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The Price is Wrong: Why You Don't Convert More Carts

There are accepted realities in life – like the abstract art that will end up on your windshield when you park your car under a tree.  For online retailers, abandoned carts are an accepted reality.  Many of these carts are abandoned because the shoppers were merely “window” shopping, and those carts were never going to turn into potential sales.  Those that were, however, don’t become actual sales for a variety of reasons.  This infographic by Milo and comScore beautifully depicts the biggest reason why shoppers abandon their carts: shipping.

Think about it: serious shoppers wouldn’t place an item into their shopping cart if they didn’t like the price.  In a brick-and-mortar store, that would be a done deal.  Ring it, wrap it, bag it, count it.  In an online store, however, shipping is a big “X” factor that can easily kill a sale.

Online shoppers have an idea of how much they want to spend and how quickly they want their product.  Usually, online retailers reveal shipping costs and delivery times until near the end of the transaction.  This is not ideal, but still very common.  In this case, offering free shipping options – which, yes, could cost you a few bucks – could close more deals for you.  At that point, you might not mind too much that shipping is costing YOU a small sum.  Alternatively, online retailers should consider offering flat tiered shipping rates that depend on the cart total or product types/amounts.  Another option, found all over eBay, is the shipping estimator.  With this, shoppers enter their zip code and shipping option and they’ll quickly have a good idea of their final cost.

Abandoned carts will always be a thorn in the side of online retailers, but there are clear and effective methods to reduce its sting.  There’s no reason not to experiment with those methods.

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