According to the Baymard Institute, an average of 68.63% consumers are abandoning their online shopping carts. And the remaining 30% are either completing their purchases or are yet to be made aware of what your brand offers.

Losing 68 out of 100 potential revenue generation opportunities, is losing a lot of money! And the practice of abandoning carts is probably going to stay for a while.

With a gazillion ecommerce businesses offering the same range of products to the same target audience, acquiring a customer is becoming a challenge for many. And cart abandonment is becoming a common phenomenon.

Why do online shoppers abandon their carts?

Statista lists down about 14 reasons behind cart abandonment. Some of the most common reasons we have heard and surveyed on, include:

  • unexpected cost additions to the purchase
  • overwhelmed by multiple product ranges
  • finding a better cost from a competitor business
  • ineffective website (crashes or takes too long to load)

reasons for cart abandonment

How do you reduce cart abandonment?

Most online shoppers are presented with multiple product ranges in the same category at competitive prices. While you can’t stop the rising market competition, there are a few strategies and practices that you can follow to prevent cart abandonment. Here are some of them:

1. Use high quality product images

Instead of trying to focus on listing down what the product is made of, its various features, etc, opt for showing the consumer what the product actually looks like. Most of the times online shoppers find an interesting enough product to add to their cart, but don’t complete the purchase because they aren’t sure of how it ‘actually looks.’

2. Display signs of security

17% of online shoppers don’t complete a purchase because they are concerned about the payment security. According to a study by GetElastic, placing security badges on the website can increase sales by 4-6%. But the trick here is to find that correct area where these elements will get noticed by the shopper – so remember to test the placement!

3. Make cart editing easy

More often than not, online shoppers add multiple variations of the same product to their cart. They do this because they aren’t able to make up their mind and want to be able to decide during checkout. Hence, it is important to make cart editing easy. If they feel locked in, they’re probably going to get frustrated and will abandon all the items.

4. Offer multiple payment gateways

A lot many times online shoppers don’t find their preferred payment mode being offered by the eCommerce website. While some of them might opt for what’s available, the others are only going to abandon their cart and look for another avenue to make the same purchase. Offer multiple payment gateways to your customers – Visa, Paypal, cash on delivery, etc.

5. Offer some kind of assistance

There are times when a shopper doesn’t know which variation of a product would suit his needs the best. Letting him ponder upon his purchase, does no good. Instead, offer some kind of assistance on your eCommerce site – including the checkout page. A live chat, phone number or an email address that they could reach out to in times of dilemma, can decrease the cart abandonment rate by manifolds.

6. Don’t force them to register

There are many eCommerce sites that force the shopper to register and sign up for their newsletters to be able to complete the purchase – which is a major turn off for most online shoppers. A study by User Interface Engineering stated that removing forceful registration improved conversions by 45%.

7. Clearly state shipping information

A lot of online shoppers are disgruntled by additional shipping charges that they aren’t made privy of before. It is important to clearly state your shipping information on all the pages of your ecommerce website. While doing so decreases the chances of cart abandonment, a Deloitte study found that 69% of shoppers are more like to purchase from online retailers that offer free shipping.

8. Add social proof

Another reason why online shoppers don’t complete a purchase despite loving the products, is lack of credibility in the market. It is impossible to get the best of reviews on all possible digital platforms, so instead include social proof elements to your website. From customer testimonials, product reviews and ratings, social media following, usage numbers to celebrity endorsements, social proof elements are known to improve conversion rates.

9. Simplify the checkout process

Some online shoppers abandon their carts midway through a checkout process because they think it is way too long and would take too much of an effort to complete. It is important to simplify the checkout process as much as possible. A/B test between single step and multi-step process to understand what your target customers expect. Giving them the option to guest checkout/express checkout is also known to improve conversions.

Also read: 6 ways to improve your online checkout experience

10. Implement an exit intent campaign

If a shopper has decided to abandon his cart, why not give it another shot at convincing him while he is still on your website? With the rising competition, the chances of getting a shopper back on your website are very low. He could forget about what your brand, what you offer and become a competitor’s customer.

Implementing an exit intent campaign using Exit Bee, gives you another chance to target your leaving customer with a personalized message or incentive that encourages him to complete the purchase.

For example, The House of Blouse offers an additional INR 500 off to cart abandoners before they leave their website. This holds them back to consider completing the purchase immediately.

exit intent campaign - hob

But your cart abandonment rate reduction efforts shouldn’t here. What if your customer abandoned a cart full of items a few days back? Is it not possible to bring him back and encourage him to complete the purchase?

get more customers 2

Of course it is!

Here’s how you can still improve your conversions after cart abandonment:

1. Run retargeting advertisements

According to Wishpond, only 8% of online shoppers return to their abandoned carts to complete the purchase. Retargeting campaigns remind the shoppers of the items they have left behind in the cart by displaying them on various digital channels they are present on. Staying in the eyes of the shopper, these ads are known to increase conversions by almost 26%.

ecommerce retargeting

2. Execute cart recovery email campaigns

Another effective way of bringing back online shoppers to their abandoned carts to complete the purchase, are email recovery campaigns.

These campaigns are personalized marketing efforts that remind the shoppers of the items they have left behind in their carts. Combined with a sense of urgency and emotional play, these campaigns can stimulate positive decisions in the shopper. Hence, improving your conversions even post cart abandonment.

But remember, these emails should be sent out at modest intervals – 24 hours, within 2 days and once within the next week. Anything beyond that, and the shopper might mark your mails as spam.

Here are a few things these emails should include:

  • high quality images of the products they have selected
  • guarantee and refund policy
  • a sense of urgency in the marketing copy
  • strong call to action
  • social proof of the product’s popularity

Over to you

It is important for eCommerce businesses to understand that cart abandonment is a common phenomenon. And they should not limit their marketing efforts to only getting traffic to their websites. Investing in conversion rate optimization is important for reducing cart abandonment rates.

What other tactics have you used or heard of for decreasing cart abandonment? Feel free to contribute to the post by dropping a comment in the box below. 🙂


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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