June 13, 2022,CEST

Abandoned Shopping Carts: How Can They Be Reduced?

Consider the topic of abandoned shopping carts the equivalent of customers visiting a retail store only to walk out empty-handed. While it’s bound to happen to some degree no matter the business, if rates become too high, it’s likely an indicator that something’s wrong on the business front.

While determining a normal rate of abandoned carts depends greatly on what industry you’re in, based on authoritative statistics, the average abandoned cart rate lands somewhere between 68-70%. In fact, depending on what data you read, some studies suggest an average rate upwards of 80%!

It goes without saying that in an ideal world, your online store’s abandoned cart rate lands lower than the industry average…

In what follows, we’ll be diving into the world of abandoned shopping carts, why they’re an important metric to track, and what can be done to reduce their prevalence. If your business struggles with high abandoned cart rates, eager to find both the root cause and corresponding solutions, continue reading!

What is an Abandoned Online Shopping Cart?

When online customers visit a given website, they have the capacity to add products to a cart. This, in short, is how they proceed to checkout and complete the purchase. However, in some circumstances, customers leave the website without completing the checkout in its entirety.

The end result? An abandoned shopping cart. For a variety of reasons, a customer might choose to abandon their shopping cart…

Sometimes, consumers simply add a product to their cart to identify its total cost including shipping fees, unmotivated to actually proceed to purchase; sometimes they add several products to their cart for organizational purposes when shopping, never with the intention to purchase in real-time; sometimes, consumers unintentionally bounce, only to forget about the abandoned cart that they intended to proceed through to purchase; sometimes it’s due to customer frustration regarding complex checkout processes or what have you…

Whatever the case, abandoned shopping carts are less than ideal for businesses, not only because they result in lower conversion rates but because they act as an indicator of poor performance when metrics reach undesirable levels.

If you’re a business with high bounce rates and abandoned cart rates, you likely need to perform an internal audit on your processes to see what might be causing such rates.

How Can They Be Reduced?

Again, while a certain rate of abandoned carts is to be expected when running an online e-commerce store, it’s never sufficient to experience abnormally unusual rates as it usually lends itself to potential bottlenecks in your business’s operational systems.

By implementing some, if not all of the following tips and tactics, you can surely decrease the likelihood of abandoned carts, thus enjoying the fruits of your labour in the form of increased conversion rates and improved customer satisfaction.

Streamline Website Navigation

As mentioned in the preface of the article, one of the primary reasons customers bounce websites and abandoned carts is due to sheer frustration and confusion regarding the navigation of the website and checkout process at large.

Instead, you want to ensure that the customer has to journey through as few steps as possible to get to the purchasing phase of their buyer’s journey. Make it quick, make it easy, and make it streamlined… That, in short, is a surefire way to combat abandoned carts.

Improve Load Times

Arguably the most common reason for a website visitor to bounce is due to slow and laggy load times. In fact, if load times are that bad, visitors won’t even consider adding products to the cart and, instead, decide to leave before any such action is taken.

Contrastingly, having a fast and efficient website speed improves the overall customer experience whilst reducing any potential for infuriation or annoyance, thus reducing the risk of abandoned carts and increasing the chances of higher conversion rates.

Implement Live Chat Customer Support

Just like a certain level of abandoned carts are to be expected, so too are customer issues and concerns. Without a live customer support service there to help when needed, however, the troubled customer is likely going to bounce from the website, leaving their cart abandoned for eternity…

To combat this, however, there’s a simple solution; a live chat!

Not only does timely and friendly customer support provide customers with a sense of trust and comfort but it also provides you as a business with a means of mitigating issues and calling to action conversion; it’s a win-win!

Provide Cost Transparency

When you take into consideration the past negative experiences that you might have had on a particular website, some of those experiences are all but guaranteed to have been due to a lack of cost transparency.

By providing clear and transparent costs about the entirety of a customer’s order, not only do you build trust with the customer themselves but you decrease the likelihood of an abandoned cart as a result.

In short, don’t try to hide anything as a business. Instead, be as upfront as possible as early as possible in the checkout process…

Other effective tips, tactics, and strategies that weren’t discussed in detail above include offering several payment options, providing clear and concise refund policies, implementing a progress indicator throughout the process of checking out, and detailing an encouraging call-to-action at checkout.

Heck, even consider offering free shipping rates to further entice the consumer to proceed with the purchase. Whatever works, right?!

In Summary

As one of, if not the leading roadblock in an online business’s operations, abandoned carts are not something to be forgotten about. Luckily, there are several clear determinants that indicate why you may be experiencing such high rates.

As such, in order to combat such high rates, it’s imperative that you prioritize customer satisfaction via trust, streamlined processes, and affordable & transparent costs. Failure to do so may result in the failure of your online store at large…

Good luck!