eCommerce Guide: Why Your Users Are Abandoning Their Mobile Cart / by Matthew Cordasco

Few problems are as frustrating for eCommerce merchants as shopping cart abandonment. An average of 68.63% of users abandon their shopping cart at some point in the purchase process, leading to a significant amount of lost revenue for merchants.

If you have a mobile optimized eCommerce website or mobile app that lets users make in-app purchases, you’ve undoubtedly faced the problem of users browsing and selecting products to buy, only to abandon them at the last moment.

It’s an annoyance for your business, as well as a serious cost. By bringing down the percentage of abandoned orders, you can add thousands of dollars (or even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) to your mobile app’s monthly revenue.

The first step in lowering your abandoned cart rate is learning why customers are abandoning their orders. Below, we’ve listed five of the most common reasons users abandon their orders, leaving you with reduced eCommerce revenue and lost sales.

Unexpected costs

When customers are presented with unexpected costs such as shipping fees, taxes or payment processing fees, they’re extremely likely to abandon their shopping cart.

Data from Statistia (available in this Shopify guide) shows that 56% of people that abandon their shopping carts do so because they were presented with unexpected costs when they navigated to the checkout page.

As tempting as it might be to list the lowest price on your product page and leave VAT, shipping and other expenses until users reach your checkout, doing so could cost you more sales than it generates.

Be upfront about shipping costs, taxes, processing fees and other costs on your product pages, as users will learn about them eventually as they check out. Doing this prevents any last-minute surprises that could prompt users to abandon their purchase.

Weren’t serious about purchasing

37% of users abandon their orders because they weren’t serious about purchasing, according to Statistia data. For the most part, these cart abandonments are unavoidable, since users that are just browsing your mobile website aren’t likely to make a purchase.

Instead of trying to lower the number of people that add items to their cart without being serious about buying, focus on giving uncertain users reasons to buy from you. You can:

  • Offer a promotional offer or discount for first-time customers
  • Suggest complementary items that improve value for money
  • Offer free shipping to reduce friction for new customers

Since this type of cart abandonment is caused by the user’s attitude, it’s difficult to eliminate it entirely. Instead, focus on making the checkout process straightforward and friction-free to give would-be customers as few objections as possible.

Website or app crashed

It goes without saying that a slow, unresponsive or unstable website will cost you sales. Survey data shows that half of all users expect websites to load in two seconds or less, and many will abandon a site if it doesn’t completely load within three seconds.

If your eCommerce website is slow to load, it could be costing you customers. It it’s unstable, it could be costing you even more. 24% of customers who’ve previously abandoned orders did so because the website they were using crashed, leaving them unable to complete the purchase.

A further 15% abandoned their cart because the website timed out, while 21% gave up after it took too long to check out.

Avoiding this issue is a two-step process. Start by investing in a high quality server that’s built to handle the demands of your online store. Then, QA test your website with MyCrowd to find and fix any bugs that could prevent users from checking out.

Pricing in a foreign currency

Have you ever found a great product online and added it to your cart, only to find that the pricing was in a foreign currency? 13% of shoppers who’ve abandoned their cart online did so because the product they wanted to purchase wasn’t listed in their native currency.

Paying for a product using a foreign currency has several difficulties, all of which have a serious effect on your website’s conversion rate:

  • Customers need to convert the price into their own currency, which increases friction
  • Many customers need to pay additional currency conversion fees to their bank of credit card issuer, which increases the cost of buying your product
  • If the product is shipped from another country, some customers may face import duties and additional taxes to receive the shipment

Luckily, this problem is easy to solve. Use GeoIP location to determine where your customers are shopping from, then automatically display your prices in their native currency. This simple step can help you reduce your cart abandonment rate by as much as 13 percent.

Complicated navigation

Many of your website or application’s users will abandon their cart before they even make it to your checkout page. 25% of online shoppers cite complicated website navigation as the reason they abandoned their purchase -- a full quarter of prospective customers.

In the world of eCommerce, simpler is almost always better. Websites like Amazon.com invest a huge amount of time and money into making their navigation and checkout system as simple as possible, all because it has a measurable positive effect on sales.

If your website is difficult to use, simplify. Doing so won’t just reduce your abandoned cart rate -- it will also reduce your bounce rate and increase average time spent on your website, as users will face fewer challenges in navigating from one page to another.