What makes shoppers abandon online carts?

Last updated: 22 December 2015

Have you heard of the Internet sensation, the Shopping Cart Whisperer, who uses his supernatural powers to coax empty and abandoned carts from a life of loneliness and miserable disuse? The question is do we need him for abandoned online shopping carts?

There’s been a recent explosion in online shopping activity. Thanks to the proliferation of smart devices and the rise of mobile payment technologies, online sales are estimated to reach $370 billion worldwide by 2017. Of course, these are reasons to celebrate; eCommerce has made shopping more accessible. However, online shopping carts are still being abandoned. Why is that?

skimming phishing

There are a variety of reasons – unexpected costs, account creation demands, lost coupon codes – but one important factor is fear over security, especially Card Not Present fraud, and lack of convenience. A common type of CNP fraud consists in stealing card details from users in order to use them to perform fraudulent eCommerce transactions. The card details can be copied by malicious individuals, shopkeepers or hotel clerks. Another tactic is phishing, which involves posing as a legitimate authority, such as a bank, and sending emails requesting personal information like card details.

Another reason behind shopping carts being abandoned is customers feeling inconvenienced. A study conducted in 2015 found that bloated and complex payment processes, payments being declined and navigation problems all contribute to customers discarding their carts. There have been concerns over the effectiveness of 3D Secure, a technology used by many online retailers, which has been known to put customers off due to the complexity of the security process.

Customers want a seamless shopping experience, which is as quick and easy as possible. Clearly, then, if we’re to stop carts being abandoned, we need a solution that makes online transactions safe and convenient. This conclusion is reinforced by the data in the chart below, which demonstrates how security and convenience are important factors involved in shopping cart abandonment. 13% identified payment security concerns as a key factor, whilst 12% bemoaned confusing checkouts.

shopping carts

Fortunately, we’ve come up with a solution which addresses the security and convenience obstacles. Our dynamic code verification (DCV) system is an innovative security solution – every twenty minutes, the security code on the back of a card changes.

When making a purchase, all the cardholder has to do is enter the code they see at that point in time. DCV thus has very little impact on the shopping experience, and makes it more difficult for fraudsters to use stolen static card data to complete transactions, thereby making phishing far more difficult.

Hopefully, with DCV, we won’t have to call upon the services of the Shopping Cart Whisperer anytime soon!

What do you think? Have you abandoned an online shopping cart due to concerns over security or inconvenience? Let us know by tweeting to us @Gemalto or by posting a comment below.