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Getting Past Abandoned Shopping Carts

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Getting Past Abandoned Shopping Carts

Abandoned Shopping Carts
Shopping cart abandonment has become one of the major concerns for many online business owners. In accordance with various reputable industry researches, like those by Internet Retailer, Baymard, Forrester, etc., the average shopping cart abandonment rate has risen to almost 70% for the last 3-4 years. The most crucial consequences of this negative tendency are missed income opportunities, significantly decreased online sale volumes and customer satisfaction rates, which may turn to be fatal for any online venture.

Below I’m going speak about some crucial factors making online shoppers abandon their carts as well to provide useful tips on how to stop this negative tendency in your particular case.

Complicated and Confusing Checkout Process

As many online shoppers confess, the most annoying factor making them leave their carts is the multi-step and confusing checkout process. It’s rather obvious that modern consumers opt to switch to online shopping in their hope for much easier and convenient shopping experience. Unfortunately, many online stores forget or neglect this main principle of the ecommerce market. They still have too many steps for customers to follow between placing items into their cart and the final purchase. Online shoppers get quickly annoyed of going through all these obstacles and, as a rule, quit a web store without completing their order. Another widespread ecommerce mistake provoking shopping cart abandonment is the obligatory requirement to sign up for an account before placing an order.

Your customers come to your web store to purchase your products and give you money. So, as you will certainly agree, it’s not smart, business-wise, to make them jump over many burdens. The less steps you ask your prospects to make to buy something from your web store, the higher chances are that they will finally complete their purchase. It is essential to make the whole checkout process as easy and convenient as possible ensuring it can be accomplished through a single page only.

I am often asked what to do if client registration is required with regard to the overall business concept. Here I usually advise web store owners to offer the account sign up option after customers complete their orders. It will surely work if you suggest your clients creating an account as an excellent option to track their current orders and make the future ones much more easier.

Aggressive Marketing Language

How often have you been attacked by words like “buy it here and now”, “hurry up to get it right away, before it’s finished” or something like that when shopping online? Rather often, web stores choose striking and impressive phrases to encourage their visitors and clients make purchases. Unfortunately, in most cases shoppers find such a language sounding too intrusive, which eventually drives them away from a store.

When making up your marketing slogans as well as your entire web store content, try to use language that is both eloquent and tactful, offering your customers to look at your products and special promotions in the inviting and soft manner.

Hidden Terms and Fees

Quite often, I encounter online stores that try to hide additional fees and charges behind various options, like specific shipping terms, sale taxes, extra service costs and many others. Unfortunately, many online retailers fail to realize that today consumers have already a long and vast enough web shopping experience to reveal all these hidden fees and terms. The more surprise charges they encounter while checking out, the higher chances are that they will abandon their carts in a blink of an eye, with no intention to get back ever.

In such a way, it’s more than imperative that you always stay absolutely honest, fair and clear while running your online store, especially in terms of the following aspects: pricing, shipping and quality guarantees. This will certainly make a great contribution to improving your overall credibility level.

Here are some other steps to take in order to decrease shopping cart abandonment rates in your online store:

Free Shipping

A study by Forrester analyzed many online stores all over the Global ecommerce market and found out that almost a half of online shoppers abandon their carts because of large shipping expenses. Indeed, shipping is one of the most crucial factors in shopper purchase-making decisions. Encourage your customers to buy more products by offering them totally free shipping (make sure that this option is visible enough on most of your web store pages). Various other studies also state that ecommerce websites offering free shipping enjoy dramatically higher customer satisfaction rates.

Email Remainders

Sending emails to remind shoppers of the items in their carts has proved its efficiency in lowering the rates of shopping cart abandonment. Internet Retailer studied shoppers’ behavior at the web store Movies Unlimited where they got email reminders in 24 hours after they left their carts. In accordance with this research, the sales level at Movies Unlimited has increased dramatically even within the first three weeks, due to recapturing purchases from abandoned carts.

Moreover, there are some other smart tactics to consider about using in your email remainder campaign. Rest assured, offering discounts, coupons, rebates, free shipping and any other special offers isn’t going to hurt your online sales and business either. Instead, they will do the perfect job of convincing your clients to return to their carts and accomplish transactions. The first time I got such an email with a code for a 10% discount off the items I had put into my cart, I was pleasantly surprised. This unexpected positive experience was actually the thing that finally encouraged my purchasing decision.

There is also a long-term advantageous impact of all these factors – in the long run your customers will surely remember this positive experience whenever they are at your online marketplace or just encounter your business name. It can be some built-in functionality within your shopping cart or you can take advantage of other free or commercial tools for sending follow-ups, for example FollowUp or TickleTrain.

Note! When using these or any other related methods, it’s crucial to be sensible, tactful and moderate without going on the forceful and pushy path, so that your customers don’t feel bombarded with multiple offerings or suspicious of too big discounts. It is also rather important to define the right term you customers will be able to take advantage of your special promotions – it should provide enough time to think about without feeling rushed, but not to be too long that your customers may forget about it.


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Nicolas Fincher

A community and PR manager at, a provider of popular shopping cart software with two standalone editions: CS-Cart and ... [Read full bio]

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