Business Management

6 tips to reduce abandoned shopping carts on your site

Chester Avey

Updated: Jun 16, 2020 · 4 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

online shopping cart ecommerce

This statistic might surprise you: up to 80% of online shopping carts are abandoned. More conservative estimates put that number at around 55%, indicating that the majority of potential customers who put an item into the shopping cart will leave your website without making the purchase.

For ecommerce businesses, this is a big deal. If you can find a way to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts it can dramatically improve your conversion rate, leading to more sales and increased profit.

But surely it's easier said than done? Here we look at 6 effective tips to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts on your ecommerce website.

1. Allow guest checkout

There are many good reasons for businesses to want customers to sign up to an account before they make a purchase. It offers excellent marketing possibilities and makes it easier for them to manage orders and accounts. However, forcing customers to sign up to an account can also be a barrier to making a sale.

It's a better idea to strongly encourage account creation – but also allow guest checkout if it's the preferred option. A recent report revealed that 34% of customers who abandon their checkout do so because they're forced to create an account.

2. Add an exit pop-up

This option takes a different approach. When customers click off your site you can create an opportunity to keep them around. If they've already added something to the cart but are clicking away, you can have an exit pop-up appear which offers a discount code to convince them to make the purchase.

It's better to get the sale at a slightly discounted rate rather than miss out on it completely. And adding a pop-up is something that can be easily done on many ecommerce systems.

3. Simplify the checkout process

You don’t want to fall at the last hurdle; the most frustrating time to lose a customer is when they're actually in the middle of checking out. This means that you need to make sure your checkout process is as simple as possible.

Ultimately, you should try to have a checkout process that's carried out on a single page, and only has the fields for the information that you actually need in order to complete the purchase.

4. Avoid ‘surprise’ costs

A major reason shopping carts get abandoned is because a cost is added that the customer wasn't expecting. This often comes in the form of a booking fee or a delivery fee. This means that your website needs to be doing everything it can in order to reduce the number of ‘surprise’ costs added at the shopping cart stage.

Take a look at how golf product retailer Golf Swing Systems minimizes the surprise of the delivery cost – there is a tool on the checkout page that allows customers to enter their address and calculate the cost of delivery. This allows customers to get a transparent understanding of the overall price.

5. Don’t immediately redirect to the checkout page

Some ecommerce sites have a feature that automatically redirects a customer to the checkout page if they add something to the basket. This puts them in the right place to buy, which feels like it's the right thing to do if you're trying to maximize your conversions. But the truth is it will have the opposite effect.

When customers are redirected without them knowing it's going to happen it can be confusing and disorientating, and actually makes them more likely to leave the site rather than going on to make the purchase.

6. Offer more customer service options

Another reason that customers abandon their shopping carts is because they don’t have all of the information that they need. To minimize this problem, you should offer more options for providing customer service. This could include live chat, which has been shown to improve conversions by up to 30%.

Final thought

There are many things that ecommerce sites can do to reduce abandoned shopping carts, and the truth is it's about finding what’s right for your business. Test some of these options to see which work for your site.

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