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April 7, 2017

How to Decrease Cart Abandonment

Published: 7 April 2017 

UPS has found a whopping 90% of online shoppers have abandoned a cart. Most online shoppers will be able to relate to this statistic, having abandoned a cart for one reason or another.

There are numerous reasons for cart abandonment, including high shipping costs, people comparing prices, high product price, complex checkout process, or slow shipping, to name a few.

Source: Convert

Cart abandonment means your conversion rates will suffer, and you’ll ultimately lose sales and profits. So it’s important to make sure you know what you can do to make sure your rate of card abandonment decreases.

Secure checkout page

Your customers need to trust your website, and especially your checkout page. Ask yourself, would you shop from a website that doesn’t look trustworthy and secure? Probably not.

Customers need to feel like they can trust your business with their payment information. To do this, make sure you install a SSL certificate and use security seals. Consider optimising your checkout page and making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This will make your website appear more trustworthy, and you’re more likely to make a sale.

Follow up with customers

If someone abandons their cart, don’t just treat it as a missed sales opportunity. Instead, consider keeping in contact with those customers. In fact, half of all emails sent to customers who abandon carts are opened. This is a great reason to contact card abandoners, and encourage them to continue their shop or find another product.

There are tools and plugins you can use that will make this process easier. WordPress offers Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce. This plugin allows you to recover orders that were abandoned and send emails to customers who had items in their cart, but did not complete the order.

Just remember: these customers already know about your brand and are interested in what you’re selling. It is far easier to convert these customers, than to try and convert someone who is not familiar with your brand.

Make navigation easy

Customers are often going to abandon a cart if the checkout process is too difficult. Make sure your checkout process is seamless, efficient and quick. However, it’s often not as easy as it sounds. Experiment with layouts and procedures until you are satisfied you are creating the best user experience possible.

Make sure it is easy for customers to save items in their cart, allow them to continue to shop and easily return to the cart later. If you have several checkout pages, ensure navigating between the pages is easy. You don’t want a customer to ever have to hit the “back” button. Instead, consider having buttons that allow people to visit and review the previous page.

Multiple payment options  


If your customers can’t pay for their items, you’re leaving them no choice but to abandon their cart and shop with a competitor instead.

To avoid losing customers, make sure you offer multiple payment options on your checkout page. The most obvious is to offer the different types of credit cards. You also want to consider options such as Paypal, or even newer options such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Having all these options available means you’re minimising the chances of people leaving your website, and maximises the chances of them completing their transaction.

Guest Checkout Options

Often websites will require you to log in or create an account before you can finish your checkout. This can often be an annoyance, as it adds a whole extra stage to the checkout process. People also may not feel comfortable making an account with a website, particularly if they haven’t shopped there before or are making a one-off purchase. Being forced to create an account often results in cart abandonment.

To avoid losing customers, make sure you have the option to continue through the checkout as a guest. The big downside to this is you will lose some of that customer data you would have otherwise gained access to. The upside is you are more likely to secure a customer. If they are happy with your website, products and services and delivery, they are more likely to become a repeat customer. It is then that people will be more likely to sign up to your website and hand over their data, particularly if you offer incentives or loyalty programs.

Be upfront

It’s frustrating when you spend ages browsing products, find the perfect item, add it to cart, and during the checkout process, discover fees such as shipping or other hidden surcharges. Shipping costs are a huge reason for cart abandonment. In fact, one-third of carts abandoned are caused by unexpected shipping costs.

Make sure to be upfront with your shipping costs. Have a page dedicated to shipping costs, that clearly outlines how much it will cost to ship to different states and even countries if necessary. Make sure it is clear if you don’t ship to a certain country to avoid disappointed customers and cart abandonment. If you can’t offer free shipping, consider incentives instead - often orders over a certain amount, whether that be $50, $100 or $150, receive free shipping. Customers hate having to pay for shipping, and will often spend a little extra to avoid paying for it.

Don’t only mention shipping costs. Make sure to be upfront about delivery times. Australian’s are pretty used to having to wait a while for deliveries, particularly if they’re coming from an overseas store. But often items are needed quickly, and shipping times can therefore seem excessive. Make sure it is clear where your store is located, and how long it will take for shipping from your store to different geographical locations.

Source: Wordstream

If you’re going to offer different shipping options, such as standard, express or overnight, remember to include how many days each option will take to get delivered, and how much it will cost. Ensure it is made clear whether that is business days, or days in total, to avoid any confusion.

Making shipping costs and delivery times clear as early as possible will lower any levels of frustration from customers, and decrease your levels of cart abandonment.

Implementing these tips will increase the user experience, increase the customer's trust in your website, and therefore decrease your levels of cart abandonment.  

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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