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Ecommerce Forum

Shopping cart abandonment
Percentage loss during each stage of the checkout process.

 4:23 am on Sep 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

For every thousand customers that put an article in a shopping cart, 500 fills in their name and address information. 250 chooses the shipping method, and 200 fills in the credit card info to complete the order.

This represents 80% cart abandonment. I lose 50% of
my customers when asking for name and address info, which I consider normal, due to browsing.

What wories me is that I lose 50% of the remaining customers at the shipping options stage, and the customers have already entered there name and address.

I wondering if this is to great of a loss, or if this is normal. I was thinking of offering free shipping during one of my slow months, to test some statistics.



 4:37 am on Sep 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here are some threads covering the topic:


Also, Shopping Cart 101 [webmasterworld.com] may be of interest.


 2:09 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

You could:

1. Offer free shipping for everyone - maybe charge a slightly higher product price?


2. Display your shipping costs more prominently (if not already done so). This may lose some people straight away but may help some people come over the initial 'shock' of the value of the shipping charges.

Just my 0.02 :)


 3:33 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

In chrisnrae's second link, there is discussion about Nielsen's book on E-commerce usability. I have a copy, and I'll second that.

Your abandonment rates look fairly high to me, and it looks like people are just trying to find out what the shipping charges are- that seems to be 50% of the loss. Are your shipping charges very high? Can they be seen from the product and home pages?

You lose a further 20% when it comes to credit card information, and it might be worth doing some work to make that page look more trustworthy, and test it on a few people. Do you have a 1-800 number? Do you display VISA/MC icons, padlock image, security and privacy info?


 3:49 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Our studies have proven the more pages you put between start to finish, the higher the drop-off. If you use 3 pages to collect all their information, try combining pages into 2 or even 1. We have also seen fewer questions result in higher completion %'s. So, short and sweet works well for us.

We have moved to a single checkout page that is fast and friendly. Don't give them any link-outs on those pages either. The only action available, short of the back button, should be to Submit the order.


 5:13 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Our credit card page has all the security and informational features sugested. When I say I lose 20%, thats 20% of the remainder so its less than 5% overall, and since entering Credit card info is the point of no return, I would consider this percentage loss, acceptable.

Our check out process consists of:

Step 1:

Displaying shopping cart contents and displaying the order form for entering Name and Shipping Info. If there are several items in the cart, if will push the order form below the fold. Not sure if this would effect conversion much.

Step 2: Choose Shipping

Select Shipping method. Well laid out, several shipping options complete with delivery time displayed.
We are at a slight disadvantage, as we are located in Canada and our shipping prices are a little higher than our American competiton, however overall, especially with no state taxes or customs charges, we are competitively priced. USPS logo is shown for Americans, Canada Post for Canada, so the Americans think they are dealing with an American Company.

Step 3: Order Summary

Order is displayed with all charges including shiping

Step 4: Collect Credit Card Info

Step 5: Thank You for placing the order.

Largest loss is from 2 to 3, only a small loss is from 3 to 5, so combining 3 and 4 is probably not worth it.


 5:32 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

lgn1- going from 250 to 200 customers is a loss of 20%. However you cut it though, it is high, and I would heed duckhunter's advice.


 5:54 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can you have a single checkout page, unless you offer free shipping. Which may answer the question, is yet better to sell your merchandise higher and make shipping free.


 6:12 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

According to a recent study by DoubleClick the industry average for ecommerce companies is a 67% cart abandonment. Same study puts conversion at 2.6%.


 7:21 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

2.6% thats high, Id like to see the sites they surveyed.

Mine is around (just under) 1% although last year I cornered the world market (total fluke) in a widget and had a conversion of around 20%!


 7:29 pm on Sep 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can you have a single checkout page, unless you offer free shipping.

We have the client enter their zipcode on the Cart Contents page before clicking the "Checkout" Button which takes them to the Credit Card entry page.

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