How to Shrink Cart Abandonment Rates

Cart abandonment rates affect eCommerce companies of all sizes. They’re no laughing matter.
Losing sales to abandoned carts can be an aggravating experience, particularly as cart abandonment rates begin to climb. You may struggle to eliminate abandoned carts altogether. However, there are steps that you can take to reduce their rate—and create a more consistent experience for customers.
As you look to shrink your cart abandonment rates, take these tips into consideration:

Make Shipping Costs and Fees Transparent

Do you charge for shipping? If so, it’s likely that your shipping costs are driving a significant portion of your abandoned carts. Customers have become increasingly conditioned to expect free shipping costs. Nine out of 10 consumers say that free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online.
Many shoppers expect merchants to build related costs into the price they see. Be warned: hidden shipping costs and fees that aren’t visible until the checkout screen can cause huge spikes in cart abandonment.
According to a Forrester study, 44 percent of online shoppers that abandon their carts do so because of shipping and handling costs. And that’s just one reason…check out the below graph:

Shoppers don’t like surprises. By removing any shocks, you’ll find that the customers that do fill their cart with products are more likely to follow through with their purchase.

Give Customers Multiple Payment Options

Giving customers multiple payment options can also lower cart abandonment rates. Put yourself in their position. If you loaded up your shopping cart and went through the checkout process…only to find that the company didn’t accept your preferred method of payment, wouldn’t you be likely to abandon your cart in search of an alternative? Maybe it was the only method that you could realistically use. You might not be able to complete your purchase, even if you wanted to.
This comScore study showed that 56 percent of online shoppers want to see multiple payment options at checkout. Each customer has their own preferred method, so it is important that you can identify the top methods based on your own internal data. Be sure to include all of the basic cards — Visa, Mastercard, American Express — and consider other methods like PayPal as well.

Use SMS Messages to Target Cart Abandoners

Ecommerce companies commonly send an email to shoppers with abandoned carts. But fewer companies use SMS to stay in contact with them. SMS text messaging represents the most common form of communication across the world today. It’s also one of the most effective ways to reach your customers.
According to, people open 98 percent of their SMS messages. Within three minutes of them being received, 90 percent have been read. Sending text messages ensures that you will be able to reliably reach customers that have abandoned carts. You could also take it one step further, delivering coupon codes (or similar) via this medium.

Allow for Guest Checkout

Asking your customers to create an account when they check out makes sense. But it also heightens the odds of cart abandonment. Guest checkout makes it easy for customers to complete transactions. The extra step required to create an account can make customers reluctant to complete the transaction. Today, 8 of the top ten retailers in the U.S. offer guest checkout. In fact, ASOS managed to cut its cart abandonment rate in half – simply by omitting any reference to creating an account during its checkout process.

Ask Customers Why They Didn’t Complete Their Order

Of course, it’s always possible to overlook certain issues that customers might run into while using your website. Don’t be afraid to reach out to cart abandoners—and ask them why they didn’t go through with their order. Their answers may be insightful. They might even alert you to a website or checkout process issue that you weren’t aware of.

Abandoned Carts and the Customer Experience

Abandoned carts mean lost revenue for eCommerce companies. Often, abandoned carts come down to customer experience issues. Simple things like not displaying your shipping prices until the checkout page, or requiring that new customers register an account, can seriously affect your cart abandonment rates and revenue. So give yourself an advantage. By implementing a few of our tips, you can help to shrink cart abandonment rates while providing a better experience for your customers.

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