How to avoid abandoned online shopping carts

A positive side effect of the pandemic is that online shopping is as popular as never before. Online merchants professionalize their shops in every possible way. Nevertheless, recent numbers show that almost 9 out of 10 shoppers abandon their shopping cart. Here is why and how to avoid it.

The past year has taught us many lessons and made us redefine some of the habits we have. One of them is online shopping, which has become a crucial companion for most of us during Corona. A recent study done by Capterra reveals that 23 percent of the shoppers purchase items more frequently online in comparison to before the pandemic. 16 percent of the shoppers would even continue buying items online they used to buy in a brick and mortar store.

Nevertheless, shoppers often encounter difficulties, which make them abandon their shopping cart or even close a browser tab of an online shop for good. Across many branches, the average abandonment rate of shopping carts is 88 percent- 88!  This should be a noisy wake-up call for every online merchant.

There are many reasons why online shoppers put together an order but eventually end up abandoning it. Price comparison or just checking for a discount could be external reasons, which online shops can never avoid. However, it is comparatively easy to address technical and process-related issues, such as user-friendly interface, checkout process, trust in the shop, privacy and data protection.

More importantly, the lack of the right payment options is one of the main drivers for a bad shopping experience:

Merchants and marketplaces should have in mind that shoppers’ payment preferences differ according to region. In China it is Alipay and WeChat Pay, whereas in Brazil and Russia card payments and in a lot of European markets PayPal is taking the lead. In addition, shoppers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland prefer traditional BNPL payment options like open invoice, along with direct debit.

Besides the regional aspects, there are a couple of important questions to answer when deciding on how to tailor your perfect payment options. For example:

  • Would you rather integrate another payment brand into your checkout, or use a white label solution that strengthens your brand?
  • Can you handle the entire payment value chain yourself, or do you prefer a payment expert to take over so you can focus on your core business?
  • Would you prefer a default risk over a 100 percent payout guarantee?
  • How to use artificial intelligence to increase your acceptance rate?
  • How to increase the customer lifetime value even after the checkout?

The right selection of payment options is for sure a right way to decrease your checkout abandonment rate. Moreover, it is a strategic decision with an influence on your conversion rate, customer satisfaction and thus, the customer lifetime value. With the growing number of online shoppers, payments should be on the agenda of every company’s top management.