Best Ways to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is every ecommerce website’s worst nightmare. You’ve done your part to get potential customers to your site, browsing your products. They start adding products into your cart, and you’re inches away from a sale. But then, they leave your site. What happened?

There are a number of reasons why someone might abandon their cart before completing their purchase. Not all of them can be fixed, but luckily we’ve got eight high-impact tactics for reducing shopping cart abandonment in 2021.Let’s dive in.

What Is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a customer has clicked “Add to Cart” on one or more items in an online shop, then left the site without checking out. Sometimes they may have simply forgotten, but the most likely reason for this is they changed their mind or the process took too long to complete. As you can imagine, shopping cart abandonment is something you want to avoid. As an online retailer, it’s important that your customers complete the entire checkout process from start to finish, rather than giving up halfway through.

Common Reasons For Ecommerce Cart Abandonment

There are a number of reasons that potential customers might abandon their cart without completing their purchase. Understanding the common reasons for cart abandonment can help you figure out how to combat it.

  • Cost: Whether it’s the cost of the item(s) they were considering buying or the cost of shipping, sometimes prices can drive potential customers away. For shipping, sometimes the best way to get around this is to provide a banner or clear text of free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

  • Technical Issues: Maybe your website went down, crashed, or couldn’t process payment information. If something like this happens, customers can get frustrated and simply leave the site rather than trying to go through checkout all over again

    Be sure to have your development team regularly run through the checkout process and keep an eye on analytics to make sure there are no bugs causing customers to drop off without buying.

  • Conduting Research: Some buyers are browsing your website and adding products they want into their cart, then leaving them with full intention to come back and complete the sale after they’ve done a bit more research into the products or what they want.

    There isn’t much you can do to combat this, but at least a lot of these buyers will make a purchase at a later date.

  • Complex Checkout: For some buyers, there are simply too many steps to making a purchase. If they have to create an account before checking out, input unnecessary information, etc., they might simply change their mind and stop mid-checkout. Make sure your checkout process is as smooth as possible and doesn’t require too much of your customers to make a purchase. You can work with a software like Fast to implement one-click checkout processes that allow your customers to buy from you in seconds.

  • Window Shopping: Finally, one reason that people abandon their carts – and unfortunately, it’s a reason that you can’t do anything about – is because they were simply browsing around your site, building a wishlist, and window shopping virtually.

    Shopping cart abandonment can never be eliminated completely, but we do have some high-impact strategies on how you can reduce this issue.

These are the Impact Strategies For Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

  • Use Trust Signals: Potential buyers want to make sure they’re purchasing from a reputable company and that their payment information is going to be secure. In order to show customers that they can trust you, there are a few key pieces of information you should make easy to find. First, your shipping, return, and refund policies should all be easy for customers to find. Plant retailer The Sill has a link in their footer to this shipping FAQ page with all the information a concerned first time buyer might need.

    Make sure your own policy pages are easy to find. Place them in your footer and all throughout the checkout process so customers are fully aware of if they can return products and how to do so.

    Add any trust marks or badges you’ve earned on the header or footer of your site, like “Fair Trade Certified.” During checkout, include icons for all of the different payment methods you accept, like Visa/Mastercard, Google Trusted Store, PayPal, and more.

  • Showcase your Customer's Feedback: Help customers feel more at ease about buying from your business by including customer reviews on your website. In this example from Edloe Finch, they’ve included customer reviews and product photos at the bottom of each product page to prove that their products are reputable.

    Or think to how Amazon’s product pages are laid out. Each product includes a star rating, written reviews, and customer photos to prove legitimacy.

  • Ecommerce Merchandising: Ecommerce merchandising is all about creating a cohesive online shopping experience for your customers. While brick-and-mortar shops have the luxury of creating table setups and grouping like items together, the ecommerce experience tends to be a bit different. To help improve the customer experience in your online shop, test tactics like the following::

    • Show product recommendations based on what your customers have already clicked on
    • Let your customers see every angle of the product through high-quality photos, videos, specifications, and more
    • Highly detailed product pages that provide customers with all the information they need to make a purchase
    • Common-sense categorization based on how your customers shop Take advantage of website analytics so that you have a clear understanding of how your customers use your website. Use that information to improve the overall flow of your website from one product to another.

  • Provide excellent Customer Support: One thing that could potentially stop a customer from making a purchase is the lack of customer support they need to feel secure in your business. Don’t let that be a factor for your customers. Investing in excellent customer service is key. Provide a phone number, email address, or contact form on your website that’s easily accessible from any page. Better yet, add a live chat option onto your website. There are tools like Drift and Olark that make it easy to implement something like this. Simply add the plugin to your site and make sure you have someone manning the web or mobile app to respond to questions.

    Depending on the size of your business, people won’t always expect an immediate answer. If you’re only available for customer support during certain hours of the day, make sure to include that on your contact page so people reaching out know when they can expect to get a response. To see online customer service in action, ake a look at this support dropdown from Contigo. They’ve placed this right at the top of their website so that anyone looking for help is immediately provided options.

  • Give seamless Shopping Experience: Our last strategy recommendation for reducing cart abandonment is to provide a completely seamless online shopping experience. The entire store should be easy to navigate and the overall checkout process linear and clear. First, make sure the cart icon is right at the top of your website and as easy as possible for shoppers to locate when they’re ready to check out. Next, don’t add too many steps to the checkout process. Make it quick and streamlined to go from reviewing the cart to providing shipping information then payment information.

    Additionally, take a page out of AYBL’s book and offer a variety of ways for your customers to pay. Some people have specific preferences on how they like to pay for things, so do your best to accommodate for those.

    Providing a seamless shopping experience should be your number one priority, both for generating and retaining customers.


You should be just about ready to start improving your checkout processes and ensuring your customers have no reason to drop off before completing their purchase. To learn more about improving your overall ecommerce CRO, get in touch.

Harley Quinn

Creative Brand Marketing Manager with an extensive experience in developing data-driven marketing campaigns and strategies, successfully managing marketing teams, and monitoring performance of the campaigns.


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