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4 Ways to Combat Cart Abandonment

Written by Toonimo | Feb 12, 2015


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The latest statistics on cart abandonment show a shocking 68.07% average.  This makes shopping cart abandonment a real and growing problem for ecommerce businesses. Check out Baymard Institute’s 29 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics for 2014 for more details about the studies done.

While these numbers are staggering, online retailers can reduce the rate of abandonment and increase conversions by guiding the user through a streamlined checkout process and eliminating common causes for cart abandonment.

According to Avangate, the top four reasons consumers abandon shopping carts are the following:



  1. Impatience: In a world of instant gratification where everyone is mobile and on the run, users have very little patience for slow or time-consuming websites. Add in extra forms to fill in or a slow loading page and they are outta there.

  2. Confusion: The second it becomes unclear how to complete the purchase or sudden and unexpected costs come up, your shoppers will jump ship. Online shoppers want their experience to be clear, easy and transparent or they will quickly lose patience.

  3. Caution: Privacy and theft are considerable fears for most web shoppers who tend to be extremely cautious about disclosing personal information and credit card details. Suspicions may arise if you request too much information.

  4. Indecision: Some shoppers just have a hard time deciding, while others are truly shopping around to find the best prices and deals. Some of these individuals may return to their carts to make the purchase after the decision or research processes have been completed if they decide you have what they want for the right price.


Now the good news is, if a shopper has filled up a cart on your website, she is interested in your brand.  Knowing the common reasons that shoppers don’t follow through, your job is to help the buyer complete the process and convert that to a sale.

Here are ways to combat the 4 reasons for cart abandonment noted above:



  1. Improve the user experience.  In addition to a fast loading and easy to navigate design, you want to streamline the purchasing process. Include graphic indicators to show the user how many more steps are in the process and focus on movement. Avoid any unnecessary forms or pop up ads that distract and interrupt the purchase flow and use bright colors and clear calls to action so the user can quickly and easily move from one step to the next.

  2. In addition to clear and straightforward navigation, be upfront about prices including shipping and handling fees, making tax and shipping information available from the start. Let shoppers easily navigate forward and back through the site and don’t make them wait until the checkout page to show the final price of the items they want to purchase. According to a survey conducted by WebCredible, about 41% of customers abandon their carts because hidden fees crop up as they are checking out and 44% abandon their carts because of high shipping rates.

  3. Offer a number of payment options and don’t make it a requirement to register in order to make a purchase. You can however present a form that suggests registration as a way to hold on to the items in the shopping cart so you can follow up by email if they cart is abandoned. According to Listrak, emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

  4. Offer exclusive deals and coupons (especially on shipping) to incentivize shoppers to pick your site over the competition. Give plenty of information about your products and offer live support to answer any questions that will help them find what they are looking for and assure them they are making a good choice. Create a guided experience to keep users engaged and on target as they proceed through your site.  To achieve this, consider a personalized walk-through system, which guides users through your site delivering personalized messages based on their behavior. Such onsite guidance systems are proven to increase conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment.


We’ve said it before -conversions all boil down to the quality of the user experience. If your site presents a neat and easy to navigate layout, establishes trust, offers a great deal and a engages the user, you are bound to have less cart abandonment and more happy customers.