12 Battle-tested Ways To Reduce Ecommerce Cart Abandonment

November 30, 2022
10 min

Cart abandonment is a common struggle for any e-commerce business owner. A whopping 18 billion is lost in sales because of abandoned carts every year.  Shopify reports that nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. While it’s common, however, that doesn’t mean it has to be the norm for you and your business.

The first step to reducing eCommerce cart abandonment is to understand it. In this quick guide, we'll help you get a deeper understanding of cart abandonment and share practical advice with you on how to reduce cart abandonment in your eCommerce business.

What Is cart abandonment, and why it matters in ecommerce?

As the term suggests, eCommerce cart abandonment occurs when a shopper adds items to their online shopping cart but then leaves the site without completing the purchase. An easy way to measure it and get a better understanding of the problem is by monitoring your store's cart abandonment rate.

How to measure cart abandonment rate?

It's pretty simple. You divide the total number of abandoned carts by the total amount of carts that were created. The result is your cart abandonment rate. For instance, an online store with a total of 10,000 carts per month and 7,500 abandoned carts has a cart abandonment rate of 75%. Ouch!

So, to further elaborate on the subject, several factors can contribute to eCommerce cart abandonment. Some of them include:

  • High or unexpected shipping costs
  • Unexpected additional fees
  • A long and complicated checkout processes
  • Absence of sufficient payment or shipping options
  • Long delivery times
  • No discounts or promo codes
  • No return or refund policy (or one that’s confusing or complex)
  • Concerns about site or payment safety
  • Site speed issues

Whatever the reason, ecommerce cart abandonment can have a major impact on your business. That's why it's important to keep track of your cart abandonment rate and to take steps to reduce it. If a large proportion of your customers are abandoning their carts, that means that you are leaving significant revenues on the table.

Fortunately, several ways can help you fight eCommerce cart abandonment and ultimately reduce it. We’ll see the most prominent of them later on this article.

Benefits of reducing cart abandonment

Obviously, the biggest benefit of working to reduce cart abandonment rate are additional revenues, because of more placed orders.

However, there are secondary benefits to reducing ecommerce cart abandonment as well. For example, you are directly affecting your conversion rate, which means that your orders-to-visits ratio gets better.

While that does help increase revenue, it also leads to a better cost-per-acquisition (CPA) from the paid channels of your online store. Considering that with the same budgets, you are going to be converting more customers. As a result, your Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) is going to improve.

How to reduce cart abandonment?

Whether you’ve identified if any of the aforementioned issues are affecting your site’s cart abandonment rate or not, eCommerce businesses can reduce cart abandonment by following the tips below:

1. Provide Customers With Enough Shipping Options

One of the primary reasons that customers drop off is the absence of sufficient delivery options. Being able to receive your order the way that matches your preferences is essential in a shopper's decision to proceed to checkout.

Each shopper might have a different preference. For example, someone would prefer to have an offer delivered at home or at the office. Other customers prefer lockers and of course, there are always people who would prefer to collect an order from a physical point.

Each of those delivery methods entails different variables, the most important of them being, how fast the order will be delivered and at what cost. A customer would like to have the option here to receive the order as soon as possible, at the lowest possible cost. Ideally, they would like to define the exact location of delivery and time frame.

So, make sure to research your client's preferences on the delivery front and provide them with as many delivery options as possible. Some additional tips:

  1. Be upfront with any additional delivery fees.
  1. Inform your customers that they can choose their delivery preference later.

All in all, provide them with as many delivery options as possible, taking into account that the delivery cost and time to deliver significantly affects their decision to buy. The lowest the cost and the fastest the time to delivery, the better the chances that a cart will not be abandoned.

2. Allow your customers to pay the way they want

Providing enough delivery options is important, but unfortunately, there are additional reasons that could affect your cart abandonment. One of the most common ones is that customers cannot pay for their orders the way they want. Cards, digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, and Paypal. There are so many options and each one of us prefers something different while shopping online.

It is essential that you provide at least the most popular payment options, to ensure that people will not abandon their carts. According to Statista, Paypal is the most widely used payment method in the United Kingdom for 2021. Then, credit and debit cards come second, while digital wallets come third.

Shopper preferences in regard to payment methods vary across markets, so it is important to do your own research before deciding which of those you should offer to your customers.

3. Allow Guest Checkout

Have you ever visited a website and filled your cart with items only to abandon it just before purchasing because the site requires you to create an account to pay? This can be annoying for new shoppers.

While having customers create an account is a great way to capture their emails and follow up with offers and reminders after their purchase is completed, if it’s leading to high rates of cart abandonment, then it’s better to allow guest checkout.

If they’re pleased with the experience of interacting with your store, then they’ll be back on their own anyway. However, it's not necessary to leave things to lack. A very common practice is to allow the user to complete their order and then ask them to create an account. Usually, this is combined with some kind of motive, such as a discount in their next purchase. This way, you get the best of both worlds.

 An example of guest checkout

4. Emphasize your credibility & security credentials

It's no secret that online privacy and security are at the top of the list of people lately. In particular, when you are not one of the big names in eCommerce, it's essential to reassure your customers that you are a credible merchant and you go to great lengths to protect their private details.

There are several tools to help you do that. Some of them are fundamentals, such as ensuring that your website has an SSL certificate. However, you can do way more. For example, you may display credentials that you are PCI DSS compliant and guarantee the security of payments. Those credentials should be placed in strategic positions (e.g. close to the payment options), so that users can consume them at the right moment and within the right context.

If you aren't sure about what the above acronyms, such as SSL and PCI DSS mean, then have a talk with the agency that is building your website or your engineers, in case you have an in-house team. They should be able to explain them to you.

Trust is one of the biggest factors why shoppers don’t complete their purchases; therefore, establishing is a great way to reduce cart abandonment.

PCI, DSS and SSL certification logos

5. Rely on Testimonials & Social Proof

Talking about new customers and credibility, social proof is incredibly important in today’s digital landscape. Try optimising your product pages for improved conversions by including testimonials or reviews on each page. This will help demonstrate to other customers that others love the product and value their purchase.

To easily do this, pull in reviews from Google or Trustpilot to display on your web pages. Or, use those same testimonials during your customer support processes. Peer reviews are one of the most effective methods to get people to trust your brand. Think for yourself: How many times did you turn to reviews and comments from other people, to help you make up your mind about a purchase?

A good rating could be the difference between an abandoned cart and a completed order.

An example of how social proof should be displayed on a website

6. Offer Online Support

Sometimes customers have questions about a product that they can’t find the answers to. This leads to cart abandonment. Combat this issue by offering a chat popup featuring 24/7 online support to answer customers' questions before purchasing.

An example of a chat bot

7. Display Clear Calls to Action

You’d be surprised at the number of ecommerce websites that fail to display a call to action properly. In terms of design, you’ll want to ensure that your “Add to Cart”, “Proceed to Checkout”, or “Buy Now” buttons are clear and visible.

Unless your eCommerce website visitors can easily find how to proceed to the next step of their purchase, they will simply abandon their cart and go to a merchant that will offer them a more frictionless experience. So, it is important for you to analyze what is the most important action that you want your customers to do on each page. Then, ensure that the call to action related to that, is accessible and clear.

For example, while on the product page, the most important action is to allow a user to add this product to their cart. Hence, having an "Add to Cart" button clearly visible, on a prominent position in the page is critical.

Add to cart CTA

8. Reduce Distractions On-Page

Following my point regarding clear calls to action, it is equally important to reduce the unnecessary noise from your pages. This will help your users focus on the actions that are more important for you on each page. It pays to reduce on-page distractions that could be causing your customers to abandon their carts.

For instance, if you have too many pop-ups that distract them from filling out their billing details, then they’re likely to get frustrated and leave the page. This is the same for flashy banners that might cause them to click off the checkout page and continue browsing something else.

9. Avoid unexpected surprises

We briefly touched on this matter earlier, when we talked about shipping options and fees. What really frustrates customers though, is the sudden appearance of unexpected surprises such as hidden fees. In case there are fees of any kind related to an order, then be transparent and upfront about it. Explain why those fees are there and inform users about it as early as possible during the buying process. Although, nobody likes to pay more, this kind of transparency will only help you improve your cart abandonment rate.

10. Create a sense of urgency

It pays to use conversion messaging or to create copy that creates a sense of urgency. For example, in case you are running low on stock for an item, displaying it would help towards pushing your customers to buy it sooner. Or in case there is an ongoing sale, a pop-up with a message about how this price only lasts for another five hours can help. Or, you could put a timer on the page indicating when a sale ends.

Such practices are widely used and have an impact on the psychology of the customer. They know that if they do not move ahead with their order now, they might not find the products that they want in the near future. That means reduced cart abandonment for you.

Example of a website pop up creating a sense of urgency

11. Implement One-Click Checkout

You can simplimfy the entire checkout process by implementing one click checkout. This allows you to offer a seamless and distraction-free checkout process to first-time users that makes it easy for them to check out in half the time it takes to check out with a traditional checkout process.

Likewise, returning users can easily and quickly check out without having to fill in any details or remember any passwords. Every time they return to your store, they're no longer checking out as a guest.

While you don't require them to formally "register," they can still benefit from a similar, if not better experience as registered users.

For example, this is how the checkout experience looks like with Simpler one click checkout:

A user journey for a first time and second time user of simpler one click checkout

12. Ensure Your Product Pages Load Quickly

Did you know that 53% of visitors to a website will drop off if the page doesn’t load fully within three seconds? This applies to online stores as well. If you’re trying to reduce ecommerce cart abandonment, improve the loading speed of all of your product and checkout pages.

To do this, sync with your developers first to see if they can identify ways of improving your site speed. Or, if you manage your site, you can optimise your site's file sizes (images and documents) to help ensure they're not weighing your pages down. Getting rid of custom plugins can help too.

You can also use Google PageSpeed Insights and test your website’s performance.

A screenshot of Google Page Speed analysis

Make ecommerce checkout Simpler.

Not only does Simpler help you simplify the checkout process for your customers and reduce cart abandonment, but it also helps you achieve up to a 35% higher conversion rate than an average checkout does.

From analytics about your shoppers’ details that can help you boost your remarketing efforts to revenue tracking capabilities, sales reports, and simple payout statements, Simpler is your all-in-one checkout solution made to convert shoppers.

It can be installed on your website within minutes and supports all major e-commerce platforms. The best part? You don't have to replace your current payment processor at all.

Stop leaving money on the table! Reach out to us and learn more about how Simpler can help you reduce cart abandonment.

Traditional checkout is harder and one click checkout is simpler

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