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Shopping Cart Abandonment

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Here are 12 ways to fight shopping cart abandonment.

Let's begin our today's post with some rather unpleasant statistics for the owners of web stores:

• according to a study by Listrak, about 72% of online shopping carts remain unpaid;

• the results of a survey conducted by the analytical company Forrester showed that 89% of respondents left the online stores in the process of placing an order at least 1 time;

• the number of abandoned shopping carts continues to increase. On the Listrak site, you can check the current average of unpaid carts: at the time of writing this article, it was 75%.

Shopping cart abandonment kills the profitability of absolutely all eCommerce businesses. A lot of consumers do not pay for the goods they added to the basket, and the owners of online stores simply do not know how to bring back customers to the store and reactivate them to complete the purchase process.

But before moving on to eliminate this problem, a marketer and of course a business owner should consider 2 cruel truths.

Buyers will not stop leaving

Regardless of how well and correctly your site is optimized, not all consumers will complete the purchase process: shopping cart abandonment is a fact. Even if you provided your products almost or absolutely free of charge, some users would still refuse to make a deal.

The fact is that some people come to the online store, not going to buy anything: they just study the assortment of the store, compare prices and look for ideas for new purchases. Such users add items to the shopping cart just to view them again.

Visitors who visit online stores without commercial intentions are quite a lot, and affecting their predisposition to make a purchase is extremely difficult. Similar behaviour is also characteristic of consumers who are not ready to make a purchase: according to the statistics of the portal Statista, people's uncertainty is the second main reason for their refusal to place an order.

The tendency of consumers to make a transaction depends to a greater extent on what stage of the purchasing cycle they are. Unfortunately, the marketer cannot greatly affect the propensity to deal with visitors who are at the initial stages of the purchase cycle , so you just have to accept their departure.

Some people are simply not ready or do not want to buy. This is not your fault, and you cannot affect it. Therefore, do not rush to radically change the design and

structure of your site.

It is impossible to pinpoint the reasons for the refusal of buyers

Despite the huge number of split tests conducted, none of the top Internet marketers could determine absolutely all the reasons for users to refuse to make a purchase. Most of the problems, of course, have been identified, but some of the shortcomings of online stores that repel customers are still a mystery to online advertising experts.

Modern analytical SaaS-solutions do not allow to determine precisely the reasons for customers abandoning carts, therefore the only way to increase the number of paid baskets

is to neutralize all possible factors that influence consumers' inclination to make a purchase negatively.

This article is a detailed guide to increasing the conversion rate of online stores: I deal with the 12 main reasons for consumers to refuse conversion, and also how to eliminate

these reasons.

So, why do people refuse to pay for products in shopping carts?

1. Absence of trust factors

People do not tend to shop at an online store that they do not trust. One of the reasons that causes doubts among Internet consumers is the poor design of the website and the mistakes in its structure. These can be:

low quality graphics;

• non-working links;

• poor usability;

• unattractive design;

• and many other technical aspects.

The absence of such errors indicates a serious attitude of the entrepreneur to his online store, which has customers to purchase goods on his store.

The second reason for consumers' distrust is the lack of security guarantees on the site of safety of payment and the lack of a privacy policy and assurances about safety of personal information.

According to conversionvoodoo research, signs and logos are placed on 65% of Internet stores of top brands, indicating the security of information and payment. The presence

of such symbols reassures the customers and builds trust.

You can eliminate the doubts of users about security in two simple ways:

1. Display of safety signs

Many consumers are worried about the safety of their personal information and the security of making payments on a web store. The presence on the pages of the online store of various confidence signs eliminates such conversion friction .

The lock, for example, is associated in people’s mind with the safety of information, so the presence of this symbol on the billing page will increase the level of trust of the site. Logos of SSL and HTTPS certificates also engender trust.

2. Availability of text on website security

A simple text, assuring customers of the safety of working with an online store, is able to eliminate mistrust. If the security of your site is confirmed by an authoritative agency or company, then it's also worth telling the target audience.

2. Poor usability

We have already mentioned this problem in the previous paragraph, but it should be discussed separately.

Any difficulties in the use of the interface, results in the visitors being greatly annoyed and inclined to leave the site. The conclusion from this is extremely simple: the simpler the usability of the website, the higher the conversion rate.

Experts of SaaS-solution blubrry describe usability as follows:

"Usability is measured by how easy it is for a visitor to use a website. If the design of your resource is not optimised, pages load too long, and navigation through the site is very difficult to understand, then do not be surprised if the metric of the abandoned pages of payment for your online store will be 90%."

How to make using the online store as simple and understandable for the client?

Use a mobile friendly design . 15% to 40% of eCommerce traffic is from mobile, so providing smartphone owners with convenient ways for shopping is very important.

• Make your website as easy as possible. Unnecessary links, text, images and other kinds of disturbances of this kind distract the attention of visitors from performing the conversion.

• Make sure that the product landing pages are loaded as quickly as possible. The slow speed of loading pages negatively affects the search optimization, the conversion rate and the attitude of people to the brand. Absolutely all pages of your online store should be loaded as quickly as possible.

• Optimize the CTA element. The call-to-action button is the most important part of a web page, so the success of a conversion depends a lot on the effectiveness of its design. Use bright colours, clear text and large fonts to create an eye-catching call-to-action button.

To bring back customers to the store, do not create additional barriers to them on the conversion path, forcing them to get irritated due to broken buttons, confusing menus and confusing contact forms.

3. Long and confusing payment page

We all know that the lengthy processes of registration and payment are pushing customers away from making a conversion. To eliminate this problem, you need to create a linear order processing process. The linear payment process implies a sequence of ordering steps that allows a person to go through all stages of ordering intuitively. This structure is as simple as possible and understandable to the user.

If, on the other hand, you want to have any additional forms filled in that prevent step-by-step conversion, then the payment steps become non-linear . Such obstacles to the consistent implementation of the transaction irritate visitors and become the main reason for their refusal to pay for purchases.

Simplicity of ordering also depends on the number of stages required to fulfil it: the more pages the customer has to go through, the less he will be inclined to purchase.

Analysing the 100 most profitable eCommerce-businesses, the publication Smashing Magazine determined that the process of paying for an online store consists of 5 stages on

average. These studies also indicate that fewer steps have a positive effect on usability . The use of two to six stages is optimal.

The conclusion that can be made from these data are quite simple: the simpler and shorter the process of paying for an order, the higher the conversion rate of an online store.

4. Mandatory registration

The presence of mandatory registration pushes away a huge number of users from the conclusion of the transaction. Imagine how much the buyer will be annoyed, who at the last stage of the purchase will have to fill in a long lead registration form.

Most people will sooner refuse to complete the transaction, rather than go through a long and painful registration.

Consider, for example, the registration form of the network of perfume and cosmetics stores Sephora. What do you think? what kind of reaction does this convoluted and long form evoke?

Difficulties encountered by users in the registration process also have a very negative impact on their relationship with the business. Only 35% of top eCommerce businesses require their customers to register on the site. The giant online store Amazon, for example, is one of the largest online stores in the world, which allows it to dictate to consumers the conditions for using its services. If you, unfortunately, have not reached the level of Amazon, then do not compel your customers to register on the site.

Studies have shown that an online store should require users to create accounts only if its annual income exceeds the mark of $ 1 billion.

Online stores with annual income in excess of $1,000,000,000: 35% require registration, 65% do not require.

Online-store with an annual income below $1,000,000,000: 21% require registration, 79% do not require.

Obligatory registration becomes a big obstacle in the way of the client to complete the transaction. If you opt not to require registration, you will significantly increase the number of paid shopping carts.

5. Additional costs for the purchase of goods

Additional spending on the purchase - in most cases, payment for delivery - is becoming the main reason for the departure of most Internet consumers, as evidenced by many studies of e-commerce.

A survey conducted by Shopify in 2009 showed that 44% of buyers refuse to conclude a transaction because of the need to pay for expensive delivery of the order. The statistics published on the Statista resource testify that 56% of consumers begrudge additional costs for the transaction (shipment payment).

Free shipping not only eliminates the problem of expensive transportation, but also motivates consumers to complete the transaction twice as efficiently as discounts.

Of course, not all eCommerce businesses can offer their customers to deliver goods for free. Fortunately, there is another, no less effective way to neutralize the customer's conversion friction caused by the price, and lower your shopping cart abandonment metric - it is detailed and clear description of the cost of shipping.

Specify the price of all transport operations at the very beginning of the ordering page: when the customer knows what exactly he should pay for, it would be easier for him

to accept with additional cost.

Another effective tool for eliminating the negative perception of the cost of delivery is a calculator that allows the user to accurately calculate the cost of shipping his


Also, do not forget about the importance of giving full information about delivery:

• mode of transportation;

• delivery date;

• code for tracking the location of the parcel;

• whether the buyer wants to receive the order personally.

6. No return policy

Many customers are worried about the opportunity to return the purchased goods in the event of dissatisfaction with the purchase. The presence of a page with a detailed and

understandable description of the return policy eliminates the anxiety of users and increases their level of trust in the online store.

One of the authors of the corporate blog of Shopify, Mark Heys, expressed the importance of the return policy as follows:

"Clear policy of the return of the purchase reflects the concern of the online store about the customers and causes the buyers confidence. Even if the consumer is unhappy

with the goods, a good customer service will keep his loyalty to business. "

The Guru of eCommerce-sphere John Lawson has revealed an interesting pattern:

"The longer the period of return I suggest, the less the goods are returned by buyers."

The secret of the positive impact of return guarantees is revealed by psychology.

The fact is that after making a purchase, a person has a feeling of buyer's remorse - a negative emotion caused by regret about the money spent, doubts about the

correctness of his choice or the feeling that the person succumbed to the manipulations of the seller.

Trying to suppress these unpleasant emotions, the consumer begins to look for positive moments in the transaction that he completed, in particular, the ability to return the goods at any time.

If you want to create a return policy that instils trust in your customers, take an example from the Zappos shoe store.

Zappos is well known for the high quality of customer service and the appropriate return policy:

It is absolutely unimportant for the representatives of the online store, for what reasons the buyer returns the goods;

• Zappos fully pays for the return on the product;

• the money for the returned purchase is sent to the customer automatically.

This online store has some of the highest conversion rates in the industry, which indicates the effectiveness of its terms of return of the purchase.

How to create a return policy that causes customers to trust and persuade them to make a deal?

Use a simple and clear description. Do not use legal terms.

Pay for shipping. Pay for the cost of the return order, if you have such an opportunity. The main reason why customers do not return purchases is the high cost of reverse


Maximize the ability to return. The more customers will have time to return an inappropriate purchase, the more they will be more likely to make a deal.

Confidence generates trust: if you are sure that you provide good conditions for return of goods, then you should repeatedly tell consumers about it.

7. Limited payment options

Some consumers will be ready to leave the online store only because they will not have the opportunity to pay for purchases in a convenient way for them. Some customers prefer to pay online with bank cards, others use payment systems for this (WebMoney, for example), and some will accept only the option of paying for the order in cash. Therefore, the more payment options an online store provides, the greater the number of buyers will be satisfied.

The most popular methods of paying for purchases in the US are PayPal (18%) and credit cards (82%).

According to Shopify research, FreshGigs online store increased the conversion rate by 15%, allowing customers to pay for purchases with a credit card of American Express, a popular American bank.

A good example of providing a variety of payment options is WalMart:

In addition to standard payment methods, WalMart customers are given the opportunity to pay for the order with a courier, receive an invoice by mail or use the WalMart credit

/ club card to pay.

Also allow your customers to settle in different currencies ..

The online store Sellfy, for example, accepts the euro, pounds sterling, dollars and Japanese yen. Your task is extremely simple: to provide the target audience with as many payment options as possible, thus satisfying the largest number of customers.

8. Lack of social evidence

Consumers are more likely to trust the opinion of other buyers than to accept the truth of the statements and the description of the online store. Lack of social evidence and peer endorsement on the site makes people doubt not only the quality of goods on the online store, but also in the transparency of the business itself.

The presence of customer reviews and comments indicates the activity of people on your site, which causes potential buyers confidence.

Adidas, for example, gives its customers the opportunity to leave a review for the product and evaluate it on a five-point scale. It is obvious that the high rating and many

positive comments will positively affect the final decision on the transaction.

Social evidence will show that people buy your products and trust you. This will be quite enough to eliminate the doubts of the customers.

9. Difficulties in finding a shopping cart

In most cases, consumers make the final decision about the transaction on the order registration page: users re-view the purchases they have selected, compare prices and make

sure they are right. That's why the buyer should be able to go to the shopping cart page at any time and without any problems.

Your task is to make the basket icon clearly visible. According to the article of the University of Wichita, some users abandon shopping carts because they cannot find the shopping cart icon. Make the basket icon clearly visible.

Like any CTA-element, the button of the cart should be big and bright, its design should differ from the overall design of the site, drawing attention.

A good example of the right design is Sony's online store - it's simply impossible not to notice the contrast button.

The cart icon should be displayed in the right upper corner of all pages of the online store - this location is used most often, so the buyer intuitively searches for it in the site's header.

Standardize the cart button.

To avoid cognitive dissonance , avoid using custom icons and words to display the shopping cart: standard shopping cart icons with the relevant text are the best design


Recently, many online clothing stores have started using the image of a shopping bag / package with purchases to display the order registration page. This is also a good


Use popup windows to remind them of unpaid purchases

Pop-ups have earned the reputation of repelling, but are effective marketing elements of attracting user's attention. The Popup window, which appears on the consumer screen

at times, will remind the user of the need to make a deal all the time.

The key to the success of this practice is a creative approach to the design and use of pop-ups. Annoying popup forms, similar to error messages, repel users.

Another place where the user does not miss the goods selected by him is his own electronic mail box: send a reminder to him on the email. To make sure that the reminder is effective, use UTM tags – additional data added to the URL. Web analytics systems determine where a user came from, using the UTM-label. The abandoned basket sent to an email makes many users return and still make a purchase and thus minimise your shopping cart abandonment.

10. Non-working coupons

According to an eMarketer study, 27% of users leave the payment process because they cannot find a coupon for getting a discount.

Of course, coupons are the most popular and profitable way for eCommerce businesses to stimulate sales, but in some cases, promotional codes do much more harm than good. So, for example, a user who has spent several hours searching for a coupon on the Internet will be extremely upset and angry if the promo code turns out to be invalid. Not having received the desired discount, the buyer is likely to abandon the cart, with very negative emotions.

Seeing the field for entering the promo code on the payment page of the order, many users will also decide to interrupt the transaction.

The fact is that after learning about the possibility of using the coupon, the buyer will want to get a discount and will start looking for the desired promotional code on the Internet. In many cases, users either do not find the desired coupon and refuse to complete the transaction, or completely forget about the need to complete the purchase process leading to shopping cart abandonment.

The coupon entry field also causes consumers to feel that they are closing a bad deal because they cannot get a good discount. It is obvious that all the negative emotions of

a person caused by any aspects of the transaction, cause his departure.

Online store ShopAtHome distributes more than 9,800 promo codes. Just imagine how such a huge number of coupons affects the conversion rate of the site: how many refusals, disappointments and abandoned carts was caused by the fact that visitors could not get the welcome discount?

Consider several ways to eliminate the negative effect of promotional codes.

Get rid of coupons

The absence of promotional codes simplifies the process of paying for an order, eliminates the reasons for users to refuse to purchase and promotes sales. So, for example, by

deciding not to provide coupons, a famous women's clothing store increased the conversion rate from 3.8% to 5.1%, which brought in $1 million extra profit.

Make the coupon field less noticeable

The main problem with the presence of coupons on the site is that the field for their input attracts too much attention of buyers, motivating them to find the code for the

discount. To fix this problem, make the promo code field less noticeable: replace the large bright window with a simple text link, the location of which will only be known to the

holders of coupons.

Replace coupons with other promotions

There are many different alternatives to coupons that do not harm the profitability of the business: discounts, offers "2 for the price of 1", gift certificates, free delivery and other actions will also sway consumers to make a purchase.

11. Lack of support in the process of placing an order

Many online stores provide their customers with a high-quality customer support service at all stages of shopping, but as soon as the user goes to pay for the order, he has to deal with all the technical difficulties on his own.

By depriving customers of the opportunity to contact the support at the last stages of the purchase, the store makes a huge mistake, as it is on the ordering pages that

customers have the most difficulties.

In order for the conversion to be successful, the client must experience certain positive emotions.

Satisfaction. The user should experience exceptionally positive emotions throughout the payment process. The lack of support, which was available at all previous stages, will cause unpleasant feelings for a person.

Interchange. In the process of shopping, users accumulate emotional tension: they get tired of comparing and weighing all the pros and cons. Therefore, being at the last stages of the deal, people must see and understand that their "torment" will soon end. An effective way to eliminate emotional tension is to use to the progress-

indicator of ordering.

Confidence . Doubts about the need to purchase significantly prolongs the payment process and increases the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment. To complete the

conversion successfully, the buyer must be sure of the correctness of his choice. It can inspire images and descriptions of the goods selected by them.

Security (peace of mind). Users want to be sure that they can return an inappropriate purchase. That is why on the pages of payment it is very important to post a text about guarantees of return of goods.

Now let's talk about the other needs of the client.

Support . The task of the consultant is to help the buyer to place an order without any obstacles and difficulties.

Availability of contact information. The presence of a telephone number and the address of eCommerce-business calms: the buyers feel that in case of any problems they

will be able to contact the representatives of the company.

Answers to frequently asked questions. The presence of the FAQ page on the web page allows you to quickly find the answer to your question and return back to the

transaction. A link to a page with frequently asked questions can be placed directly on the payment pages.

Resumption of the process of placing an order. After leaving the payment process, some users will want to return and complete the transaction. Provide an opportunity to access the abandoned cart and purchase the previously selected goods.

Simplicity. Despite the fact that users need customer support, too large dialogue windows for communication with the consultant appearing on the screen complicate the

payment process and repel.

12. Repulsive Payment Process

The propensity of buyers to make a deal depends largely on their emotional state. The design of many online stores causes positive emotions for visitors, but as soon as they

go to the payment process, the design becomes extremely repulsive: a lot of grey forms, mandatory fields and error messages create a very unpleasant virtual environment,

which you want to leave as soon as possible.

Here are the negative factors:

Many forms. Many visitors simply get tired of filling a lot of grey and boring payment forms: the more they are in the payment process, the more likely they will remain blank.

Unattractive design. As we said earlier, a visitor should experience positive emotions at all stages of the deal, and a sharp shift from attractive and colourful design to empty grey pages causes negative emotions.

Incomprehensible text of the call to action buttons. The descriptions of the call-to-action buttons — "Apply", "continue", "agree", etc.) are often used by online stores and do not indicate the action that a visitor should perform. Instead of the description "Continue", for example, the clear text "Go to the next step of payment" would be a perfect one.

To make the billing process as comfortable as possible, adhere to the following recommendations.

Simple and fun content

Describe the steps of payment in a conversational, humorous style - a smile will be a guarantee of successful conversion.

“Wait, you're almost done! Just tell us where to deliver your order.”

“It's time to get your bank card! Check the information twice!”

“Sorry, our lawyers forced us to demand this ... Please read and accept the terms of the user agreement.”

“The employees of our warehouse are ready to find, pack and ship your order. We just need to know if your purchase is a gift.”

Use more spaces

Sufficient presence of empty spaces (absence of any design elements) makes the page visually less and helps to relieve visual tension, which relaxes the customers and makes

them more prone to completing the payment process.

Use an unusual colour palette

The surplus of grey tones makes the page less attractive: instead of grey it is recommended to use green and blue colours. But be careful with the use of red colour, as consumers associate it with error messages.

Upload images

The presence of images can make the design more attractive: images of goods selected by buyers affect their perception positively.

Simplify the process of filling fields

Create drop-down menus with pre-defined information values to speed up the payment process. If the purchase is made by a regular customer, do not force him to re-enter information already known to you: automatically fill, for example, the delivery address of the goods.

Try to look at the payment page of the order through the eyes of your customers and understand all possible reasons for shopping cart abandonment.


While e-commerce exists, there will also be a failure rate.

But do not put up with the high rates of abandoned carts: study this guide, apply the tips indicated in it, and you will certainly increase the metric of paid purchases and minimise the rate of shopping cart abandonmnet .

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