I bet most online retailers have at least once asked these questions to themselves and from time to time still get lost in guesses. No one would take a situation with a full basket abandoned in a real store as acceptable, it would rather seem surprising for us. However, for online stores we observe more and more abandoned carts even though online retailers do their best to make their stores be highest possible friendly for customers and meet all their needs.
Trying to find out the reasons of this phenomenon Amaze together with Glasgow University has developed an online survey studying customers’ behavior during the checkout process and found out that 87.4% of customers had added items into their cart but didn’t finalize their purchase before checkout.Two main reasons are:
- technical reasons (complex checkout process, unclear navigation, slow site work, lack of helpful information, etc.)
- behavioral reasons
While technical reasons are easier to reveal and fix, behavioral reasons demand deeper understanding and well analyzed solutions.
The survey revealed three main types of store visitors possessing different purposes and different behaviors accordingly. They mark out vague shoppers, cost conscious and window shoppers.
- Window shoppers, accounting for 15,7% of online customers, behave in exactly the same manner in virtual life as in real. They are not going to purchase anything and use their baskets solely as wish lists. In whatever way would online retailers perfect their stores, this type of customers is unlikely to change their behavior.
- Another 41,7% are cost conscious focusing mostly on cost savings aspects while taking a decision to purchase. The main purpose to abandon their cart is to go and seek somewhere else for the better price.
- Vague shoppers numbering 42,6% are most likely to purchase. However they prefer to analyze comments and ratings or seek for a friends’ or someone else’s advice before finalizing their payment.
Having carried out analysis of these three types of customers’ behavior the researchers came to a conclusion that with the right approach it is the vague shoppers who will switch from abandonment to purchase with higher probability.
74,2% of all the respondents declared that they would return to finish their purchase later. This type of behavior is more common for books, music and movies, but as for clothing and computer stuff, more often the purchase would be completed straight away. Among basket abandoners there are 79,4% of those who are guided by the total price of the placed items to support their will to buy these products, and 61,8% would first weigh the pros and cons before drawing any conclusion regarding purchasing.
So, we can conclude, that in whole not all customers having abandoned their carts were not going to finalize the initiated purchase. Finally, having faced some difficulties, doubting on price or quality or being on a hurry they intended to do it later but could simply forget.
Here we come to a possible solution of the problem. Online retailers can send notifications to customers, who have abandoned their carts. And there is a plenty of different ways. For cost conscious a discount coupon can be attached, for vague – others customers’ comments or product reviews, or at least it may be very desirable for customers to get a message offering them some assistance. The notifications can be sent either manually or it can be an automated process. X-Cart, for example, offers its clients Abandoned Cart Reminder as a feature for their store. By the way this module has been improved and now in addition to $/% discount it offers the ‘free shipping’ coupon type! Anyway such notifications could be very helpful in struggling for customers loyalty.