7 reasons why most e-commerce orders remain incomplete

7 reasons why most e-commerce orders stay incomplete

5 min read

Uncompleted e-commerce orders - one of the most common problems for any online retailer. Such orders are a bigger cause for concern than abandoned carts and shouldn’t be neglected - there might be an in-depth problem that might be preventing customers from purchasing items from your website.

In the case of an abandoned cart, users have already added items into their basket but have left the website without trying to make a purchase. With uncompleted orders, however, users have tried to make a payment only for it to fail to go through, resulting in them leaving due to the inability of the purchase to be made.

So what are the most common reasons for e-commerce orders remaining uncompleted?

Bad user experience

The first reason why a potential customer might leave your website during checkout is due to a bad overall user experience. UX has been slowly becoming a more important part of web design and development, with Web crawlers even including different UX metrics as a part of their ranking algorithms.

If a user sees that a given page is taking long to load, they might just lose interest and leave. Additionally, if there are also distracting elements that should not be present on the page, users could again lose trust in the process and become skeptical of your website.

Finally, make sure to include the most important information and any other text that users might need during the checkout process.

If you are running a WordPress website, you can check out our article on how to speed up your WP website so that your users won’t have to wait for all of your plugins and content to load.

Missing popular payment methods

A customer needs to have many payment options to choose from. For example, you should always be able to accept credit/debit card payments as well as bank transfers.

PayPal is also a pretty famous payment option, which you should also consider implementing. Then, there are also newer aps such as Revolut that are also gaining popularity and are becoming much more utilized on a global scale.

Additionally, cryptocurrency payments are also steadily becoming more and more prevalent due to their ability to protect user privacy. We at VPSBG for example have even created a special Bitcoin VPS service that allows our customers to pay for their servers using Bitcoin, protecting their privacy and identity in the process.

Payment process takes too long

Another reason why some orders remain incomplete is because the entire process takes way too long.

If you have multiple different forms requiring users to fill in a lot of information, they will most likely just click away from your website. Checkout needs to be as simple and quick as possible without any additional messages, configurations or descriptions.

Because of this, you need to make sure that your checkout forms are all well-structured and intuitive in terms of informational flow.

Privacy & security concerns

Expanding on the previous reason about overcomplicated payment detail forms, the more information that you request from a user, the more suspicious they will become.

In our current digital society, people are becoming increasingly more aware about their privacy and security, meaning that they want to share as little about themselves online as possible. This applies to both their personal data as well as their payment information.

Make sure to not demand a lot of unnecessary information from your customers otherwise you risk them leaving your website and their order - unfinished.

Additionally, also make sure to follow all privacy and security legislation accordingly such as the GDPR for those in Europe.

Finally, make sure that your website certificate is active, as a valid SSL certificate is crucial when it comes to encrypting your customers’ data! If you don't want to spend extra for an SSL certificate, you can get a free one like Let's encrypt.

Seeing unexpected costs

When people proceed to make a payment, they expect to pay the amount of money that was displayed in their shopping cart or in their order summary.

If your business adds some extra costs, make sure to make it clear to your customers that such additional expenses such as delivery fees and tax will also need to be paid. Show everything that comes as an extra fee as soon as possible in order to not leave your customers confused.

As a matter of fact, unexpected additional costs is one of the most common reasons as to why people leave during checkout as they have to pay more than what they were initially promised. A user that leaves because of this reason might not return as they will presume that no prices shown on your website are actually real.

Just browsing or found a better price

Of course, there will always be users who are just browsing your website and want to just check out how your payment system looks so that they can be acquainted with it should they make any purchases in the future. This is completely fine as there is nothing that you can do about it unless trying to persuade them using call to action buttons or text.

Additionally, some customers only enter to make price comparisons and don’t complete their orders because they have found the same item elsewhere but lower in terms of cost.

Again, if lowering the prices is not an option, you can’t really help that customer change their mind. What you can do in this situation is to offer them a special discount or a coupon that might persuade them to continue with their order.

Email is a powerful marketing tool that you can use to send out such promotional offers and discount codes to users who left during checkout.

Faulty payment gateways

Our final tip is a more technical one and it involves double checking your payment gateways.

Generally speaking, when a user makes a successful transaction, they expect to be redirected to a ‘thank you’ page which will contain information about their purchase.

Customers who don’t end up at such a page might be concerned that their payment has been unsuccessful and might be worried that they would have to go through the entire process again. If you don’t have such a page, make sure to create one and configure it appropriately.

If you do have such a page and your customers don’t get taken to it after making a purchase, you might need to check your payment gateway settings. Make sure to review them closely and check that you don’t have the wrong information in your callback URL.

Having such faulty payment gateways could also result in payments not being forwarded successfully, which can be quite a huge problem, requiring you to manually review all of your payment settings.

Use analytic tools to check customer behavior

If you have implemented all of the aforementioned tips and are still having a lot of incomplete orders, you should definitely implement an analytics tool to check why users are leaving your website prior to making a purchase.

There are free tools such as Google Analytics and also a plethora of self-hosted analytics tools such as Matomo that you can use to obtain information about your website and the checkout process.

You can then use this gathered data and make changes to your website based on user data, actions and expectations.

Online customers are real people

Anyone making a purchase online is a real person. Because of this, you need to place yourself in your custsomes’ shoes and objectively evaluate your website and the checkout process. This is the most important piece of advice that we can give you - remember that you are a person designing an online website from which other people will be buying products or services.

Have an intuitive interface, focus on user experience and make sure to offer a wide range of payment options. Keep up to date with the latest trends and change your prices accordingly.

Finally, don’t request too much information, make the payment process as simple as possible and ensure that your payment gateways and SSL certificates are set up correctly to guarantee that your customers’ data is secure and encrypted.

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