5 Ways to Prevent Online Shopping Cart Abandonment

Online shopping cart abandonment
This week we look into 5 ways e-commerce apparel retailers can reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Whether you’re an e-commerce store to be reckoned with or a freshly launched online retail brand – online shopping cart abandonment is a pain for your business.

In one of our previous articles, we shared tips on the best ways to increase sales in retail. Although this article is more focused on a specific part of the visitors’ journey – it’s advisable to bookmark both articles if you are looking for different ways to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate.

Before we get into different things an online retailer can do to minimize the chances of online cart abandonment, let’s look into the definition.

Online shopping cart abandonment

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Have you ever perused an e-commerce site, picked some items for your cart, and then at the point of transaction – for whatever reason – you’ve closed the tab without buying the pieces in your cart? That is online cart abandonment.

Virtual cart abandonment is what happens when a visitor exits a page before completing a purchase.

According to statistics quoted by Geckoboard, “the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.81% with the most recent study showing 74.52%”.

That means that almost 75% of visitors that land on your e-commerce site will go as far as putting your products in their carts only to abandon their carts – they stay browsers and not customers. Not what any e-commerce store wants.

Various factors can induce a customer to abandon their cart. They can range from something minor to the other end of the scale. It’s important to know what these reasons are so you can reduce your online shopping cart abandonment rate and boost sales conversions. They include:

  • Unappealing page design and product display
  • Poor product description
  • Choppy navigation
  • Limited payment options
  • Design not optimized for mobile
  • Too many adverts
  • Complex checkout process
  • Hidden shipping costs
  • Required sign up

In this article, we’ll focus on some actionable items to make to your site. Some will be quick fixes, some will need more time. Both – if done well – are bound to lead to positive results.

5 Ways to Prevent Online Shopping Cart Abandonment

Be Transparent About Costs

Customers don’t like surprises. To create trust between a visitor and your site, it’s advisable to be as upfront as possible about the total price. Let the user know what the cost is upfront, that way there’s a higher chance that once the items are put in a cart, they will be bought.

Hiding the costs just delays the inevitable because the visitor is bound to find out at the end and when they do, the wider the gap is between the original price and final price – the more the product will not be bought. And what’s more, you’re likely to have an irritated customer who doesn’t trust your site and is more likely to go to the site of your competitor.

Offer Various Payment Methods

If your e-commerce checkout pages have limited payment options – you are putting a non-lucrative gap between users and your products. Giving more options to prospects decreases the chance of prospects abandoning their carts on your page. In this day and age, your payment options should include credit card, PayPal, and mobile payment systems like Google Wallet.

Understandably, having more payment options means more work for the e-commerce site and increases your merchant services fees. However as the Customer is King in this particular kingdom, you’d do well to make things as easy and convenient for shoppers online.

Online cart abandonment

Offer Free Shipping

Statistics show that free shipping is one of the most effective promotional tactics for e-commerce sites. There are a few reasons attached to this, for one the word ‘free’ strikes up positive feelings in a shopping context. The visitor is made to feel like the brand is making a nice gesture – a ‘thank you of sorts’ for buying their product.

When done in the right way offering free shipping can increase conversions.

Provide Guest Checkout Options

Using your checkout process as a way to collect prospects’ details may seem like a good idea but this can backfire and be the reason why users exit your page at the point of checkout. Research has shown that many customers are not keen on being forced to log in to an account to complete a purchase.

A guest checkout option allows you to give customers what they want – an easy and quick checkout process.

Improve Your Site’s Usability

Improve the experience prospects have at every stage of their buying process. This includes making sure users have a good first impression of your site like ensuring your site has a fast loading time.

Then once the visitor is actually on your site – give them incentives to not only stay on your site but complete a transaction. The general design of your site and how your products are displayed also plays a part in keeping prospects’ interest. Use different formats to sell a product – like high-quality images, well-written descriptions, and videos.

Build credibility and trust by attaching reviews to each listed product which gives social proof.

And when the visitor is on your checkout page, make sure everything is set up for a seamless transaction. For e.g. keep fields short and sweet by asking for essential information only.

We’ll be building on this list and in the meantime try executing these tips to reduce the number of people that abandon your shopping cart.

Images by Bruno Keizer, Pars Sahin, and Markus Winkler.


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