How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

Shopping Cart Abandonment rates are a real issue for online retailers. Learn what drives them and what steps you can take to reduce their impact and increase your eCommerce conversions.  

Your eCommerce Website will survive only on conversions. Make no mistake large amounts of genuine website traffic is always a good indicator your demand generation strategy is doing its job. But your website conversion rate is the most accurate means of assessing the performance of your eCommerce site and indeed its purpose… to generate sales!

In this article, we look at a number of factors that are the cause of the problem and how to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

Did you Know?

70% of eCommerce Shopping Carts are abandoned!

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

We know how crucial it is that our clients get the maximum return on investment on their digital platform so we identified ten reasons we know drive high abandonment rates on eCommerce checkout processes. 

10 Reasons Why People Abandon Their Carts: 

  • Some people are hit with unexpected costs.
  • Some have no purchase intent and are just browsing.
  • Some browsers found a better price somewhere else.
  • The price of the product range was too high. 
  • Some just decided not to buy.
  • The website navigation was too complicated. 
  • The website keeps malfunctioning and is not allowing the process to be completed.
  • Check out process takes too long.
  • Excessive payment security screening.
  • Website integrity and payment security is totally secure. 

Other reasons?

The lack of customisation features in the buying experience. 

Giving control to customers can be a great way to drive more engagement on your website. Product configurators are well known to deliver a more exhilarating experience in the buying journey for customers, but did you know they can also significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment rates by up to 15%? 

Allowing your customers to develop their own product variations only adds to a more enriching website experience. Product configurators can provide such customisation. Users are able to view their own creation in a 3D environment, seeing the product at different angles, moving it around and being able to zoom in and out to see the finer detail provides the user with the ability to design to their specific needs. Once the final version is decided the will to purchase is even higher so it’s guaranteed to reduce an exit-intent by the user. Product configurators drive customers to make decisions faster which reduces the reason for them to drop an item from their shopping cart or abandon altogether. 

10 Ways to Reduce Abandonment Rates.

1. Integrate ‘Exit Intent’ technology.

2. Keep your website navigation simple!

3. Provide clarity with your landing page design.

4. Build trust in your payment process.

5. Keep your checkout process transparent with no surprises!

6. Streamline your check out process…Keep it simple!

7. Offer a guest check out.

8. Allow users to save shopping cart items.

9. Emphasise your key benefits.

10. Leverage your email marketing.

1. Integrate ‘Exit Intent’ Technology. 

We have all experienced this in some shape or form when searching for a product online and have rolled through a number of websites that have delivered Pop-Up message (with an incentive) for you to stay longer. These are ‘Exit Intent’ technologies that activate when a user clicks outside the active area of the browser indicating that they want to exit the page. As the reasons for shopping cart abandonment would indicate above, unexpected high shipping rates are a major turn off for online shoppers. Using ‘Exit Intent’ Pop-ups can greatly reduce abandonment by messaging incentives for users to stay within the eCommerce store or specifically the check out process. Go go step further to understand your user behaviour, deploy heatmap technology to see where they click the most so you see where best to place your Popups.

There are other Pop-ups that can reduce abandonment rates and drive faster conversions.

  • Limited Time Popups – create an urgency to purchase 
  • Limited Supply Popups – show exclusivity with limited availability


2. Keep your website navigation simple!

It wouldn’t be the first time that we have mentioned this, but keeping your web store navigation simple allows users to pick products they are searching for fast. In fact, it’s been proven that 25% of online shoppers abandon their website due to poor navigation. Map and simplify the flow of your website with a homepage strategy allowing your key product category pages within 1 to 2 clicks from the homepage. Reducing the effort for your website visitors to reach their intended search pages will increase the first or subsequent experiences they have shopping with you. 

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

Src: Blackrock Builders Providers 

3. Provide clarity with your Landing Page design.

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates. Courtesy of The K Club

Always let your website visitors know where they are, it’s a simple navigation rule! Dampen the chance of any frustration, this can ultimately drive visitors away especially when they are in the sales funnel and the process of making a purchase. The example above shows how you can breakdown the room booking process with a staged approach, illustrating to the guests what stage they are at and what to expect next. It’s informative and well structured leaving no surprises to users.

4. Build Trust in Your Payment Process.

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

It’s an obvious one to embed ‘trust signs’ on the check out page, but believe it many visitors won’t be bothered to get to that stage if they don’t see ‘trust signs’ throughout the buyer journey. With this is mind its best to implement them along the sales funnel, so your front end pages, product pages and checkout pages building trust in your payment platform – and in your brand!

Find out more about how to achieve more trust with your brand here: 12 Ways to Build Trust in Your Brand 

5. Keep your checkout process transparent with no surprises!

Design your check out process to be simple, transparent and with no surprises. Unexpected cost loaders like expensive shipping rates will for sure push cart abandonment rates to increase dramatically as the overall cost of an order will increase. 

55% of Shoppers Abandon their Carts due to unexpected Shipping Costs. 

As shipping rates are not normally under the control of the eCommerce provider alongside the obvious turnoff from customers when these rates are unexpectedly loaded on, it’s a complex scenario retailers face to handle both in the best way. 

If your shipping costs vary depending on delivery location you can add a calculator into the product page so the user can calculate the shipping costs before they enter the ‘add to cart’ and the checkout process. Both WooCommerce and Shopify have plugins and extensions that allow a calculator feature to be embedded on an eCommerce product page. 

A good example below of a product page shipping calculator being used on My Shining Armour

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

Courtesy of My Shining Armour

6. Streamline your check out process…Keep it simple! 

Even if you have the most amazing products to sell, if your eCommerce store and check out process are not designed properly it will impact negatively on your sales by increasing shopping cart abandonment. Most websites with high conversion rates will most likely have simplistic checkout processes, so to maintain a seamless buyer journey streamline your check out process and exclude any unnecessary ditches that could cause cart abandonment. 

  • Add multiple check-out buttons to your product page. Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to buy your products from your online store. Adding clearly labelled ‘Buy Buttons’ in strategic positions across your product pages will lessen the chance of a visitor missing the checkout process, once they are in this stage of the buyer journey they are more committed to finishing the transaction and making a purchase.


  • Keep your webform fields to a minimum. Every stage of the checkout process provides an opportunity for visitors to crash out and abandon. When it comes to your webform fields keep them to a minimum. Remember webforms are never a welcome sight on mobile and with the ever increasing usage of mCommerce its best to design your store with the mobile experience at the forefront. Keep your webforms tight! In other words only ask specific information that you need to process and ship an order. Think of more simplified ways of making this part of the buyer journey efficient, for example if the billing and shipping address is the same then allow the user to tick a checkbox rather than repeat inputting the same information again. 


  • Try a two step checkout process where your ask for a name and email address and then credit/debit card details. It has been proven to boost conversion rates as the user has already entered their personal details so the need to progress and provide their card detail seems so more natural. Even at this point if they decide to drop off from making a purchase you’ve  gained an email address to contact them with an abandonment email campaign. 


Download Our eCommerce Marketing Cheatsheet!

7. Offer a Guest Check Out.

Don’t draw a conflict with your customers at ANY point on the buyer journey, especially at the check out stage. Its not a good call to force a person to set up an account before they are just going to buy an item. These barriers slow down conversions and  increase bounce rates. Remove the sign-in option to allow for guest checkout, if you feel your account holders are willing to sign-in every-time they shop online with you then make it quick for them with a shortened sign-in requirement (for example PIN code and User ID). Always provide both options and remember they will need to input their email address for shipping and delivery updates so you can always ask them later via an email outreach.

Over 48% of online retailers claim that providing a guest checkout service greatly reduced their shopping cart abandonment rates. If people want to spend money on your website…take it!, make it as easy as possible for them to buy.

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

Courtesy of Sculpted By Aimee

8. Allow ‘Save to Cart’ functionality. 

Assume that most visitors to your eCommerce store are making comparisons with others, whether it be on prices or product features they will spend sometime before making a decision. This means opening a number of windows and tabs from different sites simultaneously, make it easy for them to comeback easily by saving their shopping carts and retargeting them at a later stage to remind them what they didn’t purchase. WooCommerce & Shopify offer features that allow you to reach out to abandoned cart users by saving their cart items and sending them a link at a later stage by email to remind them.

How to reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates.

9. Emphasise Your Key Benefits. 

Besides the quality of the products you sell, what other benefits is there to shopping on your website as apposed to others? Emphasise your key benefits, whether it be Free Shipping & Returns or Finance Package options its best to highlight these through the buying journey on your website. Its also a good practice to highlight any warranty policy information and social proofing elements to drive more authenticity in your brand.

10. Maximise the potential of your email marketing campaigns to recover lost revenue.

Its’s ranked at number 10 but that’s not to doubt the effectiveness of using email marketing to crawl back lost revenue from shopping cart abandonment. It involves a previous point mentioned about streamlining the checkout process and in the first step to request a users email address, this being very useful in contacting them if they decide to drop out of the checkout process. There are two scenarios where this strategy can pay great dividend. 

One… is to launch an email campaign that is focused on identifying what the customer was searching for initially and providing recommendations as alternatives. Some searchers might have very specific requirements, your site search might not pick them up and miss the opportunity to display the appropriate product or brand.  

Another…having an account feature on your online store has many advantages. Account holders are usually ‘middle of funnel’ and most likely to have buying history with you. The ‘add to wish-list’ feature allows you build some important buying profile preferences with your account holders. Use this then to launch targeted wish-list reminder email campaigns enticing account holders back to finish their purchase transactions.-

Alternatively you can identify the most popular products in your store and launch a segmented email campaign highlighting those popular lines, also consider going a step further to send targeted location based emails to maximise your efforts in different regions.  

There are many more ways in reducing shopping cart abandonment. As it becomes one of the main areas for improvement in driving higher conversion rates on eCommerce sites there is a need for more buyer testing to be conducted before they go live. We have seen noticeable uplifts in conversion rates with businesses that have reached out and asked for our help by making some small adjustments to their own checkout processes.

We design and develop with best practices in mind so any eCommerce site we launch will have a fundamental focus on user experience and driving conversions.

If you are having problems with your own website conversion rates and are looking for ways to improve your shopping cart abandonment contact us at izest Marketing.