurring and loyal customers.

Ultimately, e-commerce players need to ensure their entire buying process is fast yet secure. Such a hassle-free and frictionless consumer experience will improve the trust quotient. Complete the customer journey with a seamless checkout experience to promote greater sales conversions while minimizing cart abandonment rates.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.