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What Are the Main Reasons eCommerce Transactions Fail?

reasons ecommerce transactions fail

In an ideal world, every single transaction that occurs on your website would go through smoothly and both you and your customers would be happy.

But, sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world. Though the reasons a transaction may fail online could be infinite, we’re going to focus on some of the more common reasons, helping you avoid them altogether and creating a much happier ecommerce experience for everyone involved.

6 Major Reasons an eCommerce Transaction Can Fail

Buggy Websites

You can’t always blame the other guys for your own faults. If there are any bugs on your site that prevent the smooth flow of online payment processing, there is no one else to blame. Fix it.

Bad Web Hosting

Bad web hosting can manifest itself in numerous ways. Your web hosting provider should be able to guarantee at least 99 percent up time, otherwise, you’ll soon find yourself losing customers. If your website is down most of the time, users won’t be able to find you. Payments won’t go through if your hosting provider’s servers keep crashing. If there is no expansion package available to you for incidences of high traffic, it can become incredibly slow for a sales to go through – or even pages to load. If you’re sharing resources with numerous other traffic-intensive sites, your site can suffer. All of these individually or in conjunction can create a terrible shopping experience, so don’t let them happen to your site.

This is a no-brainer. If you want your site to be as professional as you are, act like it and get better web hosting.

Intermittent Connections

If you happen to have an ISP that isn’t exactly known for their reliable connectivity, you should prepare yourself for some serious payment failure issues. The same could be said about the connection your visitors use to get to your website. Either way, if the internet connection fails mid-transaction, even right after a sale has been made, the payment might get dropped.

While this is a matter of chance, it would be a good idea to opt for a hosting solution provider that uses a reliable ISP, even if they charge you a little extra. It will be worth it.

No Diversity of Payment Options

Quite often, your customers will add things to their carts only to realize at checkout that you don’t accept their card or you don’t offer the payment method they expected.

If you can, incorporate all major payment methods into your shopping cart. If you can’t accept any of the major credit cards or don’t offer a particular payment method, let your visitors know. The courtesy might turn them away, but at least they won’t be upset (and more likely to leave a negative review.) Put an “Accepted Payment Methods” banner somewhere on your site for users to see.

Data Failure

On some occasions, your customer will have gone through the whole purchasing process without a glitch, made the payment and logged off. You look at your bank statement and find no deposit made from your client, but they begin to call and ask when they’re going to get their goods. Here’s what could have happened:

  • There were insufficient funds in their account.
  • Your clients’ computer could have issues with antivirus or anti-malware protection software that blocked the transaction.
  • There may have been 3D Secure issues that prevented the transaction from going through.
  • Their bank could have made a reversal of payment.

Though figuring out where the data failure may have occurred can be tough, it isn’t impossible. Do some investigation to figure it out and keep communication open between you and your client.

Browser Configuration

Anyone who’s browsed the internet knows how annoying popup ads can be. Most of us have our browsers set on blocking all popup forms – ads or otherwise – from all websites. If your shopping cart fires a popup form at anytime during the checkout process, your customers might not notice their browser blocking it. They may keep clicking the “Submit” button, but not see anything happen. After a couple of tries, they will most likely give up and leave your page.

You can avoid this particular problem by either notifying your customers that they should allow popups for your website or by alerting them by using scripts. Explain in detail why your website can be trusted not to spam them and advise them to disable their popup blocker to proceed with the transaction. Most people will gladly comply.

Whatever the case, always be courteous when dealing with customers who have issues with sales not going through. Until you can pinpoint the exact reason, always assume fault and be kind and courteous in your customer support efforts.



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