The entire online marketing and sales process culminates in the virtual “shopping cart” on your website. When a customer places an item in their cart, you’ve done everything right. Now, you simply have to wait for them to follow through with the transaction by clicking a few buttons. But if your website is like most, you don’t always close the deal.

The 4 Major Causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment

4 reasons your customers are abandoning their shopping cartsBaymard Institute spends a lot of time tracking shopping cart abandonment data and trends and regularly publishes information on what’s happening in this area of ecommerce. As of last count, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate was a whopping 69.23 percent. In other words, less than 31 percent of people actually follow through with a purchase after putting a product in their cart.

While that’s bad news, there is one positive note. Baymard’s research also shows that the average ecommerce site can increase their conversion rate by 35.26 percent by improving their shortcomings.

Understanding this, let’s take a look at some of the major causes of shopping cart abandonment so that you can enjoy a better conversion rate.

1. Terrible Product Pages

Sometimes, people abandon items when they’re misled into putting something there in the first place. They think the product is different than it actually is, not realizing it until it’s already in their cart.

The goal of a product page isn’t just to get someone to add an item to their cart. The objective is to produce qualified leads – or people who will follow through on the purchase. You can increase your accuracy by creating better product pages with more descriptive and accurate information.

2. Poor Shopping Cart UX

How’s the user experience (UX) in the shopping cart? Is it easy for people to add and remove items and/or navigate back to the website without losing progress?

As this article from High Risk Pay suggests, “Provide a simple way to for customers to navigate from the purchase screen back to shopping pages and their cart. If your site isn’t optimized to allow customers to go backward in the process, shoppers may get frustrated.”

3. Too Many Steps

How many pages/steps do you require a customer to go through in order to complete a transaction? Simplicity is important when it comes to reducing abandonment rates. If possible, you should implement a one-page or one-step checkout process. If that’s not possible, aim for two. What really matters is that you eliminate excess friction and avoid giving customers time to think. The more a customer ponders the purchase, the more likely it is that they’ll change their mind.

4. Extra Charges and Fees

We’ve all had one of those experiences where we add an item to our shopping cart and go through all of the steps of making the purchase, only to see an extra fee added on at the very end. Usually, it’s a shipping charge or sales tax.

While shipping or tax may not matter when the purchase price is $300 or $400, it has a pretty big impact when you’re dealing with a low-priced transaction. Thinking you’re spending $9 only to find out the total charge is $16 is sort of a big deal. Avoid this problem by clearly listing the total price from the very beginning.

Show Your Shopping Cart Some Love

You spend so much time and effort on driving people to product pages and getting them to add items to their shopping cart; it would be a shame to stop there. If you really want to maximize conversions, you have to do everything within your power to lower your abandonment rate.

Address the issues highlighted in this article and you’ll be better off than most.