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Ecommerce Forum

Customer leaving shopping cart
Can't figure out why customers are leaving shopping cart

 6:32 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been trying to figure out why my customers leave the shopping cart without buying. So I convinced myself it was because they wanted to see how much shipping is to their location. My solution was to offer free shipping to anywhere in contiguous US. Last month b4 free shipping, 25% of visitors were leaving shopping cart. This month with free shipping, 20% are leaving. Is it possible there are robots or crawlers that can actually populate a shopping cart to make it appear it's real live people leaving the cart? If not, why do customers do this? I know that's the $64,000 question, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.




 6:39 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not being the typical web customer I couldn't tell you for sure why they're leaving their carts, but I can tell why I sometimes fill a cart and then leave without buying.

1. Calculate shipping. You've covered that.
2. Find a total price for all items I'm interested in.
3. Use it as a holder or checklist when price comparing.

When I'm done, if I decide not to buy or find a better price elsewhere... I abandon the cart. Sometimes I'm not ready to buy (ie window shopping), and use the cart as a reference for what I'm looking at. In that case, what I've found from my own experience is that wishlists (or saved carts) are far more likely to cause me to return to the site and finally make a purchase at a later date.

Just some observations from my own habits.


 6:47 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

So I convinced myself it was because they wanted to see how much shipping is to their location.

This isn't an answer to your specific question ... but a validation of your "suspicion"...

Not an hour ago, I entered a shopping cart on a site, to try to find out what the shipping charge was...

I had to complete the entire process (name, address, credit card, etc.)... before I would get to the final "checkout" -- and so I left... without finding out what the shipping was. I just didn't want to enter all that personal info.

No where on the site, could I find any info on shipping charges -- including using the "site search" function.


 6:55 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

"This isn't an answer to your specific question ... but a validation of your "suspicion"..."

Thanks Laker and Duskrider for your comments.

Laker, that's why I have "Free Shipping" all over the homepage so hopefully there is no question about how much shipping is...but I suppose shoppers could miss that...


 8:28 pm on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can tell you two reasons why I abandon shopping carts:

1) As others mentioned, to see the shipping charges. I want to know the total price before I buy. And, I may want to get that total and then compare with other sites before I choose where I will buy from.

2) To see what payment methods are accepted. A lot of sites don't list the payment methods they accept, and you cannot find out until you get to the checkout. Maybe I prefer to pay with American Express. Or PayPal.

I don't know why so many sites seem to want to "hide" the payment methods they accept.


 8:03 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see about 20% abandonment also. To be honest this isn't something I've been thinking about recently and I'm now wondering if it is high or low.


 9:17 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

It can also be your competition is responsible for some of it.

Dont get too stressed out about abandonded carts. We all get them.


 11:23 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another reason that causes me to abandon a cart is being forced to go through a registration process before I can actually enter my credit card details.


 9:05 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

(4,5, 6, 7, . . did I miss anyone?)

8. They're "window shopping"
9. Not serious about buying in the first place, or just playing around.
10. Researching, or planning a purchase they will make on "payday." We've identified abandoned carts with exactly the same items purchased days and weeks later.

While it's good to review abandoned orders and investigate possibilities, this has the potential to drive you insane. I have spend hours and hours, weeks on end, chasing the whys, I almost fell in. :-)

One of the things I did that answered the shipping question - in our administration I added a button and a text field to enter the most distant zip code to "test" shipping of abandoned orders. After a few weeks of looking at these and checking the shipping, comparing it against the rates of the respective shipping service web sites, we came to the conclusion that in our case the shipping couldn't possibly be the problem. It's something else.


 1:36 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

To many steps to checkout and I have also found that using some bolt on carts over my payment suppliers cart meant I lost sales.

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