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Customer Behavior: Reasons Why a Consumer Will Leave an Ecommerce Site Without Purchasing

By | Ramandeep

With the global market still battling the economic aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the competition among retailers has shifted almost entirely to online platforms. As recent sales statistics show, more than half of the entire consumer population prefers shopping online rather than making in-store purchases. This should be an encouraging figure for business owners, but the existence of a potential market alone doesn’t automatically convert into sales profit. The real challenge lies in having customers that make a purchase or two before exiting your business’ eCommerce site.

Store owners often wonder why their online site is not getting the level of engagement or the high number of initially anticipated sales. Several factors can influence online presence in a way that eventually will improve sales; they’re worth learning to know how to drive traffic and improve your site’s conversion rate.

Customer Experience

●      “User-hostile” eCommerce site

It is always necessary for an eCommerce site to ensure a pleasant shopping experience for their customers. To do this, the site needs to be set up so that each step of the buying process is intuitive and straightforward within the customer experience. Further, all of the resources that contain the important information that the customers need to know should be accessible all of the time. Whenever a vital detail doesn’t show up until the tail-end of the buying process, or worse, at the payment page, it is a proven dealbreaker for the customer every time – nobody likes to feel like they have been tricked.

Regardless of the amount of traffic that an online site can generate, a site will never create high sales unless it can achieve a desirable conversion rate. User-hostile sites and purchasing processes will destroy your conversion rate, avoid this by considering the customer experience.

●      Complicated Checkout Process

A majority of shoppers (56%) report choosing to abandon their online carts because of long and confusing checkout processes. When this happens, businesses don’t only lose potential sales at those specific points in time, but the poor experiences also affect client decisions to buy from the same store in the future – they’ll remember that the checkout process was complicated, and they will find an easier solution.

Some of the complexities that customers may face include:

  • forced registration
  • excessive personal information requirements
  • a lengthy order form
  • absence of a mechanism that automates entry of the billing or shipping address and other repetitive credentials
  • not having the option to checkout as a guest

The best way to address this is to have a simplified checkout process with as few steps as possible.

Pricing Irregularities

●      Hidden Charges and No Payment Transparency

Another study shows that 56% of online shoppers leave an eCommerce site when presented with unexpected costs. There are retail websites that don’t mention delivery expenses, product purchase tax, shipping costs, or other additional costs, and when the customer eventually sees the final price on these kinds of sites, they’ll be surprised.

This lack of transparency in the payment process causes customers to leave the website without purchasing, and leaves a bad impression that could have a negative effect on future sales

●      Additional Charges

Apart from hidden charges, customers also run in the opposite direction at the sight of extra fees and additional charges.

On the contrary, they’d flock to a site that provides transparent pricing or that offers discounts. Nothing earns a business a positive and favorable impression from its customer base more than the word “sale” and the potential savings they get to have from these kinds of limited-time deals.

It can also be an excellent practice for an eCommerce site to factor the shipping cost into the product price, or even better, offer free shipping. A waived shipping cost is a great way to make customers feel like they’re getting a good deal without costing the company any profit.

●      Lack of Market Research and Competitive Pricing

Research shows that 18% of online shoppers leave an eCommerce site without purchasing because they just wanted to make pricing comparisons. It is important to note that competitive pricing isn’t just a matter of dropping prices – here, better product quality and customer service become such vital factors that people don’t mind paying more once they’re convinced that it’s worth paying extra.

Nowadays, competitive pricing is one of the most critical determining factors for a customer in deciding whether or not to stay on the page to buy from a particular eCommerce site or go to the competition. Because information is accessible now more than ever, thanks to the Internet, buyers can easily compare prices and select from numerous retailers for a particular product.

This makes it even more important for a business to perform adequate market research and know its competitors, in order to:

  • Determine the current demand for the product(s)
  • Figure out the lowest price the business can charge for the product

In reality, only 17% of customers are shopping online with the intent to make a purchase. That’s why there’s no doubt that competitive pricing matters.

System Security

Payment Security Concerns

As much as 15% of customers report abandoning their online carts because of concerns related to the retail site’s payment security measures. To start, a third of online shoppers already hesitate to purchase online due to high numbers of cases of data theft and credit card fraud. Therefore, it’s essential for businesses to put into place a clear-cut customer privacy policy. The payment process should help ease customer concerns about the security of their identity, not cause them worry.

Finally, it’s beneficial for a business to keep its SSL certificate up-to-date and active on the eCommerce site’s web pages. Having proper encryption technology helps gain the consumers’ trust and likely increases sales for any online business.

Excessive Security Measures

While ensuring security is important to provide users a proper sense of safety and satisfaction, anything in excess is likely to cause customers to leave the eCommerce site right away. This is no different for security – too many security measures can annoy the customer.

Some security measures tend to be unnecessary and even redundant. They include:

  • Excessive payment security measures
  • Repetitive sign-in
  • Repetitive credential input

Key Takeaway

Although numerous factors contribute to why shoppers abandon their online carts, there are a number of solutions that can be utilized to help improve conversion rates for online retail stores.

These solutions can be summarized as follows:

For starters, it’s best to apply one fix at a time and keep a close eye on every result for future reference. Before long, the cart abandonment stats of your eCommerce site will start to improve dramatically.


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