15 Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

August 15, 2017

8:30 am

Moving people through the buying process can be trying. Not only do you need to reach out to the right audience to provide a product or service they're interested in, you need to do so using platforms and communication styles they're comfortable with.

Even after all the effort, having a potential customer abandon the sale at the very end of process heartbreaking. You know what you offer is solid, so what prompts people to stop so close to the end?
Cart abandonment happens, but it can be minimized through the careful use of coupons, emails and site design. We asked 15 entrepreneurs from YEC to share some specifics on what you can do to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Make a Personal Connection

After a great deal of testing, I've realized the best abandoned-cart email campaigns are those that speak directly to the customer. Use variables to include personalized elements like the person's name and the product they left in the cart. Send the email from a specific person at your company, creating an instant connection between the recipient and your brand. People will appreciate it! – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck

Use Credibility Indicators

Ask yourself, who uses your product or service and are some of your customers reputable or known companies? If so feature them on the checkout page, and that should boost sales and result in fewer abandoned carts. – Erik Bullen, MageMail

Optimize Your Site’s Usability

A lot of high cart-abandonment rates come from usability issues. Any part of the checkout process that is confusing or difficult will lead to abandonment. Encourage friends and family to go through the checkout process themselves, and ask them if they ran into any problems. Working with a usability expert is always a good choice as well. – Ajay Gupta, Stirista

Make Comparisons Easy

Bring in comparison features and prices to other distribution channels and call it out! Make a case for why you want to sell directly instead of through Amazon. Show the added value, and make the inevitable consumer need to do research and compare simple and easy. It may sound counter-intuitive, but done well it can build loyalty and help drive direct sales in the age of Amazon Prime. – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

Add Payment System That Facilitates Shopping

Some companies offer a payment system for e-commerce businesses that speed transactions and makes it easy for customers to complete their shopping experience rather than giving up. It's been proven to effectively shorten the payment part of the online shopping experience. – John Rampton, Due


Prepare a Multi-Step Campaign

We all know that people will abandon the cart, but most companies won't do anything about it. By creating a multi-step cart abandonment campaign using email, two-way text messaging with a sales rep, and retargeting we've been able to win back over 28 percent of these abandoners. And the best part, it's completely automated! Prepare in advance to win back their business. – Chris Brisson, Salesmsg

Provide a Guest Checkout Option

A lack of guest checkout is a leading cause of cart abandonment. Many shoppers don’t want to begin a long-term relationship with your business. They just want to buy a product. You want them to register because it’s good for you. But not including a guest checkout will almost certainly cost you sales, and a sale today is (usually) worth more than a marketing opportunity tomorrow. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

Break the Process Into Bite-Sized Chunks

Break up your shopping checkout experience into several bite-sized chunks, which usually ends up being three to four steps in total. By creating “easy to complete” steps, the user feels like it's an effortless process versus one very long form, where you have to fill in eight to nine details. Tip: Show which “step” the user is on at the top of the screen so they can see their progress, and keep the steps short and punchy. – Alex Miller, Upgraded Points

Display Your Phone Number

Make it easy for your customers to contact you if they have any questions during checkout. As online retailers, we work long hours to improve our conversion rates, bring buyers through a well-crafted sales funnel but then leave the buyer to fend for themselves when it is time to pay. Make yourself fully available when buyers have questions. Let them pick up the phone and remove any barriers to buy. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

Offer Pre-Checkout Promotions

One of the most effective ways to increase completed checkout rates is to offer a pre-checkout promotion that makes the purchase look like an even better deal to the shopper. Let them know they’ve qualified for a special discount and give them a two-for-one or discounted price on some of the items in their cart. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting

online shopping ecommerce

Create an Abandonment Offer

If someone is going to leave your cart, present them with an offer they can't resist. Something along the lines of free shipping or an instant discount code work well. Just make sure you require them to enter their email address in order to see the coupon code. In the event that they still abandon the cart, you still have their email address to market to in the future. – Jonathan Long, LAWYE.RS

Use Follow-Up Offers

By simplifying the checkout process as much as possible, you'll retain the highest volume of customers. After that, look to automate email offers that will send discounted versions of those cart items to their email. You may not avoid abandonment, but you'll be more likely to retain the sale afterward. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

Provide Live Chat Support

If a customer is on the cart page and sees something they have a question about, such as higher price or shipping questions, they will likely be frustrated. If there is a live chat customer service agent available to answer their questions they are much more likely to complete the checkout. There is a reason retail stores have people there to help you. Why should an online store be any different? – Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct

Communicate Shipping Costs

There shouldn't be shipping cost surprises in a shopping cart. That's a surefire way to increase abandonment for your e-commerce business. To avoid cart abandonment, customers should understand shipping costs before they reach a shopping cart. These costs — or lack thereof with “free” shipping — should be included on product pages, hero images and notifications. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Scale Up Your Discounts as the Days Pass

The moment someone begins checkout, ask for their email. Follow up with an email sequence designed to get them to buy, with progressive discount coupons (10 percent off on Day 1, 20 percent off on Day 4, and the last day offer of 25 percent). Automatically exclude someone from a cart abandonment campaign when they buy. If you've tried all this and they still don't buy, they were never meant to be your customer. – Nitin Chhoda, Total Activation

Read more tips and advice on reducing shopping cart abandonment at TechCo

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.