How to Reduce Ecommerce Cart Abandonment

Article Overview

The biggest problem e-commerce websites commonly have is customers abandoning the shopping cart during the buying process or even worse leaving the cart, the second before they buy. Following are 10 helpful tips that will reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates and help increase online sales.


Know the path your customers take. Customers can get distracted very easily. They go to other parts of your website, close their browser by mistake, pop up windows, internal phone calls, the list goes on and on. Basically, anything can grab the attention of the online shopper away from making the actual purchase. You have to minimise the friction points that will trap customers, put speed bumps in their way, keeping them from the buy button.

1) Ecommerce Shipping Costs. Show these costs upfront. Never be afraid of what they will think. It is a lot better to be transparent from the beginning. If they think it is too expensive they wont buy anyway, no matter where they are in the conversion process. So it’s best to be very clear about these in advance. Be upfront, just like Ebay is in their approach to shipping costs.

2) Hidden Fess. No one likes hidden fees. Especially when it comes to shopping online. This is why banks are always drumming the words ‘no hidden fees’ in their commercials and on their website. Be very clear throughout your ecommerce site that there are absolutely no hidden fees what so ever. Getting they buyer to make a purchase and then slugging them with a hidden fee, will just loose you credibility and trust. Most likely, they will buy elsewhere.

3) Account creation. Never force a sign in. Let them check out as a guest and give them the option, if they like, of creating an account. If a customer wants to buy from you, let them. Making them create an account prior to this may annoy them. Give the customer the freedom to make their purchase and if you want to get their details, give them the option of creating an account ONLY after they buy. That is, after the transaction has been fully completed. Don’t put unnecessary hurdles in their path. If they have spent money with you, and are happy with the product, then chances are they will want to create an account. A passive approach to this is the best option. Test this out and see the difference this makes to buy conversion rates.

4) Sell Effectively. Place urgency on the product and entice your customers to buy before stocks run out. Have limited supply buttons or stock clearance icons to get the users to make that purchase. Tell customers to buy now rather than later. Put a deadline on it.

5) Limit the amount of steps needed to buy. How many steps are there from purchasing decision to purchasing success? When you buy a product from a retail outlet the process is generally very simple. The same should apply to your ecommerce shopping cart. Keep the steps down to a maximum of 2 for better sales conversions. The less pages for the check out process, the better. One page for the product and check out page is ideal. A rule of thumb is the more number of steps you need to do, the greater the likelihood of site abandonment.

6) Payment Options. Display the cards that you have. Don’t feature credit cards that you don’t accept. Also, a good idea is to feature third party security features to push the trust and safety factor.

7) Track Your Customers Down. If a customer is on your website but doesn’t buy, there is a good chance that if you market to them, they may come back to make a purchase. This is called remarketing and is becoming more popular. You can organise this via google remarketing. What happens is that when a customer leaves your site a ‘cookie’ is added to their browser and this is tags them to say they have abandoned the cart. From there visual prompts will pop when they search on other sites to remind them to come back to your site. Google remarketing is linked to your adwords campaign.

8) Is your page loading fast enough? You want people to get into the site as quick as possible. Check all images, text and tables to ensure that load times are speedy. Keep file sizes small. Remember website speed has a direct relationship to online conversion rates. The slower the web speed the higher the website exit rates and vice versa.


9) Fear of infection. People are becoming increasingly fearful of online viruses and internet security, especially when it comes to handing over credit card details. People want reassurance that the information they provide you is safe and secure. Display secure icons near all call to action buttons. Third party SSL certificates, and authentication services are the best solutions for this. If you have an ecommerce site then you should already have a SSL certificate. Make sure this is clearly displayed.

10) Set up web funnels. Implement Google analytics to see where customers are leaving your site. Focus on pages that users are exiting the most and try to improve these on page conversions. Either through graphics or content.

Are people deserting your website and leaving your shopping cart?

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