How to prevent B2B cart abandonment on your online platform


B2B online shopping is no longer simply a means for business buyers to source repeat, low-ticket items: 35% say they’re comfortable spending $500,000 or more in a single online transaction, while 15% are happy to spend up to $1 million on a digital channel.

But despite active willingness from buyers, 50% of B2B e-commerce platforms are not fully meeting their expectations. 61% of buyers say they are frustrated with the lack of functionality on B2B websites, while 94% say they have experienced issues when purchasing online.

Disgruntled would-be buyers means one thing for your e-commerce site or online platform: cart abandonment rate goes through the roof. On average, cart abandonment is already high, with research suggesting that around 70% of all shopping baskets don’t make it through the checkout.

Preventing B2B cart abandonment requires a combination of strategic measures and improvements to the user experience. In this guide, we’ll explore the common reasons for abandoned carts in B2B and provide our strategies and advice for minimising the damaging effects of shopping cart abandonment.

Reasons for B2B cart abandonment

First of all, let’s take a deep dive into the reasons why visitors to your platform might not be converting into customers. In this section we’ll touch on various stages of site abandonment ranging from frustrating technical issues to off-putting shipping costs.

Losing out to competitors

B2B buyers are diligent in evaluating different options, comparing prices and conducting extensive research before finalising a purchase. Cart abandonment may occur if the buyer adds items to compare prices or seek additional information before choosing a vendor. If your competitor offers a better price, more convenient payment methods, free shipping or some other benefit, the buyer may choose to abandon the cart they have started with you.

Limited payment methods

B2B buyers often have specific payment requirements such as invoicing, purchase orders or payment terms. If the payment options available are limited, unfavourable or irrelevant, buyers may abandon their cart in favour of a supplier who meets their payment needs.

Confusing or complex B2B checkout process

A growing number of B2B buyers expect a checkout experience that reflects those from their personal lives. If the purchasing and payment process of your platform is confusing or complex, frustrated buyers may choose to shop elsewhere. A poor checkout might include unnecessarily lengthy form filling, slow loading times or a difficult account creation process.

Shipping costs

48% of buyers say that they have abandoned a shopping cart because shipping costs or other taxes and fees were too high. It can be particularly frustrating for buyers to have no indication of shipping costs until they are at the end of the purchasing process.

Account creation

In B2B, an account is often required to browse and order from e-commerce sites, marketplaces and other online platforms. Since this can already be a cause of cart abandonment – in B2C, 24% of shoppers have abandoned a basket because they were asked to create an account – it’s essential to make your account creation process as simple as possible.

Technical issues

If your platform experiences technical glitches, errors or poor performance, it can frustrate buyers and discourage them from completing their purchase. Issues like slow load speed and broken links can lead to B2B shopping cart abandonment.

Ambiguous return policy

Uncertainty around returns and refund processes can be concerning for buyers. If your policies are ambiguous, inaccessible or difficult to understand, it could be contributing to cart abandonment. 

Inadequate product information

B2B buyers typically require detailed information about product specifications, technical details, compatibility and warranties. If the information provided on the product page is lacking or insufficient, buyers may not complete their purchase.

How to calculate B2B cart abandonment rate

To calculate the cart abandonment rate, you need to gather data on the number of completed purchases and the number of abandoned carts in a specified time frame. The formula for calculating cart abandonment rate is as follows:

Cart Abandonment Rate = (Number of Abandoned Carts / Number of Started Carts) x 100

So, let's say you had a total of 2,000 started carts during a month and 500 of those were abandoned:

Cart abandonment rate = (500 / 2,000) x 100 = 25%

The cart abandonment rate in this case would be 25%.

Strategies to reduce B2B cart abandonment rate

Cart abandonment rates in B2B can be brought right down by utilising a combination of strategies that improve the customer experience and make purchasing as quick and easy as possible.

Forget the forms

Have you reviewed your online checkout process? Do you know how many steps there are to go through and how much time it takes? Research suggests that you may be losing up to one-third of customers all because your checkout process takes too long.

At the checkout, keep the number of required form fields to a minimum and only ask for essential information. Long and complex forms can be overwhelming and time-consuming for customers, leading to frustration and cart abandonment. Top tip: use autofill features to make the process quicker for returning customers.

Optimise page load speeds 

When it comes to B2C websites, customers often leave because of something as simple as a page taking too long to load. Did you know that this is also true when it comes to B2B e-commerce sites? The reality is that slow load times and a poor user experience could be costing you conversions.

There are many plugins that can optimise images and practically anything else that is slowing down your load time. Ensuring that these are installed can have a significant positive impact on cart abandonment.

Be transparent about prices and fees

Clearly state on all product pages whether there are any additional costs or fees involved with purchasing the item. Let your customers know how much shipping is and how long it will take before they even start to check out. 

Offer flexible payment terms

You understand the importance of cash flow in your own businesses, but by stopping to consider how cash flow affects your buyers, you can reduce cart abandonment and boost sales. Customers are looking for ways to spread the cost of their purchases and keep cash in their business. If you're not offering payment terms online but your competitors are, it will be having a detrimental impact on your conversion rate.

B2B e-commerce businesses may be wary of offering credit, but a safe, simple and supported solution is available. With Hokodo, you can offer your customers their preferred payment terms while remaining protected from risk and getting paid up front.

In the example above, we can see that the seller offers several different pay later options, alongside settlement methods for upfront payment.

Include thumbnails of products throughout the checkout process

It’s reassuring for buyers to see thumbnails of the products in their basket, along with quantities and unit prices of each product. This also eliminates any need to click back to the basket during the B2B checkout process. 

Include progress indicators on the checkout page

Implement a visual progress indicator to show buyers how many steps are involved in the checkout process. This helps them understand the process and provides a sense of progress, reducing uncertainty and keeping them engaged.

Show total savings at checkout

If a buyer understands how much money they are saving by shopping on your platform – and they don’t have to do the maths themselves – they will be far more inclined to finish their purchase.

Offer several payment options

Offer a variety of settlement options to accommodate different customer preferences. Including popular methods such as credit cards, invoice and bank transfer can enhance convenience and increase the likelihood of your buyer completing their purchase.

Offer free shipping

Wherever possible, you should offer free shipping as an incentive for buyers to complete their purchase. If you’re unable to offer this on all orders, consider doing so when a certain order value is reached or for buyers who purchase most frequently.

In the example below, we can see the buyer has hit Ankorstore's threshold for free delivery. They also clearly show all the fees and taxes associated with the order before the buyer reaches the checkout.

Include strong calls to action (CTAs) on checkout pages

If your buyers don’t know how to get to their basket or proceed through the checkout, they’ll have no choice but to abandon. Clear CTAs guide your buyers through the purchasing experience.

Make navigation between cart and product pages effortless

Navigating from the shopping basket to product pages and back again should not be a difficult experience. If your buyers can’t return to a product page to add more to their basket, they won’t be returning to your platform at all.

Create a solid refund and return policy

Sometimes, buyers purchase a product that isn’t fit for purpose or arrives in a poor condition. In these scenarios, buyers want reassurance that they’ll be able to get a replacement or their money back without any trouble. A clear, unambiguous returns policy is all you need to prevent this from becoming a cart abandonment issue.

Offer live chat support

A live chat function enables you to answer customer questions instantly and in real time. If a buyer is at the checkout and has a question, the likelihood of a completed purchase is far higher if they are able to access help immediately.

Use trust symbols and social proof to reassure customers

Display trust signals such as security badges, SSL certificates and customer reviews/testimonials to instil confidence. Assuring buyers that their personal and financial information is secure can alleviate concerns and increase trust.

Enable one-click payments

If you have returning customers who frequently purchase from your site, allowing them to save their payment information and complete the purchase with a single click can significantly reduce friction and speed up the checkout process.

Optimise for mobile

Mobile shopping is more popular than ever, so a responsive and mobile-friendly checkout experience is crucial. Streamline the layout, eliminate unnecessary steps and make sure buttons and fields are easy to tap on small screens.

Differences between B2B and B2C cart abandonment

While both B2B and B2C cart abandonment can be influenced by factors such as pricing, checkout process and product information, the underlying dynamics and complexity of B2B transactions often contribute to higher cart abandonment rates. Addressing these unique challenges is essential for reducing cart abandonment and improving conversion rates in B2B.

A more complex purchasing process

B2B transactions generally involve more complex and lengthy buying processes than in B2C. B2B buyers often need to obtain approvals from multiple stakeholders, go through procurement procedures and negotiate pricing. The complexity of B2B purchases can contribute to higher cart abandonment rates as it takes more time and effort to complete the purchase.

Purchase frequency and order value

B2B purchases typically involve higher order values and lower purchase frequency than in B2C. B2B customers may be buying in bulk or making high-value purchases that require more consideration and evaluation. Consequently, the decision-making process in B2B can be more prolonged, leading to higher cart abandonment rates as buyers may research extensively and revisit different suppliers before finalising the purchase.

Relationship-based transactions

B2B transactions often involve long-term business relationships and ongoing partnerships. The decision-making process is influenced by factors such as trust, reputation and previous experiences with the seller. B2B cart abandonment may occur if the buyer is unsure about the vendor's credibility or has concerns about the quality of the product or service being offered.

Next steps

We hope you’ve found our guide on how to avoid cart abandonment useful. If you’d like to learn how Hokodo can help to minimise B2B cart abandonment on your online platform, book a demo today.

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