How to reduce shopping cart abandonment

It’s important to realise that you’re unlikely to stop shopping cart abandonment on your website entirely. According to research, even the best optimised checkout process is likely to have an abandonment rate of 20%. 

However, with the typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varying between 60% and a staggering 80%, reducing your cart abonnement rate is certainly something worth investing in and the rewards can be great. 

This article looks at what shopping cart abandonment is, what causes it and some cart abandonment solutions that you can implement to help with the problem.   

What is shopping cart abandonment? 

Shopping cart or basket abandonment is where a potential customer visits your e-commerce store, puts items in their shopping basket, then leaves without checking out. Most e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, will have an area where you can view the numbers of abandoned carts.  

What causes shopping cart abandonment? 

There have been numerous studies over the years to identify the reasons behind cart abandonment and some things are out of your control, for example, the customer may not be ready to buy yet. However, there are some common reasons for cart abandonment that can be addressed. These are:  

  • A complicated checkout processes 
  • Payment problems
  • Concerns about security 
  • Expensive shipping 
  • Long delivery times 
  • Shopping cart abandonment solutions

Complicated checkout process 

Most major retailers offer a ‘guest checkout’ option, this is because most customers object to being forced into creating an account before they can purchase. It’s another step in the checkout process and there’s a certain feeling of commitment attached to creating an account, which is particularly off-putting for first-time buyers. 

If you do want customers to create an account, make it as simple as possible (not too many fields to fill in) and offer them the option to do so after they’ve completed their purchase. Customers that create an account are more likely to remain engaged and place repeat orders, so don’t scare them off by asking them to sign-up too soon.   

Payment problems 

Declined payments, websites that time out during the payment process and not enough payment options are all factors that can lead to an abandoned basket. 

For lower basket sizes PayPal still reigns, as customers may have accrued money in their account from selling on eBay and these funds don’t seem as ‘real’ as cash in the bank. 

However, it’s advisable to offer traditional payment methods alongside PayPal, as retailers that only accept payment through PayPal can be perceived as not as robust or credible as ones that use platforms such as Stripe.  Whichever payment gateway you use, make sure the security of it is displayed prominently as this gives customers more reassurance.

For website speed and performance issues, consider using an ‘uptime monitor’ from the likes of Pingdom to inform you when your website is down and watch your historic server response times in Google Search Console.

Concerns about security 

One of the first features conversion rate optimisation consultants will look for is the ‘secure server’ badges. CrazyEgg has reported on the impact that ‘Trust Seals’ have on conversion rates. Go through your checkout process and look to see how you convey how secure your checkout process is and then remedy any shortfalls. 

Does the address bar include a padlock? If not, this is an essential fix. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s another important trust signal to customers, telling them your site is secure. 

Expensive shipping 

Customers often get a shock when they get to the checkout and realise how much their order costs with shipping. Look at how your e-commerce shipping costs compare to the competition and customers’ expectations. 

Free shipping can make a significant difference to sales volumes and conversion rates and is a good tactic if you’re entering a new market. However, you should consider at what rate free shipping becomes available to customers. Some retailers offer this at a £25 spend whilst others in the same market offer free shipping over £45.

If you do decide to offer free shipping and take a hit on the profit per sale, you could look for greater efficiencies in the fulfilment process to make the numbers work. This may be achieved by outsourcing your e-commerce fulfilment to a third-party logistics provider, where you can take advantage of cheaper shipping rates.

Long delivery times 

In a world where almost everything is instant, customers don’t expect long delivery times. In fact, they expect to have the option of next day delivery and some even look for same day delivery. Long delivery times will compound your cart abandonment issues, so you need to be able to offer a variety of shipping levels for customers to choose from. 

If you can, on your product pages add either ‘in stock’ or ‘delivery within x’ days if ordered by 4 pm, as this can greatly increase conversions.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your order fulfilment and shipping processes and you’re considering outsourcing, please get in touch, our fulfilment operations team would be happy to discuss your requirements.

Spend more time on your business and less money on your logistics.

Discuss your fulfilment options today