The Impact of Hidden eCommerce Errors

The Impact of Hidden Site Errors blog banner

What are the leading causes of cart abandonment in the eCommerce industry?

The Baymard institute recently conducted a research study, asking over 4000 US-based online consumers the reason they abandoned their shopping carts during the checkout process.

Of course, no one is surprised to see “Additional Costs” listed as the #1 reason for abandonment… But let’s take a look at the rest.

Baymard Institute - Reasons for Abandonments During Checkout Chart

These are all legitimate reasons to leave a transaction behind, and some are easier to address than others. For the purpose of this piece, we’re going to zoom in on the 7th most likely reason: website errors.

Industry impact of website errors

For the industry as a whole, revenue loss due to abandoned carts is projected to reach $493.52 Billion by 2023.

13% of those abandoned carts are going to be due to website errors.

Which means that website errors are going to be a $64.2 Billion dollar a year problem.

How does the 64 Billion Dollar problem apply to you?

Anything in the billions starts to get a little too big to accurately visualize… So let’s bring this down from an industry level to an individual brand standpoint.
*scroll to the end of this blog to find individual brand stories, including how hidden site errors almost lost a company $1 million in unrealized revenue

No website is perfect.

No matter how amazing your developers are, no matter how many times your code goes through review in your staging environment, bugs are going to happen.

There are a few reasons why site errors happen, and no, most of them aren’t actually your developers’ fault. Most of them are due to either the hundreds of new methods used to access and navigate through your site or they are due to third party updates. (Learn more about how errors are introduced into your site post-launch)

But regardless of how errors happen, they are happening. It is estimated that 94% of eCommerce sites have at least 2 customer-impacting errors live on their site at any given time.

So, what’s being done about that today?

How are you hearing about errors on your site? When we ask prospective customers this, 99% of the time their response is, “We wait to hear about them through customer tickets.

If you’re serious about not adding more lost revenue to the collective projected loss of $64 Billion industry-wide, that method is not going to be good enough.

Why? We have another stat for you…

How Do Errors Stay Hidden

Only 1 in every 10 customers will take the time out of their day to report a site error to your team.

In other words, 9 times out of 10, eCommerce teams are not being notified about errors on their site.

That’s 90% of your site errors remaining left in the dark to block other potential customers from converting, too.

To make things even worse, even though most customers don’t take the time to let your brand know about errors, they certainly let other people know.

Customer Complaints - Twitter

So as much as these errors may be hidden for you, they’re not for your potential customers.

And unfortunately, word of mouth is definitely the most impactful, lasting impression you can get… Whether it’s negative or positive.

Errors Impacting Sentiment and Loyalty

In the days where in-person shopping was the only option, brand loyalty was pretty easy to lock in. Now with 100s of new options to choose from for online retailers at the click of a button, brand loyalty is a little harder to nail down.

We know that trust and public opinion are major influences on buying decisions, and now that marketing tactics are really being seen for what they are (as marketing tactics), consumers are turning to other consumers to get their information.

And if potential customers, when turning to other consumers, see negative sentiment around a brand, they’re going to be significantly less likely to even give your site a try.

This creates a snowball effect of disgruntled, frustrated customers turning off other potential customers, making it increasingly difficult to grow your customer base and hit growing conversion and revenue goals.

So What?

So, what’s to be done about this?

Your first step is going to be to find some way to pick up on all your site errors.

But this isn’t a piece on pitching error monitoring platforms. If it were, we would of course suggest trying out Noibu’s system… But we may be a little bit biased.

To learn more about error monitoring, and to get a better understanding of how monitoring and resolving site errors helps your company increase conversions and revenue, streamlines workflows, and improves customer experience, check out the following blogs:

The Common Challenges Noibu Solves
Preserving and Growing eCommerce Revenue During a Recession

To see the results of other major eCommerce brands uncovering and resolving hidden errors, check out a few of our case studies:

How Champion saw an 18x ROI after uncovering and resolving checkout bugs
How Moschino solved 120 site errors and achieved an ROI of over 90x
How Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams saved nearly 1 million of annualized revenue
How Scrubs & Beyond achieved a 123.3x ROI using error monitoring software
How Guess improved their conversion rate from 82% to 88%

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