8 Ways to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

Adela Belin
7 min read
Nov 9, 2018
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Shopping cart abandonment

Picture this – you are heading a brick and mortar store and watching customers lined up at the cash counter makes for a delightful sight until they abruptly change their minds and leave without making a purchase. Ouch. Now, that’s a ‘so close, yet so far’ kind of a situation. What could have gone wrong, you wonder.

This is exactly what cart abandonment in the e-commerce world feels like. Shopping cart abandonment rate refers to the percentage of online shoppers who add items to their cart and abandon it without making a purchase. This phenomenon is rampant and continues to plague e-commerce retailers, as reiterated in a study done by Barilliance which stated that the average cart abandonment rate was 78.65% in 2017. An alarming figure, isn’t it?

It’s easy to blame this on customers’ indecisiveness but the reasons behind cart abandonment are a lot more serious and complex. While you cannot completely do away with cart abandonment, the good news is that you can surely decrease the rate with these 8 effective practices.

#1. Build credibility

You can’t expect customers to make purchases and share their credit card numbers on an e-commerce platform that seems dodgy. As retailers, the least you can do is gain their confidence and ensure your website seems trustworthy and credible, especially at the check-out stage.

A survey by Actual Insights showed that around 61% of people did not buy from an e-commerce platform because a trust logo was not present. Now, how do you build trust through your website?

Firstly, display trust seals, customer ratings and testimonials – this instills confidence in potential customers to purchase from your website. If you have a flexible return policy or offer a money-back guarantee, it is a good idea to highlight that too. Last but not least, make sure you don’t allow a barrage of ads on your website as they just make it appear spammy and unreliable.

Verizon cybertrust security badge on website

#2. Offer multiple payment options

Offering a convenient customer experience needs to be at the heart of everything you do. One of the prerequisites includes offering multiple payment options to your customers.

Even though most customers might prefer using credit or debit cards, you should consider including alternative payment options such as mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.), PayPal and other payment options that are fast gaining popularity. The point is that your customers should be able to select the payment method most convenient for them without having to give it a second thought.

By offering multiple payment options, you also open gates to a global audience and are able to deal in multiple currencies at ease.

#3. Be transparent

Nothing is more frustrating than browsing a site, adding items to your cart and being in for a rude shock at the check-out page on seeing the final cost, owing to the delivery and shipping charges that have now been added. In such cases, customers are most likely to abandon the shopping cart and why not.

Such ‘surprises’ are not appreciated so be transparent and honest right from the beginning. Whether it’s stating shipping and delivery fees, applicable taxes or the delivery date – it’s better to display this information in the product page so the customers know what they are signing up for. An example of a retailer that does this well is Amazon.

Amazon shipping options transparency

#4. Seamless checkout

Did you know that 14% buyers abandon carts because of the absence of a guest checkout option?

In today’s day and age, it’s too much to ask customers to create an account, fill a lengthy form, verify their email id and then make the purchase. No one has the time for this. While it would be great to obtain their details, you certainly wouldn’t want to do it at the cost of a purchase, would you?

Make the checkout process as simple and quick as possible by offering a guest checkout option. Just ask them to enter their email, enter payment details and they’re done. Ensuring a seamless checkout experience on your e-commerce platform is sure to get you improved results.

For instance, eBay gives you an option to sign in or continue as a guest. In case you choose to create an account or sign in, you have the option of staying signed in for faster checkouts going forward.

Ebay sign in sign up page

#5.Mobile optimized site

We aren’t surprised that mobile has the highest cart abandonment rate, with 85.65% of all transactions ending without a sale. It is 2018 and if your website is not optimized for the mobile, it is time to get out of your cave.

Given that most of the website traffic comes from mobile devices, mobile should no longer be an afterthought. After all, why would you want your customer to go through the ordeal of zooming in and out and scrolling mercilessly to make sense of your website on their smartphones?

So, make sure you have a mobile-first approach and incorporate a responsive design that only displays information that adds value because there is no space for unnecessary elements. Apart from that, your mobile website should be easy to navigate with a quick load time.

#6. Incorporate chatbots

Whether it is a payment issue or a query regarding shipping charges - when customers are shopping online, they are likely to be met with technical issues or have general queries. At such times, it helps to have a chatbot such as ChatBot on the website as it serves to be the quickest touchpoint for visitors to get in touch with you.

You can also consider integrating your chatbot with live chat for a smooth customer experience. While your bot can answer the regular questions, live chat agents can come to the rescue when it comes to handling the complicated situations.

Chatbots can also be used to remind customers about the items lying in their cart by serving them with a direct link to the checkout page. You can also set up automated chat invitations that start every time your customer spends too much time in the cart (and it’s possible that they have a problem or second thoughts).

Do you need more information about chatbots? Go to our Chatbot Guide to find out what makes them crucial for businesses.

#7. Communicate offers

You might be sending customers e-mails and SMS-es about ongoing offers and discounts, but it is also very important to highlight it on your website. From having a webpage banner to displaying the offer percentage on the product page – there are several ways you can create a sense of urgency and compel visitors to not leave without making a purchase.

It is also a good idea to use words such as ‘limited period offer’ and ‘last chance’ or even include a countdown timer which states the numbers of hours remaining for the sale to end – these play on the human psychology and compel action.

mMarks&spencer home event discount homepage

#8. Recapture lost customers

So, you have customers who have left your website without making a purchase but that doesn’t mean you don’t try to lure them back.

Keep track of abandoned carts and send them recovery e-mails reminding them about their unfulfilled purchase. You can also offer them special discounts as a caveat, retarget them through Facebook ads or remind them via push notifications.

Enhanced shopping experience lowers cart abandonment rates

In spite of all these measures, there will be customers who will still abandon carts but don’t let that dishearten you or stop you from doing your best to recover lost sales. The idea is to make your customer’s shopping experience as convenient as possible and that includes aspects ranging from website load time and design to offering multiple payment options and highlighting flexible policies. So, work towards reducing cart abandonment rates and see a rise in conversions - your efforts are sure to not go waste.

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