Remember the saying, “It ain’t over until it’s over”? The same philosophy applies to online selling. You never declare a completed and successful sale until the customer submits the credit card details for processing. Unfortunately, cart abandonment (or the act of closing the order page before paying for the item) is more common than many people believe.
The Challenges of Cart Abandonment
There’s no formal study or statistic that talks about the rate of cart abandonment. Comparing the results of experts, however, you will discover it is high.
For example, Barillance’s average percentage in 2017 was 69.23%. Although this was significantly lower than that in 2012, it was higher than the rates from 2009 to 2011. Keep in mind these were the recession years.
There’s also a correlation between the size of the screen and the cart abandonment rate. The smaller the screen, the higher the percentage is. In 2015, the percentage of people closing their order page was a whopping 86.5% if they’re using their mobile devices. It’s only 73.07% for desktop users.
Customers have plenty of reasons to not proceed with the purchase. Based on Barillance’s 2015 data, the top explanation was unexpected shipping cost. About 22% said they had to create a new user account. More than 10% complained about the security of the site’s payment system.
The gathered information by Channel Advisor, however, highlighted another reason: returns. Nearly 80% looked for free return shipping. More than 70% said they used online carts to compare return policies.
The Significance of Managing Your Returns
Why is a return essential for a customer? The answer is simple: e-commerce. When people buy items online, they usually don’t have the means to experience the product beforehand. The risks these purchases are not what they’re looking for are high. This also explains why more online buyers take the time to compare not only costs but also shipping and returns rules.
Returns, however, can be both time-consuming and costly. According to Appriss, product returns comprised 10% of the total sales in 2018. That’s equivalent to more than $366 billion! For many, product returns are equal to lost sales. They can also increase business-related expenses such as sourcing the same merchandise and labor.
In reality, they can change these circumstances into opportunities to make more sales, especially if they have an excellent warranty management system in place. This solution will allow them to improve their customer service. For example, they can already perform both in-warranty and out-of-warranty types of repair. They can also create unique repair options to retain disgruntled customers.
Over the years, most customers follow the BORIS system for product returns. It means they buy the items online and then send them back in store. This is an excellent time for the company to offer upgrades or even upsell with the buyers.
Experts believe customers these days consider the buying process as an overall experience rather than an isolated event. It merely implies if they didn’t like one part of it, they might not buy from you ever again.
Managing every aspect of the sales journey, including returns and warranty, is an essential step to complete the sale and even retain the customer.