How can e-commerce businesses reduce shopping cart abandonment?

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shoppong cart

Whilst the popularity of online shopping has risen significantly due to the pandemic, shopping cart abandonment remains one of the most critical issues within e-commerce.

There are many reasons why a customer journey could result in shopping cart abandonment, though often this comes down to complicated processes or unclear policies.

This article discusses some of the reasons why customers decide to abandon carts and how e-commerce businesses can reduce their shopping cart abandonment rate.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a customer adds items to their shopping cart and then exits without proceeding with the payment.

Whilst shopping cart abandonment rates vary greatly depending on the retail sector, 2019 research from the Baymard Institute shows that the average abandonment rate was 69.57% and that the airline industry was most affected.

This figure means that around 2 out of 3 customers will leave their shopping carts and that e-commerce businesses are massively missing out on potential sales.

What are the reasons for shopping cart abandonment?

There are several reasons why shopping cart abandonment occurs, but it often comes down to unnecessarily difficult processes which complicate the customer journey. Some of these reasons are as follows:


  • The checkout process was confusing
  • Shipping costs are too expensive
  • Payments process doesn’t seem secure
  • Customers have found a better deal elsewhere
  • Limited payment methods
  • Unclear returns policy
  • Long delivery times
  • Slow website speed

How can I reduce my cart abandonment rate?

There are many components that e-commerce businesses must consider when it comes to making their customer experience as convenient as possible.

Let’s discuss how businesses can improve their online processes to help reduce their levels of shopping cart abandonment.

Clear costings

There’s nothing worse than when customers head to the checkout only to find that the total cost of their items is entirely different from what they had calculated.

Adding a hefty shipping cost at the final stage of the process is a nasty surprise for customers, especially if this hasn’t been made clear on your website.

Being upfront about shipping costs at the beginning of the customer journey means that there are no hidden charges to potentially shock the customer when they’re ready to make their payment.

Checkout progress indicators

E-commerce businesses must make their checkout process as painless as possible. A confusing layout can easily lead to customers feeling frustrated and abandoning their purchase.

It can be unsettling for customers when they are unsure of which step in the checkout process they are on.

With no visual guidance, it’s impossible to know how much more information they will be asked to complete.

Providing progress indicators at the top of the checkout screen is a useful way of showing the customer exactly where they are in the process. The indicators provide a visual cue of which step of the process they are on and how many steps remain.

Product thumbnails on the checkout screen

We’ve all had that moment where we’ve gone to pay for a product online and want to double-check that the correct product is in the cart.

When it comes to reducing shopping cart abandonment, it’s all about identifying ways to instil customer confidence through each step of the journey.

Providing a picture of the products on the checkout screen is a great way of reassuring the customer as they can see exactly what product they are about to purchase.

Optimise page speeds

A sure-fire way to encourage shopping cart abandonment is if your website has slow page speeds. Studies indicate that users are likely the leave sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.

There are multiple factors that can lead to slow page speeds, but often the main culprit is large image sizes.

There are many plugins available that can re-optimise your images, so the file size is reduced, but the quality is maintained.

Fixes such as this make a world of difference when it comes to user experience and will result in happier customers who can navigate around your online store much more quickly.

Trust marks

Cybersecurity has become a significant concern for consumers, and many will be wary of inputting their personal information and payment details onto a new website.

It’s vital that where possible, e-commerce businesses include trust marks as a means of reassuring their customers that they are safe.

Trust marks are when e-commerce businesses display logos of recognised payment, security and review sites to show customers that they are a secure site.

Examples of trust marks are displaying logos from companies such as PayPal, Trust Pilot, Verisign or Norton.

These are just a few examples of how you can instil confidence and make your processes more straightforward for customers and help reduce shopping cart abandonment.

If you feel as though your business’s order fulfilment process could also do with some refinement, then perhaps it’s time to look at outsourcing to a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider. Please do not hesitate to give Pointbid a call on 0121 326 7368 if you’d like to discuss what options are available.


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