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How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

So you want to increase sales on your website, but abandoned shopping carts seem to be getting in the way. Maybe you've even tried to fix the issue, but nothing seems to work. That's a huge loss of potential customers for your online store. Why is this happening, and what do you do? 

In this article, we will go over the top reasons why shopping cart abandonment happens, as well as some tips on how to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate. So read on and start winning more customers today!

What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment occurs when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but does not complete the purchase. There are several reasons why this happens, including slow page load times or difficult checkout processes. Retailers take shopping cart abandonment seriously, as it can lead to lost sales and decreased revenue. They use it to track abandoned carts and determine their marketing campaigns' effectiveness.

What are the main causes of shopping cart abandonment?

1. Lack of trust

If you want to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your website, you need to build trust with potential customers. You can do this by making your website as secure as possible and using social proof.

Make sure your checkout page is and includes payment security symbols and badges. This will show potential customers that their personal and financial information is safe with you.

You can also showcase customer reviews and ratings to provide social proof that they can trust your site.

2. Complexity

Having a quick and easy checkout procedure is a must if you want your consumers to enjoy their buying experience. Customers are more likely to complete a purchase if the checkout process is between three and five steps. Use fewer fields in each step to avoid complicating the process.

3. Lack of transparency

This is another common reason why shopping cart abandonment happens. Make sure all charges are shown upfront in the cart before customers commit to a purchase. 

Your website may also dissuade customers from making a purchase due to the absence of an SSL certificate and a lack of familiarity with the brand name or payment gateway.

Moreover, 18% of consumers are reluctant to enter their credit card information on e-commerce sites they don't trust. 

So, to increase customer trust, be transparent about your shopping cart and how it works. Explain any fees associated with using the site or making a purchase, and consider adding social proof in the form of reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers.

4. High shipping costs

High delivery fees are a significant factor in shopping cart abandonment. Customers will often see the high shipping cost and decide not to complete their purchase. 

Free shipping is often preferred over expedited shipping, even when the free shipping option results in a lower total order value. 

Offering free shipping for a minimum order value can encourage customers to keep shopping and help reduce the number of abandoned carts. 

5. Lack of payment options

Customers may be more inclined to leave their shopping carts if their preferred payment method is unavailable. Consider offering multiple payment options to help reduce shopping cart abandonment. One example of a reliable and common payment gateway is PayPal, which provides both convenience (no need to input credit card data) and security to its customers.

A few more ways to speed up the buying process are via "quick purchase" buttons and pre-filled form fields.  For instance, both Shopify and Stripe save your billing and shipping information for future purchases with the same vendor; all you have to do is provide your email or phone number.

6. Higher prices

Shoppers are more likely to abandon their shopping carts when prices are too high. One way to combat this is to make sure your pricing is reasonable and competitive as much as possible.. 

However, “cheap” is a relative term, and there are a few ways you can refine your offer to either increase the perceived value, or make it looks like a clear bargain. One of those strategies is to provide free shipping, which we will talk about later. Offering a discount code or voucher can also help offset the pain of paying for items online.

7. Poor page load times

Slow page load times can frustrate customers and cause them to abandon their shopping carts. To improve page load times, retailers can compress images and text, choose a good web hosting provider, and use a content delivery network. 

Mobile page load times are especially important, so retailers should ensure that their pages are fast enough for mobile devices. Improving page load times can reduce shopping cart abandonment and improve conversion rates.

8. Lack of guest checkout options

Shopping cart abandonment can be a major problem for e-commerce stores. Offering a guest checkout option can help reduce abandonment rates by making it easier for customers to buy. Guest checkout allows customers to browse products without registering or creating an account. This can result in increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

9. Lack of "Save for later" button

A "save for later" button would help reduce shopping cart abandonment by allowing customers to add items to their cart and return to checkout at a later time. This would make it easier for customers to filter and search for items, and repeat the process if they lose their search. Additionally, the button could be placed on the product page or in the checkout process, making it easier for customers to add items to their carts without hitting many buttons.

How can you reduce shopping cart abandonment rate?

1. Offer free shipping

Customers are more likely to purchase items when they don't have to pay for shipping. The threshold for free shipping should be set at a reasonable level so that customers aren't discouraged from completing their purchase. Delivery promos can also be used to attract more customers and convert them into buyers.

offer free shipping

People LOVE free shipping, and if you can factor in shipping costs into the pricing, the offer would look a lot more appealing, leading to an increase in conversion. This is because customers naturally perceive shipping as a cost that is not related to the product, so they are paying for something that “they cannot use”. The threshold for offering free shipping should be set at a reasonable amount so that customers don't feel like they're being overcharged. 

One way to encourage people without losing money on shipping is to offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. On top of that, there are a few Free Shipping Meter apps that lets people know how much more they need to add to cart to qualify for free shipping. 

2. Improve page load times

No one likes slow-loading pages. So, make sure that your site load times are quick and seamless. This can be done by:

  •  Compressing images and text
  • Using a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Choosing a good web hosting provider. 

If you are using services such as Shopify or Big Commerce, good hosting is usually already included.  

For compressing images, check out Shortpixel as they are one of the best image compression software. You can expect to reduce the size of a 15MB product image down to just 1-2MB. 

Additionally, keeping mobile page load times low is also important for customer satisfaction.

3. Send an email soon after the customer abandons their cart

Sending a simple email soon after a customer abandons their cart can remind them of the items they were considering. This is usually known as automation, and triggered-based shopping cart abandonment campaigns are the most obvious solution to this problem. 

The first email in a campaign should focus on product discovery, while the second email should try to convince the customer to come back and buy from you. The third email is a follow-up, reminding the customer that they abandoned their cart and suggesting products that might be of interest.

4. Make navigation between cart and store effortless

By making it easy for customers to find their way around your site, you can reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. Keep your cart visible on every page. Another way is to make sure that there are no drop-offs in the user flow report. 

5. Include a strong call to action on checkout pages

Calls to action help convince prospects to complete their purchase by providing motivation. They should be clear and strong to be effective. 

Additionally, it is important to use consistent language and tone throughout the site and marketing materials so as not to confuse visitors. 

The messages should also be concise. By using friendly connective language, you can keep the pressure off during checkout and reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.

6. Use email retargeting and paid ads to retarget

It is possible to reconnect with visitors to your website after they have left your site by sending them a follow-up email or retargeting ads. If you want to get them closer to making a purchase, try to give them something new and compelling. It doesn't always have to be a discount. You can offer a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), testimonials from satisfied customers, or a free product sample.

7. Use exit-intent popups

Exit-intent pop-ups may increase conversions by incentivizing users to finish their purchases by providing a discount voucher or other incentive if they have items in their shopping cart but are about to leave the site. 

While exit-intent pop-ups may be used on any page, they are most effective when introduced to product pages or pages close to the checkout process. Make sure you do this carefully, however, since too many pop-ups in one session might annoy visitors.

8. Enable guest checkout

According to research, guest checkout can reduce shopping cart abandonment rates by a significant margin. This is because it allows shoppers to bypass the account creation process if they so wish. 

By removing steps from the checkout process, it makes it simpler and quicker for customers to complete their purchases. In addition, guest checkout also allows customers to purchase without storing their credit card information and email address. 

This makes sense if the customer has not purchased from the website before since many people would not like to store their credit card information on a third-party site, much less a new site they’ve never bought anything from.

9. Use trust signals

Adding trust signals to your website can help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. Trust signals can include adding a trust badge or seal to your website, being transparent about your return policy, or adding estimated delivery dates to third-party logistics providers. 

By being upfront about your policies and adding clarity to the shipping time section of your product pages, you can build trust with your customers and encourage them to complete their orders.

10. Identify 'leaky' spots in your conversion pathways

There are a few ways you can identify 'leaky' spots in your conversion pathways. The first is by looking at your traffic flow in Google Analytics. You can see how visitors are moving through your site and which pages they're spending the most time on. If there are pages where people are dropping off, that's an indication that there's a problem with that part of the conversion process.

Maybe you can ask a few friends to browse through your site as if they were looking to buy something. This can help you identify areas where people are getting stuck and make changes to improve the experience.

Finally, you can also look at your overall conversion rate. If it's low, that could be an indication that there are major problems with your conversion process. By identifying these problems and fixing them, you can improve your conversion rate and increase sales.

11. Get clear on extra costs

When customers are considering items in their shopping cart, one of the key factors that can influence whether or not they complete the purchase is the total cost of the items. This includes any extra charges such as taxes or shipping fees. 

If these extra costs are not made clear until the checkout stage, it can lead to shoppers feeling surprised or overwhelmed, and cause them to abandon their purchase.

To avoid this, it's important to be upfront about any extra charges that may apply during the purchase process. This way, shoppers know exactly what they're getting themselves into, and can make an informed decision about whether or not to complete their purchase. In some cases, retailers may even be able to adjust prices in advance to avoid extra charges altogether.

Ultimately, transparency about extra costs helps to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate by making it clear to shoppers what they'll be paying for their purchase before they reach the checkout stage. 

Additionally, giving shoppers the option to choose among different shipping options with different pricing can also lead to a higher order conversion rate.

12. Add a ‘Notify me’ button when items are out of stock

It's also essential to inform shoppers about add-ons in advance and offer a discount for those willing to wait for an item to come back in stock. This way, you can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Plus, it shows that you care about your customers and are willing to go the extra mile to accommodate them.


What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment occurs when a potential customer adds items to their shopping cart but then leaves the site before completing the purchase. This can be costly for retailers, as it decreases revenue and increases the risk of losing customers.

What are the main causes of shopping cart abandonment?

There are a number of reasons why customers may abandon their carts, including not finding the information they need, thinking the products are not worth buying, or feeling that the checkout process is too complicated. Other reasons include having too many choices and not being able to decide which product to buy, or simply not having enough money left in their account. 

How can I reduce my shopping cart abandonment rate?

Some tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment are to increase the relevance of your content, provide more detailed product information, and offer a free shipping option.

Increasing the relevance of your content can be done by focusing on topics that are of interest to your target audience, writing in an easy-to-read style, and using interesting images and videos. Providing more detailed product information can be done by including specifications, user reviews, and comparisons with similar products. Offering a free shipping option can encourage customers to buy more products from your store.

Another way to reduce shopping cart abandonment is to create automated processes that improve the speed and reliability of your eCommerce transactions. Finally, social media can be used to promote your eCommerce site and increase consumer awareness of it.

What is a trust badge?

A trust badge is a symbol that is placed on a website to signal to potential customers that the site is legitimate and that their data will be collected securely. Trust badges can improve customer trust and reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.

What is a popup?

A popup is a type of website overlay that appears when the cursor leaves the active area of the browser. Popups can be customized to target different types of users or pages. Exit pop-ups are used to persuade customers to stay on a page by offering incentives or discounts. 

What is a payment processor?

A payment processor is a company that helps businesses accept payments from customers. It does this by providing various payment plans and methods that businesses can use, including digital wallets, shopping apps, and BNPL services. Payment processors can increase AOV by offering BNPL services, which enable consumers to make payments in a variety of ways.

What is a guest checkout?

A guest checkout is a way for shoppers to complete a purchase without having to provide their personal information. Guests can sign in to an account, create an account, or check out without having to provide their credit card information or email address. Guest checkout will be used for delivery updates only.

What is a progress indicator?

A progress indicator is a UI tool that communicates to users how far along they are in a task. Progress indicators can be used to motivate users and keep them engaged in a task. For example, progress bars are often used during online checkouts to remind shoppers of their pending purchase and reduce the likelihood of them dropping off.

What is a trust seal?

A trust seal is a logo, symbol, or other visual cue that confirms the authenticity of a website. The trust seal company agrees to place their badge on your website, so users know that all processes taking place on your website are safe and secure. This can help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.

What are some common payment options?

There are a variety of payment options available to shoppers, including shopping apps and digital wallets. By providing shoppers with choices, you make checkout easier and more attractive.

Customers want to use different payment options due to data breaches and concerns over contactless payment systems. Digital wallets let customers shop online without revealing their credit card information.

Interest-free buy now, pay later plans are common through third-party providers like Klarna. Americans spent $20 to $25 billion using BNPL services in 2020. Global deferred payment purchases are expected to top $1 trillion by 2025. By adding BNPL options to your eCommerce site, you can boost AOV and attract more shoppers.

Final Thoughts

Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate is essential if you want to increase your sales. By following the tactics in this guide, you can make sure that more of your customers complete their purchases.

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