Baymard Institute reports that 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. High cart abandonment rates are a headache for any marketer in charge of e-commerce sales.
Some cart abandonment is simply the nature of omnichannel shopping — the complexity of shifting between web sites and physical stores as a consumer does research in one place and buys in another.
But a number of factors (unexpected shipping costs, a complicated checkout process, requiring shoppers to set up a user account, etc.) can be addressed with better checkout flow and design.
Baymard predicts that fixing checkout usability issues alone can boost conversion rates by 35%. In the US and EU alone, Baymard estimates this low hanging fruit “translates to $260 billion worth of lost orders which are recoverable.”
Klaviyo, a marketing automation company, claims that businesses using cart recovery emails earn back 3-14% of lost sales, an average revenue per email recipient of $5.81.
Yet many of the solutions are not one size fits all. It’s hard to really know why someone left your website without finalizing an order. And some of the tactics marketers commonly use can come across as creepy or annoying.
Econsultancy editor Ben Davis chronicled some of his frustrations a couple years ago after receiving a string of increasingly aggressive retargeting emails for a pair of slippers he added to a cart but never bought. One email noted the exact 9° Celsius temperature in Manchester where Ben lived as a reason why the slippers would be a good purchase. As Ben put it:
“Automated personalisation isn’t always a good thing. If it isn’t implemented sensitively it can jar. Nobody likes to feel like they are in some giant sausage making machine, or being served by a slightly sinister robot butler.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: