5 Ways to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment


See if you can spot this the next time you’re at a discount store or supermarket: a cart, laden with any number of items, sitting forgotten in the corner. It’s a shopping trip, interrupted, with no way of knowing what made someone head for the exits without buying those goods. It is an unusual sight to see in the world of brick-and-mortar business, but in the ever-expanding world of online shopping, unfinished transactions are far too common.

If your eCommerce store has the pesky problem of goods not quite making it to Santa’s sleigh this holiday season, take some solace in knowing you’re not alone. On average, a whopping 60-80 percent of people who add products to a digital shopping cart don’t follow through on the purchase. In broad terms, that means you might be missing out on at least two-thirds of potential online revenue.

Checkout optimization can deliver immediate improvements to conversion and ROI without requiring a large investment. Below, we’ve laid out some proven tips that reduce eCommerce cart abandonment and keep customers clicking confidently all the way through “buy now.”


Keep selling all the way through conversion

A customer who’s stepped into the checkout line at his or her favorite clothing store doesn’t need a sales pitch. They’ve committed to making the purchase at that point. But that’s not always the case for online shoppers, who can (and often do!) remain undecided right up until they click “complete transaction.” Consider offering free-shipping deals, promo codes and other incentives to make the checkout process an inviting proposition that encourages an act-now mentality from the buyer.


Craft a follow-up email strategy

A follow-up email strategy, targeting site visitors who abandoned their digital cart, can help close sales. For some, all it takes is to be reminded of how interested they were in your product:

In the email, be sure to showcase your brand’s voice and personality to remind the customer what they like about the company or what drew them to your eCommerce store in the first place. Also, offer a way to reach customer support, because an unanswered question or two could be all that’s keeping them from committing to the sale.


Leverage social proof

Never ignore the potential of social influence to draw customers to your products. User reviews strengthen credibility and help a business stand out from a crowded field of competition. Know, too, that online shoppers do their homework: 92 percent of them consult online reviews before making a purchase.

And don’t let fully-satisfied customers go on to live their lives without first letting them help you draw others to your products! A study by Texas Tech University found “83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do.” Email requests as well as links and reminders on your website and social media posts help ensure positive feedback gets shared. In almost every instance, digital word-of-mouth does far more heavy lifting than any investment in advertising.


Add an exit popup

Prolong engagement through an exit popup. It will appear when someone tries to navigate away from your eCommerce store, offering an incentive to stay or giving them the option to join a mailing list to learn about future deals that just might convince them to buy.


Monitor Google Analytics

The data from Google Analytics offers insight into how visitors are interacting with the pages on your website, including where they are being lost as potential customers.

Examining “exit pages” can give you a better idea why people are clicking away. For example, if the majority of visitors abandoning their carts are using a smartphone, there might be a problem with your mobile layout or a glitch preventing transactions through devices.

It’s also important to note that a high bounce rate can have a negative impact on your website’s search ranking.


The Takeaway

Online shopping cart abandonment is, to some degree, inevitable and unavoidable. But you can keep the margins of lost revenue to a minimum by making your checkout system optimized and uncomplicated. Communicate clearly and honestly, offer value through the entire process, and, above all, keep it simple. Because, while there’s no way to bring back the person who abandoned their cart at your local grocery store, you can convince your next online shopper to circle back and click “buy.” By understanding and addressing your target audience’s expectations, you can turn reluctant browsers into decisive buyers.


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