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Shipping Charges and Shopping Cart Abandonment

Published by Charles Brodeur

PayPal  recently published a survey of online transactions (or non-transactions)  and here is how we read the results:

The biggest challenge for online merchants is getting them through the eCommerce Conversion Funnel.  The funnel usually looks a little something like this:

StoreFront (Home Page)
> Catalog View
>> Product List View
>>> Product Detail View
>>>> Shopping Cart Summary**
>>>>> Check Out Form

** The Shopping Cart Summary is the page where the buyer sees a summary of the products selected, the taxes, and the shipping charges.  This is where the ABANDONMENT occurs.

We can measure and test abandonment rates to help your site reduce abandonment.  And PayPal has helped us to see what items need to be considered or tested to increase sales.

Here are our interpretations of PayPals survey:

Main reason why visitors leave the Shopping Cart Summary:
 - To gather more information like "Shipping Costs"

Main reason for abandoning:
 - Shipping Charges were too high
 - Wanted to compare prices with another website
 - Wanted to compare prices with a Bricks and Mortar store
 - Wanted to look for an online coupon
 - The preferred payment option was not available

Main Suggestion for Online Merchants
 - Provide shipping charges upfront before the checkout
 - Provide as many options for payment as possible

Shipping still seems to be the main driver for visitors to leave a website behind.  We suggest that all online merchants carefully examine their shipping policies and consider making "Shipping" a marketing function rather than an "Operational" function.

In that, part or all shipping charges can be built into the selling price of the product and then you can have the luxury of using shipping charges as a marketing tool like "Free Shipping".

To read the complete survey click here


Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1
info@BigTurns.com

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