How many people abandon shopping carts on your website? Website and shopping
cart abandonment is a significant issue for many e-commerce companies as well
as traditional companies that rely on online registration. Understanding why
people abandon carts and registration pages, and developing ways to address
their concerns can help you increase your conversion rates considerably,
thereby cutting costs and improving sales.
Using eSurveysPro to survey your website visitors is easy and effective. When
the visitor leaves your site, survey them on the next webpage they see, or use
a separate pop-up window. With eSurveysPro, you will get real-time results,
giving you the information you need to make any necessary changes to your
Some Factors Influencing Abandonment Rates
According to various research reports, abandonment rates can be as high as 67%.
What contributes to such high rates? According to a research study performed by
Global Millennia Marketing in 2002, the reasons are:
- Cost of shipping too high and not shown until checkout (69%)
- Changed mind and discarded cart contents (61%)
- Comparison shopping or browsing (57%)
- Total cost of items is too high (49%)
- Saving items for later purchase (47%)
- Checkout process is too long (44%)
- Out of stock products at checkout time (39%)
- Checkout requires too much personal information (35%)
- Poor site navigation and long download times (31%)
- Lack of sufficient product or contact information (31%)
- Checkout process is confusing (27%)
- Site requires registration before purchase (23%)
- Site unclear on delivery times (17%)
- No order tracking options (16%)
- No gift certificates (11%)
These statistics, however, represent a number of different sites, and may not be
applicable to your site. You need to ask your site visitors why, just after
they abandon your purchase page. To evolve your website in a way that improves
your visitors' experiences, implement ongoing shopping cart abandonment surveys
to understand where the issues lie and if any trends exist.
How to Implement Abandonment Surveys
The best time to find out why a shopping cart is abandoned is when that visitor
leaves the purchase page without pressing the "Purchase Now" or "Submit"
buttons. A short pop-up survey could gather valuable information. With
eSurveysPro, you can pass information from the visitors' online activity to the
survey file as hidden fields so that the number of questions you ask can be
minimized and the data you have available in the survey file can be more
Since you may not have contact information from a visitor who hasn't completed
the purchase or registration process, you cannot send an email invitation. Even
if you do have contact information and are able to send an email invitation,
the visitor may not remember the circumstances of abandonment or be concerned
about the privacy of their activities on your site.
What Questions to Ask
The two major questions you want to answer through your abandonment survey are:
- Why did the visitor choose not to complete the purchase?
- What can the company / website change to encourage future purchases?
By including data from the visit through hidden fields, such as shopping cart
total and types of products abandoned, and by asking a few demographic
questions, you will build a good set of profiles for who abandons and why.
Limit the number of questions each visitor answers to fewer than seven. Why? The
visitor has already shown a tendency to abandon your site, so keeping the
survey short will make them more likely to complete it!
Your survey might start out:
Thank you for visiting MySite.com today. I notice that you didn't complete your
purchase today. Could you answer four quick questions to help us understand
I chose not to complete the purchase today because: (select top 3 reasons)
Order total was higher than I expected
Cost of shipping too high
Products out of stock
Too much personal information requested
Concerned about the website's security
Changed mind about products
Will purchase later
Checkout process is too long
Checkout process is confusing
Poor site navigation
Insufficient product information
Site unclear on delivery times
No order tracking
These responses fall into four categories: cost, security, no true purchase
intent, and user experience. The follow up questions could branch to other
questions, based on which category(ies) of responses they chose, or you could
pipe their responses to your next question(s). For example, if the respondent
was concerned about pricing issues, you might ask:
Compared to similar types of websites, how does MySite.com compare:
If you use a matrix question such as this one, keep the number of items down to
three or four. Matrix questions are easy to answer, and you can compare
responses across items. If they are too long however, visitors may abandon the
Alternately, you could ask about online purchasing behavior. There are many
people who are just browsing that choose never to buy online. Other visitors
may be regular online purchasers, but still do not purchase from your site.
Implementing this type of question can be extremely valuable when you compare
other responses based on their response to this question.
Next are your demographic questions. Keep these simple and brief. What you ask
is driven by the types of buyers who visit your site. Here are a few
demographic questions that may be useful for you to ask:
Example Business Demographic Questions
Example Consumer Demographic Questions
- What industry are you in?
- What department do you work in?
- What size is your company?
- What is your job title?
- Where do you live? (City, state or country)
- What are your gender, age-range, education level and household income?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
You may also find it valuable to ask how they first heard about your website. If
you are advertising or running promotions, knowing which of these activities
result in abandonment rather than purchases can help you choose which method to
Last, ask what changes you could make to encourage future purchases. You may
choose either a single or multi-select format, or even an open-ended question.
Over time, however, you may want to use the responses from an open-ended
question to develop single or multi-select formats. They are much easier and
faster to interpret, and facilitate cross-tabulation and filtering.
How to Review Results
Set up a review schedule for your survey results. Depending on your organization
and the level of site traffic, you may find it valuable to review results once
a week. If you are planning a significant change in your website, be certain to
track how responses change as the site changes.
Step one: Look at each question independently. Do you see
specific trends or obvious areas of concern? If you are using the four
categories for abandonment mentioned above, or if you have developed several
discrete categories that better fit your website, identify which category is
represented the most.
Step two: Use eSurveysPro's filtering feature to select
particular demographic groups. Are there specific areas of concern for these
groups? From earlier website visitor surveys, you may have developed several
user or purchaser profiles. Refer to these demographic sets to see if there are
Step three: Compare results based on hidden field data. You
might find specific trends based on the type of product abandoned, the order
total or date / day of the week. You may also find it valuable to look at this
data filtered by visitor profiles.
What to do Next
Now that you have identified why visitors are abandoning carts, and which
visitors are most likely to do so, you can prioritize website changes. You will
have clear data about which changes are most likely to result in the best
improvement in conversion rates.
After you make any updates to your website, do a comparison study of survey
results before and after the change. eSurveysPro makes it easy to filter your
responses by date so you can see if there are any issues or trends that emerge
as a result of the changes.
Knowing why visitors leave your website is critical. This knowledge will give
your company insight into what they can do to keep visitors from abandoning
your website thus improving the chance of securing their business. eSurveysPro
gives you the tools to survey your visitors to find out who they are and what
their interests are. This data is powerful as it will help you learn how to
improve their overall website experience.