4 Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment


Shopping cart abandonment is when your e-commerce shopper places products in their cart but then bails without completing the sales transaction.

In an aggregate of different studies, the Baymard Institute reports an almost 68% shopping cart abandonment rate across e-commerce sites.

Shopping cart abandonment is a very real problem, and those website visitors may be getting cold feet for a number of reasons. We recommend using analytics and A/B testing to find out exactly why, when and where your potential customers become actual non-customers. 

Once you identify the problem areas of your site, we recommend the following tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

Offer Shipping Deals.  One of the biggest causes of shopping cart abandonment is unexpected costs, and often these come from shipping fees.  When customers expect to pay a certain amount and then have those expectations dashed on the jagged rocks of additional fees, they’re more likely to give up on the transaction. 

By offering free shipping or even a deal such as “Spend over $50 and get free shipping,” you remove this excuse for shopping cart abandonment, and you may even incentivize them to make the purchase.

Remove Navigation Options.  Through your analytics, if you find that your guests often reach the checkout process only to click a link that directs them to another part of your site, then your problem is one of distraction.  Once the potential customer reaches the checkout, remove excess menus and navigation bars, so they focus their undivided attention on the purchase.

Don’t remove important information like your self-service Help menu, contact form, or shipping information though.  That frustrates some customers.  To reduce shopping cart abandonment, consider what the customer needs and remove navigation to the non-essentials.  It’s a careful balance.

Simplify the Checkout Process.  If your customers are leaving your site during the checkout process, that very process may be your problem.  If you reduce the amount of pages required to get through checkout, you make it easier for your customers to buy from you.

Also, let users know how far they are into the process.  The inclusion of a simple trail above your checkout (i.e. Delivery Info -> Payment -> Confirmation) helps to reduce shopping cart abandonment.  You want your customers to know they’re not stuck in an interminable labyrinth of checkout.

Allow Checkout As a Guest.  Are your ecommerce shoppers leaving as soon as you ask them to register?  If so, why not let them checkout as a guest?  Rather than forcing registration, you make the process easier when you allow a streamlined option for those who prefer not to sign up.

We all want people to sign up with our websites for further engagement, but by making registration a choice, you improve the chances that customers complete their purchase. Remove obstacles in their way, and then offer them the option to save their information to a profile after they’ve already entered in their shipping and billing info.  Your customers are more likely to see that as an offer of improved customer experience compared to seeing it as a roadblock prior to the sale.

Some people resolve to shed pounds in the New Year.  We resolve to shed percentages off the shopping cart abandonment rates for ecommerce sites.  With almost 68% of ecommerce shoppers leaving their digital carts in the Internet aisles, we’ve got a long way to go.  But by following these tips, you increase your chances of conversion and sales success for 2014.

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