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10 Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Megan Totka
Megan Totka

Shopping cart abandonment is a real problem

If you're like most businesses, you probably want to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your website.

It's frustrating to think that customers get to the shopping cart, but then something happens and you lose out on that sale. The great news is, there are many proven ways to lower these rates without having to redo your e-commerce store. Take a look at these 10 proven tips to reduce cart abandonment.

1. Offer free shipping.

While it's typically only a savings of a few dollars, comping the cost of shipping is typically enough to win the sale. A study by Forrester shows that 44% of shoppers abandon their carts because of the shipping costs.

The best solution to prevent shopping cart abandonment is simply to offer free shipping. It's an incentive for consumers to shop with you instead of your competitors and a major selling point, so take advantage of it.

2. Eliminate surprises.

If you don't want to offer free shipping, that’s okay. However, you can still cut back on the number of people who abandon their shopping cart due to charges and shipping charges. The most common (and easily correctable) reasons why customers don't complete the checkout process is because of the unexpected extra costs, like taxes, fees, and shipping.

 Shoppers don't like surprises. To eliminate the surprise costs, make sure any additional costs are clear before they add the items to their cart. This can be tough because shipping costs are variable, but this is where a shipping calculator comes into play. You can add a button to your product pages to calculate the estimated cost for your customer before they add the item to the cart.

If you have additional fees (handling fees, product customization charges, sales tax), you want to ensure they are clearly listed on the product pages, so they don’t surprise the customer when they go to the cart. 

3. Enable guest checkout.

Think twice before you ask your customers to create an account before they checkout. This slows down the process and often causes customers to bounce.Filling out information, confirming an email address and more is asking too much of a customer who probably has various other online options to select from.

Instead, opt to enable a guest checkout option. You can always ask customers to create an account after they've made their purchase. 

4. Ensure checkout is fast.

Every business wants to know how to sell more online. If you want people to make a purchase, not only do you need to accept more returns, you also need to make sure the process to checkout is fast.

You can reduce shopping cart abandonment if you cut out extra steps and streamline the checkout process.

Is it really necessary to make your customers click through four different pages before they can complete a purchase? The more ways you simplify the checkout process and the fewer hoops a customer has to jump through, the more likely they’ll complete the process. 

5. Make getting in contact easy.

It's inevitable – shoppers will have questions while they're checking out. This is why you must make sure the information they need is readily available on your FAQ page. It's important to speak your customers' language – make sure to use the right words, and don't fill your site with industry buzzwords.

You can also give customers the option to contact you directly.

A chat feature is a smart option if you have the people to support it. Whatever you do, make sure shoppers know how to easily get in contact with you if they need to.

6. Save the cart.

Research has found that 84% of online shoppers compare prices before making a decision. This is one perk of the internet – shoppers can open several windows, locate products, compare the prices and then make their decision. All of this searching often leads to closing out windows, logging back on and checking sites again. Some shoppers may do this numerous times for weeks before making a decision.

That is why it's vital that shopping carts are saved; it allows you to retarget your shoppers who have added something to their cart but didn't check out.

7. Keep the cart visible.

Many customers choose to add items to their cart to save for future consideration. If you want them to come back later, make sure to keep the cart in clear view. If it’s out of sight, then it’s out of mind. Think along the lines of something as simple as adding a cart icon in the top corner of their screen.

8. Display security badges.

Customers are savvy and know that criminals are now online too. When a customer makes a purchase from an e-commerce store, especially one theyvve never purchased from before, they want to know that they are safe to hand over their credit card information. Go ahead and include security badges right on your site to help instill confidence in your buyers.

9. Accept a variety of payment options.

The payment method your customers prefer vary; it's best to offer numerous payment options. Accept the basic cards, such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express. PayPal is also a smart choice.

10. Create urgency.

There are times a shopper needs some extra motivation to go ahead and complete their purchase. This is where you can use scarcity to create the urgency to buy now.

A tried and true strategy is to share the number of remaining available products. When you tell your customer that there are only two remaining shirts in the style and size they need, it can drive them to go ahead and make the purchase based on the fear of the product selling out.

Another way to hone in on the scarcity tactic is by adding a clock that counts down. This method is successful when you're running special deals and flash sales. When customers realize they only have a couple of hours to save money and get the deal, they're more likely to make a purchase and not spend time shopping around for other deals. 

There are numerous ways you can reduce shopping cart abandonment and encourage customers to go ahead and order products from your website. Take these tips to heart; make it easy for customers to contact you, prove your site is secure, accept numerous payment options, create a sense of urgency and consider free shipping. Once you implement some changes, you will slash cart abandonment rates and boost your bottom line.

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Megan Totka
Megan Totka Member
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.