Bailey Anson
Bailey Anson
December 7, 2022

Best Practices for Reducing eCommerce Cart Abandonment Rate

Best Practices for Reducing eCommerce Cart Abandonment Rate

Abandoned carts are a problem that cost e-commerce brands a whopping $18 billion a year in potential sales revenue. Still, the abandoned cart recovery process has important lessons to teach online merchants about the user experience they deliver. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons behind cart abandonment and share proven solutions to recover abandoned carts.

via Pixabay

What Are Cart Abandonment and Abandoned Cart Recovery?

Abandoned cart recovery is the process of trying to lower the frequency of cart abandonment by optimizing the shopping experience and following up with customers who are on the verge of making a purchase.

E-commerce companies that establish an abandoned cart recovery strategy increase their conversion rates and gain better insights into their customers’ habits.

Reasons for Cart Abandonment

To reduce cart abandonment, you’ll need to understand what causes customers to decide not to make a purchase after all.

A less-than-stellar user experience is one of the most frequent causes of cart abandonment. A poorly designed interface, for instance, makes the purchasing process too complicated and erodes a consumer’s confidence in the company, which can drive them to make their purchases elsewhere. Other customers could leave if shipping costs are too high to justify the order.

Shipping and Returns

Surprise or unexpected fees and other customer-unfriendly policies are the main reason visitors drop off without checking out. Lots of e-commerce retailers put strict restrictions on returns, either by not giving customers enough time to make the returns or charging them to make returns.

Other policies—like international shipping fees—could deter would-be customers if they don’t know about them before they try to check out. For consumers, these seemingly small details are crucial, and they’ll just as soon shop somewhere else if they don’t like the terms they’re presented with.

A Lengthy Checkout Procedure

Lengthy and complex checkout procedures do more than put a bad taste in consumers’ mouths; they’re also why 18 percent of would-be consumers said they abandoned their carts. Having to fill out too much information to complete the checkout process can create anxiety in customers who just want to make a purchase.

Limited Payment Options

Customers might not make a purchase if the retailer doesn’t offer their favorite payment method. Make sure to include popular payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay to keep more customers happy.

Since the checkout process means having to share personally identifiable information—like bank information and addresses—privacy concerns are also at the top of the list for consumers to abandon their carts.

Window Shopping

People who shop online also use the web to research products, brands, and discounts before buying something. Customers often add products to their carts as a type of placeholder while they research similar products or read reviews. Some customers might even come back repeatedly before finally committing to the purchase.

How to Calculate Cart Abandonment in Shopify, WooCommerce, and Google Analytics

The shopping cart abandonment rate is the percentage of virtual shoppers who add products to their digital shopping carts and remove them before they make a purchase.

To find out what your cart abandonment rate is, you can divide the number of actual purchases by the number of people who just add and delete items from their carts. Take that number and subtract it from one and then multiply that number by 100. Now you’ve got the percentage of customers who abandon their carts.

Shopify users can calculate their abandoned cart rate from their online store conversion rate, which is found in the “Dashboard” section of “Analytics.”

WooCommerce users can pull cart abandonment data using a dedicated WordPress plugin. Cart reports are generated by going to “Reports” and then choosing “Carts” from the main WooCommerce dashboard.

Google Analytics users can figure out their cart abandonment percentage by creating a “Goal” with a funnel that tracks all steps of the checkout procedure, then going to “Funnel Visualization” to view the data.

Identifying Causes of Cart Abandonment

Keeping an eye on cart abandonment data helps companies to take actionable steps to stop a downward trend of purchases.


Heatmapping uses colors to represent visitors’ engagement with pages, which makes patterns in their behavior easier to see. This makes it much more simple to figure out where they drop off on the customer journey.

Customer Surveys

Even if visitors don’t come back to finish their purchases, understanding why they left can help businesses lower their cart abandonment rates for the future.

Exit Pop-Ups

Exit pop-ups entice visitors with a too-good-to-resist offer if they try to leave the site. The offer is a call to action designed to keep them engaged longer and, ideally, convert them from prospective customers to buyers. According to OptiMonk, exit popups have an average conversion rate of 17.12%

How to Decrease Cart Abandonment

The bad news is that a lot of visitors won’t convert into purchasers. The good news, though, is that e-commerce brands like yours have options for minimizing the number of abandoned carts at your store.

Transparent and Comprehensive Shipping and Returns

Shoppers decide if a shipping cost is fair by evaluating the delivery in terms of cost, flexibility, and efficiency. Free or low-cost delivery can motivate a customer to complete a purchase, even if it means waiting a couple of days. Other customers place a higher value on faster and more customizable delivery options, like next-day delivery or delivery at a specific time.

Consumers are more likely to be satisfied with their overall shopping experience if the returns process is easy to understand and clearly laid out. Since product returns make for unwelcome operational costs, e-commerce brands need to do everything they can to lower return rates.

Full disclosure of return deadlines, guidelines on the conditions of returned items, and how to contact customer service for assistance all play a role in building consumer confidence in a brand’s returns process.

Customer-Focused Checkout

A seamless checkout procedure optimized for both desktop and mobile is fundamental for motivating consumers to complete their purchases. The most effective checkout flows lead the customer to the purchase confirmation window with the fewest clicks possible because a complicated flow can make them quit and go somewhere else.

Offering customers the option to check out as guests means they won’t have to create a customer account to make a purchase. For some customers, this is a make-or-break option. Even small touches like automatically switching to the customer’s desired keypad make it easier for touchscreen users to complete checkout forms.

One-click checkout is another option that has proven to improve conversion rates by over 35 percent.

You’ve also got to make forms as simple as possible to reduce cart abandonment. A lot of customers will simply go somewhere else if they’re faced with a ton of forms to fill out.

Leading e-commerce retailers with optimized checkout procedures have very few form fields for customers to fill out. Using address search tools on checkout pages, guiding users through challenging form fields, and monitoring analytics data for pain points can help drive form optimization.

Convenience-Driven Payment Methods

Seven percent of customers said they didn’t complete a purchase because the store didn’t offer their favorite payment methods, and a lot more customers are using payment methods other than debit or credit cards.

Along with the most popular payment methods like credit card and PayPal, here are a few other options to explore adding to your store to decrease cart abandonment:

- Shopping apps

- Digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay

- Monthly/weekly financing (for larger purchases)

- Cryptocurrency

Abandoned Cart Callbacks

E-commerce platforms can also email would-be customers a reminder of what’s in their abandoned carts so that they can return to the website when they’re ready. Or your customers can get prompts if they get close to abandonment, like when they’re about to exit the page.

Sending abandoned cart emails to almost-converted customers can convert a prospect into a brand devotee. Sending an abandoned cart email or text message within an hour or two after the prospect abandons their cart might convince them to go back and complete their purchase.

Best Cart Abandonment Examples

To make an effective call to action for cart abandonment, you’ve got to be memorable, easy to understand, and in tune with your company’s branding. Here are some of our favorite cart abandonment reminder examples.

Casper. Casper’s front-and-center “Come Back to Bed” call to action is witty, clean, and relevant to its brand. Giving visitors the chance to review testimonials about the items left behind in their carts is a powerful form of messaging that encourages them to look at their potential purchase as a worthwhile investment.

Rudy’s Barbershop. Rudy’s messaging is playful and pokes fun at tedious computer maintenance, saying, “Don’t put this off like a software update.” They also mention limited-time free shipping, which invokes the fear of missing out and the option to unsubscribe gives visitors full control over their user journey, even if they don’t convert into a sale.

Final Thoughts

Recovering abandoned carts is more than mere sales follow-up. It’s about cultivating a customer-focused shopping environment that encourages your customers to browse longer and go through with purchases.

E-commerce brands like yours have to use a two-pronged approach that starts with learning your visitors’ main pain points in the buying experience, then using them to transition into effective callback methods to entice your customers to come back and complete their purchase.

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