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  1. #1
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    Merchants Please Comment - Abandon Rates
    This one is more for merchants than anybody else.

    I have a client that just launched about a month ago. They are getting decent traffic at about 500 unique visitors a day. And the conversion rate is doing well at about 8% of the visitors are adding an item to their cart. However, they are losing about 90% of the started carts to abandonment. (i.e. not checking out)

    Before I go ripping apart the site, can some merchants give me a good idea of what your cart abandonment rates are? I know it fluctuates by industry and product, but a good ballpark would be nice. I always felt that 20% or less was common but if it truly is 80% then that would be nice to know as well.

    Chris
    Chris Mayr
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  2. #2
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    Hi Chris
    I am a merchant.
    when we first started I had that problem.
    but it was something to do with the cart not being configured right..
    and it was very slow,, so we lost them..
    or is it possible you have some added charges at the end ???
    handling costs ,, or expensive shipping that's scaring them off???

    just suggestions that might help
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  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmayr23
    This one is more for merchants than anybody else.

    I have a client that just launched about a month ago. They are getting decent traffic at about 500 unique visitors a day. And the conversion rate is doing well at about 8% of the visitors are adding an item to their cart. However, they are losing about 90% of the started carts to abandonment. (i.e. not checking out)

    Before I go ripping apart the site, can some merchants give me a good idea of what your cart abandonment rates are? I know it fluctuates by industry and product, but a good ballpark would be nice. I always felt that 20% or less was common but if it truly is 80% then that would be nice to know as well.

    Chris
    All my merchnat with super high conversion ratios and less then 10% cart abandonment did just one thing to cure this evil. They eliminated the "place incentive code here" page and used the saved money to offer standardized free freight offer on over XXX amt orders.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
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    Actually to clarify, the cart offers free shipping. That is plastered pretty much everywhere on the site and there is no other fees added other than sales tax for the appropriate state residents.


    It is a bit of an obscure product offering ("health food for dogs") and I am afraid that might have something to do with it.

    The cart flows as follows: user finds an item, clicks add to cart. Clicks check out and is requested to enter email address and password for existing customers or just email address for new customers. They are then asked for billing and shipping info of course and payment info. Of the abandons, 99% happen before they ever put any information into the system.
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  5. #5
    Affiliate Coach sstark's Avatar
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    I dont know about other AM's, but if that was happening on my cart I'd want to know about it and would have it working properly within the day. That's just NOT COOL.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    I ran across a pretty cool site a while ago, SecondBite.com - They're a shopping cart abandonment solution.

    - Eder

  7. #7
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    Have you tested every possible shopping scenario and on multiple PC's to make sure it's all working etc? 80% is way too high. You can blame some on cookies being disabled, blame some on sales tax, blame it on whatever but it shouldn't equal more than 30% abandonment.
    Be 100% sure that your shopping cart is doing what it's supposed to do.

  8. #8
    Full Member David_NLC's Avatar
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    cmayr23,

    For your niche it sounds like you are within the ballpark for expected cart drop-off.

    There are so many reasons for abandonment, that without seeing your process, I can only offer speculation.

    Possible reasons:

    * comparison shopping/curiosity - adding to cart to see what total cost may be, then comparing it to local specialty pet stores...I have been doing this myself.

    * concern over security, legitimacy of company offering product.

    * length of checkout process - time to process each page.
    Best,

    David Rogers
    Sr. Manager, E-Commerce
    New Line Cinema
    212 649-4900
    NewLineShop.com
    WBShop.com
    TheOCInsiderShop.com

  9. #9
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    from www.clickz.com:
    Industry research shows up to 75 percent of shoppers abandon their online shopping carts before completing the checkout process.
    75 - 80% seems quite high, but this article says that this is the average /shrug

    Of coarse, we all believe what we read.......hehe

  10. #10
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Why do you care one way or the other whether or not they abandon their carts. I abandone my cards for many reason, not the least is I want to know how much it'll cost with tax and shipping.

    It seems to me, on the list of problems, abandoned carts is near the bottom.

    Mike

  11. #11
    Affiliate Coach sstark's Avatar
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    mike, I disagree completely. If a customer makes the effort to get to the end of the shopping process, there is no reason not to make the sale! if you have a high abandon rate, than something is missing, there's some reason your customers are being turned off. If it is simply wanting to see the Net Total, then have that information available before checkout time.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Talking
    Quote Originally Posted by cmayr23
    Actually to clarify, the cart offers free shipping. That is plastered pretty much everywhere on the site and there is no other fees added other than sales tax for the appropriate state residents.


    It is a bit of an obscure product offering ("health food for dogs") and I am afraid that might have something to do with it.

    The cart flows as follows: user finds an item, clicks add to cart. Clicks check out and is requested to enter email address and password for existing customers or just email address for new customers. They are then asked for billing and shipping info of course and payment info. Of the abandons, 99% happen before they ever put any information into the system.
    Two red flags for cart abandonment. If you site doesn't breed trust from it's design and layout then expect the "in your face" request for your e-mail address the immediate turn off. The second would be the "place coupon code here" box like I pointed out before. Go to Clickz and shop.org and query "shopping cart abandonment" and how to make your site convert articles. In a niche' like doggie health foods your "add to cart" shoppers should already be pre-disposed to buying non-super market brands.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  13. #13
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    Well in searching the cart logs, I did find one big reason. During the course of this discussion, the site was slurped. The slurp started and didn't complete (for obvious reasons) over 100 carts. The good news is the site is being indexed, the bad news is that the statistics are getting whacked out of proportion.

    I think that could be my major source of the problem. Now to fix that with a robot.txt file so that the cart is not indexed. I don't really need people to find that page in the serps.
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  14. #14
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    cmayr
    are you using 2co.
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  15. #15
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    Do you offer an affiliate program? They could all be potential affiliates taking a test-drive...

  16. #16
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    Chris,
    Just a few ideas in case you do not have these in place already.

    -If you are asking for an e-mail address to get to the checkout, make sure you have a privacy policy link closeby that opens a new page. Make sure it is in plain english, easy to read, straight forward and very obvious that you are not going to sell their information, if you indeed are not going to sell it.

    -If you can configure your cart to get to the page where the shopper enters their addresses etc. first, then enter their e-mail on that page, this may instill some additional confidence. Make sure the page where any info in entered is a secure page. Some sites have you enter your name and address etc on a non-secure page, then your cc info on a secure page. This is ok if it is a well-known or trusted site, but for a small site, the more SSL the better. Prominently display your veri$ign or whatever SSL certificate you have. If you use a third-party processor for ssl payments, they can usually supply you a link.

    -Mike has good advice. If you offer coupons all of the time, have the box to enter this info, but put it last in the sale process. If someone has entered all of their information then sees this, they are less likely to dive out once they are at least partially committed. If you do not offer coupons all of the time, leave the code box OFF as you always run a risk of losing someone in search of a coupon. Once gone, they may not return.

    -If you charge tax only in one state, state that on the page where the shopper adds the item to the cart and re-state it in the cart pages. Nothing p!sses me off more than a site who will not tell you what shipping charges and tax are before giving them your info. I abandon those 100% of the time.

    That's it.

    Good luck!


  17. #17
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    Uncle Scooter and Mike,

    Thanks for the info.

    I do actually have a privacy policy on the page where they enter email address. If they are repeat visitors, from that page, they can enter their email address and password (created on the last page) and we remember their address info to save them time. No credit card info is stored and I believe that is covered in the privacy policy but I am not positive. I will address that with the merchant.

    The versign seal is on every page of the site and the site is secure on the very first page that they have to enter any information.
    Coupons are on the very last page.

    I think that I could make the sales tax and shipping thing more prevalent on the cart page to ease concerns even more.

    Again though in reviewing my logs, I found over 60% of the abandoned carts for May were from the slurp getting to that page so I can fix that pretty quick.

    Ref the affiliate program. That is down the road once I have info like average sale, # of repeats, and click to conversion ratio so that I can develop a program that makes money for affiliates and the merchant.
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Smile Quick Tip
    In our research travels, we found that many consumers use the shopping cart as a type of wishlist, to bookmark items that catch their eye.

    Rugman.com actually offers a wish list on-site and even we found that when consumers didn't know how the wishlist worked, they used the cart for the same thing.

    If you're not offering a Wishlist (or some comparable feature) that allows them to bookmark their favorite items, you'll find that tons of folks who are just 'browsing' will add items to the cart and either just remove the item later, or, leave it there and abandon the site altogether.

    Good luck to you and your client.

  19. #19
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I use two kinds of shopping carts:

    1. If I place the "cart" on the product description page, it's the same as affiliate rates - about 8-10%.

    2. If I first make a thumbnail page,

    then they click to the product description page,

    then click thru to a "pre-registration" page (basically I give them a discount if they give their email - which they'll be giving anyway on the next page),

    followed by the actual shopping cart page (which states that the discount they were just offered expires today) -

    then with all that pre-screening, pre-selling, and buy-now incentives, it goes to 9 out of 10 put money in my merchant account!!

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    and also, make sure your "Buy Now" buttons are STRONG - so the customer KNOWS they are about to be billing their credit card

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmayr23
    This one is more for merchants than anybody else.

    I have a client that just launched about a month ago. They are getting decent traffic at about 500 unique visitors a day. And the conversion rate is doing well at about 8% of the visitors are adding an item to their cart. However, they are losing about 90% of the started carts to abandonment. (i.e. not checking out)

    Before I go ripping apart the site, can some merchants give me a good idea of what your cart abandonment rates are? I know it fluctuates by industry and product, but a good ballpark would be nice. I always felt that 20% or less was common but if it truly is 80% then that would be nice to know as well.

    Chris
    Chris --

    I think you'll have a hard time finding merchants willing to actually discuss what their cart abandonment % is. That being said, there's a whole slew of reasons why abandonment might be high, such as surprise high shipping charges, lengthy checkout process, asking for too much information, etc.

    Let's look at the information. First off... putting an item in a cart is not a conversion, unless the shopper has to pay the merchant to place something in the cart, and the affiliate gets a percentage.

    OK. 500 unique visits with 8% adding something to the cart. That's 40 shoppers with something in their cart. 10% of those shoppers are making a purchase. That's a total of 4 purchases, so the actuall conversion rate is 0.8%. I'm not sure what the average conversion rate is for canine health food, but I wouldn't be satisfied with that percentage. Even if half of the people who put something in their cart made a purchase, that would still only be a 4% conversion.

    I don't think the cart is the only problem. If only 8% of the people are beginning a purchase, the traffic probably isn't as targetted as it should be.
    Christopher Park
    Affiliate/Partnerships Manager
    Blair.com
    cjpark@blair.com
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  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Guys -

    I just had a genius idea. Lets start charging a "virtual restocking fee" on all items left in the cart. This will solve all our problems.

    - Eder



    P.S. In case you didn't notice, that was sarcasm. (You wouldn't believe how many replies I get to sarcastic posts).

  23. #23
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    8% conversion I guess is more of an internal terminology.

    With dog vitamins and supplements, you are looking at alot of tire kickers. Folks who aren't quite sure why they would even purchase. My problem is not so much focusing on who they are and why they are putting things in their cart but rather once they do getting them through the checkout lane.

    The other side of getting people to the site that are going to "convert" is actually the easier side of things and getting them to convert at a higher rate again is the easier function. If we just move the abandon rate from 90% down to 30%, the company would be satisfied with that sales rate in the limited test marketing that we are doing.

    Again though, let me be clear, I need to adjust my robots.txt file as I have found that the search engines are starting about 100 carts every time they come through the site and that is way skewing my numbers out of proportion.

    This is also not an affiliate site. These folks are the manufacturers of the product so I know some of this information is going to be different.
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Hey- if Blockbuster Video can make a BIG to-do about NO MORE LATE FEES (complete with multi-media campaign hype), then charge their customers up the wahoo for "restocking fees" equivalent to price of those same late fees when brought back, looks like anything's fair game.

    (kidding - that too, was sarcasm... for those who require clarification)

    *evil grin*

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