7 Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

reduce shopping cart abandonment rate

The Internet has given rise to an ecommerce phenomenon that plagues site owners trying to sell their products online: cart abandonment. Prospective customers browse for items, drop them into virtual “carts” and then head for the check-out. Yet somewhere before they hit that final “pay” button, they change their minds and leave. The transaction remains incomplete and conversion rates tank. Even worse, some figures suggest that cart abandonment rates hover upwards of almost 70 percent, which means two out of three shoppers opt out.

This is a situation that happens in brick-and-mortar life, too, but certainly not at the rates it happens online. While this may be due to the fact that ecommerce occurs in a virtual environment, the results are all-too-real, not to mention highly aggravating. Revenue is lost every time a potential customer chooses to move on without making purchases. There are many customer pain points along the path to conversion; however, there are many ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

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Streamline the Check-Out Process

reduce shopping cart abandonment rate - checkout process

It’s well-known that the more hoops consumers have to jump through to buy something, the less likely they are to stick it out until the “finish line.” Go through your ecommerce site and count the number of clicks it takes to go from putting an item in your cart to paying for it. Then, evaluate each click to see if it can be either eliminated or somehow joined with another click. For instance, you may discover that you’re asking for more upfront information than you actually need.

Allow Customers to Purchase Anonymously

Many sites have now moved to a somewhat controversial technique of allowing purchasers to buy things without having to become members. They can sign in as “guests,” which gives them a sense of anonymity that certain shoppers prefer. Though this can seem counterintuitive to the ecommerce owner who wants to collect data, it’s better to win a sale today. After all, that person may decide to return later and join the ecommerce site.

Be Upfront about Shipping Costs

One of the biggest frustrations for shoppers has been “hidden” shipping costs, or at least ones that are very difficult to find until the shopping cart final price is revealed. No one likes to feel like they are being taken for a ride, and higher-than-expected shipping rates are one of the top reasons that consumers abandon their carts. Consider either putting shipping costs — or even estimates — on the product page, or even offering free shipping.

reduce shopping cart abandonment rate - shipping cost

In the example above, Havahart, a well-known American eCommerce portal, uses urgency to entice visitors to convert. Knowing that free shipping is only available for a limited time, potential customers receive a clear and transparent benefit by checking-out before a set time. This is a great tactic to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Collect an Email Address at the Beginning of the Transaction

If you don’t currently collect email addresses until the end of the transaction, you might be missing a solution to your cart abandonment issues. The sooner you can get an email, the better. Once you have the email, you can reach out to customers who abandoned their carts and begin to solicit them through a series of “act now” style emails. By staying in touch and reminding them that they have unpurchased items in their shopping carts, you’ll stand a better chance of them returning to your storefront and completing the transaction.

Add Pictures of the Items to Be Purchased

Some ecommerce shoppers who get to the end of their transactions suddenly worry that they have put the incorrect items in their carts. This concern can lead them to begin to second-guess all the merchandise they’re buying. In turn, this can cause them to lose focus and eventually leave. One simple way to keep them on the task at hand is to add pictures of all the items in their shopping cart. Thus, they’ll be able to see at a glance what they are going to receive from your store.

Remove All Non-Essential Information on the Checkout Pages

Pop-up ads, additional pages and other distractions only serve to irritate shoppers and make them want to go away. Objectively go through your site and see if you have too much information on the checkout pages, or in the areas surrounding the checkout. The fewer disruptions, the greater your odds that they won’t lose interest.

While eCommerce platforms do not have the luxury of offering “trials” for products, many software-as-a-service platforms do. Signing up for trials should be just as seamless as any other checkout process. For example, Comm100 condenses the step into five simple fields:
reduce shopping cart abandonment rate  - signup

Be Wary of Promo Code Boxes

Promo codes can be a wonderful way to woo customers, but there’s an inherent problem with them: When shoppers are at the checkout and they see a promo code box, they often begin to search on another tab for available discounts at your store. While they are doing this they can become sidetracked or even discover a merchant with a better promo code offer than yours. If you want to keep a promo code option, make it less front-and-center.

Obviously, the most critical aspect of reducing shopping cart abandonment is to test. It’s impossible to predict the buying behavior of your target consumers without doing A/B splits and analyzing the results. Make it part of your regular business practices, and you’ll start to see more transactions make it to the “pay” stage.

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Jesse Aaron is a professional marketing blogger and a Community Manager at WebpageFX. He writes about eCommerce, social media marketing, and conversion rate optimization. Follow Jesse on Google+

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