10 Strategies To Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment and Improve Conversion Rate

Every eCommerce marketer wishes that their customers ultimately purchase each item they add to their cart. However, a recent study by Baymard Institute shows that the average abandonment rate for shopping carts stands at 65%. Loosely translated, more than half of the customers visiting your site don’t get to the checkout page, most just leave abruptly.

What could you be doing wrong that consistently pushes your site visitors away? Could your site be failing on important optimization tools and features or have you installed disrupting pages and prompts along the sales process? At other times it will be either the fact that they either discovered better prices somewhere else or you introduced what some might consider hidden charges.

Therefore, how can you improve the shopping cart optimization rates? Here are a few practical tips on how to go about it. They have worked with other brands; they can work with yours.

1. Stop introducing extra charges just when they are about to check out

When it comes to online shopping, the next thing that shoppers hate more than a rip off is surprise charges especially during check out. According to a recent survey by web credible, more than 49 percent of online shoppers often abandon their carts if slapped with what they consider surprise and hidden charges.

How then can you introduce this variable and additional costs such as sales tax and shipping costs without scaring away potential customers? One of the most efficient methods includes adding the charges earlier on, possibly immediately after creating a shopping cart. You can also include a built-in tax calculator that shows the total purchase, tax, and possible shipping costs in real-time.

2. Minimize the number of pages they have to open to make a purchase

Between a single and optimized multiple pages, which one do you consider most efficient? The effectiveness of either check out page options has been a topic of discussion for quite a long time. You, therefore, have to weigh the benefits of either with regards to your type of online business and work on optimizing what appeals most to you and your clients.

Note that, while the single-paged checkout option seems attractive and with the potent to retain the customer, it also has the possibility of appearing cluttered, primarily because you have to include so many details into a single page. On the other hand, the multiple check-out pages are neat and seem organized, but you have to bear the risk of the client abandoning the cart, especially if the customer deems your site’s loading speed as wanting.

3. Offer free shipping services

Online shoppers are most attracted to freebies, offers, and discounts. Therefore, by providing free shipping services, you get to retain the 49 percent that often abandons the cart after being slapped with shipping costs. However, how do you offer these freebies without hurting your eCommerce niche’s bottom line?

For starters, you can either hike the cost of the products being sold to include the shipping costs. Alternatively, only extend the free shipping services to purchases above a set range. For instance, only offer free shipping to goods above $50.

4. Provide as many trustworthy payment options as possible

Did you know that you risk losing over 25 percent of your potential clients if you don’t accept their preferred payment options? Note that just because you can’t possibly predict each client’s preferred payment option shouldn’t be reason enough to let them slide away.

Gone are the days when partnering with different payment processors was a preserve of the mega online businesses. The internet is now flush with numerous payment processing add-ons that allow you to accept different payment options, thus satisfying each of your client’s needs fully and in effect increasing the sites conversion rate.

5. Stop forcing customers into account creation before making a purchase

Understandably, you would like to either get some feedback about the product from the client or inform them about the new stock. Signing up to your site or subscribing to your email communications is a lead magnet and one step closer to improved conversion rate optimization as it grants you the rare opportunity that you can use to convince clients into making another purchase later.

Nonetheless, do you have to disrupt their purchase process to register or create an account? You have to ask yourself which is more of the two, the client making the purchase or creating an account? If you must, only ask a customer the most relevant questions as their email after they make the purchase.

6. Use the scarcity strategy on shoppers

Did you also know that you can increase your site’s conversion rates by creating a sense of urgency on some of your sales? Research indicates that a client, unaware of their supplier’s stocking schedule, is more likely to not only make the purchase but also buy in bulk if they feel their provider is running out of stock.

Therefore, consider putting up a notification on the number of items remaining in the stock when the potential customer is making their purchase. For instance, display a ‘just three remaining’ message on a product and the client might end up paying for it if it interests them.

This also works for cold emails to customers that either abandoned their carts or saved them for later. Inform them that you are running out of the items they already added to their cart. In such a case, they will either empty the cart or pay for it.

7. Build trust with your customers on the transaction forms

As e-commerce gains pace and slowly overtakes the traditional markets, so are web-related crimes. Additionally, the scope of these crimes has made most online shoppers extremely cautious. According to recent research on online transactions by Baymard Institute, 76 percent of internet shoppers admitted to first scrutinizing a sites security features and protection before filling in their personal information.

Therefore, displaying different safety and encryption certificates such as the Norton security badge as well as the SSL encryption badge boosts your customer’s confidence on your site. In a recent survey by Shopify on its clients, the e-commerce giant concluded that the online shoppers are also keen about the badges you display and will in effect abandon the cart if they don’t recognize the security logo.

8. Offer discounts to be used at checkout

With all the other factors held constant, your site visitors will still leave if they think your products are unfairly priced. While this may be true, it is probably because you are trying to shield the bottom line from harm, especially after footing the shipping costs. If that’s the case but the potential customer still wants to leave, try implementing some exit-intent popups.

For instance, try to lure them back in by offering an exclusive discount such as a certain percentage off their total purchases. While these discounts are in place as a means of retaining customers, the popups can also be used to keep them on site for various other reasons.

If they are leaving because they don’t trust your security logo, have the exit-intent popup directing them to testimonials of happy clients. Additionally, if they are fleeing because they can’t ascertain the quality of the product, offer a money-back guarantee assurance on the shipment. These popups have proved to increase conversions by a further 15 percent.

9. Work on your cart

Can your clients see the items already in their cart as they shop or do they have to open yet another page whenever they need to see the products they have already added and their totals? The latter might be the reason you are experiencing increased cart abandonment rate.

If such be the case, you need to effect several shopping cart optimization techniques. Work on giving your potential customers access to their cart and the totals therein as they peruse through the different pages of your website. The best method to go about this is to affix a minimized cart with thumbnail icons of the chosen products, and their prices that the customer can reconcile with when adding the next product.

10. Retarget abandoners

The fact that a client still abandoned the cart even after applying different retention measures doesn’t mean your strategies aren’t effective. You still have some cards to play, especially if the customer had already registered with your site and furnished you with their email.

If they abandoned the cart, retarget them by either reminding them that their digital cart is still waiting for them. However, if this plan is to work, you must present them with several practical options such as saving the cart for later, paying it off or clearing it. Nevertheless, whatever you do, just be informative. In all your outreach emails, try to avoid the salesman’s tone. After all, you don’t want to scare them farther away.

Bottom line

Different customers abandon their carts for various reasons, and regardless of what you do, you possibly can’t have a 100 percent conversion rate. However, you can work on reducing the cart abandonment rate and improving sales. This involves a large-scale analysis and optimization of the different levels of sales funnel such as the checkout page, ensuring the cart is visible always as well as providing several secure payment options.

Remember that conversion rate optimization and sales boost isn’t a one day job, you have to continually review what works for your eCommerce site and what doesn’t in addition to exploring and experimenting with different optimization options.

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