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PixoLabo - 6 Simple Ways to Fix E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

How to Reduce E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

How to Reduce E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

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Updated September 2023

E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment is Increasing!

One of the biggest problems facing e-commerce owners is not how to attract potential consumers to their online store. The big question is to get online shoppers to complete their purchases! E-commerce shopping cart abandonment affects most e-commerce sites and is on the rise!

So, what is going on here? Why are online consumers not checking out their purchases?

In 2023, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 70.19%.

Baymard Institute

E-commerce shopping cart abandonment is exasperatingly commonplace. Research from the Baymard Institute shows that 70.19% of online shopping carts are abandoned.

In other words, for every ten customers who add an item to their shopping cart, seven leave without completing the purchase. According to Forrester, abandoned carts cost the e-commerce industry over $18 billion annually.

Most abandoned e-commerce shopping carts result from common e-commerce usability failures. Just like a cluttered and poorly organized brick-and-mortar store provides a lousy shopping experience, your e-commerce presence can be equally unappealing.

Whenever more sophisticated and demanding mobile consumers hesitate, they will leave your e-commerce store in favor of your competitors!

This post lists the sixteen most common turnoffs experienced by e-commerce consumers and simple solutions to overcome them.

Look and see if any of them sound familiar. Removing these obstacles on your e-commerce site can significantly reduce your e-commerce shopping cart abandonment. Potential online consumers will thank you for it!

PixoLabo - Common Reasons for E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

16 Common Reasons for E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

A confusing website interface or too many checkout steps frustrates shoppers and gives them time to second-guess their purchases.

1 – Obscure Navigation

Nothing will frustrate online consumers more than poor site navigation. Therefore, offering an intuitive navigation menu that clearly shows product categories and links to the shopping cart and checkout pages is essential.

To further reduce e-commerce shopping cart abandonment, offer online shoppers a way to narrow their search through cost, size, or color options.

2 – Impossible-to-Find Products

Modern mobile consumers are ever more impatient and demanding! They expect to find the products they are looking for quickly. At a minimum, you must provide them with a clean and well-organized shop page or pages outlining all your products.

Prominent site search functionality is essential as well. Be sure your site search can handle long-tail semantic search phrases and autocompletes their search query. As voice search gains popularity, you must ensure your online store is ready.

3 – Hidden Calls to Action (CTAs)

Online consumers need encouragement to take the action you want them to. For modern consumers, arriving on an e-commerce site with missing or confusing CTAs is like being on a scavenger hunt without clues! They will get frustrated, lose interest, and find something else to do. Which means they will abandon their cart and shop at your competitors.

4 – Mandatory Account Creation

Account creation demands extra effort. Consumers might not see the point, especially if they only plan on making a one-time purchase. However, businesses often insist on account creation to retarget customers with emails and boost lead generation.

First-time buyers may not wish to disclose their email addresses or allow the company to store their credit card information. From the customer’s point of view, creating an account also means remembering yet another password.

5 – No Discounts or Promo Codes

Many e-commerce businesses offer first-time buyers coupon codes or other account creation incentives. If you don’t offer incentives and your competitor does, your customer may take their business elsewhere.

6 – Restrictions on Product Quantity

Shoppers don’t want to add items to their cart only to find out later that they can’t buy them because of restrictions on how much each person can purchase or limited product availability.

If a product is running low or you’re restricting item quantity on purpose, make this clear on the product page — don’t surprise customers at checkout.

7 – Comparison Shopping

The ease of comparing prices and products from different brands online means that at any time, customers can find an identical or similar product from a competitor in just a few clicks.

If the competitor’s offer is more enticing — discount codes provided or faster shipping — your would-be customer will abandon their purchase. Therefore, it’s helpful to periodically review what your competitors offer, especially during peak shopping season.

PixoLabo Slow Page Load Speed

8 – Site Speed Issues

If your site has a confusing interface or is laggy, people lose confidence in your product or service.

According to a web credibility study, 75% of people judge a company’s credibility based on its website. 94% of site first impressions are design-related. Remember to upgrade your website uptime and availability commensurate with the peak shopping season.

Also, run cross-browser and cross-device tests to ensure your online store works correctly on different browsers and devices. You can use Google Analytics to find reports on website performance across devices: Audience > Technology > Browser & OS or Audience > Mobile > Devices.

9 – Frustrating Checkout

Once in checkout with an intent to purchase, customers can be deterred by checkout forms, which can take too long to complete or may be confusing for users.

Maybe you offer the best products, quality, and value on the market and provide an exceptional e-commerce user experience. However, online consumers will abandon their shopping cart unless your checkout process is fast, simple, and secure.

An ideal checkout flow is a smooth, frictionless experience. The typical checkout process is as follows: shopping cart > billing info > shipping info > shipping method > preview order > payment > confirmation.

A checkout flow that does not follow a logical sequence of steps can deter customers. So will requiring too much information to complete the purchase, such as the customer’s phone number, date of birth, or gender.

Well-designed forms help reduce user effort and make the purchase process look easier to complete (which is also very important).

10 – Lack of Payment Options

Customers desire various payment options due to widespread concerns over data breaches and the prevalence of contactless payment systems (think smart watches and digital wallets).

Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and other digital wallets let customers shop online without surrendering their credit card information to retailers they might not trust.

Many ecommerce stores also offer interest-free buy now, pay later plans (also known as “post-purchase payments”) through third-party providers like Klarna, which makes it easier for customers to afford larger purchases.

11 – Payment Security Concerns

Red flags like outdated website design, no SSL certificate, an unfamiliar brand name, or an unfamiliar payment gateway can dissuade customers from purchasing.

According to Baymard Institute, 18% of consumers are reluctant to surrender their credit card details to ecommerce sites they don’t trust.

A lack of social proof — reviews, testimonials, and other user-generated content — makes it hard for customers to trust you.

12 – Unexpected Shipping Costs

Nothing turns shoppers off more than seeing unanticipated fees tacked on at checkout.

A study by Baymard Institute found that 48% of shoppers with actual purchase intent (i.e., those who aren’t window shopping) abandoned shopping carts because the extra costs (shipping, taxes, and fees) were too high.

Customers will almost always embrace choices that allow them to save money. Survey shopping cart experiences for these shoppers reflected those sentiments. Money-saving behavior included selecting a longer shipping option to save money (46%) and abandoning an order because shipping costs were too high (36%) or because sales tax was too high (7%.)

13 – Longer than Expected Delivery Times

In 2023, the gold standard for delivery is two days.

Research shows that only 33% of shoppers who opt for fast shipping are willing to wait more than three days for their orders to arrive. If brands do not offer a wider variety of delivery options, they risk losing nearly 7 out of 10 customers.

Some e-commerce stores don’t reveal an item’s expected delivery time until checkout. Delivery time is typically contingent upon the customer’s location, especially for businesses that ship overseas.

Delivery times also depend on the item in question, however. Custom items will naturally take longer as they are made to order. Perishables and household items should be delivered quickly to guarantee food hygiene because customers typically order them urgently. By contrast, delivery windows for consumer durables such as furniture are looser.

14 – Ambiguous Return and Refund Policy

Shoppers who purchase items online assume a degree of risk because they can’t see and touch the product before they buy. Customers need reassurance that they can obtain a refund or return the item in case of a defect or if it isn’t up to snuff — especially for big-ticket purchases.

Offering a liberal return policy or a longer return window inspires trust.

15 – Forgotten Customer Queries

Make it easy for your potential and existing customers to contact you. Display your contact info, including phone number, email address, and social profile links. Be sure to respond to customer comments and questions quickly. Consider adding live chat functionality or an exit pop-up to reduce e-commerce shopping cart abandonment at the crucial stage.

16 – Ignoring Abandoned Carts

Don’t despair if you lose a sale. E-commerce shopping cart abandonment is not the end of the world. It is always possible to re-engage with online consumers and entice them to return to your online store and complete their purchase.

Sometimes, shoppers will still abandon their carts even with a well-designed, super-smooth checkout and all the necessary information and help.

When this happens, many customers can still be tempted back to checkout using cart abandonment emails or SMS abandonment messages.

Consider emailing users who abandoned their shopping carts and remarketing them with ads for items they have shown interest in.

PixoLabo - Avoiding E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Reducing E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

1 – Create a Solid Refund and Return Policy

Being overly lenient with refunds and returns can eat your profit margins, but it helps build trust — especially if you’re a new business selling an expensive item.

The standard return window for most retailers is 30 days. Generally, most online retailers do not accept refunds for custom items — but don’t enforce this unflinchingly. If a customer’s order is incorrect or defective due to an error on your part, you should honor them with a refund or risk the reputational damage of a negative review.

2 – Optimize Page Load Speeds

Keep a close eye on site availability and uptime, especially during peak seasons. Slow page load speed can seriously dent your conversion rates. 

According to a recent study by Browser Stack, 64% of dissatisfied shoppers do not revisit a slow website. 70% of consumers indicate that page speed influences their purchasing decisions from online retailers. Each additional second of load time decreases conversion rates by an average of 4.42% (in the first five seconds).

3 – Offer Live Chat Support

When customers have a complaint or question, they want a reasonable resolution. Live chat support allows them to have their query answered promptly, thereby assuaging any concerns they might have that would preclude a purchase.

Remember that live chat implies near-instantaneous responses, so don’t offer this feature unless you can deliver. According to Gitnux, the average response time can vary from company to company, but generally, it’s around 3-5 minutes. A good standard to strive for is a response time under 1 minute.

Outside of business hours, you can have a chatbot take over; however, give customers the option to request assistance from an actual human if their issue remains unresolved.

4 –  Offer Guest Checkout

Making shoppers register and create an account before they enter checkout can be a barrier to purchase.

It seems like extra effort for shoppers, and for this reason, it can be a point at which customers decide it’s too much hassle to go ahead and complete the purchase.

When it’s unnecessary (some sites, such as online groceries, have a stronger case for registration), avoiding this barrier and offering guest checkout options makes sense.

5 –  Show a Persistent Reminder of Cart Contents

As they check out, customers may have doubts about costs or whether they’ve chosen the correct size or product.

Sometimes, shoppers add multiple items to their carts and forget what they buy. Or they select a customizable item (e.g., a shoe in various colors and sizes) and want to ensure they selected the correct specs.

People often delete the item from their cart, return to the product page to double-check the specs, and never complete the purchase. Including a product image plus a summary of key product specifications provides reassurance.

Showing a cart summary throughout helps shoppers to see that their order is correct before they finish the checkout, and means they won’t need to leave the checkout to check anything.

6 – Simplify Navigation Between Cart and Store

Users should be able to toggle between cart and store in a single click. This way, they can do so quickly if they want to add items to their cart or reconfirm an item’s specs before checking out.

Ensure they can access product pages from within the checkout flow (the items listed in the register should have clickable URLs).

7 – Include Progress Indicators on the Checkout Page

Progress bars are an excellent UI tool because they tell users how many more steps remain in a user flow. This functionality creates a sense of momentum that reduces the likelihood of someone dropping off due to an unnecessarily protracted checkout process.

A nearly completed progress bar also provides visual reinforcement for shoppers to proceed with their purchase because they can see how much they’ve already invested in checkout. You can also include a simple cart reminder or notification on your website.

For example, if a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t initiate the checkout flow, you can set a pop-up to remind customers that they haven’t completed the purchase.

8 – Offer to Save Cart Contents 

Some cart abandonments may just be temporary. People may want to consider a purchase, be interrupted, or perhaps want to consult family or friends.

In cases like this, saving cart details for later makes it easy for them to return to complete a purchase, removing the hassle of selecting items and options over again.

9 – Be Clear About Total Costs

Finding ‘hidden’ costs within checkout is a common reason for abandonment. A Baymard survey found that 21% bailed out because they could see or calculate the total order cost upfront.

For many sites, it’s easy enough to show delivery and other charges on product pages as customers decide to buy.

For sites in the US, delivery charges may vary according to location, making it more challenging to be clear to shoppers.

There are options, though, such as displaying a shipping calculator on product pages, which allows shoppers to enter a zip code to see costs.

10 – Include Strong CTAs on Checkout Pages

Users will abandon their carts if the next step in the checkout process isn’t clear.

Highlight the next step in the payment process using calls-to-action that tell the user what to expect.

Make sure the CTAs for each step are distinct and use familiar wording — don’t try to be original or cutesy. For example, after “Add to Cart,” the next call-to-action should be “Buy Now” to initiate the checkout flow.

Make it clear that users can review their purchase before hitting the final “Confirm and Pay” button.

11 – Show Total Savings at Checkout

If customers use a promo code or a first-time buyer discount, show how much has been deducted from the original price. Showing these savings makes customers feel they’re getting a good deal, and they will be less likely to have misgivings.

Time-limited sales also create a sense of urgency, especially if you display a countdown.

Emerging E-commerce Trends: New Payment Options

12 – Provide Multiple Payment Options

Payment options can make or break a purchase, and providing choice enables retailers to appeal to varied customer preferences.

Customers want to use their preferred payment method, especially if it’s more convenient and means they don’t have to enter their billing information every time they purchase from a new brand. Find out what payment options your customers prefer and offer the right integrations.

Debit and credit card payments are still popular, but various alternatives have emerged recently. In addition, payment habits vary a lot between different markets.

Offering various payment options is essential to reduce e-commerce shopping cart abandonment.

Klarna and other buy now, pay later options can effectively overcome customer objections and reduce abandonments at this stage.

Some payment methods can speed up checkout and make checkout much easier for shoppers.

For example, PayPal and other methods that use saved customer details (Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, etc.) only require shoppers to enter an email address and password, enabling them to ski address and payment entry.

For mobile shoppers, methods like Google and Apple Pay can reduce mobile checkout to a few seconds, thanks to Touch or Face ID.

13 – Use Trust Symbols to Reassure Customers

Showcasing Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliance and other safety seals help reassure shoppers that you will keep their profile and details safe through to order completion.

All businesses that transact via credit card must abide by these standards to minimize the chances of data breaches involving customer’s credit card information.

14 –  Provide a Choice of Delivery Options

Shipping times and prices can play a big part when customers decide to buy.

One reason for abandonment is that many sites wait until shoppers head to checkout before showing actual shipping costs.

This delay means some customers may add items to find the actual costs or intend to buy before being deterred by higher delivery charges.

Choice also matters. Some shoppers want free or low-cost delivery, while others are more concerned about speed and convenience.

Therefore, sites must try to provide a mix of delivery options to cater to customer preferences.

15 – Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping reduces the purchase cost, making people less likely to reconsider, especially when it comes to impulse buys.

According to the “2023 State of Shipping Report” from e-commerce shipping software provider Shippo, 62% of surveyed consumers say they won’t purchase with an online retailer in 2023 if free shipping is not offered.

According to Jungle Scout, 66% of American consumers expect free shipping on all online orders, while 80% expect free shipping when ordering a specific dollar amount of products.

16 – Offer Security Reassurances 

Some shoppers may worry about the security of their payments during checkout, so it can help to offer a little reassurance.

In general, brand trust combined with a well-designed and usable website will do much to reassure customers, but there are other options.

In general, a site that looks good and is easy to use will help to build customer trust, but there are other ways to offer reassurance.

Some sites also display security trust marks from brands like Norton and Verisign. Trust signs can help improve customer confidence, especially for visitors unfamiliar with your brand.

17 – Utilize Exit-Intent Pop-ups

An exit pop-up is a type of website overlay that displays when the user attempts to navigate away from the page to convince them to stay. Exit intent technologies track the movement of the user’s mouse on the page.

If the cursor leaves the active area of the browser (the actual content window in the middle of the page), the pop-up is triggered. You can customize the messaging based on the type of user or the webpage they’re viewing.

For customers who have added products to their shopping cart, the exit pop-up can offer an incentive or discount code to convince them to close the deal.

18 – Use Retargeting for Cart Abandoners

Retargeted ads give shoppers a friendly call to action to finish their purchases. Investigate the top root causes for cart abandonment. This way, you can personalize the ad and create templates for the most common scenarios.

If the problem is shipping costs, offer free shipping. Tailored content makes consumers 40% more likely to engage with ads and make a purchase. Start by reminding shoppers they have abandoned their cart with a friendly CTA to finish the purchase. Ads should cover both web and social, so use multiple retargeting channels.

19 – Send Personalized Follow-up Emails

An abandoned cart email campaign should include a friendly nudge reminding customers of what’s in their cart (including an itemized list with clickable URLs). Include further product recommendations for similar or complementary items, such as accessories, in your email templates.

Possibly, they abandoned their cart because they didn’t quite find what they were looking for, so recommending other items in a reminder email can be helpful. If they’re a first-time visitor, offer an incentive or discount code.

If they’re not ready to purchase, use cart abandonment and recovery emails to invite them to sign up for your newsletter to receive offers or see the most recent products.

How you can reduce e-commerce shopping cart abandonment

How You Can Reduce E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

For a long time, ‘being online’ has not been enough. Delivering exceptional mobile-first user experience is fundamental to mobile consumers, who expect convenience, speed, and accessibility across every channel. And building an effective e-commerce website is only the beginning.

In 2023, you must continuously monitor your online store and enhance the shopping experience of your target consumer. More and more consumers purchase online. Online retailers who keep an eye on emerging trends and the strategies of their peers and rivals are reaping the most significant e-commerce rewards.

To maintain success and achieve growth, you must continually test ways to optimize your conversion rates. Offer usability convenience across all mobile devices and maximize every opportunity to engage with your target customers. Only by doing so will you be able to reduce e-commerce shopping cart abandonment and increase online sales.

Now that you know the frequent contributors to e-commerce shopping cart abandonment, it is time to remove them from your e-commerce site. Begin with the most critical items on our list and work until you eliminate all obstacles.

E-commerce shopping cart abandonment is a significant concern for almost every e-commerce site owner. Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate can take time and effort, and many e-commerce retailers are hesitant about where and how to get started. Removing the above shortcomings is a great way to start.

E-commerce shopping cart abandonment is preventable to some degree. Optimizing your website, providing an easy-to-navigate shopping experience, and varied payment options decrease the likelihood of attrition.

However, in some cases, you cannot recover abandoned carts. Examine your conversion funnels to distinguish between the window shoppers (those who leave before initiating the checkout flow) and the customers with purchase intent who drop off due to friction on your website.

You should be able to handle most of these on your own. However, some may require additional help from your web designer or developer. If you don’t have a web designer or developer, here are a few tips for finding your ideal web design partner. If you can or unwillingly do this on your own, we are here to help.  

Are you confused by e-commerce shopping cart abandonment?

Still Confused By E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Are your online sales not meeting expectations? Does your e-commerce store have a high rate of e-commerce shopping cart abandonment? Our professional e-commerce designers will be happy to help you with this. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.

Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your e-commerce web design needs, reach out to us! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.

And if you are unsure how to optimize your e-commerce product pages for better search rankings, let’s talk! We will listen to you, answer your questions, and help you attract, engage, and convert more online consumers!

Why not get started by requesting your free estimate?

Our team will listen to your concerns, analyze any problems and obstacles that stand between your audience and your e-commerce website, and how to overcome them. That way, you can focus on running and growing your online business. Does that sound good to you? Then why not contact us now?

Do You Suffer from Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Is e-commerce shopping cart abandonment a significant concern for you? If so, what are you doing to reduce your cart abandonment rate? Do you have any other tips or suggestions for reducing shopping cart abandonment? We would love to know about them.

Please share them with our audience in the comments. Don’t forget to grab our feed so you don’t miss any updates. And help any online business owners among your friends and associates by sharing this post with them.

For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, explaining how to write compelling product descriptions that sell, is an excellent place to start!)

Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO

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