The primary objective of an ecommerce website is (almost always) to turn a visitor into a customer. If you’re an online retailer, you spend time, effort, and money on driving qualified traffic to your website, in hopes that it will convert.
It’s widely established that many of your users abandon the checkout process on your ecommerce site without completing their purchases. In fact, nearly 70% of all shopping carts are abandoned according to analysis of 37 worldwide ecommerce studies. In order to make improvements to your site and increase your conversion rate, you need to understand why they’re leaving.
That’s where exit intent polls come into play.
Exit intent polls are an effective way of gathering qualitative data about why your users are abandoning their cart or checkout pages. There are many tools and platforms available for creating polls and gathering user feedback on websites. One of the platforms our conversion experts here at ROI Revolution use is Hotjar, which helps create exit intent polls on our clients’ websites.
High Shipping Costs Can be a Conversion Killer
In a recent poll for one of our clients, we found that 50% of respondents who exited from the cart or checkout pages noted “Shipping Cost” as the reason they were not completing their order.
This is in line with industry research, where roughly 54% of those polled listed expensive shipping as their top reason for abandonment. Going even further, according to Statista, lack of a free shipping option, slow shipping, and being unaware of shipping costs make up three more of the top six abandonment reasons.
Users are especially likely to abandon for lower-priced items where the shipping cost is as much or more than the cost of the item itself — particularly if they can find the same item with free shipping elsewhere.
Lack of Shipping Timeframe Estimates
One of our clients in the furniture industry offers free shipping on all orders, which is a great selling point. However, in exit intent polls, we found that 17% of respondents were abandoning without completing their purchases because they were unclear on how long shipping would take.
Some of these users exited from the very last step of checkout; surely some of them would have completed their orders if the shipping timeframe estimates had been available.
Mismatched Expectations Leads to Confusion
For complex ecommerce websites, such as ones where a user can upload artwork to customize a product, a user’s expectation for what the purchasing and customization process will look like may differ from how your site is actually set up. This can be a cause of confusion or anxiety in the purchase process, and you may be losing potential customers as a result.
For one of our clients, who sells customizable banners and flags, a substantial portion of users responded saying that they were not completing their purchase because they didn’t want to pay before uploading their artwork. This was a surprising result, because users can upload their artwork once they get to the cart page.
What we found was that many of those responses came from users who had not yet gotten to the cart page. Because the communication on the design upload was unclear early in the purchase process, they were losing potential customers.
Consider the Unique Needs of Your Customer Segments
One of our clients sells medical devices, and a portion of their customers are from tax-exempt organizations such as schools or non-profits. Through the poll, we were able to confirm our suspicion that some users were abandoning because there was not a clear way to indicate that they were exempt from sales tax.
In fact, nearly 28% of the responses were related to unexpected sales tax on orders.
The client has since added an option in the checkout process for organizations to specify if they are tax-exempt.
Tying it All Together
While shipping is clearly the biggest pain point for most ecommerce retailers, the fact remains that there are many different issues your business may face with your checkout process. And since no two business are exactly alike, it’s important that you do your own research to determine where the friction lies in your checkout process.
We realize that as a retailer, your time is incredibly valuable. Understanding the nuances of exit intent polls, the types of questions to ask, and how to gauge the importance of the results obtained is very time-intensive, and not something top of mind with most retailers.
This is where we can help! Schedule a complimentary 20-minute conversion review, and our team of experts can evaluate your site and help you determine the next steps in the research, testing, and optimization process.