Why customers abandon payments, and what to do about it

An abandoned payment happens when a user begins to make a payment, but doesn't complete it. In this scenario, the transaction didn't fail, because it was never begun in the first place. Abandonment can happen for many reasons - here're a few of them.

Common reasons why transactions show as abandoned

  1. Most often, abandoned payments come down to the digital equivalent of "window shopping" - customers sometimes click around the page out of sheer curiosity, to see what the various elements do.
  2. On pages with a short path to the checkout modal, abandonment rates can be pretty high, because it's extremely easy for the customer to load the checkout modal in a few clicks as they explore the page. A Payment Page, for example, could have high abandonment rates due to the fact that it takes only a few clicks to trigger the checkout modal.
  3. Customers might abandon because they don't yet feel ready to buy. This might be as a result of an objection that emerges in their mind at the last moment.
  4. Very rarely, we've seen a few cases where technical errors on the merchant's website will cause a transaction to incorrectly show as abandoned. In such cases, the customer never actually sees the checkout form, but the merchant's site calls the Paystack API, resulting in an incorrect Abandoned transaction record.

Most Paystack merchants see abandonment rates of between 20% to 30%, so you're good if you fall within this range, but if you notice abandonment rates significantly higher than this, there might be an issue.

Ideas to reduce your abandonment rate

We provide abandonment rate information so that you're aware of how many users are falling off, and so that you can attempt to improve your conversions. Here're some ideas.

  1. Reach out to customers who abandoned transactions: Paystack's abandoned transaction detail includes the email address of the customer who abandoned. Reach out to them to find out if they ran into any issues. You might discover user experience issues, or even technical errors preventing your customers from paying you.
  2. Show social proof on the checkout page: social proof in the form of testimonials and reviews goes a long way to give customers confidence in the purchase.
  3. Proactively address objections: Consider including an FAQ very close to the checkout page where customers can quickly look up the answers to the most common questions you receive from customers. Also consider installing a live chat widget where customers with concerns can get a quick answer.
  4. Remind users to confirm that their bank has their current phone number: We've found that some customers who attempt to Pay with Bank sometimes have trouble receiving their OTP. We've also found that in most cases, this is because the customer did not have their current phone number registered with their bank, so their bank was sending the OTP to an old phone number. To ensure high success rates, kindly communicate to your customers that they should confirm that their current phone number is registered with their banks. This will ensure that they receive OTPs for transaction authorization. 
  5. Remind Visa and Mastercard-holders to ensure that their card is properly registered: Customers who use a Visa card should confirm with their bank that their card has been corrected registered with the "Verified by Visa" program. If they have Mastercard, they should confirm that their card is registered for a "MasterCard Secure Code" at their bank. Some banks have automatically done this registrations, while others have not, so it'd be good for them to confirm.

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