During a monthly check up with a retail client, we discovered that 68% of people who had clicked through to their Shopping Cart in the last 30 days also clicked out of the cart before a sale was completed.
68%? OUCH! As if that’s not bad enough, in the visitor-to-sales ratio, this customer was losing tens of thousands every month as a result. Shopping Cart Abandonment, as our client is experiencing, has become such a huge problem that even “big gun” researchers are setting up studies.
ComScore’s Online Shopping Customer Experience Study (2012, Commissioned by UPS), for example, indicates that 57% of those who abandoned a shopping cart did so because they were unable to see shipping charges until after they had entered in significant personal information. 55% said the shipping charges made the cost of the product too high. Other areas of dissatisfaction included long delivery dates and a lack of payment options.
Our client’s e-commerce professional only recently added tracking for the shopping cart – and the data collected does not make the client happy. The data shows that users simply hate the shopping cart, and therefore click off the site without completing a transaction—to the tune, as we said earlier, of tens of thousands of dollars each month.
Fortunately, the tracking evidence was exactly what we needed to approach the client’s e-commerce professional and justify working together for a solution.
We didn’t want the issue to continue for a moment longer, and we needed feedback in order to improve the cart and reduce abandonment. So, we performed a quick, informal “Usability Test.” This is the process we followed:
- Found a person unfamiliar with the site. Asked for their assistance in our quest to fix it.
- Requested that they perform a specific objective related to a “conversion” (in this case, “Buy 1 of this specific product”) while one of us observed silently.
- Let them know that we would not answer any questions. We needed to observe them as if they were browsing the site alone, just as normal users would.
- Asked them to “think out loud” as they moved through the site.
- Tried not to let our mouths drop open as the frustrations rolled in!
Within 15 minutes, we were able to assemble a list of findings just from having a new pair of eyes move through the shopping cart. And guess what? Our user, in frustration, wanted to abandon the cart before they completed the purchase. It was just too confusing!
Now we know what was causing 68% of the client’s online customers to give up on their purchase and click away!