What is B2B cart abandonment?
B2B cart abandonment is when a business buyer adds products in their online basket and leaves without completing the purchase. It’s a common phenomenon in e-commerce, so don’t beat yourself up if your cart abandonment rate is high or you don’t know exactly what it is. Statistics suggest that on average, B2B cart abandonment across industries sits around 70%, and even the best built websites will experience cart abandonment
Why does B2B cart abandonment happen?
Sad to say, but B2B cart abandonment happens for a number of reasons – some reasons you have power over, and some you don’t. Sometimes, the buyer is doing the online version of “window shopping”. They add products to their basket without intending to buy. Sometimes, the buyer changed their mind.
Either they decided that they didn’t need the product, or their business requirements changed.
And sometimes, it’s because your website or checkout didn’t live up to the buyer’s expectation. Business buyers usually work through a long check list that you need to live up to, in order for them to complete their purchase.
You don’t need to worry about the two first reasons. They’re 9 times out of 10 out of your control. What you can control however, is your website experience.
B2B cart abandonment usually comes down to six core issues:
A lack of payment options
A complicated or drawn-out checkout process
Mandatory account creation
Lack of payment options
Offering too few payment methods or not offering a buyer’s preferred payment method, can trigger B2B cart abandonment. While there are multiple payment methods available for B2B e-commerce, business buyers usually have a preferred payment method.
It’s either because the buyer themselves has a preference, or because their Finance team does. After a purchase has been made, this needs to be reconciled and processed, and using the wrong payment method can cause buckloads of admin and reconciliation issues. Safe to say, whomever does the reconciliation usually has a say in what payment method to use.
This is why the payment methods you offer at your checkout matter.
Research shows that 90% of business buyers check the payment methods you offer before they start a purchase, and 48% have abandoned cart because their preferred payment method wasn’t available. Giving business buyers multiple payment options means that they can choose the method they prefer, and they’re less likely to abandon the cart.
A complicated or drawn-out checkout process
B2C e-commerce advancements have raised the bar for B2B e-commerce. Up to 90% of business buyers expect the same shopping experience when making a business purchase as when they make a private purchase.
This means that your checkout experience needs to be simple, fast and frictionless. Otherwise you risk buyers abandoning the checkout. Unfortunately, most business websites don’t meet these criteria. They still require an account to see prices or make a purchase, and multiple checkout steps to be completed. The fewer steps a buyer needs to take to buy from you, the better.
Mandatory account setup
Forcing a buyer to create an account as part of the checkout process can cause cart abandonment. And we’re not talking about setting up a trade account here, we’re talking about a standard user account without credit or monetary value. This is because forcing someone to set up an account delays the purchase, even if your account setup process is done in minutes.
Unless there is a specific benefit to setting up an account, or your business is legally obliged to have buyers create accounts, let business buyers check out as guests. Trust that if buyers have a good experience buying from you once, they’re more likely to return. If your business doesn’t have legal obligations to set up accounts,
Hidden fees can trigger cart abandonment. And when we say hidden fees, we mean fees that aren’t shown upfront to a buyer when they research a product or service. They’re the kind that are added to the final stages of the checkout as “extras”, like shipping and processing fees, or additional taxes.
The fees themselves aren’t the issue – it’s that they’re not disclosed upfront when a buyer does their research. No one likes unexpected costs and even when these costs are small relative to the actual purchase amount, they can still leave buyers feeling deceived. Business buyers want transparent pricing. Transparent pricing gives an accurate view of what the total price for purchase will be and makes it easier to budget the purchase.
Plus, it instils confidence in your business. If you don’t show pricing upfront in your shop, consider doing so. It can be as easy as creating a single landing page that showcases all the extra fees that will be added to the purchase, both for domestic and international purchases. Cart abandonment is less likely to happen if your buyers know the full cost of purchase from the start. No one likes nasty surprises.
Stock errors or quantity limitations
Sometimes, stock errors or limitations cause cart abandonment. These cause frustration. If business buyers have done their research, found a product they need, ensured that they can cover the cost of the purchase, filled out all the details at the checkout, only to find that they can’t order the amount they need…? That’s an issue.
After all, why would someone complete a purchase if they can’t buy the amount that they want? It’s unlikely that they’ll get part of their order from one place, and then the other part elsewhere. While stock errors can be out of your control, quantity limitations, like minimum or maximum order quantity, aren’t. There might be legitimate reasons why there are stock limitations, but if so, let your buyers know early on in their purchasing journey, so that they can decide whether to buy from you, or go elsewhere.
Your competitive landscape can trigger B2B cart abandonment. In most industries, there are numerous competitors offering the same services or products as you do. And buyers look for the best option, whether that’s finding the best price, their preferred payment method, a quick checkout experience, or the best payment terms. If your shop doesn’t meet expectations but your competitors’ do, then you risk losing buyers.
The good news is that staying on the same level as, or even ahead of, the competition is within your control, mostly. And if it isn’t, you might need to find other ways to compete. Can’t do anything to adjust prices? Maybe what differentiates you is your online experience or the payment methods you offer? There are numerous ways to compete in B2B e-commerce today, thanks to technology and the data available.
What you really need is to know what business buyers expect and need from you, and then you can work towards meeting those expectations.
How B2B BNPL can reduce cart abandonment
For businesses struggling with cart abandonment, B2B Buy Now Pay Later addresses a number of pain points highlighted in this piece.
Lack of payment methods
Offering B2B Buy Now, Pay Later, you add an additional payment method to your arsenal. This gives a new payment method for new potential buyers who don’t want to open a trade account or use a credit card, and that are looking for this kind of way of buying.
Complicated or drawn out checkout process
Implementing a B2B Buy Now, Pay Later solution means conducting quicker credit checks, and removing a few frustrating steps that a buyer needs to go through without it, without adding admin to your plate. Buyers don’t have to wait for days to complete a credit check or account opening, and assuming the credit check is verified, they can buy immediately from you.
With B2B Buy Now, Pay Later you can keep one step ahead of your competition. Buy Now, Pay Later for businesses is a relatively new payment solution, but one estimated to have the same impact on B2B sellers as B2C retailers have experienced.
Ending B2B cart abandonment
While you might never completely achieve a cart abandonment rate of 0%, you can go a long way by making adjustments to your online store.
Review some of the improvement suggestions we’ve listed in this piece, or look further into whether B2B Buy Now, Pay Later can remove a number of pain points straight away. Regardless of what you do, it’s worth working to improve your cart abandonment rate and increase your conversion rate.
How can B2B Buy Now, Pay Later help your business?
If you’re tired of chasing invoices or juggling competing financial priorities, B2B Buy Now, Pay Later could be for you.
What is B2B Buy Now Pay Later?