Understanding Why Basket Abandonment Occurs

DID YOU KNOW… 73% of basket abandonment occurs between 8-9pm, with Thursday being the peak day for abandonment?

Shopping basket abandonment continues to plague the global retail e- and m-commerce industry with an expected £4 trillion worth of merchandise to be abandoned during 2015.
In the UK alone 89% of consumers have abandoned baskets so far in 2015.

So why do customers often spend a significant amount of time browsing, researching, selecting and in some cases designing their perfect item(s), but then leave without completing the transaction process?

The latest reports indicate that the experience your customers go through while on your website has the greatest impact on determining basket conversion rates.
The most common reasons for basket abandonment as a result of poor customer experience include;

  • Required to register and create a customer account
  • Long checkout and payment process
  • Presented with unexpected costs
  • Website crashed and/or slow loading times
  • Concerns about payment security
  • Price presented in foreign currency
  • Poor mobile and tablet user experience

Required to Register / Create a Customer Account

If customers have spent the time on your website to find their item(s) don’t give them any reason to not complete their transaction, this includes over complicated payment gateways.

The biggest example of a complicated payment gateway is the customer being required to register and create a customer account.

This can sound harsh, but at times, consumers are not interested in your brand, they are only interested in the item(s) they want. Therefore, make it simple for them to purchase the item(s) without the need to register and create a customer account.

83% of consumers expressed dissatisfaction at being required to register and create a customer account, with 23% of consumer’s consistently abandoning baskets for this reason.

Retailers need to make the customer’s journey on their website as simple and carefree as possible, this includes the payment and shipping pages.

Long Checkout and Payment Process

21% of consumers abandon baskets due to the checkout and payment process being too long. Shorten the checkout process as much as possible. Make the process as simple and seamless as possible.

For example, if a customer’s billing and delivery address are the same, give them the opportunity to say so. Customers do not want to fill in their address twice.

Presented with Unexpected Costs

Picture the following scenario: A customer has a £100 to spend on an item. They browse your website and select their item and which comes to a total of $97, and add it to their basket.
During the payment process, however the total payment comes to $120.
Suddenly the item is no longer within the customer’s budget due to an unexpected cost such as shipping.
The customer then abandons their basket and is left feeling frustrated and annoyed at your brand.

56% of basket abandoners state that being presented with unexpected or undisclosed costs was a contributing factor in their decision to abandon their basket.
As such retailers need to ensure that costs are upfront before customer add any items to their basket.

Website Crashed and/or Slow Page Loading Times

Consumers who were faced with a website crashing or a website which had slow page loading times are 24 more times likely to abandon a basket. Therefore, it is imperative that retailers have a platform which is able to cope with the amount of traffic on the website.

Investing in a reliable IT partner can help increase your basket abandonment rate and you’re your general website functionality.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 3 or less seconds, no matter the device, with 95% of consumers expecting a web page to load in under 20 seconds.

Concerns about Payment Security

Hacking, it is the word which drives fear into the world’s biggest corporations. Seemingly every night on the news a report come out which involves hacking or the leaking of personal and financial information.

Consumers are becoming more aware and alert when purchasing online. 17% of consumers have abandoned a basket as a result of concerns about payment security.
Therefore, do your best to eliminate trust issues and concerns. Add credibility and trust badges to your website and payment pages to prove you have been accredited and verified.

Price Presented in Foreign Currency

One of the most attractive accepts of online shopping from both a consumer and retailer point of view is the ability to operate internationally. This often involves working with foreign currency.

To effectively service customers’ needs, it is imperative that your website offers either conversion rates or the option for the currency to be presented to a selected currency. A lack of such options contributes to 14% of basket abandonment.

Retailers need to spend the time examining and reviewing sales and offer currency option for countries within your customer base.

Poor Mobile and Tablet User Experience

This is commonly caused due to a lack of ‘mobile responsiveness’, which is simple terms, means that your website has not been designed to adjust itself to display content optimally, regardless of the screen size.
Smartphones and tablets have a current abandonment rate of 88% with a lack of mobile responsiveness and a poor user experience being the main contributor factor 85% of the time.

To further highlight the flow-on-effect of poor user experience only 12% of abandoners resorted to a desktop or laptop to complete their transaction.


£4 trillion is a lot of retailers to be missing out on, but also provides a fantastic opportunity for business to make a few small changes and reap the rewards.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options in reducing basket abandonment feel free to contact one of the team.


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