Ecommerce Shopping Cart Check Up: Reasons You're Losing Online Sales

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By Miva | December 14, 2017
Illustration of shopper walking away from basket on ecommerce site



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A jaw-dropping 46.1 percent of all shoppers abandon their carts at the payment stage.

High-quality products and a good looking homepage aren’t enough. Do your website analytics suggest that a high percentage of potential customers choose items but then click away without completing a purchase? This phenomenon, known as shopping cart abandonment, is a problem that every online business must address.

Gaining insight into your customers’ shopping behavior and why they are abandoning their shopping carts can help your business turn this costly trend around.

Reasons for Losing Online Sales

1 | Your prices are too high

Bargain-savvy shoppers will opt to save a few pennies if your prices are even marginally higher than your competitors – unless you give them a reason not to. Highlight the additional features that justify pricing via branded, highly visual content on the product page

2 | You are charging unnecessary fees

Customers don’t like to feel as though they are being nickel and dimed when shopping online. Merchants can find ways to reduce the amount of fees like tax, shipping, and service charges associated with purchases even though sales tax is required. Communicate all fees to customers with live-updating shipping/tax calculators before final checkout to prevent unexpected costs.

3 | Your site doesn’t look trustworthy

With data breaches occurring regularly, customers are more reluctant to purchase from online stores they don’t trust. PCI-Compliant protection with visible security badges at checkout will build trust at the moment of conversion.

4 | Your shipping is too slow

Online retailers that offer same-day delivery and free shipping are quickly changing shipping expectations. Close more sales by guaranteeing that products will be delivered in a timely fashion – tight integration between the ecommerce platform and shipping systems is key.

5 | You don’t offer enough payment options

All modern customers like to have options when checking out, such as paying with debit, credit, gift card, PayPal, or Square, just to name a few. Successful ecommerce sites offer payment flexibility to customers – integrate one-touch payments from a range of popular providers at checkout.

6 | Your website is too slow

A website that loads too slowly or one that is difficult to navigate can undermine user experience and cost you sales. Avoid site lag and capture the sale by adding bandwidth and storage during high traffic holiday shopping seasons.

7 | Your checkout is too complicated

An overly complicated checkout process can be the kiss of death for an ecommerce business. Consider a user’s total shopping experience when choosing a pre-built theme for your site – checkout should be intuitive and fast.

How to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment

Prices: Offer price match guarantees and very flexible returns at checkout.

Tip: While the vast majority of customers will never take you up on it, your willingness to offer the most competitive deal will encourage conversion.

Shipping: Offer a choice of free or premium expedited shipping.

Tip: If the free shipping option is on the lower/slower tier, such as ground shipping, customers will frequently impulse-select a more expensive shipping option if it is available to them.

Checkout: Give customers the option to checkout as a guest.

Tip: Let speed-shoppers checkout as fast as possible, but explain the customer benefits of creating an account, such as having the ability to track orders and faster checkouts.

Security: Don’t snooze on your ecommerce provider’s security updates.

Tip: Total transparency about how customer data is stored is essential across all site content – explicitly state your privacy policies every time a customer is asked to enter sensitive data.

Is your Website Ready for an Overhaul?

Here’s the bad news many ecommerce businesses probably don’t want to hear – the hosting account and site design that your business implemented several years ago is probably outdated. Scratch that – it’s definitely outdated. To stay competitive, your brand, ecommerce store, and even your hosting plan need to be refreshed and reimagined regularly.

Your ecommerce platform should always be fast and reliable, so your customers can easily shop around the clock without any downtime, no matter where or how they like to shop. Your hosting resources need to be utterly adaptable to changing needs.. Keep your ear to the ground and offer the very latest options for payments, like Apple Pay. And remember, your customer’s attention, preferences, and loyalty are the true drivers of your business. Respect them with an up-to-date shopping experience and you’ll transform those abandoned carts into completed sales.

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment


About The Author

Katy Ellquist

Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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