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Ecommerce Forum

Checkout Abandonment
Losing 72% of Customers

 4:25 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi There

I have setting tracking program for our e-commerce site and discovered that we are losing around 72% of our customers between our checkout form and the order confirmation page?

Is this in line with industry averages?!

Thanks in Advance



 4:27 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are not losing 72% of customers simply because people that add something to the cart are not customers.

72% cart abandonment is normal. It's not great and you can work on improving it, but don't lose your sleep over it.


 8:47 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

The ones you need to worry about are the ones the look, but never put anything in a cart. Look for common exit pages, and see if there could be an immprovement.

People that put things in a cart are interested in the product.


 9:23 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've seen sites where I put something in the cart, and the site won't LET me check out!

Anybody with a shopping cart should ask a NON-tech-savvy friend to 'buy' something from his/her site.
Watch over their shoulder. Watch them agonize over the hoops they have to jump thru blindfolded.

Don't help, just watch. Don't say "you were supposed to click here! -or- You need to do this first".
How are your customers supposed to know that in your absense? -Larry


 11:18 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Exactly! Preferable someone elses mother-in-law! The ultimate usablilty test!

Ask them questions, like, what are the shipping rates, whats the return policy, do they (we, you) sell this specific product.

Don't show them how, but ask them to do specific things, then watch them try to find them. keep and eye on mouse movements. the mouse moves almost as fast as th eye sometimes, and can give you clues to where they look.

It helps a TON! have at least 5-20 people do this seperatly. (don't let them watch each other.)

You might be supprised how difficult you fancy navigation is. I have been.


 10:48 am on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

We are currently designing the shopping system for a client and for that I research the cart process. I see numbers of 5-6% conversion (is that 94-95% cart abandonment...?) for big ecommerce websites.

Can anybody direct me to studies/resaerch on the shopping cart process? for common mistakes to avoid and for consumer trends behavior...



 11:09 am on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can anybody direct me to studies/resaerch on the shopping cart process?

Jakob Nielsen has some stuff on shopping cart usability, I think.

hth, a.


 10:32 pm on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

There was a survey by The E-Tailing Group that shows an abandonment rate of 41-50% for 20% of the participants. You should be able to find this report at [internetretailer.com...]


 11:24 pm on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

We are currently designing the shopping system for a client and for that I research the cart process. I see numbers of 5-6% conversion (is that 94-95% cart abandonment...?) for big ecommerce websites.

I think conversion & shopping cart abandonment are different. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think conversion is the percentage of people who buy when they visit the site (i.e. 1% conversion is 1 person buying from 100 people who actually visit the site).

People who put things in the cart and then decide not to buy do not get counted in the conversion rate.


 2:42 am on Jun 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think he is talking about shopping cart abandonment. I think he is talking about people literally abandoning the checkout... Or at least from his post, I gather that people begin the checkout (supplying address info for example), but do not complete.

If this is what you are talking about, then 72% abandonment is quite bad, IMO.

Do you have shipping estimates in your cart? If not, it could be that people wonder how much shipping is, and begin the checkout to find out because they have no other way to do it.


 6:32 pm on Jun 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

25% is not too bad if we are talking just about people who put things is the cart but don't buy. (but could be better)

5-6% overall conversion is quite good if you are talking visitors/sales.

25% is TERRIBLE if you are talking about people who actually begin to fill in the form but do not successfully finish the checkout. This is after they move on from the cart page to the login/checkout. Should be 80-90% at least.

Most sites have long cumbersome processes. 5+ steps sometimes 10!

My advice is keep it as simple as possible

Don't send people to more pages if you don't have to. If there is only one shipping method why have a 'choose shipping' page. Why ask for a password to create an account unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

The list goes on and on. Also make it clear to the customer how far along in the process they are so they can see the end.

Also on the Confirmation Page make sure it is clear that THEY ARE NOT DONE! Many customers thing ok... I put my cc in, I see my products, everything looks right, I must be done... And close the window.


 6:32 pm on Jun 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are definitely losing a lot of money if 75% of the people who enter you checkout process are abandoning it without finishing. My suggestion would be to look at the checkout processes on amazon, jcrew, gap, lands end, and other top e-tailing sites. What is the flow? How are the pages arranged? What type of language do they use? Are there specific things they do to reassure you? These people have most likely spent a lot of money making sure this process is as smooth as possible. You can benefit from that.

FWIW I'm pretty sure that my process abandonment rate was less than 10% when I checked a few months ago. My process is 2 pages long. I have no confirmation page.


 9:31 pm on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

We shortened our checkout process by two steps and increase conversions from 50% to 80%. Another friend was requiring people to register before checking out, he removed that step and the orders started coming in left and right.


 9:38 pm on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's a nice older thread on cart abandonment.

20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandoment [webmasterworld.com]

Marcus Aurelius

 3:59 pm on Jun 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

What type of webanalytics are you running and have you had someone who knows what they are doing regarding usability take a peek?

I'm happy to take a look for you for free for a few minutes to see if i spot something glaring affecting your usability. Just msg me when you can.

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