Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges that an ecommerce store owner will have to face and overcome. When your customer abandons their cart, it means that they explored your site, added products to their shopping cart, but ended up leaving your website before completing the transaction, thus leaving items in their cart. 

Shopping cart abandonment is a reality and natural consequence of how online shoppers browse. Many shoppers are just looking around, exploring, and making price comparisons. Some of them are adding items to their carts for later because they’re not quite ready to make the purchase just yet.

If you are an ecommerce business owner, then this process may sound all too familiar.

We all want to vanquish the phenomenon of the fickle online shopper, but curing the blight that is shopping cart abandonment cannot be completely accomplished. However, it is not impossible to improve your site's conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment with some tried and tested methods, and that’s what we’ll be talking about in today’s article. We’ll let you in on how to improve your site’s ability to make sales and kick abandoned carts to the curb. First off, we’ll discuss shopping cart abandonment statistics and the reasons behind abandonment, before moving on to how to optimize your ecommerce website.

Let’s get started.


Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics

Having some insight on shopping cart abandonment statistics will give you, the ecommerce shop owner, a better idea of shopper behavior. Now let’s have a look at the shopping cart abandonment statistics that you need to consider:

  • 58.6% of online shoppers in the United States have reportedly abandoned a cart in the last 3 months.
  • 3/4 of online shoppers choose to leave ecommerce sites without completing a purchase.
  • In a year, around $4.6 trillion worth of commodities are abandoned online.
  • Optimizing ecommerce sites can help recover $260 billion in sales.
  • 28.3% of all ecommerce revenue comes from effective abandoned cart emails.
  • Retargeted ads for abandoned cart items have 10 times the CTR of a typical display ad.

What these numbers can tell us is that, while the rate of shopping cart abandonment per annum is rather staggering, there are ways to combat cart abandonment by optimizing your ecommerce site.

Reasons Behind Shopping Cart Abandonment

Each customer that comes to visit your ecommerce website who abandons a cart had varying intentions. Because of this, the reason for abandonment varies as well. Here are some of the most common reasons behind why a potential customer clicks away from your site and abandons their purchase:

  • Unexpected costs from shipping or taxes.
  • Some of your potential customers are just “window shopping”.
  • Some customers may be making price comparisons with your competitors.
  • Some customers may question the legitimacy and security of your site.
  • Your site has a long checkout process.

Understanding the reason behind shopping cart abandonment is the crucial first step before you can optimize your online store for cart abandonment. Only from understanding why customers are leaving their carts can we begin to take the necessary steps to lessen the instance of abandonment.

Now, let’s explore our top ways to lessen the rate of shopping cart abandonment on your ecommerce website:

1. Don’t Spring Any Surprises

One of the number one culprits that cause customers to bolt and abandon their carts are the unexpected fees, taxes, and shipping cost. This issue is an example of something that you can most definitely change and control.

To avoid any unfavorable surprises, you’ll have to make things clear with your customers before they add anything to their cart. One way that you can do this is to include a shipping rate calculator to your ecommerce website so that your customers can know ahead.

If you plan to offer free shipping at a certain purchase minimum, let your customers know ahead as well!

Also, if you have any additional fees, as in the case of customization, let customers know all the details from the product page so that they won’t be surprised by an increased fee once their items are in the cart.

2. Provide Guest Checkout

You’ll have fewer cart abandonment issues if you streamline the checkout process for your customers. This means that you shouldn’t be forcing anyone to create an account just to make a purchase.

Having to create an account will make checking out an item seem like a longer ordeal than it has to be, so offer guest checkout alongside the option of starting an account with you.

You can always give your customers an option to create an account again after they have made a purchase and have become your paying customer.

3. Implement One-Click Checkout

Nothing says smooth checkout quite like the one-click checkout process. It’s as frictionless and as convenient as can possibly be.

A majority of online stores offer PayPal as a payment option, and PayPal’s One Touch option is an example of a great solution to streamline the payment process for your customers. These types of checkout processes enable your customers to directly make their purchase in one click, especially if they already have an account with your shop and have their email, address, and credit details already saved.

This process is so effective because it shortens the time customers can think about their purchase. Instead of having to manually input their billing and shipping information, your customer can use one-click to purchase one or multiple items.

Aside from PayPal’s One Touch, there is also Apple Pay and a number of other options also exist from the Shopify App Store for fast checkout.

4. Make Getting In Touch Easy

One of the downsides to online shopping is that when you have any questions about a product you're eyeing, there aren't any sales staff standing by to assist you and answer your questions.

It's important to note that your online customers are going to sometimes have questions about your products, and they aren’t likely to make a purchase until their questions are answered.

So, one of the ways to reduce cart abandonment is to give customers a way to get in touch with you through email and live chat.

5. Leverage Scarcity From The Product Page

Nothing gets people moving quite as scarcity does, because scarcity is directly linked to urgency, making your customers act and buy now before they missed the opportunity entirely!

There are a number of ways to create urgency through scarcity. One way is to display how many more of the product there is remaining, and you can also display sold out items as well.

Many online stores also favor the use of special limited promotions with the help of a countdown timer from the product page, one that ticks out the hours and second remaining for the special promo that your customers will be missing out on if they don’t buy now.

6. Display Security Badges

Cybersecurity is a major concern for online shoppers today, due to instances of credit card fraud. Because of this, you must reassure your customers that their data is secure with you.

But how can you prove to your customers that you are trustworthy? One way is to display your store’s security badges in plain sight.

Shopify has its own security badge that you can display on your online store to establish trust with our customers. Alternatively, you can go on the Shopify App Store and install apps and display security badges, like that of McAfee Secure or Norton Secured to protect your customers and reassure them that your site is safe and reputable.

7. Use Cart Abandonment Emails

When all else fails and your customer exits your site altogether without completing their purchase, don’t despair, there are still methods for you to get your customers back on the checkout page.

One of the strategies to overcome this problem is to remind your customers that there is something remaining in their cart with an email. Show them which items they have left, and encourage your customers to complete the purchase with a call to action.

It is also a good idea to let customers know when something in their cart has gone on sale.

8. Use Retargeting Ads

Aside from cart abandonment emails, you can also resort to retargeting ads. Retargeting ads are also known as remarketing ads. It is a way for you to reach your potential customers off-site, giving you another chance to redirect your customers back to your online store and convert them into your paying customers.

Remarketing ads are reputably more likely to have a higher click-through rate than traditional ads because you’ll be displaying something that your potential customer already showed an interest in.


Back To You

We’ve given you 8 tried and tested methods in this article to help you fight cart abandonment.  With the knowledge of some shopping cart abandonment stats and the reasons behind most abandoned carts, you can begin to come up with better strategies to optimize your site, with the help of the methods that we mentioned above.

While there is no way to eliminate cart abandonment completely, statistics have shown that optimizing the checkout process and implementing the right strategies can increase your conversion rates and lower the instance of cart abandonment in your ecommerce store.

We hope you enjoyed our article and gathered the right ideas for you to build a better ecommerce business. For more helpful articles, check out the Ecommerce Pro Blog for additional resources.


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