Five Tips for Curbing Shopping Cart Abandonment

In 2013 an estimated $1.7 trillion dollars will be left in shopping carts. With 67 percent of desktop users abandoning their carts, there’s a staggering amount of revenue left on the table. The biggest conversion optimisation gains are realised closest to the purchase, in checkout. Here are a few tips to help lower your site’s cart abandonment.

Use clear calls to action and create an intuitive flow

Studies have shown a reduction of abandonment rate as high as 33 percent when using large, direct call to action buttons. But making your buttons bigger and brighter isn’t the only way to streamline your checkout process. Ensure the path from beginning to end is as intuitive and as frictionless as possible. As a layman friend of mine put it, “Make everything the least amount of work possible for me.”

Easily accessible help

If your customer does, for some reason, find a snag in the checkout process, help them quickly and easily find the assistance they need.  This means tooltips for items that are typically questioned, a readily accessible and well-written FAQ, a prominently displayed return policy, and easy-to-find customer service information.

Many customer service teams consider the thought of providing live chat frightening, but studies have shown a workload drop-off of 50 percent for providing online-only support. If you fear the burden that a live chat feature might bring, then phase it in by only showing it to a portion of your audience. A/B testing tools can help you roll out this enhancement to a more manageable portion of your visitors.

Use a reduced navigation

When your site’s visitors arrive at checkout, make sure you reduce the number of distractions. A smaller navigation with limited options is a good idea to keep your customers focused on finalizing their purchase instead of being lured away by deals or other categories. A great example is the Macy’s navigation.

Macy's website
This is the primary navigation for Macy’s when browsing their store.

Compare the above with the below…

Macy's website
This is the primary navigation for Macy’s once you’ve entered the checkout process.

You can see that once you’re in the checkout process, Macy’s focuses only on providing help to finish the transaction instead of promoting products and categories.

Allow guest checkout

At this point in time, the idea of a guest checkout is nothing new.  But eCommerce merchants continue to make excuses for why their site is unique and should require users to register.  If you haven’t experimented with guest checkout, you don’t know the real value that it can drive for your store.

After removing the need to register and letting the user know they had the ability to register later in the checkout process, one company realised $300 million dollars in increased revenue.

Retarget abandoners

No matter how well optimized your checkout process is, people are going to put items in their cart and abandon.  It’s just going to happen.  However, that doesn’t mean the sale is lost forever, just delayed.

Make sure you’ve got a solution to send abandonment emails to bring your logged in visitors back to the site.  A recent study showed these emails were worth $17.90 per email sent.  That’s a staggering ROI for such a simple concept.

Since Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all support retargeting, your reach and frequency with display ads is steadily increasing.  Make sure your shopping cart abandoners are separated into their own special, retargeting segment.  They’ve shown a serious interest in your products and may only need a little incentive to finish what they started.

See our full infographic below for more tips on curbing shopping cart abandonment.

Shopping Cart AbandonmentInfographic by Ripen eCommerce

One thought on “Five Tips for Curbing Shopping Cart Abandonment

  1. Hi, David! Great tips, I agree with them all. Live Chat is a great tool to reduce shopping cart abandonment as it can help in solving shopper’s queries quickly.

    Also, one approach that could encourage your visitors to provide you feedback is to present your human face to your users rather than hiding behind your brand name. People like to connect with real people. Feedback tools like AmplifyConnect acts as an icebreaker for user engagement.

    Stat says, “23% of shoppers abandon baskets because they can’t speak to anyone.”

    Would also like to add few more tips: 1) Make sure your site is loading quickly so that shoppers can browse the product quickly. Also, check your payment gateways on variety of devices to be sure they are working fine on all of them. 2) Make your cart button is prominently placed: The size, placement and color of cart button can affect your conversions. 3) Use reviews and testimonials on checkout page to build trust and reduce abandonment.


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