Having issues with cart abandonment on your site? You’re not alone. According to statistics, shopping cart abandonment on various ecommerce sites hovers around 75%-81% — and it doesn’t really matter what the industry or niche is (although travel sites tend to have this issue the most.)
While we can certainly sit here and muse over all the possible reasons behind such a high cart abandonment rate for pretty much everyone, everywhere, we'll save that for another time, perhaps.
For now, a much more proactive approach would be more beneficial.
With that said, below are 10 ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate that most site admins or company owners can implement either instantly, or win a short amount of time, with little resources expelled. Most of these are small details that pay off in a big way.
Let’s get right to it.
Use a Progress Indicator
The cart checkout process can already feel long enough, even in its most simplified form. Most consumers these days are used to many purchases being instant, so when they’re having to click through multiple pages to get to the finish line, it can be a little annoying and off-putting when yet another window opens up when they think they’re done.
By using a progress indicator at the top of the page, a customer will know exactly what step they are on in the process, and know when to be ready to have their payment info and shipping addresses lined up. This simple graphic takes out all the uncertainty.
Include Thumbnail Pictures of Each Cart Item on Each Checkout Page
Part of the strategy to getting the customer all the way through completion of the order is to keep the excitement going throughout — an aspect that really pays off when the customer is acting off of impulse. Your marketing and site design got them to see the product and add it to the cart, and now it’s time to keep the excitement going all the way to the end.
Many carts will simply display the product in text during the checkout process, which may cause the product to lose some appeal as the customer prepares to order. Keep a thumbnail of each product visible on each checkout page until the end, to remind them of what they are getting.
Always Make the Navigation Between Cart and Shopping Linear
If you’ve ever shopped online before, there’s probably been numerous times you’ve gone back and forth between checking your cart, and looking at products. This back and forth can be grating if everything has to reload, or if you have to go find your place again. Set up your site to be as linear as possible, allowing seamless navigation between the cart, checkout, and product listings.
Provide as Many Payment Options as Possible
Since you’re trying to make money, it’s probably best to provide as many ways as possible to do so. Try to branch out from the usual Visa and Mastercard options, and consider adding PayPal, Google Pay, and even cryptocurrency if you’d like. If you do, provide an easy way for customers to log into these platforms without losing their place.
Use Call to Actions on Checkout Pages
Call to Actions are something most of us are familiar with when it comes to writing effective sales copy, but it’s almost always left out of carts and checkout pages. This is largely due to most site owners thinking the deal has already been closed if there is an item in the cart. As I showed you earlier, this is not the case at all.
You have to keep the sales push going the entire time, and that includes Call to Actions on cart and checkout pages, says Carla Lewis from TRT. These don’t have to be long winded or clever; short and simple will work just fine.
Make Cart-Saving Simple & Easy
When shopping online, there’s nothing worse than spending time shopping, having to leave the computer or close your phone, only to later come back and see that your cart has been emptied, meaning you have to start over. That can devastate your sales, for obvious reasons.
Don’t Require a Login to Check Out
Speaking of annoying aspects of shopping online, another cart killer is requiring someone to create an account, or log in to make a purchase. This can be agitating after spending time shopping, only to be told you have to register, check an email, come back, log in and then make the purchase.
Always allow a guest checkout option. You can still ask for the customer’s email in the information field at the end, as they’ll likely want an update on their shipment anyway. You can use that email address for direct marketing later.
Be Upfront About All Aspects of Shipping
Another infamous cart killer is the surprise shipping charges or times at the end of the checkout process. Think about it: your cart is ready, you have a price, you go to check out, and find that it’s going to be $10 more, and you’ll have to wait anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks for the shipment. That can immediately end the sale and cause the customer to look elsewhere.
Always include the shipping cost upfront in the cart, and try to offer shipping that has very specific delivery estimates.
Reduce Page Load Times
Your website may have a fancy storefront, be very organized, and have a good checkout setup, but if your page loading time is taking too long, customers can get sick of using your site in the first place, and end up avoiding the experience altogether. Hire expert programmers and designers who can ensure or reduce page load times. There are tech geeks who can always help you out with such problems at some extra cost.
Set Up Auto Email Responders for Abandoned Carts
Even despite your best efforts, abandoned carts will still happen. You next line of defense is having a strategic follow up response, which is basically Sales 101.
Set your site up with triggers for email auto responses that contact your customers when they leave a cart full of items. The email can gently remind them that they have a cart waiting to check out, because believe it or not, people do forget these things. Knowing that they can click a link and be instantly taken right back to checkout may be all the incentive they need.
If you want to provide even more incentive, offer a small discount for carts over a certain amount, and remind them that the discount can expire soon, along with any other sales they may have taken advantage of. That should light a fire for sure — if they were serious about buying in the first place.
One thing you want to make sure of, before you set up your trigger emails, is that you have a valid email address. Using an email verifier is key to keeping your database free of obsolete contacts.
Cart abandonment will always be an issue for any ecommerce site. While there is no one magic bullet that will single-handedly take care of the problem, a multi-pronged approach will mitigate the issue, and certainly boost your sales in the long run. Try to implement as many of these as possible, as soon as you can, and watch your sales climb. Good luck!