When you’re running your own business often you put your heart and soul into creating products and service that you think they’ll love. So it can be heart-breaking to see customers loading up their online shopping cart only to leave your website without buying.

Why are they doing it?

It’s not the most positive of percentages… But according to researchers at the Baymard Institute, online retail businesses are losing a whopping 64% of sales because customers are ditching their shopping and leaving the site before buying.
How much extra money would you make if 67 out of every 100 shoppers on your site didn’t ditch their shopping cart at the last minute?

Another study by Statistia has revealed the main reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and it’s all fixable… hurray!

So let’s take a look at the reasons why customers leave your website without buying…

56% leave because of unexpected costs

Top of the list for customer bug bears are unexpected costs. We’ve all been there; you find that perfect item, add it to your shopping cart and head for the checkout with a gleam in your eye. But woah! Suddenly there is a list of extra costs bumping up the final purchase price – a customer magazine you don’t want, an extra tax you weren’t told about earlier. Annoyed and disappointed, you express your fury by heading for the exit.

Adding an extra item to your customers’ shopping cart – especially something you want them to pay for – is a big no no. By all means give them the choice to add it themselves – and use good design to ensure the extra option stands out – but don’t do their shopping for them.

If there are going to be extra costs involved in a purchase, be upfront about them. Giving the customer a choice about whether to proceed with a purchase before they go through the rigmarole of inputting their personal and payment details saves you both time and effort.

26% do a runner if they are forced to register

Your customers are in a rush. Registering with a website can be both time consuming and irritating. For the customer it means more passwords to remember, more e-mail with links to ‘verify’ the account and yet another retailer with access to sensitive financial information.

No wonder a study by User Interface Engineering showed a 45% increase in customer purchases when forced registration was removed from the checkout page.

25% respond negatively to confusing navigation

Confusing, lengthy or laborious navigation is a real turn-off to potential customers. As a basic rule, always remember that the more clicks a customer has to make to complete a purchase, the more opportunities they have to leave – and up to 80% will never return.

Never underestimate the power of good design and website structure when it comes to ecommerce. Consolidate your pages and buying process to ease the shopping process and ensure that your website loads quickly and reads clearly. Clarity converts, confusion… not so much.

16% will ditch you for offering unsuitable delivery services

Research by Deloitte found that 69% of shoppers are more likely to shop with online retailers who offer free delivery and a ComScore study found that 61% of shoppers would ditch their order if a free delivery option wasn’t offered.

An expensive and inflexible delivery service can be a huge turn-off for customers. And as they usually only see information about it right at the end of their purchase, it can also be extremely frustrating for both parties if they make it this far through the buying process only to abandon their shopping cart at the last moment.

Try these four top tips to finish your customer interaction on a high:

  • Offer a range of delivery options: Not everyone wants (or can afford) to pay a premium price for fast delivery. Offering range of options, from next day courier to second class mail allows your customers to select the price and delivery option that suits them best.
  • Provide an estimated delivery time: You know what we hate? Waiting in allllllllll day for a delivery that takes less than a minute to sign for. Offer your customers an estimated delivery time and you’ll not only make their lives easier, you’ll also cut the costs of failed deliveries significantly.
  • Use addressing software: It only take one little slip to turn a Birmingham postcode (B) into one for Blackburn (BB). Lost and misdelivered parcels lead to unhappy customers, cancelled sales, and extra costs to put the problem (which may not even have been your fault) right. Worse still, the damage to your reviews and reputation could be far-reaching and long lasting. 90% of potential customers say that reading positive review influences their buying decisions.
  • Stay in touch: Make your customers feel cared for by staying in touch before and after the delivery process. Sending an e-mail or text message to alert the customer to an impending package delivery is often much appreciated and a follow-up e-mail to check that everything has gone smoothly reinforces the positive experience.

17% won’t shop with you if they have security concerns

There’s nothing more off-putting to a shopper than the thought that someone might steal their card details and go on a spending spree. Seeing trusted financial logos reassures up to 80% of shoppers and you can bump that figure up further by using verification schemes and showing a security badge.

In addition, up to 53% of customers say they will only complete a sale if they feel the website offers a high level of security. Can’t afford a huge range of payment choices? Another route is to offer checkout options like PayPal that don’t require the customer to share their card details at all.

Want to optimise your customer’s online shopping experience? Start by always keeping their needs in mind. Check your stats, target where and when your potential buyers are leaving and make changes that make their lives simpler or the buying process faster. Test your website regularly and always ensure your software and security features are up-to-date.

Provide an easy, enjoyable shopping experience and your customers just might pay you back by boosting your profit margins. Hurray!