How to successfully reduce cart abandonment on your store
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How to successfully reduce cart abandonment on your store: Causes and solutions

Shopping cart abandonment is as old as commerce itself.

When users almost buy something but don’t, that’s considered an abandoned cart.

Cart abandonment happens in brick and mortar stores but it happens much more in online stores.

In the middle of selecting products, suddenly something happens and they walk away. It could be a phone call, someone calling their name or something else entirely.

That distraction is enough to make customers forget about completing the purchase.

A lost opportunity for them, a lost sale for you.

You can reduce cart abandonment using simple tricks – frictionless checkout and an optimized user journey.

The amount of money that eCommerce stores lose every year because of cart abandonment hovers around $18 billion.

While it happens so frequently, there is a good chance that you are experiencing a similar situation in your business.

If this is the case, we have a practical guide for you to reduce cart abandonment and make more conversions.

For every 10 customers, 7 leave without a purchase.

Cart abandonment: The impact on profits

Analyzing cart abandonment stats will help you figure out why orders aren’t coming in.

First, you’ll probably realize that other eCommerce stores have the same problem.

You’ll also be relieved to know that abandoned carts aren’t always related to product or service quality.

In fact, it can happen to anyone. It’s an industry-wide problem.

According to a 2023 study by Baymard, eCommerce stores experience a 69.99% cart abandonment rate on average.

According to Statista, cart abandonment rates have varied over the past 17 years but are always upward.

cart abandonment rate over 17 years

Industry wide cart abandonment rate

According to SalesCycle, shopping cart abandonment is highest for big ticket products like automotive (89%1) and mobile phones (94.77%).

The lowest abandonment rates are for groceries and pharmaceuticals, 61.13% and 71.51%, respectively.

Abandonment Rate

Regional cart abandonment rate

Europe and Asia seem to have the lowest cart abandonment rates compared to the rest of the world.

RegionCart Abandonment Rate
North America83.48%
South America86.50%
Europe81.49%
Africa86.37%
Middle East90.88%
Asia & Pacific82.49%

When it comes to browsing the internet, mobile devices have long surpassed desktops.

No matter what industry you are in or what region you are in, mobile devices have become the primary source of shopping.

The bad news is, shoppers leave online stores more often on mobile than on desktop.

84% of mobile users leave stores compared to desktop users where the figure hovers around 72%.

The causes of cart abandonment in 2023

In the US alone, retailers spent $35.38 billion in 2020 on ads to market their eCommerce stores.

The figure will likely reach $66.64 billion in 2023 and $73.02 billion by 2026.

While online stores invest heavily in ads, cart abandonment remains a major concern.

The following are some of the main reasons for abandoned carts:

Forced registration

forced registration causes cart abandonment

Visitors will sign up if they think they will likely return to your online store.

If you make them register an account before they can buy, it won’t work.

According to a recent survey of the world’s top brands, very few online stores have a clearly visible guest checkout option.

  • 32% have a guest checkout option
  • 2% have it but it is not clearly labeled
  • 4% have a plain text link
  • 6% display it below account sign-in
  • 4% only show it after they enter their email address
  • 52% don’t have a guest checkout option

Complex checkout process

The simpler you make the checkout process for users, the more likely they will complete it.

A complicated checkout page, a lot of options, or too many ads make it challenging for people to buy.

87% of prospects wouldn’t complete a purchase because of a complex checkout page.

Additional costs (taxes, fees, shipping)

additional costs cause cart abandonment

5 out of 10 online shoppers leave the store when they are charged more than the displayed amount.

It doesn’t matter whether that’s shipping, taxes or processing fees. If you add cost at the checkout, you increase the risk of abandoned carts.

Lack of trust or security concerns

The Baymard report also highlights that almost 18% of shoppers will not trust an online store with their personal information if they have concerns about security.

When you buy something, you usually have to provide your credit card information, home address, email address, and phone number.

Any buyer who feels insecure about sharing their personal information will leave the cart right away.

Unclear returns policy

A returns policy that’s unclear or nonexistent is bad for businesses.

Having a return policy gives users peace of mind that they can return faulty items easily

49% of users look at the return policy before making a purchase. Around 12% abandon their carts when the return policy is unclear or there is no return policy at all.

Comparison shopping (window shopping)

Customers can browse multiple stores to find what they want.

They compare prices, specs, return policies, and shipping options across stores to find the best deal.

Most of the time, they’ll add products to the cart, but abandon them and move on.

This has become another major reason for cart abandonment.

Payment methods

less payment methods increase cart abandonment

9% of users will leave an online store if it doesn’t have multiple payment options.

The majority of online shoppers look for their favorite payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay or Amazon Pay when they are shopping online.

They will switch to another store if the payment options are not acceptable to them.

Too many upsells

Upselling is an effective way to increase the average order value (AOV) by recommending compatible products during the buying process.

It can be unproductive to recommend unrelated products, add huge prices to the total, and offer products in a way that will only interrupt the buyer’s experience.

All can cause a buyer to get frustrated and leave without purchasing.

Slow websites

Users will frequently abandon carts when websites load slowly.

Cart abandonment rate is higher when websites load in 4 seconds or more. It can be as high as 75% for really slow websites!

There are a number of other factors that can contribute to higher cart abandonment such as unfriendly mobile sites, coupon codes not available or limited currency options.

Whatever the reasons are, let’s talk about some proven strategies to deal with them.

How to minimize cart abandonment (5 strategies for more revenue)

Although some cart abandonment is inevitable, you can take steps to reduce it.

The idea is to make the purchase as frictionless as possible. The easier it is for a customer to buy something, the more likely they are to do it.

A smooth buyer experience starts with an optimized website so let’s begin there.

1. Optimize your eCommerce website

Your online store should look good, be easy to navigate, be interactive, and load fast on any device.

Remember that 4 second limit from above? Aim for less than that if possible.

It all starts with choosing the right web host for your online store.

1.1 Fast, reliable and eCommerce-friendly hosting

greengeeks homepage

Choosing a web host is a crucial decision to ensure good performance.

In order to choose the right web host for your online store, it would be helpful to know the following technologies.

  • Linux or Windows: We suggest Linux. It’s very fast and efficient and offers features that Windows doesn’t provide, such as the famous cPanel. You can also set up your own free Linux cloud server to test everything before you launch.
  • Shared hosting: It is the most economical option out there. On such a server you share space with hundreds or sometimes thousands of websites. It’s moderately powered but ideal for beginners.
  • VPS server: A virtual private server is a better option than shared hosting because it gives you full access to your virtual space and more resources than shared hosting. A VPS can be managed or unmanaged. The latter is the perfect option for beginners.
  • Dedicated hosting: When it comes to performance and resources, dedicated hosting is the most efficient type of hosting. You get a complete server at your disposal which makes it a more expensive option. It also requires technical know-how to manage.
  • Cloud hosting: This hosting service is the best of both worlds. Even though it’s virtual, it’s more spacious and resourceful than VPS. It’s an ideal hosting option for big eCommerce stores and companies like Netflix.

Next, let’s look at an eCommerce-friendly theme that can help reduce cart abandonment.

1.2 Use an eCommerce-friendly theme

You can create any type of website with WordPress, either with the help of an AI Website builder such as ZipWP, or a drag-and-drop website builder like HubSpot. It’s just a matter of choosing the right theme.

A poorly optimized theme will slow pages down, which can contribute to higher cart abandonment rates.

Your theme should be fast and also support eCommerce activity.

50% of Americans tend to leave an online store if the checkout process takes longer than 22 seconds

When we talk about the best WordPress themes in town for eCommerce, Astra tops the list.

astra gift shop starter template

This award-winning theme is perfect for creating online stores.

Astra definitely isn’t short of features:

  • Code optimization makes Astra load fast in any environment
  • It only uses 50 KB, so it’s not a burden on the server
  • Vanilla JavaScript delivers fast performance across the board
  • It hosts Google fonts locally, which makes it even faster
  • The fact that Astra has 2.3 million active installations and thousands of 5-star reviews on WordPress.org is proof that people love it

If you want to know how well optimized Astra is, here’s a quick comparison to help you understand what you should expect.

Astra theme speed test results

Using Pingdom, we tested a freshly installed WordPress site (default theme) and tested it again after installing an Astra eCommerce store template.

In a third test, we also checked the loading speed after installing the SureCart eCommerce plugin.

SureCart is a cloud-based solution loaded with features and optimized for speed.

1. Freshly installed WordPress speed test result (no plugin installed).

fresh wordpress performance result on pingdom

2. Test result after installing Astra theme (no plugin installed).

Astra performance result on pingdom

3. Speed test after installing Spectra page builder and SureCart eCommerce plugin.

astra and surecart performance result on pingdom

Note: As you can see in the third image, even after installing Astra and SureCart, they don’t slow things down much.

1.3 Design and customization

Astra is completely customizable. It’s a great experience where you can easily build any website and customize it the way you want.

It’s compatible with all page builders, so you can design beautiful pages just by dragging and dropping elements.

Astra has an extensive template library that features over 240 Starter Templates.

Here’s a video that shows you how easy it is to start using Astra and customize your website.

1.4 Make the site mobile-friendly and easy to navigate

Stores that aren’t optimized for mobile can frustrate buyers and increase cart abandonment.

It’s critical that your eCommerce store loads fast and displays correctly on all devices.

We can’t ignore making our online store mobile friendly when nearly 60% of traffic comes from mobile devices!

The number of smartphone subscribers is expected to reach 6.8 billion by 2023.

Search engines recommend having a mobile version of your website since it’s one of their ranking factors.

Fortunately, most WordPress themes, including Astra, are mobile-friendly.

Every new website you build with Astra works seamlessly on any device.

1.5 Choose the right eCommerce plugin

Choose the right eCommerce Plugin

Whether you run a single product store or a marketplace, the choice of an eCommerce plugin is key to retaining customers.

Here are some top eCommerce plugins when it comes to features, performance and reliability.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is currently the number one plugin in the eCommerce space in terms of installations. There is no doubt that it comes with a lot of bells and whistles.

It is best suited for stores that sell physical products but by using addons, you can also sell digital products.

WooCommerce offers a marketplace for addons for any extra feature that you want for your store.

Here are some worthy addons you can use to improve the buyer’s journey.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads specializes in digital products. It comes with a number of features that you can use to sell downloadable items.

If you’re looking for more advanced options for payment and checkout, its premium marketplace is where you can find the right extension for your needs.

Here are some of its premium features you can use to optimize checkout process:

  • Personal: Multiple payment options such as credit / debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal Credit
  • Extended: Advanced payment methods including store credit, Authorize.net, multi-currency support, free trials, and conditional gateway support
  • Professional: Recommended products, recently viewed products and custom checkout fields
  • All Access Pass: Reward customers and benefit from fraud prevention

SureCart

If you want the best of both worlds, SureCart is the best eCommerce plugin you can use.

The most impressive aspect of this plugin is its cloud-based architecture that doesn’t require addons. Every feature you’re likely to need is built-in.

SureCart processes transactions on its secure servers, ensuring it contributes to the performance of your website.

You can sell digital and physical products. Its native payment options allow you to offer users a flexible payment plan, subscriptions and even pay what they like.

Here are a few key features you can use to optimize checkout:

  • Highly advanced payment system
  • Auto payment recovery
  • Fully customizable checkout forms
  • Customizable carts
  • Cart abandonment recovery tools
  • Advanced email system
  • SureTrigger support
  • Multi-currency support
  • Built-in guest checkout option
  • Customizable product pages (upcoming feature)

If you want to know which of these three eCommerce plugins best suits your needs, this hands-on comparison between SureCart vs EDD vs WooCommerce will be useful.

Note: With SureCart you can set up your online store instantly. If you want to see for yourself, here is a hands-on guide to setting up a SureCart store.

2. Create a seamless checkout experience

Simple checkout pages boost conversions. Distractions do the opposite.

Here are some tips for improving checkout pages to reduce cart abandonment.

2.1 Simplifying the checkout process

Keep the checkout page simple and to the point. The idea is to display only the things that matter.

You can skip fields like title, company name, or address line 2. They aren’t always necessary and can be distracting.

Additionally, you can disable the header and footer on checkout pages so things like menus and social buttons don’t distract users.

For instance, Allbirds makes comfortable shoes made from natural materials. Their checkout form is specifically designed to make the buying process as easy as possible.

allbirds simple checkout form

2.2 Provide multiple payment options

The more payment options you provide, the more likely people are to buy.

We all have our preferred payment method, so the more you accept, the more likely someone is to complete the purchase.

Here are some popular payment options to include:

  • Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Discover or Amex
  • With 432 million users, PayPal is pretty popular
  • Quick payment methods like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Amazon Pay are also popular

2.3 Offer guest checkout

best buy guest checkout

We mentioned earlier that making a customer register before a purchase can cause cart abandonment.

Offering guest checkout avoids that.

Note: SureCart can do two things with one move. It gives guests a seamless checkout experience while registering them automatically. Customers can create a password later in their user dashboard.

2.4 Show progress during checkout

Checkout processes that take too long can frustrate buyers. It’s even worse when they don’t know how many steps are left to complete the process!

You can deal with the situation with a progress bar.

It’s a visual guide showing them what steps they need to take.

3. Be upfront about fees

In general, people are comfortable paying shipping costs that match their expectations as long as they are clearly explained before checkout.

Make all charges clear and transparent and avoid adding fees to checkout where at all possible.

3.1 Offer free or low-cost shipping

Free or low cost shipping

Cart abandonment is hugely influenced by shipping costs.

An NRF study says 75% of online shoppers expect free delivery even on orders under $50.

Although stores have to pay for delivery, it’s still possible to offer free shipping.

You can absorb the cost and pay shipping from your profits or include the cost of shipping in the price of the product.

We suggest doing the latter!

free shipping example at crate and barrel

3.4 Make the return process easy and hassle-free

Almost 80% of shoppers check a store’s return policy before buying.

According to Baymard, 12% of users leave the shopping cart because of an unsatisfactory return policy.

Having a clear return policy that shows different return options is important – exchange, cash back, store credit or something else customers care about.

return policy

4. Build trust and enhance security

Trust is everything when it comes to online shopping.

Follow these steps to deal with cart abandonment when trust is an issue.

4.1 Provide detailed product information

The product page should tell the shopper everything they need to know about the product.

This page should have all the pertinent information, like:

  • Name of the product
  • A description that is accurate, creative, and informative
  • An overview of the product
  • High quality product images/galleries
  • Possibly a product video
  • Various customization options

Ledbury is a clothing brand aimed at men. They specialize in creating shirts for every occasion.

Look at their product page. It shows everything a buyer would like to know about their shirts.

ledbury product detail page

4.2 Display customer reviews

Reviews from previous customers matter a lot to first-time shoppers.

Over 80% of customers want to see what others are saying about the product before they buy it.

Provide a way for existing customers to share their feedback.

It’ll help build trust, which should reduce cart abandonment.

best buy customer reviews

4.3 Display trust badges

Displaying trust badges is an excellent way to show that everything is safe.

You can gain trust by showing these essential badges:

  • Payment badges: Customers see them when they’re about to pay. Badges like these encourage you to enter your card info securely
  • Security trust badges: Show visitors the website meets data security standards. With the help of third-party endorsement you can show badges for the protection from viruses, malware and data security.
  • Guarantee trust badges: Such badges give customers peace of mind that they can get their money back if anything goes wrong. Besides, they are also used to show price match guarantees, lifetime guarantees and other options.

5. Retarget and follow-up

Some level of cart abandonment is inevitable. Even if you use every suggestion here, you will still lose some purchases.

But lost doesn’t have to mean lost forever.

The following are some powerful strategies to get customers back on track:

5.1 Use retargeting ads to target abandoned cart shoppers

retarget ad to reduce cart abandonment

Ever notice how you see ads for products you selected on Amazon, but never bought?

That’s dynamic remarketing, or retargeting ads to get you back to where you were.

Retargeting ads can boost online sales by 20% and reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%.

5.2 Send abandoned cart email reminders

abandoned cart email reminders

You can get an ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.

If the customer filled out a form before they left, it’s likely they entered their email address.

Then you’ve got an excellent chance of getting them back if you send them an email within an hour of cart abandonment.

Follow up with up to two more emails if necessary.

A Klaviyo study found that three-email campaigns generated $24.9 million in revenue, compared to $3.8 million for just one email.

5.3 Offer incentives for completing the purchase

Incentivizing users is the most effective way to recapture abandoned carts.

In your follow-up emails, give shoppers something they can’t resist.

You can use the subject line to show a discount or coupon that will make them want to open your email.

Have you ever seen the subject line “Exclusive discount just for you”? That’s what we’re talking about.

5.4 Make the abandoned cart item easily accessible

You can help jog a shopper’s memory by showing them things they left behind in your followup email.

To make things more appealing, you can show one-line descriptions.

It will help them complete the process faster if there’s also a checkout button there too!

5.5 Utilize cart recovery tools

For more impressive campaigns, cart recovery tools provide pre-made email templates.

With SureCart you can recover orders customers couldn’t complete earlier with a built-in recovery tool.

As soon as it detects cart abandonment, it’ll start a predesigned email campaign for you.

Conclusion

When you are running an eCommerce store, you should know that cart abandonment is a part of the game.

Even if your products are highly desirable, you may still find that customers often abandon their carts.

The trend varies across industries and regions. By using data and different methods you can find out the causes of cart abandonment.

With the help of ever more advanced solutions, you can reduce cart abandonment and improve conversions significantly in your online store.

If you’ve successfully reduced cart abandonment with our tips, let us know which one worked best for you. Don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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