5 Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Online shopping cart abandonment rates vary across industries, though data from research firm Listrak places the current average rate at 81 percent – up from 75 percent for the prior six-month period.

Needless to say, if your business sells products and services online, the vast majority of visitors who place an item in their cart fail to complete the purchase, sacrificing untold revenue dollars each year.

In a previous blog, we explored some of the more common reasons for cart abandonment, including unexpected costs, lack of consumer trust with regard to security, and hosting a non-mobile-friendly website, among others. Here, we’ll explore additional factors that may contribute to cart abandonment, as well as solutions to mitigate them.

1. Some Customers Conduct Research With No Intent to Buy … Yet

With nearly endless vendor options and paths to purchase, savvy consumers will likely conduct extensive research on a product before opening their wallets. When a consumer places a product in their shopping cart and then abandons, it may just be part of the consideration stage of the buying cycle – and they’re likely doing the same with your competitors. In fact, according to a SeeWhy report, as many as 99 percent of first-time visitors won’t convert on their first visit, but 75 percent of those visitors who abandon do so with the intention to eventually buy.

Solution: Offer a price-match guarantee designed to target those visitors who don’t perceive your product as more or less valuable than your competitors’, and whose primary buying criteria is price. It’ll offer a chance to tip their interest in your company’s direction. Or, build out a remarketing campaign targeting ad spend against keywords that consumers have already searched for.

2. Keep the Checkout Process Clean and Simple

Ecommerce is truly a buyer’s market, especially given the increasing number of resources that consumers have at their fingertips. A frustrating or overly complicated checkout won’t keep your visitors on-site for long, so keep the process as clear and simple as possible. We’ve already discussed the importance of mobile and tablet optimization, but how else can you streamline the process?

Solution: The number of form submissions required of your visitor should secure enough information to complete the purchase, but not so many that it becomes an overwhelming or intrusive process. You certainly want enough customer data to gain deeper insight into their buying habits and to leverage for repeat business campaigns, but you don’t want the purchase process to become a deterrent to the purchase itself.

In addition to keeping your pages fast, clean and easy to navigate, include a progress indicator on your page, so a visitor knows exactly how far they are in the purchase process, and how far they still have to go.

3. Keep Coupons and Promo Codes In-house

Consumers continuously look for the best price, and the availability of coupons and other promotions keep their interest piqued. Many third-party sites like Groupon and Retail Me Not offer coupons and deep discounts for online retailers. But unfortunately, forcing consumers to look elsewhere for savings directs them off your site, and you run the risk of visitors never coming back (up to 8 percent of all visitors, according to Statista).

Solution: The nature of paying full price makes consumers feel like they’re not getting the best price. Therefore, include an auto-apply coupon or discount of the week, or consider selling a featured product for less than the normal price, for a limited time. Consumers will be more likely to see value in your product, which will ultimately increase the chance of conversion.

4. Real-time Customer Service

While conducting product research in preparation for a buying decision, consumers will likely have a series of questions around price structure, product functionality and subscription options. If your company’s FAQ page falls short, this may increase the likelihood of cart abandonment. Some 83 percent of visitors say they’d prefer on-site help, and 51 percent said they’d be more likely to make a purchase decision if they had on-site support, according to a LivePerson report.

Download the ebook: Retaining Subscribers & Optimizing the Renewal Process

Solution: Site visitors who are able to have a phone conversation or face-to-face Skype experience with a product expert will be better informed around their buying concerns. Offer real-time customer service over the phone, as well as a message system on your site, so visitors feel fully informed around the product you’re offering.

5. Increase Payment Options

As younger, tech-savvy consumers control more and more buying power, merchants would be wise to host as many payment options as possible. The fewer payment options your company offers, the likelihood of cart abandonment increases. In fact, some 25 percent of U.S. online shoppers abandon their shopping carts because their preferred payment wasn’t an option.

Solution: In addition to the standard credit and debit payment options, make other methods available – particularly those that are popular in specific regions. The fewer payment obstacles standing between your visitors and a purchase, the more likely it is that a visitor will complete the transaction.


The key to decreasing your company’s cart abandonment rate is knowing why the cart is being abandoned in the first place. Design your payment process around what your visitors need to know, what they want to know, and reduce the number of obstacles they have on the path to purchase using the tips above.

Kyle Shamorian is the content marketer for cleverbridge.