How to Fix the Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Buy from Your Online Store

by Lauren Schneidewind on February 24, 2017

According to information from Statista, global B2C e-commerce sales reached an incredible $1.2 trillion in 2013. The United States generated around 1/3 of that amount or 29.7%.

Despite these impressive numbers, another statistic reads that the online shopping cart abandonment rate was 88% in 2013, up from 81% in 2012 (source: UPS Pulse of the online shopper). Why are so many customers not completing their purchases?

A survey of 19,000 consumers and 153 senior retail decision makers from the beginning of 2012 gave some answers.

Here are the Top 10 reasons why people abandon online shopping carts:

Reason #1 - Unexpected costs increased the price

As many as 56% of potential online customers get disappointed when the shipping costs make the final price higher than expected.

How to fix this:

Show shipping and other charges with your product base price;
Have shipping information available on the first page of your website;
Another option is to show shipping price on your product listing or product pages, as part of the price or indicated next to it.

Reason #2 - Window shoppers: I was just browsing

Note that 37% of the participants in the survey confessed that they were just window shopping and didn’t have the intention to buy anything.

How to fix this:

Since such behavior can’t be controlled, there are still a few things a good e-commerce entrepreneur can do to encourage a sale, even if the visitor hasn’t planned to buy:
First, make sure that your website provides an excellent user experience by offering beautiful design and easy navigation;
Use smart product recommendations based on visitor behavior to personalize their experience;
Offer engaging and informative content to make visitors come back to your site;
Send appropriate cart abandonment and ‘we miss you’ emails to remind customers about your site;
Apply an email pop to your website to get visitors’ email addresses for your mailing list.

Reason #3 - I found a better price somewhere else

Yes, 36% of online shoppers declared that they chose to buy from an online store that offered them a lower price.

How to fix this:

If there is a strong competitor that operates in your industry, then you need to be smarter. Use new techniques to attract customers - such as offering them certain perks that will keep them shopping with you.

Reason #4 - Final price too high

Of all the participants in the study, 32% indicated that the final price was too high.

How to fix this:

Are a lot of your store’s visitors browsing without buying anything? If that’s the case, you may attract their attention and encourage them to buy by:

  • Offering discounts
  • Running a Buy One Get One Free offer
  • Allowing testimonials on your website. Testimonials assure your customers that the price corresponds to high quality.

Reason #5 -  Decided against buying

A quarter of the potential customers – 26%, suddenly decided that they didn’t need to make a purchase just then.

How to fix this:

This is another case in which capturing visitor’s email addresses and creating an active mailing list will benefit your business. You can use this list to send remarketing emails with alternative products that might be of interest to your potential customers.

Reason #6 - Complicated website navigation

Another 25% complained that they decided against a purchase because it was too difficult for them to navigate through the online store.

How to fix this:

Examine the structure of your store and check if it was built according to e-commerce best practices:
The main navigation bar should include a list of the main product categories of your store. The place for the 'Sale' and 'New' categories is there;
Introduce a 'Bestseller’s Collection’ – a smart way to attract new visitors;
The very top of the screen should show your contact details, a search box, user account and special offer banners.

Reason #7 - Website crashed during purchase

It’s not a surprise that 24% of potential customers are disappointed when a website crashes in the middle of their shopping experience.

How to fix this:

First of all, this is something that shouldn’t happen at all, because it shows a really low level of professionalism. If such serious problems are occurring, check if there is a technical reason for the failure. If necessary - hire a professional to fix it.

Reason #8 - Unnecessarily long process

Almost a quarter of participants in the survey, 21%, criticized the length of the buying process. According to them, it took too long without a clear reason why.

How to fix this:

Experience shows that the primary cause for the purchase taking too long is the checkout process. Test it for bugs or unnecessary steps and:

  • Provide a variety of payment methods, so that the customer can choose their favorite one.
  • Allow for guest checkout, without forcing your customers to sign in or create a new account.
  • Make sure that fields with incorrect input are clearly marked.

Reason #9 - Excessive payment security checks

18% of the people who visit an online store think that therе are unnecessary steps in the security process. The extra details disrupt their buying experience.

How to fix this:

If excessive security is a problem on your website, you need to optimize the payment security process and make sure to eliminate the useless fields. Create a smooth experience by including only those steps that are mandatory.

Reason #10 - Payment security concerns

Just the opposite of reason #9 – 18% of the participants decided against buying because they were worried that their payment was not secure enough. With news related to hacked websites and leaking of sensitive information, it’s understandable that people are concerned.

How to fix this:

You can help them feel secure by including the SSL certificate, payment provider, or industry badges in your footer and/or the checkout sidebar.

E-commerce is constantly evolving by implementing new technologies and by finding ways to understand consumer behavior better. If you want to increase the sales in your online store, it's vital to learn the reasons why people abandon their shopping carts.

Now, that you know some of the reasons and how to correct them, you have a much better chance of becoming a favorite e-commerce destination for many customers.

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