How to Reduce Cart Abandonment and Improve Conversion

Believe it or not, shipping costs and prompts to create a user account are the two most common reasons for e-commerce cart abandonment. What’s more, this process is detrimental to revenue and proof that many online stores are losing more than 75% of their sales to cart abandonment.

But what can online stores do to reduce cart abandonment and improve conversion?

Let’s take a closer look at e-commerce cart abandonment and how online stores can improve the rate of conversion.

Ecommerce Cart Abandonment and Understanding Why it Happens

As you know, e-commerce cart abandonment is used to describe any instance in which a visitor leaves your website before making a purchase. For many of these users, they have already added certain items to their shopping cart but then decided against completing the transaction.

At the same time, it’s not enough to understand the meaning of cart abandonment and careful thought is needed to fix the actual problem. In other words, in order to reduce cart abandonment, it’s important to understand why customers might want to leave the website and abandon these carts in the first place.

Here are some of the most common reasons for e-commerce cart abandonment:


  1. Shipping Costs – Shipping costs is the number one reason for e-commerce cart abandonment and a real annoyance for users when they suspect this cost was concealed in some way. The best suggestion is to absorb the cost in pricing or set a target of €40, €50 €60 even higher to maintain your margin when absorbing carrier rates. What to Do About It – Instead of hiding these shipping costs, disclose all facts and make all costs clearly visible from the outset. In some instances, companies include these costs in the price of products of services and then state that shipping costs are included in the actual purchase, as noted above. Be transparent nonetheless.
  2. Express Shipping – Interestingly, many users decide against making a purchase due to the absence of express shipping. While express shipping will inevitably cost more, it would seem as though many customers are willing to pay this additional fee and unwilling to proceed without the feature. It also enable the online retailer an opportunity to upsell with a margi on this basket option. What to Do About It – It rarely hurts to provide options and you should at least give customers an opportunity to select express shipping for a slightly higher fee. Needless to say, this service is optional and everyone wins.
  3. Creating User Accounts – Creating an account is the second major reason for cart abandonment. User experience is incredibly important and most users are fully aware in terms of how much time they spend on any one website. For this reason, creating an account can seem like a hassle to customers and a cause of friction at the very least. What to Do About It – Simply remove the sign up process and make the process and systems on your website as fast and seamless as possible. Many websites do this by offering a “guest” option at checkout and this will most certainly appease those who do not want to waste time signing up for an account of any kind. From experience I’ve worked with a number of Online retailers whereby 50% of consumers choose guest checkout, as it increases conversion. The ultimate goal.
  4. Lack of Simplicity – If you have too many steps in the checkout process, customers are likely to feel frustrated. Forms and systems that involve multiple steps are unnecessary and studies show that more than 25% of online users abandon their shipping carts for this very reason. So the tip here is to reduce basket friction. What to Do About It – Keep the checkout process simple and use fewer steps (4 max) to complete the transaction. You should also take the same approach to website navigation and make it clear to users how they can select and purchase the product of their desire – Even better think of 1-click checkout as the ideal scenario to aspire to.
  5. Security Concerns – For many online users, payment security is more than enough reason to take their search elsewhere. Whether this refers to an outdated website design or the absence of an SSL certificate, such issues are commonly known as a cause of e-commerce cart abandonment. What to Do About It – You should add an SSL certificate to the website but product/customer reviews and testimonials are further ways in which you can alleviate concerns. Providing full contact details is also important, while adding your business to Google My Business will also give peace-of-mind.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, ecommerce cart abandonment happens for a reason and improving conversion is all about paying attention to the customer experience. In most instances, these improvements are practical solutions and changes that require little investment in terms of time or money. Either way, the message is clear – cart abandonment is bad for ecommerce and something that can be avoided.

By the way, at Autofill, we provide order fulfillment services that can significantly improve the user experience and rate of conversion of your online store.