shoppers abandon my on-line store?"
Your store may be
experiencing "store abandonment". Visitors start the
ordering process, and then abandon it. There are several
reasons why this might be happening. Some you can fix
easily, others you can not stop but might be able to
minimize. The main reasons are:
Shipping costs too high
- Often shoppers do not find out what the shipping costs are
until they start to check out. Then they discover that the
shipping is going to be as much as the product itself, so
they leave your store in mid ordering. Some ways to stop
this is to tell shoppers upfront how the shipping will be
determined. Is it based on individual products, the total of
the order, or the total weight? A great way to get people to
try your product is to offer them free shipping.
Site is slow to respond
- This holds true for any site, be it e-commerce or a simple
static site. Make sure that your pages download quickly. You
can control some of this by limiting the size of the
graphics you use, avoiding needless plug-ins such as Flash
or background sound, and avoiding banner ads from other
sites. If you do all of these things and are still
experiencing slow downloads, then contact your hosting
provider to find out why. If they can't fix it, find a
better provider. This is a classic case of "you get what you
pay for"... you are not going to get Amazon.com performance
out of a $10.00 per month hosting service.
Lack of trust - The
biggest hurdle you have to overcome is the trust factor.
Online shoppers are asking themselves several questions;
Will my product arrive as described? Will my credit card
number be safe? What if I don't like the product, can I get
my money back? You have to answer these questions right at
the start and convince them it is safe to order from you.
Click here for ideas to make your site
Non secure ordering - Web shoppers are becoming
smarter and will no longer type their credit card number on
a form that is not secure. Put them at ease right away and
tell them you offer secure shopping right on your home or
store front page.
- You should have a statement on your site saying what you
will do with the personal information you are collecting.
Shoppers don't want you to sell their name to other
companies and be bombarded with even more telemarketers or
spam. Let them know that the information is for your uses
only and that you will not sell or give the information to
Ease of shopping around
- Unlike driving around town to find the best value,
shoppers can use their mouse button to shop around. Many
people have no intention of buying your product, but are
simply price shopping. Once they learn the price, they leave
your store often to buy the product locally. The only way to
combat this is to offer the best price you can and sell them
on your service and the convenience of ordering on-line.
Unanswered questions about
product/service - After reading your website or product
descriptions, the shopper still doesn't understand all the
features. When designing your site, keep two things in mind.
One, that the shopper can not pick up the product and feel
it. You need to include pictures, sometimes several, and a
very clear description. Two, in the descriptions, describe
EVERYTHING in terms that are easy to visualize. Assume your
client has never seen your product and has no idea what it
does. It is far better to give too much information then not
Shopper gets confused
- This happens at stores that offer hundreds or thousands of
products. The owner wanted to put everything in the store,
but didn't take the time to follow how the site flows. As
people click links within your site they are taken to other
pages and then other pages, and then still more pages. Soon
they don't remember what they were looking for and can't
find their way back to the "home" page. On every page of
your site and store have a link to the home and contact
pages. This way shoppers can start again or call for help.
You may want to break your store into two or three smaller
Ordering process is too
complicated - If your online store is too hard for
people to use they will leave. They don't want to have to
sign in or search for the "checkout" button. One of the
reasons they are buying online is to save time.
Loss of Internet
connection - This is one thing you can not control. They
may lose their electricity or their Internet connection.
This of course stops the ordering process. Unfortunately
most of the time people don't come back to your site. Either
they forgot were they where or they lost interest in buying
the item. The best thing to do is make yourself memorable so
that they will come back.
Their credit card type is
not accepted - The shopper has decided to purchase your
item, they start the ordering process only to discover that
you only accept Master Card and Visa and not American
Express. So they abandon the order. What can you? Well, you
could accept all the possible cards or if you don't want to
do that, then clearly say on your home and store front pages
what cards you do accept.
Credit Card is rejected
- This is another reason that you can't really control. A
credit card could be rejected for several reasons. It could
be stolen, they typed in the wrong credit card number or
expiration date, or there was a glitch in the system. The
best way to deal with this is to remind the shopper to
carefully type in their information and to check it before
Needless questions as part
of ordering process - This is a pet peeve of mine. I am
just about to complete an order and I get bombarded with
pop-up windows. One asking me how my experience was, one
telling me of a special offer, one is an ad for a related
product, etc. I get enough pop-up windows just surfing the
Web... I don't need them when placing an order. Having a
pop-up window letting me know of a special on a product
related to what I just purchased is a good idea. For
example: If you are selling go karts, have a helmet pop-up.
For surveys, send an email thanking them for their order and
ask them to complete the survey located at (give URL). Offer
an incentive. Maybe a discount on their next order or enter
them into a drawing.
Testing a Stolen Credit
Card - This is a growing problem and is costing online
merchants money, and at this time there isn't anything you
can do about it. What people are doing is stealing a credit
card then going to an online store and placing an order but
they never finalize the order. All they are doing is seeing
if the credit card is still good. They then take it to
stores to purchase items.