How to Reduce Cart Abandonment and Boost Your Bottom Line

Women shopping online looking for offers

Cart abandonment always feels like a punch to the gut.

A reminder that no matter how good your products are, there’ll always be people who ditch them mid-shopping and disappear into the ether.



Before you think you’re facing an ‘abandoned cart crisis’ in your online store, know that you’re not alone. The average cart abandonment rate in 2019 was 77.13%(!).

You see, cart abandonment is the universal truth plaguing the eCommerce space, keeping you and other eStore owners up at night.

The antidote, you ask? Reducing shopping cart abandonment. 

So in today’s post, we’ll tackle exactly that alongside answering some important questions like:

  • Why do customers abandon carts?
  • How do you measure cart abandonment?
  • How to convert abandoned carts?

Since there’s lots of ground to cover, let’s dig in:

What is Cart Abandonment?

Starting with the basics: cart abandonment refers to interested buyers adding item(s) to their cart but leaving your site without buying them. So, it’s simply what the name suggests, a lonely cart abandoned in the middle of your virtual aisle.

But how do you measure cart abandonment on your site? Good question.

You’ve to two options:

1. Use this simple formula: divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of carts created. Then subtract the number from 1.

2. Alternatively, use Google Analytics to track shopping cart abandonment.

Now on to another important question:

Why Do Customers Abandon Carts?

There are many reasons why people add to the cart but aren’t checking out, leaving you perplexed. Perhaps your buyer got distracted by a call. Or a wailing kid got the best of their attention.

Other reasons why customers abandon carts include:

  • Hidden or high shipping and handling costs
  • Confusing the shopping cart checkout process
  • Sign-in required for checkout
  • Slow page loading
  • Unclear return policy and
  • Limited payment options
Reasons for Abandonments During Checkout
Reasons for Abandonments During Checkout – Source

Getting rid of these obstacles can put you well on the way to abandoned cart recovery.

So without further ado, let’s dig into how to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

We’ll address most of these pain points that buyers frequently encounter but share a bonus point, too (hint: it’s an easy-to-use cart abandonment software).

On we go.

How to Convert Abandoned Carts

Ready to bring back people to their abandoned carts and increase sales? Read on to learn five easy cart abandonment strategies:

1. Mention all shipping costs upfront

22% of customers abandon their carts when shipping charges show up late in the checkout process. And 44% drop shopping when these costs are high.

The best you can do is consider taking the shipping costs yourself. Or, at the very least, be upfront. Use the WooCommerce Shipping Calculator on Product Page to display the total. Zalando chooses to offer free standard delivery. However, if shoppers require urgent delivery, they can always go for the premium shipping option.

Zalando cart offers
Zalando cart offers

2. Offer guest checkout

The best checkout processes are smooth. Minus long, confusing steps. And definitely without a pre-check out registration prompt that discourages up to 37% of transactions.

The best you can do? Add a guest checkout form to get rid of the friction. You can always ask buyers to sign up after they’ve shopped.

Zara offered guest checkout
Zara offered guest checkout

3. Build trust throughout the checkout process

Data breach fiascos like the one over at Target always leave a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. Naturally, they think twice before sharing personal details like their credit card information. But they don’t even consider buying from you if your site appears untrustworthy.

So you know what you’ve got to do, earn their trust. But how?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Get a valid SSL certificate. When you don’t have one, or it’s expired, your visitor’s browser warns them the site might not be secure.
  • Share social proof. Use TrustPulse to display live streams of site updates. Potential buyers are more likely to trust you when they see others shopping from you.
  • Use a live conversational tool to answer any questions that shoppers may have instantly and build trust.
  • Display product reviews on product pages. 88% of consumers trust reviews like personal recommendations.

One last thing you can do is display trust symbols such as PayPal verified logos and badges, like the Norton security badge.

Asos security badge for trust
Asos security badge for trust

Hard to believe? Take this – Gary Nealson reduced his shopping cart abandonment by 23.9% after adding the Norton Security Badge to his checkout page. Plus, he increased his revenue by 18%. Now, that’s progress.

4. Offer a solid money-back guarantee

Adding a money refund policy doesn’t mean you’ll be neck-deep in refunds round the clock. Unless there’s something significantly wrong with your product, the average return rate is merely 3%.

In contrast, look back at shopping cart abandonment statistics and you’ll note that cart abandonment rates can go as high as 80%. This makes a choice pretty clear, doesn’t it?

You’ve got to take the risk of returns to reduce cart abandonment and increase sales.

When offering a refund policy, you’re basically easing what’s called buyer’s remorse. It works like this: your customer buys from you. Psychologically, your buyer is prepared to regret the purchase, though. However, a refund policy provides a safety net, preventing buyer’s remorse. This explains why a refund policy is so highly valued.

What’s more, a return policy speaks in favour of you by showing you’re invested in customer service, leaving a good impression on your buyer-to-be.

So what you’ve got to do here is:

  • Offer a simple return policy
  • Don’t complicate things; explain how to apply for it, when a customer can expect to get a return, and who takes the shipping charges clearly.
  • You can even be loud about it. For example, use a pop-up to announce it or create a poster and give it a prominent position on your site. 

It’s best you take some inspiration from Zappos and set up a return policy page dedicated to answering questions a buyer may have about it. Just make sure you write your return policy in a clear, easy-to-read way.

Free shipping and free returns
Offer free shipping and free returns

5. Improve page load speed

Consider these numbers:

  • A second delay in page load time can reduce conversion by 7%
  • Decrease customer satisfaction by 16% and
  • Reduce page views by 11%

But that’s not all.

About half of your consumers, 47% to be exact, expect your site to load in two seconds or less. Taking longer than three seconds to load? 40% will leave.

How website performance improve shopping experience
How website performance affects shopping behavior. Source

However, improving page load speed can deliver surprising results. For instance, AliExpress reduced page load time by 36%. In return, their conversion rates for new customers went north by 27%.

So it’s about time you put on your investigation cap and figure out what’s causing a delay in your page loading speed. It could be heavy images that are taking too long to load. Or unclean code occupying lots of space.

Once you figure out the culprit, fix it immediately.

Some steps you can take right away include:

Learn more about how you can boost your site’s page load speed here.

6. Use cart abandonment popups

Cart abandonment popups encourage visitors to stay on site, gather valuable data, and also increase sales.

For instance, Scott Wyden Imagery used OptinMonster to make an exit-intent cart abandonment popup (one that shows when your visitor is about to leave your page), offering a 10% cart discount. Results? It recovered 21% of their abandoned cart.

Cart abandonment popups with discounts
Cart abandonment popups with discounts

On your cart abandonment popups, you can:

  • Rave about free shipping you offer
  • Offer to save shopping cart
  • Host a giveaway for those who haven’t purchased yet
  • Give a limited-time discount or limited-supply popup

The last point, in particular, works like magic because you instil a sense of urgency with a pinch of FOMO (fear of missing out). Here’s proof – 48% of survey participants confessed they’d purchase a product if it’s available for a limited-time discount even if they didn’t intend to buy it in the first place!

Ready to Reduce Cart Abandonment?

With these cart abandonment strategies, you’ll be able to recover lost revenue in no time. Remember, your end goal should always be to reduce any friction your buyers encounter throughout the checkout process. 

Here’s to more sales.

Cart abandonment reasons during checkout
How to Reduce Cart Abandonment: 6 Super Easy Strategies You Need to Try Today

Image source: Freepik Premium

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