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The Best Ways To Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest money wasters for eCommerce businesses, especially around the holidays or for newly opened online stores.

When potential customers decide to leave your website instead of completing their order, it’s lost revenue for your business. It’s reported that ecommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment.

sales revenue statistic on gold dollar signs

In fact, the average cart abandonment rate is actually an astounding 69-85%, depending on the device. If you're currently making $10,000/mo in online revenue and could turn just 25% of those abandoned orders into sales, you’d make an extra $40,000 each year!

So let’s get some extra cash in your accounts in 2022 and see ways to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate and increase your profits.

Why Does Cart Abandonment Happen

U.S. retailers spend approximately $23.50 billion on digital ads per year to drive traffic to their ecommerce websites, but the average conversion rate hovers around 2.68%.

Meaning $22,795,000,000 are being left in carts each year. But to fix the issue of online shopping cart abandonment, we first have to determine why this is happening.

Assuming your website has no web design or UX issues, here are the top 5 reasons consumers abandoned their cart each time they shop:

  1. Shipping costs are too high

  2. No guest checkout option

  3. A complicated or long checkout process

  4. They couldn't see their total before checkout

  5. They didn't trust the website

reasons for shopping cart abandonment bar graph

One of the other main reasons why consumers abandon their shopping cart is that many people visit a website they may find, usually from an ad, just to see the cost of what they would buy, not what they actually are in search of.

However, just because this occurs, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to turn someone from a view into a customer!

Cart Abandonment Rate Formula

To calculate your cart abandonment rate, divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of created carts. Subtract from one, then multiply by 100.

abandoned cart rate formula

For example, if you have 100 completed transactions, and 300 carts created, your cart abandonment rate would be 66%.

Here are the average rates per industry:

  1. Finance - 84%

  2. Non-profit - 83%

  3. Travel - 82%

  4. Retail - 73%

  5. Fashion - 68%

  6. Gaming - 64%

This equals an average cart abandonment rate of 75%. Therefore, anything less than roughly 70% would be considered “above average.”

Now that we know why audiences abandon their cart and how to calculate yours, let’s start to figure out the best way to lower these rates and increase your conversions!

Eight Ways to Lower Your Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Utilize Abandoned Cart Emails or Exit Popups

Abandoned cart email campaigns are among the most valuable and effective forms of email marketing today. Not only do they reengage your audience, but often offering an additional discount can help persuade them to continue the checkout process.

The best times to send an abandoned cart email vary with your audience, but this graph shows you a general idea of times to test:

conversion rates by time after abandonment bar graph

Subject lines are crucial to grabbing your reader’s attention. What works will depend on the brand and context, but they should deliver a clear and informative message about the content of the email and entice them to click-through.

An exit popup will display your ad when a user is actively about to leave your checkout page. This means you can capture their attention at the exact moment they plan to abandon their carts.

Shockbyte, a game server provider, actually directly attributes over 50% of its revenue to implementing an exit popup strategy. That is because an exit-intent popup can take casual browsers and convert them into lifelong customers.

2. Offer Free Shipping

One of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment is hidden costs at the end of checkout. And the two biggest reasons for extra expenses?

Taxes and shipping costs.

There are few things more frustrating about shopping online than expecting to pay one price, only to discover you’re being hit with an outrageous shipping cost.

According to eCommerce Fuel, “for free shipping to be effective, it has to be applied at the right point of the purchasing cycle. Every shopper who visits an online store is at one of these points:

  • Realization: knowing that they have to fill an emotion or a need by making a purchase.

  • Interest: seeing how your product meets their need.

  • Knowledge: learning more about the benefits and characteristics of your product.

  • Decision: they choose their favorite product to fill their need after comparing a few options.

  • Buy: finalizing the purchase and becoming return customers.

The fifth point in the cycle, ‘Buy,’ is where the free shipping technique adds value for a customer. Once they’ve decided to buy, you can remove the thought of risks by using the term ‘free.’ But if they’re not at that point and aren’t yet fully convinced by your product, free shipping will do little to convince them.”

3. Let Your Customers Checkout Without an Account

Forcing shoppers to register and create an account before they enter checkout can be an obstacle that makes them leave. After all, consumers now want to take the easiest path to their goal, and creating usernames, passwords, confirming their emails, etc., can be too much for some to deal with.

This extra hassle is why 34% of consumers leave a website before completing their purchase. When trying to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate, offering your guests an option to checkout without creating an account can save you thousands in revenue.

4. Include Progress Indicators Throughout Checkout

A progress indicator helps shoppers understand where they are in the checkout process and how much further they have to go.

checkout progress bar indicator example

A nearly completed progress bar can also serve as a visual reinforcement for shoppers to continue with their purchases. By clearly showing customers where they are in the checkout process, you’re eliminating the possible worry that actually buying something from you is going to take more time than they are willing to commit.

5. Show Your Customers Total Throughout the Process

Like the previous tip, showing your customers their total throughout the process is another way to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate. Since 21% of consumers leave checkout due to the fact that they didn’t know how much they were spending, including their totals throughout their shopping experience can help keep them engaged from start to finish.

We recommend this total also include taxes and shipping to avoid unexpected fees. Shoppers on a budget will be able to better assess what they are going to be spending rather than get to the end and see they can’t afford what is in their cart.

6. Increase Your Site and Page Speeds

In 2011, Barack Obama's campaign website reduced load times by only three seconds and almost immediately noted a 14% increase in donations.

When websites take too long to load or process a function, users are more likely to leave and not come back. After all, why would anyone want to stay on a page that takes forever to load?

When you lower your site and page speeds, your bounce rate will also decrease.

7. Use More Social Proof Within Your Individual Product or Service Pages

Social proof shows that other people have used, loved, and spoken positively about your product or services.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, humans are pack animals, meaning we rely on one another to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. Because of this, our decisions are consciously or subconsciously influenced by the choices, opinions, and actions of the people around us.

Including social proof and reviews on your product or service pages not only show that this item is actually used and enjoyed by other people, but it taps into that subconscious trust we put in other people.

social proof statistic on purple background

8. Offer Live Chat Support

One significant benefit of shopping in-store is that you get access to the friendly staff ready to help you find items or answer their questions. You can mirror this same level of care and attention by integrating customer support options into your checkout flow.

Utilize shopping cart abandonment data, identify areas where shoppers are more likely to drop off, and allow users to chat with a customer support rep to reduce abandonment.

If you need a Wix plugin for this function, check out our blog, here, to find the best option for your website.

Tips to Increase Conversions

Now that we’ve discussed how to help lower your shopping cart abandonment rate, we can give you a few tips to help increase your conversions.

Your conversion rate is the number of checkouts divided by the total number of visitors, multiplied by 100. For example, if you’ve had 50 completed sales and 500 visitors, your conversion rate is 10%.

conversion rate formula on blue background

A good conversion rate is between 2 percent and 5 percent.

1. A/B Test All of Your Changes

How you update or change your website may not be what your audience responds to best. Maybe your audience likes social proof being shown as an image, or perhaps they want them in the description.

The only way to determine exactly what your audience responds to best is by conducting A/B testing.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is an experimentation process wherein two or more versions of a variable are tested against each other.

Other variables to test could include:

  • Exit popup wording

  • Abandon cart email timing

  • Progress indicator format

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Scarcity marketing is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing campaign books.

Have you ever noticed things in limited quantities are surprisingly appealing? It turns out, scarcity makes people perceive limited quantities as more precious and valuable.

Creating scarcity around your products or services can make your audience feel like they have to act NOW.

Ways you can create scarcity are:

Boost your sales with scarcity marketing ideas

3. Make Your CTAs Clear

Confusing or underwhelming CTAs will leave your audience hesitating to move forward.

Avoid ambiguous phrasing that could appear deceptive– or that lacks any oomph. Your CTA should provide enough detail to motivate the site visitor and let them know what you’re offering and how they can access it in a quick and simple way.

Also, ensure your CTAs all look and feel different. A CTA on your home page should not look exactly like the one on your blog page or a product/service page, even if it’s for the same offer.

4. Conduct Shopping Experience Surveys for Feedback

Once your consumers have finished shopping, send them an email or install a popup to ask them how their experience was. Shopping experience surveys often have high response rates, sometimes outperforming other website surveys.

The information they give you can also help lower your shopping cart abandonment rates for other shoppers. Maybe they have advice or insight into their checkout experience that you haven’t taken notice of.

These insights can give you the feedback you need to continually create a smooth and easy checkout experience that will decrease your cart abandonment rate and increase your conversion rate.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate, there aren’t just one or two things that will make a significant impact. Sometimes you may have to use all these tips or different variations.

This is where A/B testing comes into play. Every business and consumer is different, so testing your changes will help give you the best insights and answers to lower your cart abandonment.

If you feel like these are changes you aren’t able to make, then let us help. Our Web Design experts are professionals at streamlining your customer experience and giving your consumers the best checkout experience possible.

Book a free call at the link below, and let's lower your cart abandonment rate together.


Kellyann Doyle is a Content Marketing Writer at Zoek, an SEO, Web Design, and Digital Marketing Agency that assists small and medium-sized businesses with their online footprint. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in 2013 from the University of Houston with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Marketing and has been working in the Digital Marketing world ever since. When not working, you can find Kellyann trying new recipes, enjoying a good nap, or watching Friends for the 500th time.


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