Jim Agger
March 17, 2014 | eCommerce , Fulfillment/Shipping, Site Design and Management | Jim Agger

Reducing shopping cart abandonment may come down to eCommerce fulfillment

If you run an online wine store, you may have noticed abnormally high shopping cart abandonment rates. This can be troubling when you depend on your website for direct-to-consumer sales. Why does shopping cart abandonment occur and what can you do to fix it?

According to Statista, some of the following concerns may be detracting from the effectiveness of your online wine sales:

  • 37 percent of shoppers were just browsing
  • 36 percent are comparing prices
  • One-quarter think website navigation is too confusing
  • 21 percent said the checkout process took too long
  • 17 percent expressed concerns about payment security

However, the most significant causes of shopping cart abandonment may be related to ecommerce fulfillment concerns. The statistics revealed 56 percent of consumers will drop a purchase before completion if they are faced with unexpected costs. This often relates to shipping expenses during checkout. You may be able to decrease abandonment by being more transparent about wine shipping rates as customers add wine to their baskets. Thirty-two percent will leave your website because the total price was too expensive, which can also relate to shipping costs. Sixteen percent will stop shopping if they are dissatisfied with the delivery options offered by a vendor. Wineries need to emphasize their unique capabilities in fulfillment operations to decrease the number of consumers who are ditching their purchases at checkout.

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment
The costs of cart abandonment are huge. In fact, Sales Cycle estimated $3 trillion will be lost globally from incomplete online purchases in 2014. Total online spend is projected to be approximately $1.4 trillion, so this could be a huge missed opportunity for online retailers. As ecommerce continues to grow, so will abandonment rates.

When it comes to peoples who are browsing or comparing prices, the answer to reducing abandonment could be held in your wine marketing. Triggered emails can often encourage the consumer to return to the website and complete the purchase. This could help you capture some of the potentially lost revenue. 

However, avoiding shopping cart abandonment could come down to the way you highlight wine shipping options. With unexpected costs and lack of delivery options ranking so high on the list of reasons for abandonment, you may need to assess how you ship wine. If your consumers aren't completing purchases and your site is easy to navigate and highly functional, it may be time to team up with a fulfillment partner to improve your delivery capabilities. Here are some ways fulfillment can lessen cart abandonment:

  • Be transparent about shipping fees: Consumers are coming to expect free shipping when they shop online. While you can't compete with large online retailers on this aspect, you can avoid losing purchases by clearly disclosing all applicable fees before shoppers reach the checkout page. This way, consumers won't be faced with surprise costs when they are about to pay. Transparency can extend of other parts of the shopping experience. For example, it may be a good idea to include your return and exchange policies in a prominent location to eliminate confusion. 
  • Offer multiple delivery options: Some customers may be willing to pay more to receive their purchases sooner, while others place a priority on cost-effectiveness. To avoid alienating different preferences, you should offer several options.
  • Be consistent across all regions: It can be challenging for smaller retailers to offer the same speed of delivery to customers, but this can impact satisfaction. When you sell wine online, you can reach a much larger audience, but fulfillment needs to be a top priority so customers in certain regions aren't waiting two weeks for their deliveries. 


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