Shopping Cart Abandonment – Simple Easy Tweaks to Reduce Your Losses

Inevitably it may already be happening to you, and you don’t know it!

It’s nothing wrong with you, it is everything to do with your shopping cart program that you MUST be reviewing weekly and understanding what the metrics are.

Why are they called lost sales then when nothing was bought?

Easy answer, the mere movement of a prospect through your cart software is an “intent” to purchase, meaning there was enough interest from the prospect to click on the ‘add to cart’ button.

Understand what this really means..

In fact, over half of your consumers are abandoning their carts. But what are the real reasons for this? There are many, but it can be summarized into 4 areas.

  1. They like the item but are unsure of pricing..(they don’t fully trust you)
  2. They want to know how much shipping is going to be and it put them off (but they still like the product) (they may be confused with your offer s)..
  3. It’s a competitor of yours and this happens, they are skewing your stats
  4. The prospect got distracted by (family, work, phone, etc.)

Did you Show Trust Throughout the Entire Buying Journey? When you think of trust you need to think of the security of your prospective buyer. Everywhere online (news, Facebook, etc.), you hear about private information being stolen, hacked, or sold.

You MUST make sure that your customers feel safe putting in personal information to your site.

The minute they feel something is off (gut feel, intuition, Spidey senses), they will leave.

By using secure systems and software, you are also able to put the company’s logo, along with a quick line like “Security is powered by XXX.”

Keep your website professional, modern, and responsive.

You Have to Provide Value FIRST Some websites I’ve been to will ask you to register or create an account before they buy. Some are even asking for a massive amount of information before they are allowed to browse like full name, email (of course), phone number, company information, number of employees, etc. WHAT!! Don’t do that. IF you segment your lists correctly you can do this after an initial email but NOT for first time visitors.

If you are a new business without a history, that is a big ask we don’t recommend you do. Users understand that their information will be used to send them ads or newsletters.

If you are creating an e-mailing list, offer a discount, simple PDF whitepaper, a gift card or some basic value for new members.

Consider providing a guest checkout option. This way, while you can’t gather info, you are still able to make a sale. It shortens the buying process.

A satisfied customers are more likely return, THEN they will create an account, and opt into newsletters for future deals.

Wish-lists are a great way to allow your users to save their cart. Not only does it remind them of what they wanted to buy, but also gives you data you need to do some retargeting afterwards.

THE Elephant in the Room – Hidden Costs Once you manage to get past the trust factor, hidden costs are the next big reason for cart abandonment.

Things like: Shipping costs, delivery fees, taxes, other random hidden fees will drive up the price and users will have second thoughts.

You can avoid this by being up-front. Being transparent builds trust. Show the estimated shipping costs on the product page or offer free shipping with minimum orders or bulk orders.

Many cart software programs will allow the prospect to put in their zip code to estimate shipping costs and even some duty and import fee charges.

Also consider having some form of assurance, such as money back guaranteed or 5-day shipping. The idea is to put them at ease and gain trust.

Your Website Navigation – Is it Easy or Complicated? Keeping the flow as simple and optimized as possible. Optimization is very technical. Work with a website designer that can get your site to load quickly and be very responsive.

It Should be 3-Simple Steps.

  1. Look at stuff
  2. Move stuff to the cart
  3. Buy stuff


Ok that is oversimplification, right? WRONG…

Think about anytime you bought anything online, did you have to leave a page, go to sign up or enter your email then return to your inbox to grab a code then back to the site to re-enter that code then the items sales page was gone…Yes, we’ve all been there and it’s likely you’ve left frustrated, cart abandonment happens all the time!

Make sure you always keep your cart and the number of items visible to the prospect, don’t make your users search other pages to find their cart to checkout.

One reason Amazon is the largest online retailer (like ‘em or not), the cart process (and you should study their cart process, it’s amazingly great), is on point and right there on the right side…always.

Reviews – Are They Worth the Effort? IN a word. YES.

Think about a time you bought something in person, holding it you had a stranger tell you they bought one before and LOVED it…what did you do? You put it in your cart.

Have prduct reviews displayed right on the product page. The message here is important, so try not to leave it to automation. Review the testimonials that are provided and don’t fake it.

Negative reviews are also good, just be sure you don’t have more bad than good, something is clearly wrong at that point. BUT…you addressing a negative review means you are being pro-active and customers like this.

This is also where you want social proof, depending on the product you are selling. Higher end products must have reviews so ask for reviews, video reviews are great but more difficult to obtain, the ones you get, feature them.

For lower ticket items, show what other customers are looking at or buying. You can even create urgency by showing the number of people viewing a certain product or remaining inventory (don’t do this for digital download material).

If you use Google reviews, don’t aim for all 5-star reviews, this is unnatural and can backfire on you as looking like they were bought and paid for.

AI or Artificial Intelligence PERSONALIZATION IS ON THE RISE. People have questions, feedback and they want to ask or talk to a person within your company. Make it easy to get in touch with you. Live chat, phone calls or emails should be readily available.

Focus on the low hanging fruit, target those who abandoned their cart. If there was a problem they ran into, they will truly appreciate the personal connection request.

You can also leverage AI chat bots to take care of the common questions, while these are just coming into their own, simple FAQ are now taken care of by chat long as the person who set them up has tried it themselves. It has to flow and feel somewhat normal.

Find Answers in Your Own Market

Let’s say that you got this all perfect in one run, PLEASE reach out to me and teach me how you did it.

Chances are you need to constantly monitor, massage, and tweak each step to reduce cart abandonment. You won’t eliminate it.

Trends change quickly, customers buying habits evolve, and so your product and process must move as quickly as well, or you will be left behind.

Even when the numbers look like they are on the rise, don’t pause the tweaks, keep constant in your quest to improve it