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Cart Abandonment

One of the banes of online retail is cart abandonment. I heard one statistic where it was about 50%. That means of the people who put something into their shopping carts, only about 50% actually complete the checkout process. That's why big retailers do the One-Click thing, so if you decide to buy it, you click once, and the order is placed. You don't have 3-5 more pages of filling in your credit card information, filling in your address, checking the shipping charges, and reviewing, and then clicking the final okay. Those are all opportunities for a customer to change their mind, get distracted, or grow tired of filling in forms. I hope that using PayPal and Google Checkout will help to reduce those issues because most people buying things online already have accounts through those places. They won't need to fill in their address in 2 different places.

I checked our checkout abandonment rates just now to do a comparison of before and after the PayPal option implementation. I'm hoping that we'll have more people make that final click to order because they already have PayPal, and it's just easy to say yes.

Customers who click to start the checkout process abandon the process about 51.7% of the time from April 27 - May 5, 2010 (n=178). Over that same period of time, we had 3024 unique visitors from 90 different countries with a 42.5% bounce rate. 71% of the traffic came from search engines, 12% from referring sites, and 17% direct traffic (like from Google Adwords). The front page got the most views, followed by downloads, catalog, and SleepPhones System. Of the 3024 unique visitors, 192 unique visitors placed an item into their shopping cart.(1) The Google Checkout button was clicked 178 times. An order was placed 86 times; no order was placed 92 times.(2) Of the 83 orders, 79 actually went through, paid in full, and were shipped.(3)

From March 22-31, we had 3326 Unique visitors from 83 countries with a bounce rate of 44%.(1) About 1/3 of them actually looked at an item for purchase.(1) There were 273 unique views of the shopping cart page, which approximates 273 different people putting things into their shopping cart.(1) 240 of them proceeded to click on the Google Checkout button.(2) 127 people actually completed the Google Checkout process to buy something.(3) One customer changed their mind in 15 minutes.(3) Two customers's credit cards could not be processed.(3) And so far, one person has returned their purchase.(3) For this period, our checkout abandonment rate was 53%.

  1. Data from Google Analytics
  2. Data from SleepPhones.com Order ID
  3. Data from Google Checkout

I will repeat this analysis in a few weeks to see if we have improved the checkout abandonment rate by adding PayPal as a payment option. I expect that it would, but it's certainly not without its hassles. PayPal is so slow to load up compared with Google Checkout. The selections like size, color, or even SKU are not transmitted to PayPal. That means we have to look in 2 different places for each PayPal order. That involves extra time to process each shipment. I'll have to set up new passwords in all of these places so our employee can do the processing.

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