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Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates (again !)
Posted 16 February 2007 - 04:50 PM
We track abandonment rates through the shopping cart funnel. At first I was horrified - around 60% of visitors left without completing a purchase. What's wrong with these people - or what's wrong with our cart ?
One statistic that stood out was that of all the leavers, over 50% did so on the very first page (the 'add to cart' page).
So I started asking people I know who are both experienced and inexperienced online shoppers "Why do you leave a shopping cart without buying ?" This is what they told me (all funnels, not just ours)...
Many never had any intention of making a purchase - at least, not at that time. They were using the cart as a wish list or calculator to see what various items would cost. A couple of inexperienced shoppers were experimenting to see what would happen. Others got distracted or just changed their minds.
Based on this admittedly small sample I now look at abandonment rates differently. For example, if 60 of 100 visitors leave the funnel that's 60%. If you ignore the first page leavers (say 30) then you have 70 in the funnel and 30 leavers. That's 43%. Better but not great.
Is this a more accurate statistic - I don't know !
Further down the funnel (again, all funnels, not just ours) the reasons for abandonment fell into three categories (not in order of importance)...
1. Sod it - this is too complicated - I can't be bothered !
2. Buyer Blues - 'should I really be spending this money ?'
3. Risk Aversion. This is more subtle. For example, if you are buying a low cost item from a brand name (eg. a CD from Amazon) your risk is zero. If you are buying a high-ticket item from a company you don't know, your perceived risk is high.
So, the lessons I have learned are these..
1. There's not a lot you can do about many of the people who abandon your shopping cart.
2. Keep the cart funnel as simple and short as you can.
3. If you are not a brand name, build confidence and trust in your company and products before potential buyers get to the cart.
As mentioned, this is all anecdotal and may be hogwash, but much seems to make sense. I'd welcome other views.
Posted 16 February 2007 - 07:01 PM
So if I'm comparing prices, I'll visit some store, add the item to the cart, keep that window open and do the same at some other stores (usually if the price is lower).
Not sure if that's common, but it is for me!
Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:19 PM
The conversion funnel is a fun thing to study. I have a client right now that gets about 10,000 unique visitors a month to his site. He sells a very niche product and he buys direct from overseas, so his prices are awesome, his selection is excellent, and he guarantees everything and has almost a 99% same-day ship rate...yet his conversion rate is only 1.2% on average.
For him, on such a niche site, that is very low. So we've been looking at his site in terms of usability, the sales process, etc. The way his cart is set up and the way he moves users through the process could be improved, so I think with keeping in mind how users like us typically shop, we can really help him increase that conversion rate.
Let me know what other anecdotes you can uncover about the conversion funnel Ignoramus. Thanks!
Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:44 PM
I've seen conversion rates skyrocket from decreasing the number of clicks it takes to actually purchase something. I've also seen conversion rates skyrocket because less totally useless information was being requested, or worse yet Required. And I've seen conversion rates skyrocket because I combined two or more pages into one, even if that one ended up requiring more time to fill out the various forms to complete the purchase.
It really depends upon the site and the type of market segment you're going after. Sadly there is no blanket answer that is going to maximize conversions to their absolute peak efficiency. You have to test it for each site --and sometimes each page in your sales process-- to figure out what works best for your site and your visitors.
Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:07 AM
Your client sounds very similar to us. Apart from all the things you mention to improve the site, we raised our conversion rates by tweaking our PPC ads to encourage more targeted visitors and discourage others.
We reduced the number of visitors by 50% but increased sales and conversion rates as well as saving money on the PPC campaign. I'm still working towards 'one click equals one sale'. Ask how it's going next century !
Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:43 AM
I'm sure you'll get something out of reading the conversion tests they've conducted over the years, and probably recognize some things in your sites that can be improved simply because the issues you're facing are very similar to what some of their testing partners were up against.
Posted 17 February 2007 - 01:20 PM
I'll definitely have a look.
I'm new to this forum stuff so I'm going to try and insert a 'smiley' for your advice.
If you get a frown instead of a thumbs up please accept my apologies.
Here we go....
Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:35 PM
Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:16 PM
Thanks redsonia - I've already learned a lot from these forums and appreciate the expert advice.
One (probably last) question about drop-outs.
We sometimes get 'phone calls from people who say something like "I tried to buy from you but got thrown off the system".
What they have in common is..
1. They were at work when they tried to purchase.
2. They got 'thrown off' when they went to the secure server which collects their card details - not earlier in the cart.
I'm assuming from this that some employers allow staff to browse the internet but have systems which prevent them going to secure (https) addresses.
Is this correct ?
Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:21 PM
By the way, that dancing banana is the cat's ass...reminds me of Brian doing the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song on Family Guy. Nice!
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