13 ways to combat shopping carts abandonment

What is one of the most significant problems in e-commerce?

Simply, shopping cart abandonment.


You have a good product, decent price, decent amount of traffic and many happy customers reviews.

And yet some customers don’t go straight to paying for a product they picked, but they leave the page without confirming their order.

On average, 67.45% of all online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes their order. That means you are losing a good number of potential sales every day!

How much would your revenue increase if you knew how to keep those customers?

Of course, it’s unlikely you will be able to persuade every single customer to come back and complete the sales – about 40% of the abandoned carts were used by people who never had any intention to purchase, and they were just browsing your page. But if you could manage to convince a portion of your customers to return, your revenue would get a boost!

Why do people abandon shopping carts?

So why do people change their mind and leave their shopping cart and what you can do with it? Let’s look at a few of the reasons first.

  • 61% reported leaving a transaction due to an extra cost such as shipping fees.
  • 35% of transactions were dropped because the website required the user to create an account before checkout.
  • 27% of carts were dropped because the checkout process was too complicated or because the site was slow.
  • 55% of consumers leave a transaction when presented with an extra shipping cost.
  • 80% of shoppers will not purchase unless there is a hassle-free return policy.

So what can I do to convince my customers to stay?

As you see, many of the issues your customers have that prevent them from completing their shopping are easy to fix – you don’t need to start an entirely new store. For a good start, here are 13 ways in which you can persuade your customers to stay and complete their purchase.

Add an “exit-intent” popups

Have you ever used an exit-intent popup? If used correctly, they can have a massive impact on your conversions.

How does it work?

A plugin tracks the activity of the site visitor, and when it detects the visitor is about to leave the site, it then sends a popup message that encourages the visitor longer by presenting them a special offer or give more information.

While it doesn’t work every single time (and might actually turn off some visitors instead of persuading them), they are a great solution when it comes to fighting with cart abandonment issues.

When someone is just about to abandon their shopping cart, you can try to convince them with a discount coupon or ask do they wish to save their shopping cart for later.

No more shipping surprises

61% of shoppers didn’t complete order because of extra cost such as shipping fees. They might have been interested in getting the item but what’s the point if the shipping fee is nearly as expensive as the product itself?

Shoppers don’t like surprises like that and will turn away the moment they see the additional costs – so making the other expenses clear before they add the items to the basket is crucial.

That’s where a shipping fee calculator comes in handy: by filling a form with their desired shipping address and chosen way of shipping the product, your customers can find out what the shipping costs will be before they start browsing products.

If you have any additional charges added to the product (taxes, customisation charges, handling fees and so on), also remember to make them visible to the customer!

Keep the cart visible

If you offer the option to save the shopping cart for later, you must make it visible for the customer. If the cart is there, but a customer can’t see it, he’ll inevitably forget about ever saving it in the first place.

It doesn’t need to be anything big and flashy – a cart icon in the corner of the screen with a number of items inside it and expanding when clicked will be more than enough.

Allow for guest checkout

Unless you sell one of a kind product, customers won’t be interested in creating an account before they even make the first purchase.

Preventing a customer from purchasing by forcing him to make an account will only end in customer turning away and looking for a page where they don’t have to create an account just to order one thing. To make the purchase easier and faster for your customers, give them an option of a guest checkout, without creating an account.

You can ask them to register after they made a purchase, for example by saying that by creating an account, their customer data will be saved for later purchases.

Going through checkout in the blink of an eye

How many pages does your checkout page have? Probably one or two too many. If a customer has to click through five or six pages, he has plenty of time to change his mind and leave the page (especially if the page is slow). The simpler and faster the checkout, the better – having a progress indicator that clearly shows where your customer is would be perfect.

Don’t forget about removing unnecessary pages and links – your customer is easily distracted so make sure he is focused only on the checkout page.

Make getting in touch with your staff effortless

During browsing your site or the checkout process, customers might have various questions. If they don’t find the answers in time, they will leave. It’s crucial to make essential information (shipping, payment options, taxes, refunds) visible to them – but that’s not all. Many will have questions for which FAQ page doesn’t have answers.

For such cases, give your customers a way to contact you: a phone number, or an email address. It would be perfect if you could offer a live chat feature on your website – customers love live chats and are expecting companies to be using them.

Why? Because live chats are fast and convenient. Today, more than 30% of customers expect a live chat widget on your website.

Your customers can use the live chat widget to solve their issue or get an answer to the question quickly – without waiting for the email to be replied or waiting on the phone line.

Give an option to save the cart

84% of online shoppers are comparing prices in different stores before making a purchase decision – that’s the advantage of the internet shopping. They look for a specific product, compare prices in various shops, and then pick the best offer. Quite often it means they’ll add items to the cart, then leave the shop and return to it later.

But which customer will have time to search for the items again and again? That’s why it is crucial that a customer gets an option to save his shopping cart – not only he won’t have to look for his picked items in case he returns to the shop, you can also use the cart to retarget the customers with a special offer, to convince them to complete checkout (even better if you can make it a limited time offer).

Show your trust seals

Majority of today’s customers understand that internet shopping, while fast and convenient, isn’t entirely safe. One careless move and they credit card data might land in the hands of criminals.  

That’s why customers need to know they can trust the business with their data – especially if this is the first time they are using the store. For this, you need a trust seal.

A trust seal is a small banner showing customers that the business is verified, trustworthy and has a secure method for online transactions.

Showing security badges makes customers trust your business more and make them more likely to purchase items for you.

According to CyberSource, 85% of UK online shoppers look for trust signs on eCommerce sites to make sure this website is safe.

Moreover, it has been pointed out that the use of trust badges increase conversion rates by as much as 40%.

But if you think you can get any security badge, put it on your website and all is done, you couldn’t be more wrong. Security badges aren’t treated equally, especially in times when criminals often use fake trust badges to give people a sense of security.

The most trusted seals (Actual Insights) are Verisign, McAfee and Paypal verified trust seals.

Offer a Variety of Payment Options

Even if a customer wants to buy from your store, he might be discouraged by the lack of payment options. With so many payment options available right now, offering only credit cards and bank transfer is out of the question.

56% of online shoppers want to see a variety of payment options at checkout – so offering only one or two payment options can severely reduce your sales.

Besides credit cards and bank transfers, you should also provide Paypal payment (especially for international customers) and mobile payments (such as Google pay or Android Pay)

Offer Free Shipping

People want to save money by shopping online, not lose it.

Shipping costs are the #1 reason that shoppers abandon their carts – if the shipping cost is not much cheaper than the product itself and the order is actually more expensive online than if bought in a mall.

One of the best things you can do to convince your customers to finish shopping is to offer free shipping.

60% of e-commerce stores say free shipping (with set conditions, of course) is one of their most successful marketing tools.

Why with set conditions? Offering free shipping for any orders, unconditionally is a good idea for a day or two but not for longer.  

Setting certain conditions that a customer must satisfy in order to qualify for a shipping (most popular option is free shipping when the order is of a fixed minimum value, but you can also offer free shipping for your most expensive products) is a much better option – not only it entices customers to buy the more expensive products, many of them will also make a bigger order just to qualify for a free shipping!    

Make your page load faster

Customers do not have the time or patience to wait for the page to load nowadays.

40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

What is more,  according to Visual Website Optimizer, e-commerce shopping cart conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in your page loading and 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again.

To speed up your website (and increase your conversions), start with optimising the images on your site – reducing the size of your images can drastically improve your website load time!  

Reducing the number of plugins on your website will also make your website load faster and easier.

Retarget your customers with cart recovery emails

Abandoned cart emails are an incredibly powerful though underused tactic to get customers to complete their purchase.

In short, cart recovery emails are triggered emails sent to customers who have added items to their shopping cart but didn’t finish their purchase.

A good cart recovery email send at the right time can work wonders – nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third convince customers to finish the purchase.   

The best thing is that these emails can be scheduled and sent automatically using various tools and plugins  – when the system detects an abandonment cart, it automatically sends an email to the customer with their cart contents, notices about the items being soon out of stock or a discount coupon.  

No need to send every single email manually!

Optimise your mobile website too!

Mobile e-commerce sales are growing every day.

Since customers are getting more and more comfortable with spending money using mobile websites instead of regular desktop ones, giving them a way to use your site on smartphones and tablets is crucial for success.  

93% of people who use their mobile device to look for a product will make a purchase – if your website will allow them to complete the purchase.

If the page doesn’t load or it loads too slowly if the pictures are too small or too big to load correctly, if your customers can’t read the product details, can’t find their cart or have problems with getting through checkout while on a smartphone, they won’t finish their purchase.   

By having a responsive mobile website not only you will be able to get mobile users to complete their purchase but also have more website traffic, more customers and better website ranks – and that’s your aim right?

Using these tactics on your website, you should be able to convince more customers to complete their order – and less abandoned carts mean more sales!

Of course, you won’t be able to convince every single customer to purchase, but you will benefit from persuading even a part of them!

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