How to Stop Shopping Cart Abandonment in E-Commerce

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Shopping cart abandonment happens most frequently on the checkout section after the user has already started the purchase process.

What Is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

“Shopping cart abandonment is an e-commerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page or a mobile app which leaves that page before completing the desired action. Etc. complete the purchase of items he added to his/her cart.”

Shopping cart abandonment is a growing concern, since it accumulates loss to over 260 billion dollars a year, and is expected to grow even more in the following years.”

Where Does Shopping Cart Abandonment Happen?

Shopping cart abandonment happens most frequently on the checkout section after the user has already started the purchase process. Moreover, it happens on all platforms, web, tablet, and mobile. However, on some platforms somewhat more than others. Yes, I’m looking at you mobile.

Yes, its no wonder that most abandoned carts happen on mobile since more and more people are starting to see benefits native mobile features provide. And that is a more streamlined experience, without the need for regular registration and login, and then there is also speed.

However, some E-commerce sellers still haven’t learned their lessons, because essential mobile benefits only work in theory if not correctly applied. Or they don’t know what are the reasons retail business needs a mobile app. So this is where mobile apps falter behind the rest.

But, what can be done here to fix these problems? A lot of research time is being spent to discover where users falter during the shopping process and decide to leave their shopping carts for something better. Such organization that runs these usability tests and analytics is Baymard Institute, and they have discovered some interesting results, and they have put them all in one place to save you all the hassle.

So What Are the Leading Causes of Mobile Cart Abandonment, and How Can We Fix It?

Number one cause measured by the Baymard Institute was extra costs and shipping fees or taxes, they didn’t see before.

Its been statistically proven that 60% of users abandon their carts because of the hidden costs they didn’t see before applying for the payment. Which made them feel cheated and manipulated by the seller. However, don’t worry there are ways to fix these problems.

A simple fix that could have been avoided by just adding the price calculator at the beginning of checkout, if possible as soon as it was available by the backend response. Users will see all the costs upfront and won’t feel cheated upon by hidden fees, and their trust in your site will grow so they may return. It’s challenging to bring back a customer once they have lost trust in your site.

Second biggest cause for cart abandonment is forcing the user to create an account.

Most users like to shop incognito or change apps and platforms in search of a better deal. So when they finally do, they are forced to go through an excruciating ordeal of creating an account and filling out countless forms and questionnaires… and let’s be honest, no one likes that. If the user is not registered, don’t force him to do it, at the expense of enhancing your SEO and risking losing your customer.

Add “Checkout as Guest option,” and try to make it as brief as possible. With as fewer input forms as possible, only the most necessary information (Email, Name, Address and Card number)

Simplified Checkout Forms

The third most prominent problem that causes cart abandonment is closely related to the second one, and that is a long and tedious checkout process.  Many web e-commerce sites are implementing “one-page checkout” where the user can see all the necessary info without switching pages or losing focus.

Unfortunately, one-page checkouts are impossible to recreate on mobile, since there is far less real estate to work with… and that’s where most people stumble. They are forced to go through several pages of input forms and checkboxes until they finally give up and abandon their cart.

Include a Progress Indicator on Checkout Pages

By adding a progress timeline at the top of multiple page checkout, and removing unnecessary input fields, you can lower abandonment rate significantly. Also adding thumbnail photos during checkout can keep the shopper interested long enough to complete the checkout, as he is being reminded of what he is paying for.

Customers Need Visual Proof of Trust

There is a significant amount of evidence that shows trust badges have a positive impact on a site’s conversion rate and sales. (It’s also nice if there’s any actual security behind the badge as well, although that might not matter too much though.) These badges make shoppers feel better about giving out their credit card information to an unfamiliar website, which generally results in a higher rate among new customers. (The impact on returning visitors is generally minimal since they are more likely to trust the site already.) These badges can also impact the average order value, indicating that customers feel better about placing larger orders with sites they trust.

Multiple Payment Options

A few other helpful tips for reducing abandoned carts include having multiple payment options available, which are proven to reduce cart abandonment by 8%, as well as “in-store credit” options. Users like having multiple options when it comes to payment, it increases the trust they have in the site.

If you own an e-commerce store, you should always take into consideration that your primary platform is native mobile and not web. The conversion rate from mobile web vs. native mobile is 6% vs. 21% which is 4x times higher in favor for native mobile.

That means your native mobile apps should be impeccable when it comes to performance and user experience. Especially when you take into consideration that for every 0.1 second your mobile app lags or slows down, equals roughly a 1% decrease in sales. So cutting corners on mobile platforms doesn’t pay off.

Build trust with credible security badges and excellent return policies, and last but not least, show the benefits of making purchases through your store by offering discounts and friend referral coupons.