12 Cures for the Shopping Cart Abandonment Blues

March 23, 2010  |   Analytics,Maximus   |   1 Comment

Shopping cart abandonment can happen to you whether you have an e-Commerce store selling products or are a service-based business.  It happens to the best of us and there’s no way to avoid it because at the end of the day, consumers just don’t have the money to spend on everything.  I was recently talking with a gentleman and we got into the topic of shopping cart abandonment and how to reduce it.  He brought up a point that I didn’t necessarily agree with.  He said “if you give them more options to buy from you, the chances of them leaving your website empty-handed is greatly minimized.”  I can totally see where he’s coming from, but in my years of actually owning an e-commerce website, there are a few methods I’ve discovered that have helped reduce the abandonment and I would like to share those with you here.

  1. Show all security icons to reassure your customers – Making sure that your customers feel safe when they’re ready to buy will build confidence not only for that purchase, but for future transactions
  2. Got guarantees? – Show them!  In fact, make them VERY visible because nothing helps your reputation more than knowing that you stand behind your product/service.  If you link to warranties, customer reviews, return policies, shipping costs, etc at the right time, this helps to reassure the customer every step of the buying process
  3. Be upfront with any “hidden costs” such as shipping, taxes, etc. – The last thing you want to do is make a customer get through to the shipping step and get angry at you for having a high shipping cost
  4. Price comparisons are helpful if you know that your prices are competitive – If a consumer is at your site and then wonders if there is a better price somewhere else, the likelihood of them leaving your site to shop around and never returning is high
  5. Be generous with coupons & discounts – Even though there are a ton of consumers out there who are brand-loyal, a consumer’s decision to buy is heavily influenced by the final price at the end of the day
  6. Don’t underestimate the power of user reviews – Getting your existing customers to write reviews of their experience with the product/service will help future customers confidently buy from you
  7. Show your customer a progress indicator – This option shows your customers what they’ve done, how much more they have to complete checkout & the ability to make changes
  8. Consider a price matching option – This helps keep you in the mind of the customer when they are price shopping
  9. Offer a live chat or the option to call – If a customer has problems and cannot get a hold of you immediately, the chances of them sticking around and trying later is highly unlikely
  10. Place thumbnails of each product in the shopping cart – Studies have shown that this increases shopping cart success by as much as 10%
  11. Offer other payment options – Whenever customers buy a product and see the trusted Paypal logo, they distinctively let their guard down a bit more to an extent.  The problem is that not everybody has a Paypal account so offering more payment gateways could potentially put a potential customer a bit more at ease when checking out
  12. Offer a coupon upon completion of checkout – This encourages repeat sales and I’ve actually found that giving a coupon is more cost-effective than paying an affiliate commission

Lastly, remember to test and track the analytics.

  • If your # of visitors increases and your conversion increases, that’s GOOD!
  • If your # of visitors stays the same and your conversion increases, that’s also GOOD!
  • If your # of visitors increases and your conversion stays the same, people are abandoning the shopping cart ship too early.

I hope my experiences & successes help you to increase your conversion rate!  What is the biggest reason that you think your shopping cart abandonment rate is so high?

About the author

Maximus Kang is the Director of SEO Strategy & Founder of Ranking Channel, a Seattle-based SEO consulting agency. With enterprise level experience at Expedia and agency experience at Optify, his SEO knowledge covers a wide spectrum. He also started his very . Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

New to SEO? You can learn How to Win Users & Influence Google.


1 Comment for this entry

  • Adam

    January 10th, 2013 on 8:22 AM

    hi there I’m a web designer, I use my own shopping cart software as a base for my site designs and often worry about shopping cart abandonment. Pure thanks for some great tips, info and advice. Adam.