Checkout Abandonment Rate

cowtancowtan Member
in General edited March 2013
Hi - I have a client that uses Foxycart and it works very well. A while ago we set-up some goals in analytics to monitor conversion rates and so on. One of the things we've noticed is that around 80% of the visitors who get to the checkout page then abandon the transaction and don't complete the sale. Looking around on the web, this figure doesn't seem terrible but doesn't seem great either - abandonment rates generally seem to be around 60%-80%.

My client is obviously keen to improve this because they (probably correctly) take the view that there is some lost revenue here.

I therefore have a couple of questions -

1. Does anyone know if 80% abandonment is about par for the course for Foxycart sites or is it in your experience, not great?

2. Does anyone have any experience of improving the checkout that successfully reduced the abandonment rate?

regards,
Gordon
Comments
  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team
    @cowtan,

    I'll ask @brett to reply on the abandonment figures - he'll have a better idea on that than me - but could you let us know which store this is for (whisper if it's private) so we can take a look at the checkout?
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    1. Does anyone know if 80% abandonment is about par for the course for Foxycart sites or is it in your experience, not great?

    Unfortunately, we don't have that info available system-wide, so … I'd love to give an answer, but it wouldn't be based on any solid data. That said…
    2. Does anyone have any experience of improving the checkout that successfully reduced the abandonment rate?

    My biggest suggestion is A/B testing. Google Analytics new Content Experiments work pretty well, though they're not super advanced. But it's pretty amazing how significant an improvement you might be able to get.

    Another thought would be to set up some additional goals (or just events, if not full goals, which might make more sense depending on how you've got things set up) for behavior on the checkout itself. Like an event when a checkout form field is filled in, when shipping is selected, when a CC# is entered, when/if a checkout error occurs. That might get you some valuable info if there's a specific problem that's causing abandonment.
  • Brett - Thanks. I'll look into those ideas and see if there's something we can do there. cheers, Gordon
  • @brett - Just getting back to this. How would I go about doing A/B testing with the checkout page?

    regards,
    Gordon
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    edited April 2013
    To A/B test the checkout, it'd kind of depend on what type of customization you're after, but my approach would probably be:
    * Create both options you want to test.
    * Use some javascript to randomly decide which option you want to test. My thinking here is that you'd show/hide specific HTML depending. (Or maybe you base which version to load on the session string or something.)
    * You'd add a hidden custom checkout field with the option you've loaded up, so you can use that to track. (And make sure you respect which version you may have already loaded so if the user gets a checkout error they see the same version on reload.)

    That'd be a somewhat manual approach, but since the Google Analytics Content Experiments require two separate pages, this is probably what'd make the most sense to test the checkout. (Testing anything else should work fine with a Content Experiment. I know I mentioned Content Experiments in my previous post, but I either wasn't thinking, or I had a flash of brilliance that I'm missing now.)

    Also, this:
    Another thought would be to set up some additional goals (or just events, if not full goals, which might make more sense depending on how you've got things set up) for behavior on the checkout itself. Like an event when a checkout form field is filled in, when shipping is selected, when a CC# is entered, when/if a checkout error occurs. That might get you some valuable info if there's a specific problem that's causing abandonment.

    That should be relatively easy to add, and could provide interesting information. Like "Are people entering their email before leaving, or are they bailing right away?" That'd be the lowest hanging fruit here, and it'd be pretty easy to set up:
    EDIT: I'll share this code once I confirm it's working and that it actually makes sense.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    So, I did actually test this, but since it takes a while for GA data to show up, and since it was late and I went to sleep and failed to check on this the next morning, and since it's now so far in the past I have no idea what I actually tested…
    Yeah. My bad. If you're still interested, let me know. Fwiw though @fc_adam and I are working on a much more turnkey approach to Google Analytics for a future version of FoxyCart.
  • cowtancowtan Member
    @brett - So, a year down the line and my client is still concerned about the drop-out rate. One idea that they've come up with is inserting an extra step between the shopping cart and the checkout where we just ask and collect the customer's email address. If they then drop-out of the process then my client can email them later encouraging them to go back and complete a purchase.

    For a variety of reasons I'm not all that keen on the idea but I can see what they're trying to do and I said I would investigate if it's possible. I guess it would mean changing the 'checkout' button on the cart and inserting an additional page which then had a button on it to go to the real checkout page plus also record the email address.

    This is obviously fairly non-standard stuff but is something like this possible?

    cheers, Gordon
  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team
    @cowtan,

    Something like that is possible - but would add an additional step for customers which techincally adds another point where users could abandon.

    If you're just wanting to do that to capture email addresses - you could look at using a service like rejoiner to track those customers that don't complete. Take a look at that here: http://www.foxycart.com/features/integrations/rejoiner
  • cowtancowtan Member
    @fc_adam Thanks, I'll have a look at that.
  • @fc_adam

    I've now had a good look at rejoiner, tried it with foxycart and also spoken to Mike at rejoiner. The downside is that, as I understand it, because there isn't a full integration between rejoiner and foxycart, although we can capture email addresses we can only take users straight back to their checkout page while foxycart still remembers what it was (or is it while foxycart cookies still persist?). Otherwise we have to take them back to our home page, for example, which probably won't result in so many conversions.

    So, a couple of questions: firstly, do you know if you have any plans to do any more integration work with rejoiner? If not, do you know if it's the kind of thing I could do myself? (I can see capturing information about the contents of the cart from the checkout page not being too difficult. I'm just not sure how I would go about re-creating the cart at the other end of the process.)

    Secondly, can you tell me how long foxycart shopping carts should persist for?

    cheers, Gordon
  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team
    @cowtan,

    Good questions.

    We don't currently have any immediate plans for a Rejoiner integeration. I believe the existing integration is just want Rejoiner built out from their side, we haven't done any work on that yet.

    There are certainly ways you could go about repopulating the cart to resume the checkout - it will come down to how you get that data from Rejoiner, and if you need to refetch data about your products from your database in order to get all the details. It's definitely possible to do though.

    In terms of the cart session - they last for 12 hours.

    Also as a quick aside - we have a second service that has set up a FoxyCart integration with their system that can assist with capturing abandoned carts, you can see details of that at http://www.foxycart.com/features/integrations/cartstack
  • @fc_adam

    Thanks for the info Adam. Just so you know, we're not going to go ahead with Rejoiner, partly because of the lack of integration with Foxycart and partly because we seemed to be getting quite a few "false positives' from it ie people who actually completed a sale being recorded as drop-outs.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    @cowtan, just a quick fyi that we're thinking about ways we can allow for a more complete integration. @fc_adam is also working on a more turnkey Google Analytics integration. Our goal is to make sure we get you the tools you need to have the highest converting checkout possible. We'll keep you posted.
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