Abandoned carts and how to reduce them

The other day I was looking to purchase a new pair of jeans online. I had done my research and knew exactly which brand, style and size I wanted. I did a web search, found exactly what I was looking for at a price I was willing to pay, popped the item into the shopping cart… and stopped.

Weird behaviour. The website had met all my criteria. So why did I stop?

As I was about to hit the ‘buy’ button I was hit by a wave of uncertainty. It wasn’t the price of the jeans or the website UX. I just wasn’t sure I needed to spend over £100 on jeans. I just needed a little more time to convince myself. 

Abandoned baskets happen all the time. According to the latest survey by the Baynard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. That’s over two thirds of potential customers putting something in the cart and not making the purchase. According to the study of 4,263 consumers, the most common reasons for cart abandonment are as follows:

Which begs two questions: what steps can be taken to encourage customers to click the ‘Buy’ button and keep abandoned carts to a minimum? And my reason – convincing myself of the value of the purchase – isn’t included in the list above. And I don’t think I’m alone in jumping off the purchase cycle because I struggled to justify the value of the purchase when it came to the crunch time of actually buying.  

Here are some handy tips to lower your abandoned shopping cart percentages: 

  • Make sure there are no hidden costs and customers know exactly what they are going to pay before they get to the cart. Try including standard postage costs in the product price and upselling quicker delivery times 
  • Give customers the easiest way of paying; so buying as a guest and opening an account (which offers some form of benefit over and above buying as a guest). We’d suggest creating an account after purchase. There are also services such as Klarna that lower barriers to purchase 
  • Ensure there are multiple payment options and that they are easy as possible. Consider Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Pay as some customers will actively choose your product over another based on simply buying with a thumbprint and not having to input any information 
  • Make the buying process is as clear, simple and easy as possible. 
  • Include a progress indicator on your checkout pages so that customers know where they are in the process
  • Make sure there are no errors on your website that could cause trust issues. 
  • Get your cart pages proof-read to ensure the grammar, spelling and punctuation is correct
  • Include thumbnail images on your checkout pages to remind customers of what they are buying
  • Look at ways of delivering your products quicker
  • Ensure your returns policy gives the customer confidence when making the purchase
  • Invest in a remarketing (also known as retargeting) campaign. Remarketing allows you to target advertisements at customers who have previously interacted with your site or mobile app. It increases your brand awareness and acts as a reminder to revisit the abandoned cart on your site
  • Focus on ways that help customers justify purchases at later stages of their buying journey. They’ve already in the right frame of mind but hesitancy around value can and will stop some consumers from going through with the purchase at the last minute. 

Cart abandonment is part of online selling. However, by following the advice above you should be able to reduce the number dropped baskets. For help on reducing abandoned carts, showcasing value and remarketing campaigns, talk to us at Fiora. hello@fiora.agency

Oh, in case you’re wondering, I did go back and buy the jeans.