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How to Reduce Cart Abandonment? – 12 Proven Strategies

Reducing cart abandonment is essential as most of the abandoned carts are entirely preventable.

You must first understand that every abandoned cart is a lost opportunity to make a sale.

When customers abandon their carts, they’re telling you something important: there’s friction in their buying journey. They encounter a long checkout process or high shipping costs and decide to buy elsewhere.

In this blog, we list a detailed analysis of the reasons for abandoned carts and 12 proven strategies to reduce cart abandonment.

Let’s dive right in.

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment in ecommerce occurs when customers encounter any friction while purchasing the products.

This friction leads to poor customer experience and ends up with customers abandoning the cart.

Understanding the reasons for cart abandonment is the first step in preventing it.

Here are the reasons for the friction that leads to shopping cart abandonment in ecommerce:

High Shipping Costs And Unexpected Fees

58% of shoppers have abandoned a cart due to high shipping costs

Nearly half of the shoppers abandon their carts due to extra costs being too high.

Unexpected fees, such as handling charges, taxes, or shipping fees that are only revealed at the final checkout stage, can create a perception of lack of transparency.

High shipping costs can drive customers to look for alternatives. They may seek other online stores that offer lower or free shipping.

Complicated Or Lengthy Checkout Process

21% of shoppers abandon their carts because the process takes too long

Cart abandonment in ecommerce happens due to a lengthy checkout process that requires multiple steps and can be frustrating and time-consuming for customers. Because customers are not in for long-haul.

Here is what a complicated checkout process looks like:

  • Mandatory account creation
  • Multi-page form
  • Lack of multiple payment options
  • Slow loading times
  • No progress indicator

Lack Of Trust Or Payment Security

Many customers are wary of online transactions due to the risk of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Digital shopping cart abandonment happens if a website does not seem secure or lacks clear indications of security measures.

Also, if an e-commerce site uses an unfamiliar payment gateway, customers may feel uneasy about proceeding with the transaction​.

Poor website design signals unreliability. Elements such as broken links, unresponsive pages, and outdated designs can deter customers from completing their purchases.

Limited Payment And Shipping Options

Customers have diverse preferences for payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets (like PayPal, Apple Pay), and installment payment options.

When a preferred payment method is unavailable, customers are more likely to abandon their cart out of convenience, leading to ecommerce cart abandonment.

Limited shipping options may not meet customers’ expectations for speed or cost, leading them to leave the site without completing their purchase.

Online Window Shopping

Shoppers might add items to their cart to compare prices, features, and reviews before making a decision. They are not in immediate need of the products or planning to buy in the future.

Online shopping carts get abandoned when these customers often leave the cart without checking out as they continue their search for better deals or more information elsewhere.

Out of all the reasons, this one is less likely to prevent.

How To Calculate Cart Abandonment Rate?

The cart abandonment rate is a key metric for e-commerce businesses, as every abandoned cart represents a lost sales opportunity.

Here is the cart abandonment rate formula:

Cart Abandonment Rate=(1−Number of Shopping Carts CreatedNumber of Completed Purchases​)×100

When to take action?

  • A bad cart abandonment rate is typically above 75%​.
  • Rates exceeding 80% indicate significant issues in the checkout process and user experience​.

How To Reduce Cart Abandonment?

Reducing cart abandonment involves eliminating friction the customers face between the ‘Add-to-cart’ button and the ‘Buy’ button. These strategies show you how to do that.

Here are the ways to reduce cart abandonment:

  1. Have A Straightforward Checkout Process
  2. Enable Guest Checkout
  3. Display Clear Pricing
  4. Offer Multiple Payment Options
  5. Provide Clear Return Policies
  6. Offer Free Shipping
  7. Improve Mobile Experience
  8. Include Product Thumbnails In The Cart
  9. Use Exit-Intent Popups
  10. Provide Live Chat
  11. Use Trust Badges And Security Seals
  12. Add Progress Indicators

Let’s see these strategies to reduce cart abandonment in detail.

1. Have A Straightforward Checkout Process

Streamline the checkout process by reducing the number of steps required to complete a purchase. This includes:

  • Minimizing form fields
  • Enabling auto-fill
  • Using a single-page checkout
  • Implement progress bars

To reduce cart abandonment, design a simpler checkout process that minimizes friction, making it easier for customers to complete their transactions in a short time.

2. Enable Guest Checkout

To reduce cart abandonment, allow customers to check out without creating an account.

First-time visitors are more likely to complete their purchase if they don’t have to commit to creating an account.

Provide an option to create an account after the purchase is completed. This allows customers to store their information for future use without feeling pressured during their initial purchase and decreases the cart abandonment rate.

3. Display Clear Pricing

Customers feel more confident in the purchase process when they see the total cost from the beginning.

To reduce cart abandonment due to this issue, display estimated shipping costs on the product page or in the cart summary. Shopify recommends using geolocation tools to estimate shipping costs and display them as early as possible in the shopping process.

Calculate and display applicable taxes and any additional fees early in the checkout process. Clearly label these costs to avoid confusion.

Offer a detailed breakdown of all costs in the cart summary or checkout page. This should include item prices, shipping, taxes, and any other fees.

4. Offer Multiple Payment Options

When customers find their preferred payment method available, they are more likely to complete their purchase.

Integrate well-known payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Square into your checkout process to reduce cart abandonment. These gateways support multiple payment methods and are trusted by consumers worldwide.

5. Provide Clear Return Policies

Online shopping is filled with anxiety about whether or not the product will be good.

Place a link to your return policy in prominent locations on your website, such as the footer, product pages, and during the checkout process. Ensure that it is easy to find and access.

A hassle-free return process contributes to higher overall satisfaction and reduces shopping cart abandonment.

6. Offer Free Shipping

You can set a minimum order amount to qualify for free shipping. This not only improves satisfaction but also increases order value.

Use it as a promotional tool and ensure the customers are aware of it. Highlight it on the homepage, product pages, and throughout the checkout process to maximize its impact.

7. Improve Mobile Experience

According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than three seconds to load

To prevent cart abandonment, ensure that your website adapts to different screen sizes. A responsive design adjusts layouts, images, and content to provide a good viewing experience on any device.

8. Include Product Thumbnails In The Cart

Including product thumbnails helps customers easily identify if they have added the correct items to their cart, reducing the chance of errors and the need for returns.

Display product thumbnails in the cart, checkout page, and order confirmation emails. This consistent use of imagery helps reinforce the customer’s purchase decision at multiple stages and prevents cart abandonment.

9. Use Exit-Intent Popups

With timely and targeted exit-intent popups, you can capture the attention of customers who are about to leave your store without completing their purchase.

These popups often include special offers, discounts, or free shipping incentives that encourage customers to complete their purchases.

This last-minute nudge can be highly effective in converting hesitant shoppers and reducing cart abandonment rate.

10. Provide Live Chat

Customers who use chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who do not.

Live chat provides customers with instant help, addressing their concerns or questions without delay. This can prevent customers from leaving the site in search of answers.

You can use live chat to resolve technical issues, clarify product details, or assist with payment questions. This reduces the friction in the checkout process, provides a good customer experience, and decreases cart abandonment.

11. Use Trust Badges And Security Seals

These are visual cues that show the website’s credibility and security. They reassure customers that the site is legitimate and their data is protected.

To reduce abandoned carts, select trust badges and security seals from well-known and reputable organizations – SSL certificates, payment security badges, and site security seals.

12. Add Progress Indicators

To decrease cart abandonment, use a progress indicator to show customers how many steps are left to complete the checkout process. They are more likely to complete tasks when they can see their progress visually.

This gives customers a clear overview of what to expect, including the number of steps and their labels – Shipping Information, Payment Details, Review Order

Marketing Strategies to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Now, we have strategies to reduce and prevent cart abandonment, but what about those that have already happened?

You can recover those by reminding the customers about the abandoned cart and prompting them to finish the purchase.

Here are the 3 marketing strategies to reduce abandoned carts.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are the best cart recovery method to reclaim the lost sales tied in abandoned carts.

  • High Engagement Rate: Abandoned cart emails have an open rate of 45% – more than any typical marketing email. Out of that, 11% resulted in the recovery of the cart.
  • High Conversion Potential: An abandoned cart email campaign can recover up to 15-20% of lost sales.
Abandoned cart email statistics

These emails act as reminders, nudging the customers to return to the cart and finish their purchase.

To reduce abandoned cart rate, you should send 3-5 emails at well-timed intervals. Each cart abandonment email should focus on different pain points and the customer’s objections.

  • Email 1 – The gentle reminder (After 2 hours)
  • Email 2 – The attractive incentive (After 24 hours)
  • Email 3 – Evoking the urgency (After 48 hours)
  • Email 4 – Sharing the social proof (After 5-7 days)
  • Email 5 – The final call (After 10-14 days)

Retargeting ads

Retargeting ads remind customers of the abandoned cart items as they browse other websites or social media platforms.

Repeated exposure to retargeting ads keeps your brand top-of-mind and reduces shopping cart abandonment. Even if customers don’t immediately return to complete their purchase, they are more likely to remember your brand for future shopping.

You can run personalized retargeting ads that are targeted to customer’s browsing behavior and cart contents.

Use Google Ads or Facebook Ads to track customer behavior on your store and target them with specific ads based on their actions on your site.

Push notifications

Push notifications deliver instant messages directly to customers’ devices and capture their attention more quickly.

It can also be personalized based on user behavior, such as the items left in the cart.

Write concise and compelling messages that include a clear call-to-action (CTA). Highlight key details such as product names, prices, and any special offers or discounts.

How Retainful can help decrease shopping cart abandonment?

Retainful is an all-in-one email marketing software tailor-made for ecommerce. It is known for its robust abandoned cart recovery feature that turns abandoned carts into sales.

You can recover up to 30% of abandoned carts using Retainful’s:

Here is how Retainful’s cart abandonment recovery works:

  • Captures email addresses of the customer at the checkout.
  • When a cart is marked as abandoned, it will automatically send the first cart reminder email to the customer, including a unique one-click recovery link.
  • If the cart is not recovered, it sends the next cart recovery email in the series after the time delay you set.

Wrapping Up!!

Learning how to reduce cart abandonment is the first step in stopping huge revenue losses from abandoned carts.

With the above strategies to reduce shopping cart abandonment, you can eliminate all frictions in the checkout process that lead to abandoned carts.

If you are already having revenue tied in the abandoned carts, start sending abandoned cart emails to recover those.

Read more about recovering abandoned carts.

  1. WooCommerce Abandoned Cart: An Ultimate Guide
  2. How to Reduce Shopify Abandoned Carts? – Strategies + Apps
How to convert abandoned checkouts?

Send timely abandoned cart emails with personalized messages, offer discounts or incentives to encourage customers to complete their purchase.

How to retarget an abandoned cart?

Use retargeting ads on social media, send personalized emails with reminders of the abandoned items, and offer exclusive discounts or free shipping to prompt customers back to complete their purchases.

Why should marketers measure cart abandonment?

Measuring cart abandonment helps identify issues in the checkout process, understand customer behavior, improve the shopping experience, and ultimately increase conversion rates and revenue.

What will be your strategy approaching a customer who has an abandoned cart?

Send a personalized email within a few hours, include product images, offer a discount or incentive, provide a clear call-to-action, and ensure the checkout process is streamlined and user-friendly.

What is the abandoned cart recovery flow?

The recovery flow typically includes sending a series of emails or notifications: an initial reminder shortly after abandonment, a follow-up with an incentive, and a final reminder to create urgency.

What is the psychology behind cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment often occurs due to hidden costs, lack of payment options, complicated checkout processes, or simply hesitation.

How do I turn abandoned carts into sales?

Send automated abandoned cart recovery emails, offer time-limited discounts, simplify the checkout process, and provide multiple payment options to encourage customers to complete their purchase.

What is a normal abandoned cart rate?

A normal abandoned cart rate is around 69.57%, but rates can vary by industry, with some industries experiencing rates as high as 80%.

Is abandoned cart recovery worth it?

Yes, abandoned cart recovery is worth it. It can significantly increase conversions and revenue by re-engaging potential customers who have already shown interest in your products.