Avoiding abandoned baskets on your ecommerce site

Regular online shoppers will be well aware of the dilemmas caused by checkouts on ecommerce sites. Having gleefully filled up the shopping cart with enticing items, the reality of having to pay for these items at the end of a spree can prompt users to reluctantly close their web browser before any transaction takes place. This is known as basket abandonment, and it is a real problem for managers of ecommerce sites hoping to boost their profits.

According to recent statistics, transaction completion rates for shoppers using desktops and tablets is around 13 percent, while rates for mobile users is a dire 8.5 percent [source: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/03/17/shopping-cart-abandonment]. So how can the owners of businesses running ecommerce sites minimise their basket abandonment rates?

Make the transaction process clear and simple

Building a progress bar into your checkout process is one way to reassure users that their purchase will not be time consuming or arduous. When shopping online, it can be off-putting to be guided through several pages with no indication of how many steps there will be or whether they will have to hand over any unexpected information. A progress indicator saves time and builds trust.

Establish a clear navigation path between basket and store

One of the great things about online shopping is that it gives users the ability to change their minds quickly and easily. To make sure that you are giving customers the most streamlined user experience, it is vital that the navigation path between your basket and store is very clear. For example, if a shopper reaches the final checkout stage and realises they’ve forgotten an item, make sure they can leave the basket and return to it with all of their original items still there.

Be clear about shipping costs

One of the most frequently cited reasons for shopping basket abandonment is unexpected shipping costs. It can be highly disappointing for users to reach the end stage of their purchase journey only to find that their collection of items will cost more than anticipated. Advertise shipping costs clearly on your homepage, and consider constructing special offers around shipping. A popular tactic of many ecommerce sites nowadays, for example, is to offer free shipping for purchases above a certain cost. This may have the dual effect of lowering abandonment rates and increasing average purchase amount.

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