5 Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

14.03.2017, 4m


Here’s the scenario: a potential customer visits your shop, finds the right product, and leaves just before buying anything. This is particularly common with mobile shoppers. Every online shop operator knows this phenomenon all too well. But how can the number of shopping cart abandonments be reduced? Keep reading for five tips to help you reduce the number of incomplete transactions.

Smartphones are an increasing part of our lives. There are more search queries from these devices in Google than there are from PCs. And mobile shopping is becoming more and more popular. Nevertheless, the problem of cart-abandonment remains relevant to store operators, especially when customers visit your store with a mobile device.

According to the new Mobile Money Report, 58% of customers cancel their purchases before the final confirmation. 31% of respondents said they were asked for too much sensitive information, while 21% said the buying process took too long.

This shows that, although online shopping via smartphone is becoming increasingly popular, customers are reluctant to type in so much information into their mobile devices, and the buying process isn’t optimised for small screens.

Luckily, there are several ways to reduce this purchase break-down, on mobile and desktop devices.

1. Simplify your checkout form

No one likes to fill out forms, so you should make sure that the purchase process in your online shop is as simple and smooth as possible.

This sounds like a very obvious tip, but it is worth mentioning. It's amazing how many shops unnecessarily complicate the checkout process and bog it down.

If, in order to complete a purchase, a customer has to go through several different checkout pages, one after the other, and has to enter new information each time, you shouldn't be surprised by a high break-off rate.

It is recommended that you reduce the purchase process to one, or at most two, pages. This way, you can achieve spontaneous purchase intentions.

2. Be transparent

For large online shops, shipping, regardless of the value of goods, is often free of charge. Therefore, many shoppers have become accustomed to not having to pay for shipping. Especially for shop operators without huge sales, free shipping is not an option.

However, be open about the fact that your customers will have to pay extra for shipping (or other charges). According to a study by eDigitalResearch, a potential buyer is no longer frightened to pay extra for shipping, taxes, or other charges; as long as they’re not hidden.

In contrast to common opinion, if you only display the shipping costs at checkout, many online shoppers feel deceived and lose trust in your shop. Instead of enjoying the seemingly low price, customers are suddenly annoyed by the high price at the end of their ordering process.

Please indicate any shipping, or similar, charges as early as possible so that your customers don’t experience a nasty shock during the ordering process, and leave your shop without buying.

Trusted Tips: If you lose customers during the checkout, download our free  whitepaper on checkout optimisation

3. Buy now, pay later

Just because a customer is on the road and wants to buy something quickly, but has neither the time nor desire to finish their order on a smartphone, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. Offer different payment methods so that the customer can freely choose how they pay. Whether by bank transfer or a signup account, let your customer decide whether to pay now or later.

Different manufacturers and companies already offer this option for shop operators. That’s for good reason, and pay later is going to become increasingly popular among customers. On the other hand, shopkeepers have to wait for payment for a longer period of time, or in some cases they have to "chase down" their customers. 

That frightens many online retailers, but it can be worth it anyway. This type of payment is preferable for customers visiting your mobile store, who are more likely to spontaneously purchase, over having to type their credit card information into a mobile device.

4. Trust pays off

Make it clear to your customers that you are there for them. Especially with unknown shops or first orders, there’s always great skepticism among online shoppers. Who wants to transfer money to someone they don’t trust?

A potential customer will feel a lot better when ordering if there’s a way to contact your support team during checkout. This shows the that you are a serious online shop that can help with problems and answer questions.

Make the phone number or the live chat option of your customer service visible, especially during the checkout phase of the interaction.

Product and shop evaluations are also very encouraging. Objective reviews from other customers show new customers how reliable and trustworthy your online shop is.

If hundreds of customers have already successfully ordered from your shop and have given positive reviews, the skepticism is significantly minimized, and the new customers won't doubt that you’re running a reliable shop.

If you then offer buyer protection, you can take away your customers’ doubt. In particular, older customers are looking for seals of quality and trustworthy suppliers when shopping online.

5. Bring customers back to the checkout

Whether it's because the train comes just before checkout, their child starts to cry, or the water starts to boil, customers do not complete the ordering process for many different reasons.

What if there was a way to remind these customers to buy a product? Fortunately, there are two great ways to do this!

  1. Customers already registered with your online shop can be contacted by email and reminded that their shopping cart is still waiting for them. However, make sure that your customers (via double opt-in) have agreed for you to contact them.

  1. You can post ads on Facebook or Google Ads, and show your customers exactly which products are in their shopping cart while they surf the Internet. Often, a customer then thinks, "Oh yeah, that product I wanted to buy. I remember now.".

It’s usually easier, and cheaper, to bring an already interested customer back to your shop, than to gain a completely new customer.

This type of advertising is called retargeting and can lead to unexpected sales.


Make sure that your customers can order from your online shop without much effort, exude trustworthiness, and remind them of forgotten shopping baskets, and 2017 could become your best year to date. 

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