eBay, Foodpanda, Souq & Swap.com reduced cart abandonment by 20%

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Frequently Asked Questions
In e-commerce, Cart Abandonment refers to desertion of shopping carts by visitors before completing purchase. Simply put, online shoppers leave the marketplace without paying after adding products to cart. Industry metrics estimate Cart Abandonment Rate – the percentage of abandoned carts before the purchase is made - to be as high as 70%. This causes an estimated potential loss of around $4 trillion worldwide. Even after improvements in websites, Cart Abandonment Rate remains high. This is owing to the fact that purchase process and expectation from e-commerce sites have evolved over period of time.

Following are major reasons for Cart Abandonment:

  1. Complicated Checkout Process

    Complex checkout process irks visitors; seeking unnecessary details on checkout stage adds to the time required to make purchase. Prospective customers abandon carts just after seeing the list of information to be filled in.

  2. Lack of payment options

    This comes as major hindrance for customers to make purchase. Not having the desired payment option makes user to not only abandon cart but defect to competition. It is given that customer will only use one payment option at a time but the decision to choose from a number of options available improves convenience. Cash on delivery(COD) was one such option highly leveraged by e-commerce players in growing markets like India.

  3. Extra shipping cost or hidden costs which appear only at the time of adding product to cart

    Surprise at this stage of purchase process is a letdown. Hidden costs, shipping fee or any ancillary cost up and over the product cost when displayed at the time of adding product to cart often discourage users from making purchase. These additional costs overshoots the expense customer is willing to incur.

  4. Lengthy sign-up process

    Collecting basic information is important but lengthy sign-up for first time users comes in the way of smooth purchase. Options like sign up with Facebook or Google+ can be integrated to make it easier to register.

  5. Answers to Customer Queries unavailable readily

    Customer psyche works in ways inexplicable; a last minute query, little doubt about the product, about security of payment gateway leaves the customer looking for assistance. Inadequate FAQ's, lack of accessible assistance leads to drop out.

Based on the evolution of e-commerce marketplace and thus customer psyche, following possible reasons also result in high Cart Abandonment rate:

  1. Opportunistic approach of customers towards online buying; they are only looking to purchase when the product is on promotion or there is an on-going sale.

  2. Additional shipping cost has become unacceptable to customers unless products are required to be shipped immediately.

  3. Customers compare prices on other websites, and in the process abandon cart.

  4. Demography of users also affects cart abandonment. For instance, a female is more likely to defect than a male user; or a tech savvy young person is less likely to desert cart than an old-first-timer-online-shopper.

About 70% of users defect before becoming customers. That makes controlling high cart abandonment rate critical. To begin with, put yourself in customers' shoes and try to analyse what would make customer desert cart and what could make him stay. Let us go through some effective solutions.

  1. Design a hassle free checkout process. It should be kept simple, unambiguous and should only require necessary details. Not a thing redundant. An express checkout option can also be introduced to facilitate purchase without sign-up.

  2. Reward a loyal customer who is making a repeat purchase. A gift voucher, discount coupon is effective. This will have an indirect impact on abandonment and a direct one on customer retention.

  3. Quick recovery email after abandonment might just persuade the customer to buy. It is better to send such automatic email earlier than later. First few hours after abandonment are crucial.

  4. Remove hidden costs like extra shipping charges, ancillary costs from cart. All costs should be made visible before adding the product to the cart. A simple rule of thumb - surprise at this stage backfires.

  5. Multiple payment options give customers the will to decide which mode to use. Freewill here as an added feature helps better conversion rate and decrease abandonment. It is needless to state the obvious, still - payment mode should also cater to non-credit card holders.

  6. On exit, overlay notifications for a customer who is about to abandon cart offering time bound incentive to buy, such as discount coupon valid for few hours, gift voucher valid for few minutes or similar offers. The aim here is to make the customer act in the moment when (s)he is most engaged within the site.

  7. Adapt to a long lasting cart, as long as 60 days. Customer can come back and skip adding the product all over again to go on make payment directly.

  8. Welcome abandoner when (s)he comes back. A push notification greeting, appreciating the revisit establishes recall to the last visit and actions.

  9. Readily accessible cart saves time; the user does not have to backtrack to see what products are already in cart. This reduces complexity simplifying the process further.

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