Optimizing Your Checkout Page – Limiting Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA)

When online shoppers add something to their cart, it seems like a win for your business. But all too often, they end up clicking away in an unfortunate act of Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA).

Here’s why SCA happens and how you can limit it (based on research from peer-reviewed research studies on consumer behavior, cognitive and behavioral reasons).

Online Search: Entertainment

Online shopping allows for satisfying window shopping. Many people Online Search for entertainment value – they’re more likely to abandon it once they’re feeling less bored. It’s a mix of escapism, alleviating boredom, and collecting items of interest.

Studies have shown that the more consumers use their online cart for entertainment, the more likely they are to abandon them.

Online Consideration: Research & Organization

Being able to customize what’s in your cart with a few lightning-fast clicks means that a lot of shoppers use their virtual shopping carts as a research and organizational tool. Throwing together themed items of interest into a viewable cart can provide a sense of control and freedom.

Research showed that the more customers use their carts as a shopping research and organizational tool, the more likely they are to abandon them.

There’s also a significant connection between using online shopping carts for Entertainment and Research & Organization. People who add items to cart for entertainment purposes are more likely to also use the cart for research and organization.

Online Evaluation: Price Worries

Going on a shopping spree is fun – but when it’s online, it’s easy to see the total cost of your items at checkout. Since the virtual items are not already in front of you, it can be easier to close the tab.

Consumers who worry about the total cost of their shopping cart (this includes cost of goods in cart, shipping charges, sales taxes, and other fees) are more likely to use their cart for shopping research and organizational purposes.

Do people wait for sales?

Ever go shopping on Black Friday? When things go on sale, interest in them skyrockets. Intuitively, research has shown that shoppers who find their cart’s total cost too expensive are more likely to wait for a sale or lower price before deciding to purchase.

However, at the same time, that group of shoppers becomes more likely to abandon their online cart. Waiting for a sale isn’t something everyone will do, at least not for a long time. This can end up with abandoned carts.

Those who wait for a sale or lower price are more likely to go to a brick and mortar store, buying the contents there instead. You might want to take advantage of this opportunity to counteract the SCA. This is often the perfect time to prepare and send a promo offer to the consumer, providing lower or free shipping, or reminding them of lower prices. Rewards like discounts or coupons can also incentivize purchases.

Understanding Buyers

Impulse Buying

Impulse buying has risen immensely. A study showed the more someone spends on purchases online, the more likely they are to impulsively buy an additional item that is offered.

It’s typically a profitable idea to put measures into place that make it easier for consumers to justify purchasing. This could be a $1 donation at the end, or an additional, popular item suggested by the checkout page.

If you can optimize your site in a way that promotes impulse buying, you could potentially limit shopping cart abandonment.

Privacy Concerns

Researchers studied whether online shoppers are more likely to abandon their cart out of concern for their online privacy and security. Results showed that the correlation between privacy concerns and SCA is weak.

Many e-tail sites provided advanced security measures for payment technology. There are encrypted data transmission and displayed security seals. Consumers usually place items in the cart at online retailers they trust or are familiar with anyway.

Even though their overall level of online privacy and security concerns may impact the extent to which they use the shopping cart to begin with, it does not influence their decision to abandon their cart after having already used it to store the items of interest.

Checkout Page Optimization

It’s important to optimize your site so that the online checking process drives sales and reduces shopping cart abandonment. So many factors go into a checkout page optimization. Consumers who shop on mobile expect an effortless process. If the checkout page makes it difficult to buy on mobile, they may be less likely to make the purchase.

User-friendly sites that are optimized and compatible with the user’s equipment of choice (e.g. phone, tablet, computer) can facilitate shopping and even make it less likely for SCA to occur.

If your page loads too slowly (Google judges three seconds as too slow for loading speed), isn’t optimized for all screen sizes, or the search bar tool game is too weak, your customers will likely bounce.

Another quickfire way to optimize your checkout is to make the shopping cart and products added to it along with the “Checkout” or “Order Now” button visible at all times. Also, changing the “Checkout” button color to something jazzy – mostly yellow or green – works wonders.

What Does All of This Mean?

People online shop for fun and total cart prices look expensive. Optimizing checkout pages can save shopping carts from being abandoned.

So… how do you optimize your checkout page? Praxis Tech is here to help. Making your checkout process smoother and optimized means more conversions, and we’ve spent countless hours researching how to do it – so you don’t have to.

We can even provide you with a customer success manager with a design team who can create a bespoke cashier native to your website.