There’s a lot to be gained by spending time discussing theory and design practices when it comes to website abandonment–after-all, that’s why we created this blog!
In very general terms, there’s a pattern usually followed around here: We spend a lot of time fleshing out the finer points of reducing website abandonment and pulling in numbers and stats from surveys to support our claims. This week, we’re going to do things a little differently. The following post takes a look at a survey put out by WorldPay that outlines some of the top reasons why customers abandon sites before completing checkout and works backwards into the theory.
Here are the numbers we’re going to be looking at today. The survey asks, “Why do online shoppers leave without paying?”
You will find more statistics at Statista
The results should be relatively familiar to anyone who’s done some research on website abandonment previously. While some responses are difficult to label and address (“Decided against buying” is more of a personal choice than a sales failure), the majority of the response fall into four distinct, approachable categories:
Website abandonment stemming from technical pitfalls are arguably the most tragic of all. The 24% of respondents who experienced a “website crash” join the 15% whose shopping experience came to a grinding halt in the face of a “website time out.”
These problems are entirely avoidable.
Test your website thoroughly and try your hardest to leave no bug undiscovered. Furthermore, find reliable hosting for your site. If you experience frequent outages, make your voice heard or find a new hosting company–downtime is unprofitable and unprofessional. Your website is the face of your business, it needs to be fast, responsive, and deliver predictable results or your conversions may suffer.
The sixth and eighth most popular reasons for abandonment are poor website navigation and an overly long purchasing process. These are two distinct, valid complaints that both stem from design shortcomings.
As ecommerce matures and gets refined, the industry has invested heavily in promoting a streamlined conversion funnel. With clear calls-to-action and predictable page layouts, novice shoppers should be able to find their way through to checkout as easily as a compulsive online buyer. Furthermore, there should be as few steps as possible between browsing and purchasing. Online shopping, at its core, is about having nearly everything available quickly and conveniently–don’t abandon these core values in favor of a sleek display.
Protective or Overprotective?
According to the survey, 18% of abandoning customers claimed that payment security checks were ‘excessive’ while 17% were concerned with a lack of overall safety. One group of respondents claims security is too thick and the other, similarly sized demographic feels too vulnerable.
Clearly, there’s a fine line between being comforting and overbearing when it comes to accepting payment information online. A big part of ecommerce is building trust with your customers. Even if your online security leads the industry in reliability and impermeability, the average consumer won’t take the time to look behind the curtain to see the inner-workings for themselves. You need to make a customer feel safe.
Mark your security. There are a few key images on the web that make people feel at ease. As an online shopper, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the “Norton Secured” check-mark and the “McAfee Secure” shield. If your website qualifies, these are things your customers like to see–wear them proudly.
Don’t go overboard. These days, the industry standard is to require information from a debit or credit card, including the security code on the reverse-side of the card. Outside of this, there isn’t much that you should require when it comes to taking payment. Don’t inconvenience the 99% of legitimate customers to tack on a few extra hurdles for identity thieves–the majority of banks have ample protections against this already.
According to this survey, three of the top four reasons for website abandonment concern product pricing. Among respondents to the survey, 56% cited being presented with unexpected costs, 32% claimed that the overall price was too expensive, and 36% said that a better price elsewhere was a contributing factor in eventually abandoning.
While hiding your shipping costs and any processing fees may allow you to boast a lower price on product pages, the average online shopper is getting increasingly savvy and doesn’t appreciate a sudden and unexpected bump in price when they reach the shopping cart. Although retailers seem to be catching on as time goes by, a ‘golden rule’ of ecommerce comes into play here in a big way, and it should never be neglected: Be upfront with your customers. So, what can you do to alleviate some of the most common complaints?
Simplify your shipping pricing. Offering a flat rate–if it’s low enough–is a great way to avoid confusing your customers. If that doesn’t work for your business model, then allow consumers to calculate shipping costs as early in the process as possible. The goal is to have the price on the product page reflect the total displayed in the shopping cart as closely as possible. The bigger the discrepancy, the more likely you are to catch a customer off guard and scare off a sale.
Get competitive. Over a third of abandoning customers are finding a better deal elsewhere, presumably from your competitors. Keeping up with the competition is a core component of business and with your biggest competitors only a few clicks and keystrokes away, it’s more important than ever. Email remarketing is great way to persuade those abandoning customers to return and complete the sale. Through well-timed emails, tasteful marketing copy, and targeted incentives, your company can recover otherwise lost conversions.
Although understanding why consumers abandon is the first step to making positive change, taking action as soon as possible is the only way to get real results. To learn more about what you can do to reduce website abandonment, get in touch with UpSellit to learn more about the solutions we offer.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson