If you run a small or medium-sized e-commerce business, then you already know that closing a sale is far more difficult than initiating one. According to the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for e-commerce is nearly 70%. Just think of how many customers never get your goods out the virtual door, and what that means for your bottom line.

A recent DHL report examines the most common reasons that consumers stop transactions before payment is processed, and what your company can do about it. By understanding the root causes and developing specific plans to address customer concerns and uncertainty, you can start turning potential buyers in to satisfied customers.  Let’s take a closer look at the key areas of concern:

Shipping and Delivery

Want to confuse shoppers and drive them off your site? Give them complicated shipping options, unclear prices, and unreliable delivery services from unknown logistics operators. If you are like most e-commerce companies, then your customers are located around the globe and so are your suppliers. In this environment how – and how fast – you ship matters almost as much as what is being delivered. How much you charge also matters. Consumers will “shop around” for free shipping and reduced shipping prices, so your company should evaluate when and how you can compete. Examine how you might absorb the cost of free shipping, or if you can offer it for orders over a certain price.

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In addition, you need to offer express delivery for today’s fast-moving consumer. Next-day and same-day shipping aren’t the exception – they are quickly becoming the norm. In fact, slow delivery speed was the third most common reason for shopping cart abandonment in 2021.

Hidden Charges

When suddenly confronted with unexpected charges during checkout, shoppers generally react the same way: they give up and leave your site. Whether it is new shipping and handling charges or taxes and fees, buyers don’t like to feel tricked during a transaction.

The solution? Be transparent from the very beginning about all fees and charges. Display the “full price” from the start and use reassuring statements like “this is the total amount you’ll pay.”

Website Difficulties

Shoppers are consistently turned off by a checkout process that involves too many information fields, too many boxes to check, and too many screens to move through. These concerns are even more pronounced during mobile transactions. In fact, research from Forrester shows that one key reason for shopping cart abandonment is because buyers are asked for too much information.

As a result, you need to simplify your checkout process, ask only for the information you need, and make sure your pages load quickly.

Payment Options

Did you know 70% of online shoppers are more likely to complete a purchase if their preferred payment method is available at checkout? Hopefully, your site is already offering the main payment methods – PayPal, all credit cards, and Apple Pay. But you also need to consider new payment trends such as “buy now, pay later” or payment via WhatsApp. Take a look at DHL’s guide to payment options for more information.

The Competition
The internet is built for competition and comparison shopping. When your potential buyers look around and find a better offer somewhere else, they’ll jump ship fast. To compensate, you need to research and understand the competition, match prices, and offer frequent promotions.

What is your business doing to avoid shopping cart abandonment? Let us know on Twitter @DHLUS.

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