10 Easy Fixes to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

*This is a guest post by MartMobi and a version of this article originally appeared here.

Abandoned shopping carts are arguably an ecommerce merchant’s worst nightmare. According to Business Insider, abandoned shopping carts will amount to an eye-popping $4 trillion in lost sales this year, driven by the 70% of transactions that are abandoned by online shoppers. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that most of the reasons for abandoned shopping carts are within the control of the merchant.


Of the 14 reasons listed above, a merchant can fix at least nine by just tinkering with the website experience:

1. Don’t spring surprises

say what.
Be upfront about the cost of the product. If you plan to charge for delivery or taxes, show them the costs at the very beginning. Or at least mention that taxes and delivery cost extra.

Likewise, don’t wait until the checkout page to let them know that a product is out of stock (or worse, send them a “sorry” email later). Clearly show the availability and definitely let them know if the item is out of stock. You could go a step further and set an alert that informs them when the item is back in stock.

2. Easy navigability of website

step on it
It is amazing how even an online store with as few as 500 SKUs can sometimes be incredibly complicated to maneuver and checkout. Approximately 25% of shoppers drop out of the checkout process due to this reason. So follow best practices when you design your website, or use a template that is designed for conversion.

You also need to make sure that the template is not buggy. Make sure your website is flexible enough to neither timeout nor break when the shopper puts it to test. Especially while they shop, consumers often tend to go back and forth, change their mind, do something else and come back. Again, a simple fix to this would be to use a tried and tested template, rather than attempt to build it from scratch.

3. Fast page load times

robust website
Reams of blogprint have been written about how page load times affect sales on mobile devices. For every second delay in page load time, conversion rates drop by about 7%. In fact, mobile shoppers do not want to wait more than 4 seconds for a page to load, and will never come back if the site takes longer than that. This is particularly an issue with responsive sites where large images intended for web shoppers are not optimized for mobile. Responsive design is generally intended for publishers and not ecommerce sites. Make sure you have a dedicated mobile site so you don’t lose half your traffic!

4. Consistent omnichannel experiences

Online shoppers are increasingly using multiple devices to make purchases. Mobile is often their first resource where they compare prices, read product reviews and narrow down what and where they want to buy. For shoppers on multiple screens, it is important to be synced in real-time across all channels and provide a seamless experience.

5. Optimized checkout

Don’t be greedy and force shoppers to register. If you love them, let them be. Allow visitors to checkout as a guest, you have their email address anyway. Single-page checkouts work better for some merchants, whereas multi-page checkouts work better for others. Test it out and see what works for your store.

Here are a few strategies to test out:

  • Show thumbnails of the items being purchased to reassure them that they are buying the right things.
  • Allow them to change the item from the checkout page.
  • Show them the progress they have made so far in the checkout process.

6. Balanced payment security checks

payment security
This is a tricky one, as many shoppers drop out due to security concerns because of excessive security checks. Rely on security reinforcement measures that will not create friction in the checkout journey.

For example, you could add the image of a lock, or of a security vendor such as VeriSign. Add social proof through reviews or number of people who bought the product to reassure the shopper that this is a safe website.

7. Flexible delivery options

Delivery options continue to be an issue that could tilt the shopper towards or away from you. This is often a combination of both the shopper and the product in question. Some products warrant expedited delivery (such as groceries), whereas others might require just standard delivery (such as books). Cater to these different situations by offering multiple delivery options.

8. Payment method options

payment options
The saddest way to lose a customer is to have your payment gateway fail. Imagine a shopper who has chosen your site from amongst thousands others, and has gone the distance – entering payment details and hitting checkout – only to be presented with a “sorry!” screen.

You have lost this customer not just for that transaction, but forever. Avoid this by tying up with reliable payment gateways. Also have multiple gateways which are programmed to kick in if one fails. Let them pay in a way that suits them – credit/debit cards, or even alternative payment methods such as PayPal. Don’t let these customers go.

Bonus Tip:

9. Get ‘em back

get 'em back
Despite all these measures, you will still probably experience cart abandonment. Make sure you entice them to come back. Business Insider’s report states that 63% of all abandoned carts are recoverable. In fact, recovery emails sent 3 hours after a cart is abandoned average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

If you have the budget, you could also retarget through display advertising and incentivize them to come back. Finally, if you have a mobile app, you could issue push notifications that give shoppers a special offer or remind them that they have items waiting in their cart.

There are several measures that online merchants can take to reduce shopping cart abandonment. This includes price matching, free delivery, phone support and more. We have focused on the low-hanging must-do tips that every e-tailer should adopt, regardless of their category or business model.

About the Author

Satya Ganni is CEO of MartMobi, an authority in mobile commerce and has written extensively in this domain. MartMobi mobile commerce platform helps online retailers go mobile in less than a day and dramatically increase their sales, merchants from 24+countries trust MartMobi to power their mobile storefronts.



About Wiser

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Arie Shpanya

Arie is the former COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers and brands. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), and is a guest blogger on Econsultancy, VentureBeat, and more.

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