How to Prevent & Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment

July 21, 2015
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Jared Harris

According to the Baymard Institute, a whopping 67.75 percent of online shopping carts are eventually abandoned!

That’s an enormous abandonment rate. If your customers are abandoning their shopping carts frequently, you’re not powerless. Once you have a grasp on customers’ motivations, you can take action to prevent future shopping cart abandonment. To help you maximize sales from your ecommerce site, we’ve outlined how you can avoid the common pitfalls that often lead to shopping cart abandonment.

1. Avoid Hidden Costs

Simply put, consumers often abandon carts when they encounter unexpected costs. Don’t assume that customers simply change their minds at the last second and exit the website; hidden fees are actually the culprit behind their departure. When shoppers see unexpected costs like taxes and shipping added to their cart total, many balk and don’t complete the purchase.

2. Understand Window Shopping

Another common reason for cart abandonment is plain old window shopping. Plenty of people place items in their shopping carts without any intention of actually buying them. Some enjoy the thrill of taking a potential buying experience all the way to the final screen only to back out at the last minute. For others, abandonment is simply a part of the buying cycle.  There is little marketers or companies can do to avoid window shoppers.

3. Improve Your User Experience

Your website’s user experience design is of critical importance.

The website should look clean and simple. Don’t distract potential buyers with unnecessary clutter. Checkout pages should not contain distracting menus, search bars, filters and advertisements. Build a focused and clear layout so shoppers don’t feel tempted to digress toward something besides the actual purchase.

4. Make All Registrations Optional

While many will scoff at the idea, making user registration optional is prudent. Many business owners believe failing to register with the site indicates a poor outlook for future business. The truth is that customer retention is about more than merely creating a formal affiliation with the seller.

Forcing customers to register in order to complete a purchase spoils the fun of shopping.

Registering with the site should be an option that is merely suggested during the checkout process.

5. Facilitate Order Modifications

Shoppers become frustrated when they can’t quickly and easily modify the contents of their shopping carts. Businesses should assume that mistakes will be made as potential purchases move on down the “funnel”. If a customer is unable to edit his order with little effort, he’ll likely give up out of sheer frustration. Don’t let this happen! A shopper should not have to type a “0” into a quantity field.  Implement a “Remove” option next to each shopping cart item to ameliorate the order modification process. Also, position a “Continue Shopping” button near the order specifications so customers can quickly correct mistakes by choosing other items with ease.

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