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  • 5 strategies for reducing shopping cart abandonment

5 strategies for reducing shopping cart abandonment

Shopping carts abandoned near a lake

Shopping cart abandonment is a common occurrence in the world of ecommerce. Regardless of how great your product is, or how much value you offer, you may find your website visitors adding items to their carts only to leave without hitting the "buy" button. While this behaviour doesn't have to be a cause for concern, a high abandonment rate is worth investigating.

Why it's important to measure your shopping cart abandonment rate 

Your shopping cart abandonment rate can provide valuable insights into your customers' purchasing journeys. This data can help you identify specific ways to improve your website or checkout process, eventually leading to better conversion rates.

In 2022, Baymard Institute examined data from 48 studies on ecommerce shopping cart abandonment. Its findings revealed that, on average, about 69.99% of people abandon their carts. While cart abandonment rates can vary based on industry and seasonal demand, this statistic can give you a general idea of what to expect in terms of the cart abandonment rate for your business.

To determine your exact shopping cart abandonment rate, you can follow these steps:

1. Calculate the cart conversion rate by dividing the number of completed purchases by the total number of shopping carts created.

2. Subtract the cart conversion rate from the number 1.

3. Multiply the result by 100 to obtain a percentage value.

Let's say you run an ecommerce store that sells eyeglasses. In one month, a total of 1,000 shopping carts were created by website visitors. However, out of those 1,000 shopping carts, only 150 were converted into purchases.

In this case, your cart abandonment rate = (1 - Cart Conversion Rate) x 100

= (1 - 150 / 1,000) x 100

= 0.85 x 100

= 85%

In this particular example, your shopping cart abandonment rate would be 85%. This indicates that many potential customers are not completing their purchases, pointing to a high rate of cart abandonment in your eyeglasses store. To reduce this percentage, it's important to study and understand your customers' behaviour and implement effective strategies to give them a smooth buying experience.

Here are a few steps you can take to reduce shopping cart abandonment for your business:

Enable guest checkout   

When someone on your website is ready to make a purchase, the process should be as streamlined as possible. If you compel shoppers to create an account and provide extensive details, you risk causing frustration and driving them away from the transaction. Remember, not everyone wants to go through the hassle of creating yet another account, remembering another username, and managing an additional password.  

When you offer the option to check out as a guest, you make it quick and easy for customers to finish their purchases. While account creation can help you build your marketing database and foster long-term customer relationships, it should never come at the cost of a potential sale. Prioritising customer convenience can help you build revenue and a positive brand image.

Avoid last minute surprises 

When shoppers browse through products and add items to their carts, they develop an expectation of the total cost based on the displayed prices. When you introduce additional costs or charges at a later stage, you're likely to cause disappointment.

In the same Baymard study, high extra costs were a major contributing factor to people abandoning their shopping carts. Unexpected costs can make customers feel deceived and may prompt them to explore alternate options. If you want people to complete their purchases, you need to maintain transparency throughout the shopping experience. You can easily do this by providing a clear breakdown of estimated fees on the product/cart page.

Send abandoned cart emails 

Abandoned cart emails are automated messages sent to shoppers who have added items to their shopping carts but have yet to complete the purchase. They are typically sent to customers who have shared their email addresses during the checkout process or for marketing communication. Abandoned cart emails can help you re-engage shoppers and remind them of the items they left behind. To make your abandoned cart emails effective, it's crucial to personalise the content based on the customer's behaviour and activity. You should also incorporate strong call-to-action buttons that create a sense of urgency. Be strategic about the timing of your emails, ideally sending them shortly after the cart abandonment or the following day. Experimenting with different timing options can help you find the ideal window for maximising your conversion rates.

Offer multiple payment options   

Customers appreciate flexibility, particularly when it comes to how they pay for their purchases. Whether it's a debit card, prepaid card, cash on delivery, or popular digital wallet (like PayPal or Apple Pay), people prefer using payment methods they are familiar with or that give them specific benefits or rewards. When you give them a range of payment options to choose from, you increase the likelihood of customers completing their purchases. On the other hand, when you give them limited payment options, they may refuse to proceed and second-guess their decision to do business with you.

Minimise distractions on your checkout page 

Elements like pop-ups, hyperlinks, or related product suggestions on your checkout page can divert your customers' attention and stop them from completing their purchases. That's why it's important to have a clutter-free checkout page without any distractions. Although it always helps to upsell your products, it's better to do it before or after customers reach the checkout page. This way, they can focus on completing their orders before exploring additional options. This approach can help significantly improve conversions and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

We hope this blog post helps you take practical steps to reduce your business' shopping cart abandonment rate. Do you have any other strategies you'd like to suggest? Let us know in the comments below.

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