Shopping Cart Abandonment

Over the past six months, more than three out of four customers didn’t complete an online purchase, despite proceeding all the way to the shopping cart. During 2016, BI Intelligence estimated that ecommerce businesses lost a whopping $4.6 trillion in sales of items in non-converted carts. Recouping sales from partially completed online sales should form a part of your overall CRO strategy.

Presentation and layout represents one of the most important aspects of your ecommerce site, contributing to improved sales and engagement throughout your marketing campaign. Consider these seven visual fixes for shopping cart abandonment to reduce lost sales during the conversion process.


Prominent Pricing and Discounts


One of the biggest reasons why customer abandon the items in their cart inevitably boils down to price. A 2016 survey by Statista shows that 56% of shoppers consider hidden or unexpected costs as the most important reason they didn’t go through with the sale. Displaying prices prominently, and updating these costs as customers add and subtract items, ensures that the disappointment of unexpected costs doesn’t kill the sale.

A clear breakdown of detailed costs, including estimated taxes and shipping (if you don’t already offer free shipping) should take place before checkout begins. Up to 41% of online purchasers will immediately leave their items when hidden costs arise on checkout.

The survey also revealed that 36% of respondents abandon their carts when finding a better price elsewhere, making this the third most important reason people don’t convert. You might not always be able to provide a better price than the competition, but clearly displaying discounts for items in the cart will satisfy a portion of customers looking elsewhere for a deal.



Visual Proof Of Trust


Perhaps the easiest visual fix for shopping cart abandonment, providing visual proof of trust during the entire process will reduce security fears for those wary of providing personal information online. About 17% of shoppers listed payment security concerns as an important reason they left a purchase in their shopping cart.

Adding website security logos beside payment options, including a padlock visual, helps to show proof that your business considers the security of customer data as a top priority.



Create Urgency


One of the best motivators of sales leverages urgency to motivate shoppers to follow through with their purchasing decision. Flash sales and limited time offers, displayed in bold, colored and high-contrast words, provide visual indicators of offers that customers can’t ignore.

Minimizing design elements tends to result in great shopping carts, but adding a logo, a simple clock or hourglass animation can be a powerful reminder of time. Without visual indications of urgency, you’ll have a tough time improving shopping cart abandonment rates.



Progress Bar


A simple progress bar placed conspicuously at the bottom of your screen will prevent a lot of headaches for customers in the checkout process. While filling out forms, visitors may wish to go back to a previous step in order to edit or double-check the information provided. If someone has trouble changing the details of their order, they’re more likely to bounce and abandon the items in their cart.

Fulfilling instant gratification is an important part of many people’s buying experiences, and a key part of reducing shopping cart abandonment. A progress bar at the bottom also answers the question, “are we there yet?”, before the customer decides to ask. Your shopping cart should retain the information already filled into forms, while making it easy to input and confirm changes made.

progress bar


Simplified Checkout Forms


The two biggest problems with checkout forms tend to involve the need to fill out too many pieces of information, or provide info that makes the customer feel uncomfortable. Reducing the number of fields that people fill out eliminates obstacles to buying. Limiting the information required reduces the fear of providing personal data that could be used to commit identity theft and other types of fraud.

Giving customers the option to proceed as a guest, instead of mandatory registration, ensures the buyer that they have access to the quickest path to checkout possible. Once you’ve closed the sale, you can go ahead and contact the customer later to register their product, continuing the marketing conversation at a more convenient time.


Exit Intent Popups


Exit intent popups may be used for a variety of purposes, and shopping cart abandonment can be one of the most valuable applications of this web technology. These types of windows trigger when specific criteria are met, such as an extended period of inactivity, followed by mouse movement towards the top of the browser, and away from buttons that link buyers to the next step in the purchasing process.

The message that the window displays will vary depending on how you want to convert the sale. An exit intent could simply remind the visitor that they have items remaining in the cart, directing them to the next step in the sales process. This type of popup works best for people who might require assistance navigating to checkout.


A popup could also sweeten the deal, providing a discount or another type of promotion to motivate people to continue the buying process. Exit intent popups represent a second chance to convert the sale, recovering a profitable portion of sales that would otherwise remain abandoned.

Shopping Cart Visible At All Times


Keeping your shopping cart in plain view ensures that the customer’s purchases remain top of mind throughout their browsing experience. Visitors should be able to quickly access their cart at any time, initiating check-out with a click or two of the mouse. The quicker people have access to their purchases, the less abandonment your business will experience.

An entertainment company decided to implement a shopping cart that doesn’t require another page to load, instead giving access to purchases through a drop-down menu which displayed the basics – cost, item, and quantity. After implementing this visual fix, the company experienced an estimated reduction in cart abandonment that ranged between 4-8%.

The design of your site could include a shopping cart that remains persistent on the bottom of the page, meshing with product pages, splash pages, and other destinations on your website. Maintaining a visual presence whenever an item is placed in the cart preserves customer interest while reducing obstacles between visitors and their purchases.