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7 ways to lower your eCommerce cart abandonment rate

Filipe da Luz

For any eCommerce business, a high shopping cart abandonment rate is heartbreaking. It’s a reminder of all the purchases that almost were. The shopper couldn’t get over the finish line for various reasons, hurting your sales and, ultimately, profitability.

The cart abandonment rates across industries are alarmingly high. Data from 46 different studies found that the average cart abandonment rate is under 70%. Shocking.

So what can e-tailers do to keep those cart abandonment rates super low? We’ve rounded up our top tips to help you ensure all the shoppers on your site are moving through your checkout process and clicking “Place Order.”

1. Be upfront about total costs.

No one likes sticker shock. Be as transparent about all costs – including fees, taxes and shipping – as early on in the checkout process as possible. Do this on the checkout preview page and before you ask for payment details. When you give customers the total cost upfront, it reduces the chance you’ll catch them off-guard with an unexpected price increase, which can lead them to abandon the purchase altogether.

2. Have a clear return and refund policy.

eCommerce shoppers don’t have the luxury of trying on items or seeing products in person. So having a solid return and refund policy is essential. Offering attractive return options gives customers peace of mind when they purchase from your store. Ensure you include links to your return policy during check out and highlight any benefits of your return policy (free returns, no shipping costs) in your marketing throughout your site.

3. Add a progress meter during the checkout process.

We know the average online shopper has a short attention span. If they feel like the checkout process is taking too long, they’re likely to bail. A progress bar can let them know how quick the process is and how close they are to completing their order.

An almost complete progress bar encourages shoppers to complete their purchases from a psychological perspective. They may also be motivated to complete their purchase if they’ve seen how much time they’ve already invested in the checkout process.

4. Optimize page load speeds

Again, given how impatient the average online shopper is, your pages need to load super-fast to keep them moving through the checkout process. And any lag or slowness during checkout can create uncertainty around whether their order will go through successfully. A fast checkout process is also a surefire way to ensure shoppers return and purchase again.

5. Enable a guest check out option

Many consumers don’t want to have to create an account and give away personal details to make a purchase – and merchants that allow them to check out as guests will reap the rewards. For new visitors, account creation also slows down their checkout process.

However, collecting email and contact information can be incredibly valuable for your marketing efforts, giving shoppers the option to save their checkout information on the purchase confirmation page.

6. Include thumbnail images of products during checkout

Including a visual reminder of a shopper’s products is a great way to reassure them before going through the checkout process.

In a brick-and-mortar store, shoppers can see and feel the item they’re about to buy. While you can’t replicate that scenario completely, a thumbnail image is the best way to keep their purchase top of mind and encourage them to check out.

7. Offer live chat support.

You don’t get many second chances in the world of eCommerce. If a shopper has a question or a problem and can’t get a quick resolution, they’re likely to abandon the purchase. Live chat provides a responsive customer service agent to help them with their issues. Add this feature throughout your checkout flow, especially at the points where you notice cart abandonment is incredibly high.

Fixing high cart abandonment rates isn’t impossible, but it does take some work. Take the time to go through the checkout process yourself, and review the data from your eCommerce platform to see where shoppers are most likely to abandon their carts. Armed with this data and the tips above, you’re guaranteed to lower cart abandonment rates and improve conversions on your site.