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How to avoid shopping cart abandonment

The internet has forever changed how we shop and look for services. With unlimited information just a click away, we bounce from site to site, always seeking better deals, more trustworthy dealers or simply more interesting offers. Depending on which study or survey one trusts, something like 70 percent of online shopping carts are simply abandoned.

In January 2016, the Baymard Institute published a list of 37 cart abandonment rate statistics.

most prominent cause shoppers abandon shopping carts

These are the main reasons shoppers abandoned a cart after filtering out “just browsing / not ready to buy yet”.

Most hated: unexpected costs

56 Percent of shoppers abandon shopping carts when they encounter unexpected costs. Which makes it the most prominent cause, according to Statista, an aggregator of studies and statistics.

Online retailers must first identify those unexpected charges. What are some common charges at checkout that the shopper had not anticipated?

Higher than expected shipping charges
A Forrester study shows that 44 percent of online shoppers who abandon their carts do so because of shipping and handling costs. Because shipping costs are the #1 reason that shoppers abandon their carts, the best thing to do is to offer free shipping. Free shipping is a major selling point.
If you must charge for shipping, provide a shipping estimate or calculator on the product detail page or the product category page.

Unanticipated processing fees or taxes
These can take a few forms. Think of online offerings of event tickets, hotels or vacation packages. Most likely they added an order processing fee or something similar to the checkout process.

Automatic cross-sells
Automatic cross-selling is the practice of adding related items to a checkout, so that shoppers will need to opt-out of or take some action to remove the items from the cart.

No guest checkout

It’s a bad idea to force customers to create an account prior to checkout. Not only does this slow down the process, but most customers will actually bounce.

Filling in the information, confirming an email address, and then returning to the shopping cart is a lot to ask of a customer who likely has other online options to choose from.

Enabling a guest checkout is more user friendly. You can ask them to sign up for an account at the end, after they’ve made the purchase.

If you use WooCommerce all you have to do is to enable guest checkout in the settings.

woocommerce enable guest checkout capaly


Unnecessary steps at checkout

Eliminating unnecessary pages and streamlining the checkout process is one of the best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Do customers really need to click through four different pages to complete a purchase? The more you simplify the process and reduce the number of hoops a customer has to go through, the better.

Implementing a one-page checkout process can also improve your sales. With a one-page checkout, online shoppers can see exactly how many fields they have left before they can complete it. It adds a little psychological boost and motivate them to finish it off.

Providing just one payment method

If you have an online store and you want it to be taken seriously and trustworthy, you can’t do it without offering multiple payment methods. 56% Of online shoppers indicate that they want to see a variety of payment options at checkout.

The basic cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express and also PayPal is a safe bet.

We hope this article has given you some more insights for reducing shopping cart abandonment on your website. If you enjoyed this article, please share it on your favorite social media platform.