Shopping online has never been more convenient, but with that convenience comes a problem that has reached pandemic proportions: basket abandonment. Basket abandonment refers to the phenomenon of customers adding items to their online shopping carts, but then leaving the website without completing their purchase. This is a significant issue for e-commerce, as it results in lost (and measured) sales and revenue. Basket abandonment is also an issue in physical retail, however the factors that contribute to it in-store are different to those online.
This article will cover the following:
→ Did you know basket abandonment is higher in e-commerce than physical retail?
→ What the research says about basket abandonment in e-commerce vs physical retail
→ Why the reasons behind basket abandonment are so different between physical retail and e-commerce
→ How to use one-to-one video commerce as a tool to prevent basket abandonment in e-commerce
Did you know basket abandonment is higher in e-commerce than physical retail?
Yes, that is true, and it can have negative, long-lasting effects for retailers. Basket abandonment in e-commerce sits at a staggering 70% with desktop devices, according to the Baymard Institute. With mobile and tablet devices, this sits even higher, with mobile being 85.65% and tablets being 80.74%. In physical retail, however, the basket abandonment rate sits at around 24%, according to Sale Cycle.
Basket abandonment rates can vary depending on the industry sector, as well as the specific retailer and the customer demographics. This rate can vary depending on the type of products being sold and the specific retailer. For example, basket abandonment rates tend to be higher for luxury goods and fashion items, whereas they tend to be lower for everyday essentials such as groceries.
Statistics by sector
What the research says about basket abandonment in e-commerce vs physical retail
Basket abandonment in e-commerce refers to when a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but then leaves the website without completing the purchase. This can be a significant problem for e-commerce retailers, as it results in lost sales and can negatively impact the bottom line.
There are several factors that can contribute to basket abandonment in e-commerce that are documented again and again, including:
- High shipping costs: Customers may be deterred from completing their purchase if the shipping costs are perceived as too high. According to Retail Dive, 58% of customers cited high shipping costs as the reason for cart abandonment.
- Lack of trust: Customers may be hesitant to provide their personal and payment information if they do not trust the retailer or the website. According to Shopify, 17% of customers abandoned their cart due to a lack of trust in the retailer.
- Complex checkout process: A complicated checkout process can make it difficult for customers to complete their purchase, causing them to abandon their cart. According to a study by Baymard Institute, 26% of customers abandoned their cart due to a complicated checkout process.
- No guest checkout: Requiring registration or login before checkout process, some customers may be deterred from completing the purchase if they don’t want to create an account or login. According to a study by Barilliance, 28% of customers abandoned their cart because they were required to create an account or login before completing the checkout process
- No clear return policy: Lack of clear return policy or no return policy at all may discourage customers from completing the purchase.
- Price comparison: Customers may abandon their cart if they find a lower price for the same item on another website.
Showrooming: Basket Abandonment in Physical Retail
Basket abandonment in physical retail is often known as “showrooming”, where customers visit a store to browse and try on products, but then leave without making a purchase, even after having shown interest.
The causes of basket abandonment in physical retail, as reported by the National Retail Federation, can often be characterised as follows:
- Limited product availability: If a customer is unable to find the specific product they are looking for, 26% leave the store without making a purchase
- Long wait times at the checkout: Customers may become frustrated if they have to wait in a long line to make their purchase, which leads to 32% of them leaving the store without making a purchase
- Poor store layout: A cluttered or poorly designed store layout can make it difficult for customers to navigate and find the products they are looking for, leading to 15% of them leave the store without making a purchase
- Lack of customer service: Poor or lack of customer service can make the customer feel unwelcome, and lead to 11% of customers to leave the store without making a purchase
Why the reasons behind basket abandonment are so different between physical retail and e-commerce
Confer With believes that the main reason behind these abandonment rates is because e-commerce is looking at the problem the wrong way. Across both physical and e-commerce retail, customers can’t find the products that best fit their needs. In physical retail, a poor store layout makes it very difficult for the customer to navigate the product they are looking for, in the exact same way it is difficult to navigate a retailer’s website. Limited availability is a similar problem – available products don’t match their needs. Then 11% will leave if they have a bad customer experience.
It’s a fact that physical retail compared to e-commerce converts better. We think it’s because they have found the real problem: people can’t find what they are looking for, and the customer wants to talk to a human being. This human (who is hugely important), the store employee, can recommend and show the customer the right product, as well as answer any questions they may have regarding it.
That is what gets customers across the line when there is a complicated purchase. If they find the product that meets their needs and they want the product – everything else is noise.
How to use one-to-one video commerce as a tool to prevent basket abandonment in e-commerce
Video commerce reduces e-commerce basket abandonment rates by 30%.
One-to-one video commerce is a contributing factor to solving the issue of customers struggling to find the products that best suit their needs:
1. Personalised recommendations
A sales representative can use the one-to-one video call to understand the customer’s needs and preferences and make personalised product recommendations. This can help to ensure that the customer is purchasing a product that is well-suited to their needs and will be satisfied with their purchase.
This reduces the chances of the customer selecting different products that don’t correspond with their initial enquiry. Confer With conversion rates triple in a video call when alternative products are recommended.
By using Confer With’s suggestions feature, this allows a selection of alternative products that offer the same function that the customer would like. For example, a customer looking to purchase a named brand TV can be shown products of similar technical spec and value for comparative purposes. This supports the sales of retail staff and helps customers make informed decisions without deviating from the core product.
2. Selecting the right product is key – and the product details matter
By providing detailed information and answering any questions, a representative can help the customer to make a more informed decision and reduce the chances of purchasing the wrong product (which can lead to abandonment). Retailers provide information needed to make an informed decision and importantly overcome any objections.
Confer With’s immersion tools allow sales representatives to share images and videos, which see’s conversion rates skyrocket on the platform. In fact, Confer With are seeing 20% and above conversion rates; one of the key factors contributing to this number is when images are shared within a live, one-to-one video call.
3. Addressing concerns with conversational commerce
In a conversation, a representative can use the one-to-one video call to address any concerns or questions the customer may have about a product. One-to-one video commerce can be particularly useful for high-value or complex products, as it allows customers to ask questions and get a detailed understanding of the product before making a purchase. It also creates a personal connection with the customer, which can help to build trust and loyalty between them and your brand.
4. Cross sell: meeting all needs in the one place
A representative can use the one-to-one video call to recommend complementary products; this helps the customer to have a better experience with the purchased product and increase the chances of customer satisfaction – and maybe meet all of their needs, rather than just one.
Should the initial product be out of stock, then Confer With’s embedded technology enables retail experts to perform stock checks without leaving the video channel with their inventory check feature.
Find out more about live commerce and why it matters in 2023 e-commerce business planning.
Basket abandonment is a prevalent concern for e-commerce companies, resulting in both revenue loss and missed opportunities for potential customers. We think e-commerce is looking the problem in the wrong way. Retail have got it right and that is why their abandonment rates are that much lower. Customers, whether in physical or online retail, need to be guided on their shopping journey, and implementing one-to-one video commerce as a tool is the best way to do so.