Posted September 6, 2011 4:07 pm by with 3 comments

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More people than ever are shopping online. That’s the good news. The bad news is that customer satisfaction is dropping and shopping cart abandonment is on the rise. (Don’t hate me, but I abandoned two just this weekend.)

iPerceptions has a new report that looks at post shopping experience feedback. What they found was that overall customer satisfaction was down from 73% last year to 70% this year.

The biggest concern is that only 60% of customers who came to buy walked away with what they came for. Says iPerceptions,

“For a business that does $10 million per year in online sales, a 60% Task Completion rate among buyers means $6.7 million in business is simply walking away.”

For the small business owner, losing even one sale can really hurt, let alone 40%.

Why did shoppers leave unhappy? 42% said they couldn’t find what they wanted and 30% said the product wasn’t available. Lack of product info and unclear pricing also played a part in the walk-away.

Technical issues, which used to be a big barrier, only came in at 2%, so that’s good news for e-commerce as a whole.

I shop online a lot and there are two big reasons I walk away from a shopping cart. One is add-on charges. I shop at a webstore that has a very bad habit of showing a cheap shipping rate on my cart up until the moment I go to pay, then it socks me with a number three times that amount. I also use a lot of coupon codes, and intensely dislike stores that don’t allow me to enter them upfront so I can see my discount, or make it so hard to enter them that I give up.

Another reason I walk away is because of an embarrassment of riches. I recently started shopping at an online scrapbook store that simply has too many items. Each category has multiple categories and every item I click shows me ten more items. I often get overwhelmed by the choices and leave. iPerception says that a lack of focus is a big problem for e-commerce sites since customers constantly demand more, more, more. The trick, they say, is to eliminate the “tiny tasks” and focus in on what it is the majority of people want to do and find when they hit your website. Easier said than done, but it’s something to think about.

Confession time. When was the last time you abandoned a shopping cart and why?

  • Connor Keating

    Two weeks ago was the last time when I abandoned my shopping cart. There was a campaign saying ‘VAT back on all LED TVs, buy cheaper this week’ and since I needed a new TV I wanted to purchase one but to my surprise when I was about to check out I noticed that the price was unchanged and there was a small print saying ‘You get $200 back in the form of a shopping voucher’. Now I have read some articles about this kind of marketing, published by Yury Mintskovsky and I do know that this is 90% of the times the way in which major retailers give discounts and I agree with this but until now whenever there was such a campaign they had always notified on the home page that the discount is in the form of a shopping voucher, not just before you check out and in small print.

  • You are so right.

    The trick is, how do you find out why are they leaving YOUR site? As I mention in my book, Roadmap to Revenue, there is a fast/easy way to find out – call 5 – 10 current customers and ASK THEM – conversationally, not in a “survey” way – how they feel about your site and the shopping experience.

    For example – Cynthia, if the “cheap shipping” site company or the “too many items” site folks called you and asked you the right questions, you’d be happy to explain what was disturbing (I call these “barriers to the sale”) and what you could do to improve the experience. You’d have all sorts of other useful opinions, too, which, if they listened and heeded (and other customers agreed), and they made those changes, you’d be happy to shop there again and again. Right?

    Kristin Zhivago

  • The last time I shopped online I ended up paying more for the product than what its price was at brick and mortar stores.