More shopping on mobile amplifies a persistent problem for online retailers.
Growing cart abandonment.
Research from Barilliance, an eCommerce personalization tools developer, illuminates the challenge.
The smaller the screen, the bigger the problem.
- Desktop… 73.1% average shopping cart abandonment rate.
- Tablet… 80.7% average shopping cart abandonment rate.
- Mobile… 85.6% average shopping cart abandonment rate.
Part of the problem is rooted in technology… there could be little or no optimization for mobile.
It may not be possible for the retailer to throw a rescue line such as a pop-up into the midst of a transaction going sideways.
But even when the technology hits on all cylinders, there’s a deeper challenge.
Setting The Table For A Completed Transaction
McGill University marketing professor Robert Soroka says sales are won and lost before checkout.
“The issue is what goes on before the consumer gets to the checkout line. In a brick and mortar establishment, there is typically variety, and the ability to evaluate the variety more completely.
“Clothing can be touched, tried on, seen on you by your shopping partner, and discussed with a sales associate. These are all ‘risk reducing strategies’ that are not inherent in an online consumption experience.”
Clothing ranks as a retail category where shopping cart abandonment runs high.
Research from Content Square reveals that clothing is the #1 merchandise product category left in uncompleted digital transactions.
Saraoka suggests that two factors imperil online clothing purchases.
One is the ease of returning merchandise and the other is the shopper’s perception of choice.
“Many clothing brick and mortar sales occur in a mall environment,” says Saroka, “where consumers have the opportunity to comparison shop under one roof, trying on several competitors’ offerings and becoming more comfortable with the choice by the time they commit to the checkout line.
“The ‘behavioral disconnect’ is actually related to the degree to which the stages in the decision – making process are satisfied. A consumer can evaluate alternatives and engage in trial more fully before committing to purchase in a brick and mortar environment.
“Because certain important evaluation criteria are not so easily observed when shopping online, consumer commitment is not so readily secured.”
Overall Experiences, Not Isolated Events
Adam Hindhaugh, creative & product director at Ve Global, a London-based marketing technology firm, says cart abandonment is largely a result of marketers making flawed assumptions.
“Time and time again, I see brands spending huge sums on driving traffic to their websites through online advertising only to make the assumption that once a customer lands onsite the job is done. There’s still plenty of work to be done once a customer finds their way onto your site.
“The prospecting and brand building achieved through online advertising should transition neatly into an onsite experience that sets about building an immediate relationship with the consumer, regardless of whether this is the first of fifteenth time they’ve visited the website.”
Cart Abandonment Remedies
The growth of mobile ecommerce means marketers should continue to refine the customer journey.
Cart abandonment metrics can improve when stronger mobile-centric experiences are delivered.
“Start at the earliest point in the consumer journey and analyze every touchpoint,” says Hindbaugh, “from product discovery through to purchase, to assess the user experience and the effectiveness of any ‘triggers’ they’ve deployed to engage, acquire, and convert customers along the way.
“Too often, digital marketers attempt to diagnose the reason for basket abandonment at the end of the conversion funnel. There are many contributing factors to basket abandonment, none of which can be assessed in isolation.
“A guiding principle for all marketers should be this: a customer doesn’t care if you’ve invested heavily in one touchpoint; they care about the overall experience.”