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18 Tricks to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment and Improve Sales

An estimated 88% of people abandon their shopping carts before completing a sale. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re trying to improve conversions and sales on your website. 

While you may not be able to convince every customer to come back and recover their carts, there’s a good chance that you can persuade at least a few. All it takes is a few more customers to improve revenue and sales.

But how do you reduce shopping cart abandonment, and is it really worth the effort to reduce abandonment?

How Much Of An Impact Can Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment Make?

If you think that shopping cart abandonment doesn’t matter, think again. These are visitors who almost became customers, but for some reason, they changed their minds at the last minute. This means that they were interested enough in your products or services to seriously consider making a purchase.

If you ignore or forget about these “almost” customers, you’re leaving money on the table. 

Scenario time!

Let’s say that you have an e-commerce website that sells watches. The average customer spends about $200 each time they place an order. If your website receives 5,000 visitors and you have a 1% conversion rate, that equates to about $10,000 per month.

But, like many other websites, you have quite a bit of visitors who abandon their shopping carts. So, you take a few steps to reel these would-be customers back in. Your efforts pay off, and you increase your conversion rate by 0.5% (that’s a 50% higher conversion rate).

The end result? Instead of 50 sales per month, you now have 75. That equates to $15,000 in sales each month, or $5,000 more than you were making before you reduced shopping cart abandonment.

Why Do Customers Abandon Their Shopping Carts?

People abandon shopping carts for many reasons, such as:

  • They don’t trust your brand enough 
  • They’re forced to create an account
  • They believe the shipping, taxes or other fees are too high
  • The checkout process is too complicated
  • Your website is too slow
  • They’re worried about security
  • They’re turned off by excessive upselling or cross-selling

The good news is that many of these issues can be addressed and corrected with just a few simple changes. We’re going to share 18 tricks to help reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase your conversion rate.

18 Tricks to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Have Clear Call to Actions

Some customers abandon their shopping carts because they don’t know how to take the next step. 

Having clear call to actions (CTAs) will help guide prospective customers through the checkout process. 

CTAs should:

  • Stand out on the page
  • Be located above the fold
  • Be as clear as possible

Checkout pages in particular should have a strong and bold call to action. This will give customers an incentive to move through the checkout process. Make sure that the messaging and button design are consistent with your brand and the other CTAs on your website.

2. Optimize Your Site’s Speed

It takes just a second for a visitor to change their mind about a purchase. If pages take too long to load, there’s a good chance that visitors will click off your site and buy from a competitor.

So, how fast is fast enough? Research shows that a two-second load time is ideal for e-commerce sites. That same study found that 40% of visitors will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Optimizing your site’s speed can help correct slow load times. The first step is to determine your site’s speed right now. Tools like Pingdom and Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help.

There are several things that may be bogging down your site’s speed:

  • Large images, videos or files. The larger the file size, the longer it will take your page to load.
  • Too many plugins. If you have a WordPress site, you may have several plugins. While useful, having too many on a single page can slow things down.
  • Web hosting. Shared servers are notoriously slow. A dedicated server or VPS may be the better choice.

A few simple ways to improve your site’s speed include:

When you have speedy pages that load almost instantly, it gives visitors little-to-no time to think about their purchase and change their mind.

3. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Today, more consumers are making purchases through their smartphones. It’s estimated that m-commerce (mobile commerce) will hit $488 billion by 2024 and account for 44% of purchases made online.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, now is the time to change that. 

Use Google’s Webmaster Tool to analyze the mobile-friendliness of your site. The tool will even provide recommendations on how to make your site more mobile-friendly.

4. Add a Progress Indicator for Checkout Pages

Customers may abandon their shopping carts if the checkout process is lengthy and complex. One way to reassure customers that checking out is quick and easy is to add a progress indicator on your checkout pages.

A progress indicator lets customers know how many steps are left before the purchase is complete. It also lets them know where they are in the checkout process, so they can estimate how long it will take to finish up.

Ideally, your progress indicator should have only a few steps. Now is a good time to optimize your checkout process if you have several steps that can be combined into one.

5. Make it Easy to Get in Touch

Making your contact information as visible as possible can help establish trust and make it easy for customers to reach out with questions. Make sure that your contact information is located:

  • On your contact page
  • In the header and footer

Give customers multiple options for support, including:

  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Live chat
  • Contact forms
  • FAQs

The quicker customers can find answers, the more likely they will be to make a purchase.

6. Build Trust and Credibility

Today’s customers are concerned about identity theft and want to make sure that their sensitive information is safe when making a purchase. If a customer doesn’t trust your website or your brand, then they will not make a purchase.

Incorporating trust signals into your checkout pages can put customers’ minds at ease. These can include security logos, such as McAfee Secure, VeriSign Secured, Norton Secured, or Trusted Certified Privacy. Also, be sure to include your SSL provider’s seal to build trust and credibility.

7. Use Exit Intent Popups

If a customer is abandoning their shopping cart, an exit-intent popup may convince them to change their mind.

An exit-intent popup is a popup that displays when visitors try to leave your website. It’s the perfect opportunity to offer a discount or some other enticing promotion.

8. Make it Easy to Save Shopping Carts

Some customers like to take their time when shopping online. They prefer having the option to build their order over time. Make it as easy as possible for customers to save their carts, so they can make their purchases the way they want to.

Ideally, saving a cart should be a one-step process that happens with the click of a button.

9. Incorporate Customer Reviews

Trust plays a key role in a customer’s purchasing decision. Incorporating trust signals is one way to help build credibility and improve your brand’s trustworthiness. Another way is to add customer reviews to your product pages.

Genuine customer reviews give buyers peace of mind that they’ll actually receive the item they’re ordering and that they’ll be happy with the quality. Allow reviewers to include photos, so customers can see the item in a real-world setting. 

10. Invest in Professional, High-Quality Photography

One way to gain instant credibility is to use high-quality, professional photos on your product pages.

Make sure that customers can zoom in on your product photos so that they can really see the fine details of your product.

Along with standard product photos, include lifestyle product photos. These types of photos help customers imagine how your product will improve their lives.

11. Optimize the Sales and Checkout Process

Use software to improve conversions for your store. We recommend OptinMonster. By using this software, you can run multiple experiments at once, and leave the guesswork out of it. The software will let you know which experiments are working well with your customers.

12. Improve Your Cart’s Visibility

Is your shopping cart easy to find and view? It should be. Customers should be able to view their shopping carts on every page. The simplest way to do this is to incorporate a cart icon into your header and use a sticky header to ensure it’s always visible. 

For added convenience, display the number of items in the cart next to the cart symbol. It may also help to allow customers to hover the cart icon and see the items they have in their shopping carts.

13. Send Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails

When customers abandon their shopping carts, reach out to them via email. Include their cart contents and offer them a discount on their purchase. 

Price may not be the only thing standing in the way of a customer’s purchase. Incorporating customer reviews and product benefits can help resolve last-minute hesitations that may be stopping customers from completing their purchases. If you offer a guarantee, be sure to mention it at the end of the email to give customers peace of mind that they can return the product if they’re unhappy.

14. Make Sure Your Checkout Process Actually Works

Have you actually tested your checkout? Do you know if every payment method works? When clients ask us to investigate low sales, it’s not uncommon for us to find that the checkout process doesn’t work.

When testing your checkout, make sure that:

  • Each payment gateway is working properly
  • Different mailing addresses work
  • Shipping and sales tax calculations are accurate

15. Don’t Force Customers to Make Accounts

Allow guest checkout to make it as easy as possible for customers to complete their orders. Some customers are happy to create accounts and sign in each time they make a purchase. Others don’t want to be bothered going through these extra steps.

Give customers the option to create an account during checkout, but don’t make it mandatory. Guest checkout gives customers a quick and convenient way to complete their purchases. You can also allow customers to connect their social media accounts to really streamline the account creation process.

16. Keep it Short and Simple

We talked about the importance of keeping checkout as simple as possible. A three- or four-step process is ideal. 

Along with reducing your checkout steps, it’s also important to reduce the required fields. Don’t ask the customer for unnecessary information. Not only will this drag out the checkout process, but it may also irritate the customer and have them questioning your trustworthiness. 

17. Offer Several Payment Methods

Some customers abandon their shopping carts because they can’t use their preferred payment method. Giving customers more payment options can help combat this problem.

Credit cards and PayPal are the most common payment methods, but other popular options include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies), and Afterpay.

18. Be Transparent About Fees

The cost of your products or services shouldn’t be a surprise when customers checkout. Be transparent and honest about the cost of shipping and handling or other fees that you may charge.

If possible, offer free shipping. There are several ways to do this. You can incorporate the cost of shipping into the product price, or you can offer free shipping when customers spend a certain dollar amount.

You’re Ready to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment

Reducing shopping cart abandonment can increase conversions and your bottom line. Use these 18 tricks to combat shopping cart abandonment and entice customers to move through the checkout process.

Bocain Designs
Bocain Designs

Dan is a founding partner of Bocain Designs, a web design company that specializes in WordPress web design and WordPress management. We've earned over 2,000 five-star reviews for our work with 2,500+ clients from over 80 countries. Let's talk about how we can make your business awesome online!