Do you run your eCommerce business successfully?
Hmmm… I’ve never seen your e-commerce store and I don’t need to, to guarantee that you’re losing money. Because, every moment, some of your store’s visitors abandon their carts before completing their purchase.
Do you want to reduce cart abandonment, but don’t know where (or how) to start?
And, I believe you asked Google ‘How to reduce shopping cart abandonment’ time and time again. And now you’re probably familiar with the standard tips and tricks, mostly related to improving your checkout flow.
That’s why we decided to create a structured guide to unique shopping cart recovery tactics. So, let’s start!
Table of content:
Imagine that you’re filling up your shopping cart in a supermarket and after being distracted by something (e.g. sudden phone call) you forget about your cart with all stuff for a dinner and walk out of the store. Surely, such a scenario is unlikely in the real world. However, this happens all the time in the world of eCommerce.
Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems for an online business to overcome.
“Abandonment is an eCommerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action.”
Cart, or basket, abandonment may be the most obvious, but there are different types of abandonment across different sectors.
So let’s clear that up real quick:
This means that, in the best-case scenario, most eCommerce sites lose at least three-quarters (3/4!!!) of shopping carts are abandoned before users cross the line and convert. At worst, it means that four in every five shoppers are leaving their carts before actually buying anything.
Research from Statista found that when UK shoppers abandon carts, less than a third return to buy chosen products. A quarter of them buys the same product from a competitor.
Let’s take a closer look at the impact that cart abandonment has on the eCommerce business:
But, abandoned carts often indicate a website or customer experience problem. Discover this problem, fix it, and get more profit afterward.
In other words, if you can improve your cart abandonment rate, you improve your revenue.
Cart abandonment rate is reported as a percentage. It tells you what percent of your total number of shoppers add items to their cart, but don’t complete their checkout.
Here’s how you can calculate your abandonment rate:
[1 – [ (#) completed purchases / (#) shopping carts created ]] * 100 =
(%) Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Here’s how the math works:
For example, if you have 300 shopping carts were initiated, but 200 of them were never actually purchased, which means that about 66% of your shoppers left without completing their order.
That’s a lot of money left on the table, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that a 66% cart abandonment rate is actually pretty good compared to industry averages.
To find your current rate, you can look at a handful of data sources:
a) If you’re using Magento, the default Magento 2 offers an Abandoned carts report (Magento Admin Panel > Reports > Abandonment Carts) that lists all registered customers who have abandoned carts which is yet to be expired.
The abandoned carts report grid lists the below details:
Moreover, the Magento connector allows you to either enroll your abandoned carts into an Engagement Cloud program, enabling you to execute an omnichannel strategy or send an abandoned cart email series to both your customers and guests of your website.
b) If you’re using Shopify, you can quickly access all the numbers you need under Analytics > Reports, look for (1) the total number of sessions where a customer added a product to the cart and (2) the total number of sessions where a customer purchased a product.
c) If you’re using WooCommerce, you might need to install a plugin, such as Cart Reports, to easily view your rate and metrics such as most abandoned products.
Alternatively, if you have the Enhanced Ecommerce feature turned on in Google Analytics, you can access your rate there. If you’ve set up eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics, you don’t have to do the math yourself.
Google Analytics automatically tracks and calculates the conversion and abandonment rates for you. Just navigate to Conversion -> Ecommerce -> Shopping Behavior, and you’ll find the numbers you need.
In the Shopping Behavior report, you’ll see a funnel report that tracks five main activities:
The numbers at the top of each column represent each activity’s count, and the numbers at the bottom of each column represent the drop-off from each step. In the example above, cart and checkout abandonment are not so bad, but at the same time, we can see very high browse abandonment.
Another powerful feature of the Shopping Behavior Report is that it allows you to break down the purchase funnel by segments. Right below the funnel chart, you’d see a table like this.
By default, it breaks down the data by user type. However, you can choose to break down the data by geographic locations, device types, campaign medium/source, etc. This allows you to compare shopping behavior among different segments of your shoppers.
Based on data from 44 different studies, Baymard Institute reports the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.75%. The percentage of abandoned carts ranges anywhere from as low as 57.60% to as high as 84.27%.
But, it differs by the device (Barilliance, 2018), with mobile having the highest percentage of abandoned carts:
Lots of factors play a role in cart abandonment. Rates will vary according to
Actually, as the average rate depends on different factors. That’s why we caution against using any of these numbers as your benchmark.
It’s better to say that a good abounded cart in your particular business case is one that’s always improving. It is the one that’s lower than last month’s.
Let’s do the math.
Let’s imagine, your rate is 65% (pretty good so far!). Let’s say you have 100 transactions per month, and your average order value is $1000. So, your monthly revenue is $100,000. If you improve your rate to 60%, then your monthly revenue is $100,000 = 5%, thus you’d see an extra $5,000 in revenue per month.
Five thousand dollars bonus, not bad. And that’s from improving your abandonment rate by just 5%!
And now, imagine you improve that rate a little every month!
Here are some sobering data for eCommerce marketers:
You may check more statistics, but the most important lesson we should take is that abandonment affects conversions seriously, and what are the reasons we should pay attention to.
These shopping cart abandonment statistics prove you’re leaving money on the table. People are already visiting your website. More than half of those who like a product enough to add it to their cart exit without buying.
Complicated checkout processes, unclear pricing, and high shipping costs are huge factors in why a shopper decides to exit.
The good news? It’s preventable.
You’ll never be able to fully eliminate cart abandonment. But once realizing what’s causing shoppers to abandon their purchase – you can address it to protect your conversion rate.
Every eCommerce store is different, but the following are some common reasons cart abandoners don’t complete their checkout.
Let’s dig into some of the more specific triggers for shopping cart abandonment:
Users on the web often comparison shop to find the best deals. They can abandon your store because of the higher price.
Also, shoppers don’t want to add items to their cart only to find out later that they can’t actually buy them because the item is out of stock or because of restrictions on how much each person can purchase.
You can help prevent customers from jumping ship by offering special discounts and coupon codes.
Being upfront about product availability and quantity limits helps set expectations that a product might have limited availability, reducing consumer frustration later.
Shipping costs, import taxes, currency conversions or any extra fees play a decisive role in determining whether it’s worth buying from an online retailer. The shock of unexpected costs usually occurs after shoppers have entered their shipping information. Once they see those fees, they may reevaluate their purchase and abandon their carts.
Be transparent about all costs before the customer reaches the final steps of the checkout flow.
List shipping costs early on in the funnel. If you offer free shipping, emphasize this in a free shipping bar at the top of each page. Or, if you can’t offer free shipping, make shipping costs explicit on product detail pages, so potential customers aren’t surprised by it in checkout.
If you can’t offer free shipping, consider flat-rate shipping. For example, “$9 flat-rate shipping in the US.” Some shoppers won’t want to pay it, but by listing this cost upfront, you at least sidestep the bad experience of surprising customers with it later.
Consider offering free delivery to customers and displaying it prominently in your checkout process. Bake shipping costs into product prices, then offer across-the-board free shipping, geographically-bound shipping (“Free shipping in the US”), or free shipping once customers reach a minimum order value (“Free shipping for all orders over $29”).
You can compare prices between carriers to find the best price, but not forget about service quality as well.
Even if you can’t scrap shipping costs entirely, there are workarounds to offering cheaper delivery for people mid-checkout, e.g.:
First-time customers of your online store want a fast, friction-free checkout experience. Time-consuming fields aren’t essential to buying an item online. Requiring users to create an account adds an extra step to the checkout flow and is an unnecessary barrier to purchase. And failing to offer a guest checkout option is one of the leading causes of shopping cart abandonment.
The success of your online store depends on the checkout experience.
To avoid losing a quarter of your “ready to purchase” site visitors, give them a guest checkout option that doesn’t require them to sign up or log in.
While, yes, a sign-up helps you collect valuable customer data, it’s not a good idea to force customers to do this.
By offering a guest checkout option, you will have to sacrifice some of that so sweet data marketers usually crave. However, you’ll also make things a hell of a lot easier for your customers, which is exactly what they want.
The easier you make it for people to buy from you, the more sales you’ll make. And, if they complete their purchase, you’ll still receive their email, so you can always prompt them to create an account later.
Online shoppers want to cross the finish line as quickly and easily as possible. They will abandon the checkout flow if it is too complex or time-consuming. And not only this time but permanently deter them from ever purchasing on your site again.
All personal data of the customer (name, birthday, address, etc.) help online retailers understand this customer better. But as a retail, you should choose either customer information or purchase.
With not optimized checkout, potential customers experience all kinds of unnecessary friction or confusion as they try to make a purchase, for example:
So, the best way to uncover these issues is through an audit. Some effective options include:
From there, look through records of wherever customers engage with you to figure out why those dropoffs might be happening. Are there any recurring checkout complaints in your live chat logs, SMS, support emails, or social media tags? Look for and document any trends.
Finally, use user testing services to quickly test any hypotheses you formed from looking at analytics and feedback. Or, if you want to DIY user testing, gather a group of potential customers who fit your persona and have never seen your site before. Then, ask them to walk through the checkout flow. Ask them to talk you through what they find helpful and/or confusing.
Once you know where consumers are getting stuck in the checkout, you can begin testing improvements.
The easier you make it for customers to move between their cart and your store, the more likely they are to stick with it and actually check out.
Help your customers to navigate your site by offering logical, intuitive navigation options between your checkout and product pages. The more work you force your prospective customers to do, the less likely they are to cross the line and convert.
One way to simplify the checkout flow for users is to offer a seamless one-click checkout.
Another helpful tactic is allowing shoppers to save their carts for later. Make it effortless for customers to save – and later return to – their carts-in-progress.
Customers often have strong preferences of how they would like to pay, and only complete a purchase if the payment methods that are most convenient for them — whether it’s PayPal, Apple Pay, or a buy now, pay later option — are presented.
Long gone are the days of customers having to enter their long card number into their browser.
Credit card payment options are a no-brainer, but today, consumers have more choices than ever before of how to pay for goods online. PayPal is still going strong, but mobile payment systems are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger demographics.
Amongst some of the most popular payment methods are:
By offering more payment options, you’re giving your customers what they want, and that’s what it’s all about.
Shoppers expect their items to be delivered in a reasonable timeframe. If there is no express shipping available and they have to wait too long, the value of shopping online over going into a store is diminished.
Shoppers want to know the time they can get their order, so let them know the delivery times as soon as possible.
Implement a messaging system that notifies them that their order is on its way. If you have their e-mail, with help of e-mail service providers you can automate this process.
If you’re using WordPress for your e-commerce store, you can also install order tracking plugins that allow them to check the status of their package.
And don’t forget to make sure that tracking numbers or codes from your carrier are accurate.
Customers often get information on return policies and warranties after adding items to their cart. hoppers want to know that should anything go wrong with the product, they can easily return it to the retailer and receive a refund.
Returns policies aren’t just essential post-purchase. Shoppers want to know they have options for items they buy online—like returning it for a full refund if it’s different from what they expected.
Offering a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee (or similar offer of assurance) greatly reduces the potential objections a prospect might have about buying from you.
Even if you already have an awesome returns policy, showcase it mid-checkout – put it front-and-center somewhere – don’t hide it in the depths of a terms and conditions page.
Do whatever you can to make customers feel better about buying from you.
Buying stuff online is normal, but customers are still (rightfully) wary of sending money to a new brand they’ve just met.
And most web users are very cautious about online payments. They aren’t always comfortable providing credit card info online. And if they don’t feel safe or have concerns that their payment information will not be handled securely, they will not follow through with their purchase.
The journey to recouping lost eCommerce revenue doesn’t start at the checkout page. The entire user experience influences how likely a customer is to complete their purchase. That success is rooted in choosing the best eCommerce platform for your store.
Consider any apps that can reduce cart abandonment across your entire eCommerce site.
This includes any payment processing security you provide, as well as return policies or guarantees.
Compared to a product with zero reviews, shoppers are 270% more likely to purchase a product with 5+ reviews. We believe other shoppers more readily than we believe sellers. Collect ample reviews, testimonials, social media clips, and other social proof for your Product pages and Product Detail pages, so you can build trust that carries through checkout.
A buggy or unstable eCommerce site, with speed and performance issues, can cause shoppers to get frustrated and leave.
Shoppers are less likely to enter their payment information after experiencing an unexpected crash or slow page load times out of fear that they’ll be double-charged for the purchase or that their payment might fail.
Be sure to monitor your analytics and do regular reviews of the checkout process to ensure there are no technical issues and glitches. Also, ensure that the code on your checkout page is optimized so there are no long load times.
At best, these user experience issues make the shopper reluctant to try checking out again. At worst, they diminish the shopper’s faith in your ability to process their order or manage their credit card information (“what if they double-charge my card?”), and they seek a more stable site.
Make sure and regularly test your site in a variety of browsers (Chrome, Safari, etc.), on different device sizes, and on both fast and slow internet connections. Keep in mind usability issues are often best monitored and prevented by development teams, so you may also want to ensure you have someone monitoring site updates, page load times, and bug reports.
According to Visual Website Optimizer, eCommerce shopping cart conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in your page loading.
Some on-page technical elements are more easily optimized than others. For example, your images should be as optimized as possible to maintain that crucial balance of quality and speed. You can also limit the use of ad network trackers, poorly implemented tags, social plugins, and another bloat to increase your page load times.
If you’re aware of an inevitable delay when processing payments, consider introducing a visual representation of the delay to assure customers that something is actually happening, such as a loading bar or progress indicator.
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Shoppers often find themselves inundated with offers and promotions from multiple retailers. Deal-seekers may expect your store to offer similar discounts and, if you don’t, they may choose to buy from your competitor.
When shoppers are about to make a purchase and they see an empty “apply coupon” field, many of them pause. The empty field whispers, “there’s a discount out there, you just have to go and find it” – it’s a typical situation with bargain-hunters shoppers.
Depending on how often you offer coupons or discounts, you have a few options to deal with this:
Visitors, who are “just-looking” or Lookers, aren’t there to buy, they’re there to window shop. Baymard Institute estimates as many as 58.6% of US shoppers abandon carts because they’re simply browsing. Or conducting research to buy later. Or doing comparison shopping. Thanks to the internet and the rise of mobile commerce, customers have access to many options when shopping online and can compare those options quickly.
This last bucket of why shoppers abandon carts is a catch-all. While it feels good to sort human behavior the way we just did, the gritty truth is there are plenty of other reasons someone ditches a cart — and many of those aren’t solvable.
And dozens of other reasons. The point is, you can’t account for every irrational quirk of human nature and the universe, nor should you try to.
Remember, you’re not trying to eliminate cart abandonment, you’re trying to improve your specific rate.
There are a few other practical ways you can decrease cart abandonment.
Your potential customers abandon their shopping carts for many different reasons, addressing those issues at an early stage results in reduced shopping cart abandonment.
Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate will be an ongoing process.
Step 1. Analyze user behavior for conversion funnel leaks. Tools like Google’s Advanced Ecommerce Analytics can help you create comprehensive conversion funnels to map out exactly where shoppers are dropping off.
Step 2. Collect customer feedback about pain points. Don’t be afraid to ask both converted shoppers and cart abandoners about how you can improve your checkout process. Getting direct feedback from your customer base can reveal insights that might have been hard to measure with your data analytics tool.
Step 3. Conduct A/B testing. Run A/B tests regularly to see which checkout designs, layouts, and forms of content perform the best. Make sure that when running A/B tests, you alter only one variable at a time, so you can identify what impacts the performance of the new campaign.
Step 4. Start optimizing.
While going through the reasons for abandonment, we mentioned how to fix each issue and solve the problem. Now, let’s dive into some marketing tactics.
Despite your best efforts to reduce cart abandonment, some percentage of customers will always leave your site while checking out before making a purchase.
That’s where, beyond just optimizing the shopping cart experience, another key strategy for dealing with cart abandonment comes in. It’s a shopping cart recovery tactic, aimed at capturing the customers after they’ve already left your eCommerce site.
There are two main methods of cart recovery:
Cart recovery emails are another way to recoup lost revenue. If the user entered their email address during the checkout process before leaving your site, then there is the opportunity to send them an abandonment email.
Tips to create an effective abandoned cart email:
If the shopper has given you their phone number and opted-in to receive texts from you, you can also leverage SMS (or better messages in Messengers) to remind them to complete their purchase.
For sure, such texts usually require less design and formatting than emails, but messages still should be simple, personalized, and sent in time.
Ad retargeting is another powerful tactic in cart recovery. And it is absolutely essential for eCommerce retailers.
The advantage of retargeting is that it works even if the user did not enter their email address, and you can remain top of mind for the customer as they are browsing the web.
The beauty of online shopping is that most customers use several channels at once. That’s why retargeting is absolutely essential for eCommerce retailers who need to reduce cart abandonment.
Use tracking pixels or cookies on your site to show the products the abandonment customers explored. To do that – work with your development team here or contact us if you need any help.
Facebook remarketing is perfect for targeting shopping cart abandoners. The Pixel collects all the data about the shopper, including abandoned products, and that data is synced with a Facebook profile. Finally, dynamic product ads show the exact items they’ve left, and nudge them to head back to your website to complete the purchase.
Remarketing with Google AdWords and Bing Ads is also a great idea.
So, the previous tips we mentioned earlier to deal with the top reasons for cart abandonment can help reduce your shopping cart abandonment by optimizing the process of online shopping on your online store. But retargeting can help you to win back the prospective customers that you will lose along the way.
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One thing is clear: poor and frustrating user experiences are more likely to cause shoppers to abandon their purchases.
To recap, some of the suggestions we’ve brought up so far are:
If you want to reduce the number of people who abandon their shopping carts on your site, try these proven solutions below.
Just check the list whether you follow them on your store!
And one of the most critical is ensuring a dev team is monitoring your site uptime.
These improvements all address the solvable reasons consumers jump ship while helping you create a less distracting path to purchase.
The customers who make it to the cart have already engaged with you to create an order — they just need a bit of help completing the purchase.
If you’re not sure the best way to do that, we can help.
Contact us if you need any technical help with your eCommerce store maintenance or any marketing initiatives.