Checkout Abandonment: Something from Nothing

Bryan Gudmundsoncheckout abandonment, email remarketingLeave a Comment

Checkout Abandonment

Checkout AbandonmentIn a perfect world, each visitor to your site browses through products, selects a few that they like, places those items in the cart, and moves through checkout towards a completed purchase.

Unfortunately, the world of e-commerce is far from perfect. Approximately 56.3% of shoppers abandon from checkout pages before confirming their transaction, which, dependent on your monthly traffic, can translate into millions of dollars in lost revenue.

This leaves online merchants asking one question,



“Why Do Customers Abandon at the Last Minute?”


Checkout abandonment is a frustrating problem that’s eluded retailers for years. It seems counter-productive that customers would go through the process of selecting goods and, in many cases, entering their credit card information before ultimately deciding against making a purchase. While there is no single, concrete answer to why people opt out of buying, there are a few popular possibilities:

  • Unforeseen Costs – People don’t like to be surprised by previously unlisted shipping costs. If you keep this information tucked away until the last stages, don’t be surprised when customers abandon checkout.

  • Last-Minute Decision – Some shoppers are simply fickle by nature. When it comes time to finally submit payment and finalize a purchase, shoppers may become apprehensive and opt out. The longer the checkout, the more time customers have to second-guess their choice.

  • Technical Difficulties – Technical difficulty is arguably the most heartbreaking cause of checkout abandonment. If a customer submits their payment details only to land on a 404-error, it’s not uncommon for the user to lose confidence in the site’s stability and security and decide to shop elsewhere.


Why Checkout Abandonment Isn’t the End

Before you start to lament the loss of every customer that drops off from checkout, it’s important to recognize that abandonment isn’t necessarily the end of the line. Instead of growing upset and irritated with a high volume of checkout abandonment, it’s time to start looking at new opportunities presented by a last-minute departure.

Optimization Opportunities
In the brain of an optimist, every failure is simply a chance to improve. While that philosophy might be a little lofty for everyday life, it rings 100% true in e-commerce. Take a look at the flow of your traffic and pinpoint the points at which users abandon checkout most often. If shoppers are quitting en masse somewhere between entering payment details and reviewing their order, your data inputting might need some tweaking. If account registration is causing users to drop off between the shopping cart and the start of checkout, consider making guest checkout an option. Focus your attention on where customers are leaving most often and tweak and test until rates improve.

Optimization is an essential ingredient in a successful e-commerce recipe; determining what needs optimization is key. While tracking abandons is easiest within a multi-page checkout structure, tools that actively monitor form fields can be used on single-page setups to get accurate reads.


Pre-Submit Lead Recovery
Pre-submit lead recovery solutions, like UpSellit’s PreCapture, actively monitor form fields, collecting relevant user data in real-time. Primarily, solutions like these are used to store email addresses of those who abandon before moving on to the next step. Using this information, retailers can initiate remarketing efforts with hopes of recapturing interest and closing a sale.

In addition to reigniting sales efforts, these solutions can be effectively used as problem-solving tools. By analyzing data collected, retailers can see exactly how much of a page the average consumer completes before abandoning. Looking at which form fields are filled in before a user exits tells you exactly which fields are most problematic. If customers abandon checkout at payment information stages, you may not have enough available payment options. If customers often fail to input the card verification code (CVC), your checkout might benefit from a quick explanation of what and where it’s located. Once again, this is an opportunity to improve your checkout flow.

Data-Rich Remarketing
Satisfying the requirements of checkout means giving a vendor enough information to send a product to a person’s front door. In addition to telling you which kinds of products they prefer, each customer volunteers their name, location, and other information. Use this data to drive a powerful remarketing campaign that establishes relevance from the subject line down. Address customers by full name, include images of products left in the cart, offer related products, suggest the right products for the customer’s climate, and more. The most successful campaigns are backed with impressive volumes of data–the most useful of which comes from checkout.

Although it might be tempting to glare at checkout abandonment figures in dismay, unfavorable rates should be a call-to-action for the successful retailer. Use failure metrics as a stepping stone for building a more streamlined checkout and adapting the latest in anti-abandonment solutions. For more information on PreCapture and how you can reduce checkout abandonment rates, contact UpSellit.


Written by Bryan Gudmundson

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