GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central

There is a lot of discussion in commercial business circles about the issue and “problem” of shopping cart abandonment. That’s where an online shopper places something in the checkout cart, but does not follow through with the purchase.

Many expensive studies have been commissioned and many analysts have devoted a lot of time to discussing this issue and its possible solutions.

Well, I don’t know about other online shoppers, but for me there is one primary reason why I abandon my shopping carts online and it has nothing to do with changing my mind about the item. …

This relates to a pet peeve I have had for a long time about a certain tactic employed by retailers both online and offline.

My reason for abandoning my online shopping cart is simple: it is because the online seller or retailer failed to give me the information I needed and forced me to place the item in the cart so I could move on to the next step where the information I needed could be found.

Shopping Cart AbandonmentIn other words, the retailer was trying to trick me into moving to checkout before I was ready to do so, perhaps thinking that if they can get shoppers to place things in the cart, perhaps they’ll just say something like, “Oh, what the heck. I’m here already, I might as well just buy the thing!”

Well, that tactic doesn’t work on me.

Before I decide to buy an item, I want to know how much it costs, what the shipping costs are, what payment options are available and, depending on the item and the seller, perhaps a few other factors.

If the retailer fails to provide any of that information, and if I am seriously interested in the item, then I will place it in the shopping cart simply so I can go to the checkout stage to get the details I need. Once there, if I don’t like what I see, I cancel the order or abandon the cart.

So, the solution is very simple: provide the shopper with all of the information needed to make the buying decision before the item has to go into the shopping cart and through to checkout.

By the way, this applies offline, too. I have abandoned things at a physical store’s checkout counter simply because they could not be bothered to mark a price on the item or on the shelf in front of it and I had to take it to a cashier to get that information. Maybe that tactic works to embarrass some people into buying the item anyway, but it doesn’t work for me.

As Internet Marketers, we need to be aware of this in our advertising and promotions. I am sure I sometimes frustrate some of my prospective customers, too, but I do try to be upfront with the relevant information they may need.

For me, it’s not only physical items purchased online that I have an issue with. Personally, I also get very frustrated with online sales pages where you have to scroll a mile down the page to find the ‘checkout’ or ‘buy’ link, only to find that no mention of product cost is made. They tell you all about the deals, the discounts, the bonuses and everything else, but you have to click the link to find out the price. No thanks.

If we want to avoid buyer frustration and reduce shopping cart abandonment, we need to make all of the information easily accessible before the customer gets to the checkout.

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