Shopping Carts Most Likely to Be Abandoned due to Unexpected Shipping Costs

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

When an eCommerce business looks to optimize their site for better rankings and an improved user experience, one of – if not the most significant component – that affects their bottom line is the conversion funnel. How many of your total visitors make it to the confirmation page of a completed purchase? Or more importantly, how many visitors start shopping and add items to their cart without ever hitting that submit button? This act is known as cart abandonment and according to a recent study by Harris Interactive (June 2014), the culprit likely has nothing to do with your site design, sales language, color scheme or competitors’ products, and everything to do with your shipping costs.

The survey suggests that no audience clutches their wallets quite so tightly as women in the Gen X and Baby Boomers age group. Even so, respondents across the board – males and females of every generation – cited shipping costs as their greatest pet peeve in online shopping, compared to other facets such as “getting put onto a retailer’s mailing list” and “getting something that looks nothing like it did online” after making a purchase. Millennials offered a bit of flexibility in that they weren’t as averse to paying more for same-day and overnight delivery, but this number is voided when you note that 70% of all users would not pay for same-day or overnight delivery when shopping, regardless.

Nearly 60% of US shoppers abandoned their digital carts due to the unexpected total cost with shipping, and just as many loaded up a cart at a competitor’s online store to see how the totals fared. If your cart abandonment rate is sky high (the typical rate for online retailers is an average of 67%), Trinity Insight suggests employing a multivariate test to explore conversion funnel results achieved by different shipping costs, offers for free shipping, and automatic calculations of the total order cost before users start the checkout process, to see what your site can provide that will persuade your customers to shop more confidently.

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