6 Ways to Stop Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

When shopping in a store, it makes little sense to drop everything you’ve carried around the store and abandon it before payment. But on the internet, it’s a different story; a reported $18 billion is lost annually due to Shopping Cart Abandonment.

The convenience and efficiency that Ecommerce brings, also means that it’s never been easier for a customer to abandon their shopping just before checking out.

So what can your Ecommerce business do to prevent online Shopping Cart Abandonment from happening?


1) Offer Free Shipping or Alternative Options

Free delivery always tends to be a more compelling option compared to any other form of offer. It’s almost become an expectation among online shoppers. If you can’t offer free shipping for all of your items, perhaps think about offering it as an incentive for any purchases over a certain amount of money.

Alternatively, you could look into offering a Loyalty Program, similar to Amazon Prime, in which returning or valued customers can gain free shipping on their purchases.

If none of this is possible, then at least make customers aware of shipping costs at the earliest point possible in the process. No matter how much the shipping cost is, people are more likely to abandon the checkout process when you don’t even mention shipping costs up front. If free shipping isn’t an option, then perhaps look at offering a flat rate across ranges of items.


2) Remove any Hidden Charges

It’s not surprising then, that other hidden charges are very likely to put someone off purchasing from your Ecommerce website. In fact, 56% of customers abandon a shopping cart when they come across an unexpected charge in the final stages.

Shoppers will be very annoyed if that have entered all the necessary billing information, only to be confronted with charges that hadn’t agreed to. So get rid of any charges that customers do not agree to up-front, whether it’s shipping or otherwise.

3) Ensure you have a Visible, Accessible Shopping Cart

Creating a standalone page for the shopping cart may be the easiest method, but it is not necessarily the best. Accessing the shopping cart quickly and easily can prove vital in maintaining customer interest.

Having a viewable cart in the top corner of your site, whatever page the customer is on. This allows the customer to see a subtotal at any point, meaning they are less likely to abandon the checkout process entirely.
Similarly, it should be simple to edit the shopping cart. This includes removing unwanted items, and changing the number of items required.

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4) Minimize the Checkout Process

We’ve all been there; ordering an item only, only to be faced with a lengthy form to fill in, proving to be an arduous and time-consuming task. Often, customers will begin the checkout process, and then become daunted at the amount of information they have to fill in. By making this process as short and quick as possible, you’re more likely to get a customer through the entire checkout process.

21% of customers leave a site without paying because the process was taking too long. Leave out any details that are entirely unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you really need to ask half the questions there, or gain all of this data from the customer.

Alternatively, offer an Express Checkout option, which would help to retain customers. In the future, the only requirements would be shipping and billing information. Much easier. If you require users to set up an account in order to pay, then it may be worthwhile to reconsider this option, as people will be more likely to see a deal through if they don’t have to enter all their personal information. If you still want to have customers create accounts, it may be worthwhile to offer them the chance after they have paid for their first item.


5) Broaden Your Payment Options

Some customers may use services other than Visa or Mastercard. Consider looking at offering Paypal as a form of payment, as it’s quick, easy, and many people already have an account. This takes away yet another barrier from the process, reducing the number of shopping cart abandonments.

6) Retargeting and Remarketing

Customers are often just browsing. It’s the same as window shopping, but it’s online. Without the need to impulse buy, it can be difficult to convince a customer to purchase there and then first time round. Statista report 37% of shoppers dropping from an online purchase were just browsing.

With Retargeting ads, you can allow your site to save a cookie to the customer’s browser, so that the product in question can be marketed to them in the future.

If you’ve generated a lead with an email address or another form of contact, you can send them a personalised email asking why they abandoned, or perhaps offering them a special deal to convince them to come back.

Another option is to allow users to form their own “Lists”, similar to Amazon’s Wishlist. If they’re not going to be convinced to impulsively buy, it doesn’t mean they never will. By allowing a compiled list, every time a customer visits the site, they will see a list of items they are interested in. And if these items are more appealing at a later date, or are a lower price, or they have simply researched further, they may be convinced to finish the deal then.

All you have to focus on is making the process as convenient, simple, and quick as humanly possible. Strip out any unnecessary features, and ensure the shopping cart is as accessible as it can be. In doing so, you will ensure that customers do not leave the checkout process halfway through. Make it simple for a customer to purchase what they want.

Have any other thoughts on how to decrease shopping cart abandonment? Be sure to leave a comment below! And if you think Xanthos could lend you a hand developing an Ecommerce website or Digital Marketing strategy for your business, then get in touch.

  • Hi Adam. As an e-commerce website we strive to achieve these ideas in our check-out/shopping cart experience. Free Shipping is definitely a bonus but we have some large products, such as our Office Partitions , that require a postage cost, which is why I am glad you suggested an alternative. Loyalty schemes are a great idea as it will encourage previous customers to come back, but if you’re looking for new customers then surely a loyalty scheme (after purchasing a product) isn’t going to be much help. If the price is not right the customers won’t buy. Wouldn’t it be fair to offer a first time purchase discount as a means of encouraging continued sale of cart items?

    • First time purchase discounts are a great idea, and used by many Ecommerce retailers! Thanks for pointing that out, it’s a great idea for companies looking to expand their customer base.

  • We also have large items, such as Pop Up Exhibition Stands. We ship world wide, so shipping costs are sometimes very expensive. I like the idea of having a loyalty/discount scheme when you spend over a certain amount to get that off your shipping. A lot of the time the delivery charge depends on the location of the delivery so it is only possible for us to determine the charge after the customers details are entered.