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The art of the cart:
Why people abandon shopping carts

By Craig Goldwyn, visibility.tv

The problem of selling online takes many forms. First you must build it before they come. Then you must find ways to drive customers to the site. Then you must merchandise your products and make it easy and desirable to buy. And finally, you must close the sale. The bane of all ecommerce sites is the abandoned shopping cart, the incompleted transaction. Studies estimate that up to 75% of all shopping carts are abandoned before the sale is closed. All that effort and money, and you failed to close the sale. A study by a leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) research firm offers valuable insight into why. They evaluated the experiences of 719 consumers as they used shopping carts on ecommerce sites. According to the study, the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment, and the percentage of consumers citing each as a reason, are:

  1. High shipping prices (72%)
  2. Comparison shopping or browsing (61%)
  3. Changed mind (56%)
  4. Saving items for later purchase (51%)
  5. Total cost of items is too high (43%)
  6. Checkout process is too long (41%)
  7. Checkout requires too much personal information (35%)
  8. Site requires registration before purchase (34%)
  9. Site is unstable or unreliable (31%)
  10. Checkout process is confusing (27%)

The message is, as always, focus on the customer.

Here's a good article on the subject: http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles4/cart-abandonment.htm

Here's a company that offers to call people who abandon carts and help close the deal: http://www.ContactCenter.com

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