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    Top 10 Strategies To Reduce Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

    9 minute read
    by: Doug Bonderud
    Top 10 Strategies To Reduce Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

    You’ve done audience research and created campaigns that target your ideal market. You’ve captured consumer interest, guided them to your website, and prospective buyers have put your products into their digital shopping carts.

    Given that just 2.5% of ecommerce customers move from interest to purchase per Kibo, products in carts mean this is a done deal, right? Not so fast.

    According to Statista, more than 69% of shopping carts are abandoned by prospective buyers before they make a purchase. Common culprits of cart abandonment include website malfunctions, sudden price jumps when taxes or other fees are calculated, and long shipping times that weren’t apparent from product pages.

    But it’s not all bad news. Cart abandonment rates (CAR) aren’t set in stone — with the right approach, brands can get more digital carts through more online checkouts. This post explores 10 strategies to keep carts rolling forward.

    By the Numbers: Regional CAR Trends

    While the global shopping cart abandonment rate hovers around 70%, there are regional differences in abandonment rates. As noted by 2023 Statista data, just over 79% of carts are canceled in North America and Europe. Meanwhile, in areas such as New Zealand and Australia, this number dips to 76%.

    Brands must also recognize that regional data doesn’t tell the whole story: Different countries have differing online priorities, which impact cart abandonment rates. For example, Santander Trade notes that Germans like to learn as much as possible about similar products from multiple brands before purchasing. If product pages and carts don’t match — if products are listed as in-stock on product detail pages (PDPs), but are shown as back ordered in carts, Germans won’t stay to make a purchase.

    Meanwhile, shipping costs are crucial to cart abandonment in the United Kingdom. According to U.K. payments platform provider Mollie, 55% of customers will abandon carts if shipping is expensive or delivery times are long. 

    10 Ways To Reduce Cart Abandonment

    While it’s impossible to capture every customer and check out every cart, the right strategies can reduce the risk of CAR. Here are 10 ways to keep carts rolling.

    1. Streamline the Checkout Process

    Friction in the checkout process can lead to full carts left stranded in digital aisles.

    Consider a customer who has found what they want, added it to their cart, and wants to check out. If they click the “checkout” button and your site returns a pop-up about add-on purchases or directs them to any webpage that isn’t the actual checkout, expect to lose the sale.

    There’s a simple rule here: Buttons, links, widgets, and other “clickables” should do exactly what they say they do. When customers click “checkout,” that’s what they want to do. Serve up something else, and you may lose them.

    2. Offer Transparent Pricing

    Price is a key consideration for shoppers. According to recent consumer research, 73% of buyers are now looking for discounts or free delivery.

    So, you can imagine their frustration if prices on product pages don’t match cart costs. To avoid this purchase pitfall, ensure pricing is always transparent.

    From PDPs to carts to checkouts, pricing should be clear and accurate. If there’s a delivery charge, mention it upfront. If taxes and import fees may change costs, make this clear ASAP. Buyers don’t want a bait-and-switch, even if it’s unintentional.

    3. Detail Return and Refund Policies Clearly

    What happens if items aren’t as advertised? What if they don’t fit or arrive damaged? Customers need to know their options for returns or refunds — how long do they have to return the item? Who pays for shipping? If a refund is required, how is it processed, and how much time will it take?

    By ensuring this information appears on product pages and is easily accessible within digital carts, brands can reduce their online shopping cart abandonment rate. Leave it out, and customers may opt out of purchases.

    4. Send Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails

    Sometimes, life happens. Shoppers could be in the middle of adding items to their shopping cart and suddenly be called away to handle work or family challenges, or they may simply take a purchasing pause to go do something else.

    The challenge? With so much going on, it’s easy for buyers to forget about carts. While this type of abandonment is accidental, it still negatively impacts revenue.

    Businesses can reduce the impact of abandoned carts by sending reminder emails after a certain amount of time has elapsed, such as a few days or a week. Although some customers will simply ignore the email, others will pick up where they left off.

    5. Implement Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

    Exit-intent pop-ups appear when users move their mouse cursors away from ecommerce carts. On mobile devices, they may be triggered by a period of inactivity or a specific movement, such as scrolling pages up instead of down.

    Think of these pop-ups as the last line of defense against cart abandonment. By offering a discount code or a gift with purchase, companies may be able to sidestep abandonment and still make sales.

    The caveat? It’s all about balance. One quick pop-up with a solid discount can boost sales numbers. Multiple pop-ups, each with a different offer, meanwhile, can actually increase CAR as customers become frustrated. 

    6. Offer Live Chat Support

    When prospective customers have a question, they want an immediate answer. For example, if purchase totals don’t match up with displayed product prices, buyers want to know why. If no data is forthcoming, they won’t stick around to spend more than they planned.

    Live chat support offers another option: Customers can connect with live support agents to get answers in real-time. Here, companies can benefit from the use of AI-driven chatbots. These tools are capable of understanding and answering basic customer questions and can also escalate queries to human support staff as needed.

    7. Optimize Website and Mobile Sites

    One of the top reasons that shoppers aren’t buying from your ecommerce site? Fifty-five percent say it’s because of bad product content.

    Sub-par content can take several forms:

    • PDPs that lack clarity and detail: If descriptions are confusing and product images are low quality, customers won’t stay.
    • Poor optimization: If web and mobile sites are hard to navigate and don’t deliver consistent performances, buyers won’t spend their time struggling when there are other purchase options available.

    In practice, this means creating clear, accurate, and high-quality product content, and ensuring that core web vitals such as page load speed and largest contentful paint (or LCP, which is how quickly the main content of a web page is loaded) are above average.

    8. Create Omnichannel Shopping Options

    Customers want the ability to pick up where they left off. This means that if they start filling carts on standard websites, they want cart details to carry over to their mobile devices. Brands can also increase customer options by providing the ability to purchase items directly through social media links.

    Put simply, the more options customers have to create and curate carts, the better.

    9. Offer Social Proof

    You have a great product, and you’re not shy about saying it.

    For savvy ecommerce customers, however, your word isn’t enough to make the sale. As a result, it’s worth collecting and displaying user feedback about your product on web and mobile sites, social platforms, and in communications such as sales emails or newsletters.

    Even not-so-favorable reviews can help your cause. Addressing customers’ concerns and attempting to resolve issues go a long way. Customers want responsive brands — prove you’re up to the task and reduce CAR.

    10. Personalize the Shopping Experience

    According to data from research firm McKinsey & Company, companies that provide personalized experiences generate 40% more revenue than their competitors.

    Achieving this goal requires a combination of first- and third-party data:

    • First-party data comes from customers themselves via surveys, feedback forms, and website accounts; and
    • Third-party data includes demographic or economic data.

    Together, these data sets can help brands design personalized experiences that bring customers back.

    From Cart to Customer

    Carts are the penultimate purchase step. Brands can do everything right — from engagement to interest to product placement — and still lose the sale if carts don’t meet consumer expectations.

    To reduce their shopping cart abandonment rate, companies need to see carts as a subset of the overall consumer experience. By putting in the time and effort necessary to make carts an experience rather than a means to an end, brands can eliminate common pain points and keep carts on track.


    Explore the Latest Consumer Research

    What’s making consumers tick as of late? Discover what’s driving consumer buying behaviors with Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” Report.


    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

    Consumer Research Report Discover what’s driving consumer buying behaviors with Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” Report. DOWNLOAD NOW