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What You Can Learn From Shopping Cart Abandonment and How to Recover Them

shopping cart abandonment and how to tackle it

According to India Marketers, the average cart abandonment rate in India is about 51%. However, research also shows that the cart abandonment rate across some industries in India is a whopping 70-75%

The numbers go higher during festivities and the holiday season when the competition for consumer attention skyrockets. 

If you simply look at the numbers, that’s like losing more than half of the customers that you paid for to visit your website. Add to that the increasing costs of acquiring customers through marketing and advertising, and you’ve lost way more than a few thousands to abandoned carts! 

Bad news is, cart abandonment is a consistent problem that has been haunting ecommerce businesses for years. 

The good news is that while you can’t recover all abandoned carts, you can bring back enough customers to recover your losses, with the right nudges! 

What is cart abandonment and why do people abandon online shopping carts? 

Cart abandonment refers to when a visitor on your online store adds items to their cart, but instead of completing the purchase, leaves. Over the years surveys have found that the reason for cart abandonment varies from consumer to consumer. But they can be broadly segmented into the following: 

  • Extra costs at the stage of checkout (packing, shipping, taxes, delivery) 
  • Account or sign up required (the option to guest checkout or login with social media is unavailable) 
  • Checkout is too long (the number of steps involved in the process are too many on both mobile and desktop) 
  • Unclear pricing (no clear breakdown of the cart total visible) 
  • Don’t trust the site (no security signs that indicate transacting over the site is safe) 
shopping cart abandonment reasons

Then there are other reasons like getting a better discount on another store, getting distracted by the happenings in their environment, change of mind or priorities, and eventually losing track of the brand they were engaging with. 

Like we said, shopping cart abandonment cannot be stopped. But you can bring back these high purchase intent buyers. 

How to tackle shopping cart abandonment and recover sales 

While there is no one strategy fits all approach to recovering abandoned carts. There are a few things that every industry must cover. 

  • Choose a reliable ecommerce platform 
  • Ensure a seamless shopping experience 
  • Offer customer support and service
  • Simplify your checkout process 
  • Optimize for mobile shopping 
  • Use security badges and trust signals 
  • Keep your cart total breakdown transparent
  • Offer multiple payment methods 
  • Offer multiple shipping options 
  • Implement an exit intent popup
  • Send out an email reminder 
  • Send out an SMS reminder 
  • Send out a WhatsApp reminder 
  • Set up cart recovery remarketing and retargeting ads 
  • Highlight your return/ exchange/ refund policy 
  • Monitor and learn from your customers 

1. Choose a reliable ecommerce platform 

First things first. 

In times when data leaks and hacks have become so common, it’s important to provide a reliable platform for them to shop on. 

So when you’re setting up an online store for your business, choose an ecommerce platform like Shopify. Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant; which means it meets all the six categories of PCI standards to include a secure network, vulnerability management program and regular monitoring and testing of networks. 

Apart from security, you also need a platform that will guarantee a good uptime - keeping your site up and running, no matter when a consumer chooses to buy from you. A platform like Shopify maintains a 99.99% uptime calculated for all major ecommerce services you’d have to offer and in all geographic regions.  

Don’t have an online store or are looking for a reliable platform, explore Shopify today.

2. Ensure a seamless shopping experience 

If you want to keep a consumer’s attention engaged, you need to create an on-site experience that enables the buyer’s shopping journey. It should let them browse through your products with ease, get to know about them better and move to checkout in just a few minutes. 

This is where your Shopify store’s design and usability comes into play, and has a big impact on your shopping cart abandonment rate. 

To make this easier to handle, Shopify offers a number of free and paid themes designed by ecommerce experts to offer an optimized shopping experience. Right from how a store visitor interacts with the home page to how they move to the product page and through checkout, these themes can be customized to suit your brand and audience. Explore them all here

3. Offer customer support and service 

Data from Microsoft shows that about 95% of consumers seek customer support when interacting with a business online. It was also found that a number of online shoppers abandon carts due to pre-purchase anxiety which typically includes concerns or doubts around the sizing of the products, quality, shipping and delivery or similar. 

This is where offering shopping assistance can make or break a sale for you. You can tackle this easily by using live chats and chatbots to answer frequently asked questions around your products and policies. 

Here’s an example from Qtrove: 

offer customer support to reduce cart abandonment

Explore all customer support and service apps here.

4. Simplify your checkout process 

No one likes filling out long forms. No one likes sharing information more than required. 

Most online shoppers are looking for specific products, motivated by what they see trending or comes recommended by a friend. They’re looking at making quick purchases. 

That’s why you need to simplify your checkout process so that the buyer gets fewer moments of distraction and completes the purchase. 

Here are a few golden rules followed by ecommerce experts: 

  • Keep distractions and promotions away from the checkout pages
  • Allow guest checkouts and offer the ability to login with social 
  • Provide pre-filled fields to registered users 
  • Show a progress indicator 
  • Allow easy cart modification 

Here’s a good checkout page example from the HeadphoneZone: 

checkout page design to reduce cart abandonment

5. Optimize for mobile shopping 

mCommerce accounts for 72.9% of all eCommerce sales.

As per Retail Dive, the average time for ecommerce checkout on mobile devices is getting faster, decreasing to 2.25 minutes. The basic optimizations you make for desktop checkout may not work so well for mobile shoppers and considering the increase in mobile shopping, you need to cover all grounds. 

  • Design the page for single-handed operations 
  • Don’t create lengthy checkout pages; break it into multiple steps 
  • Keep the CTA buttons big enough to avoid accidental taps 
  • Keep the font and form fields large 
  • Offer auto-fill for information 
  • Offer mobile-dominant payment modes like wallets 

Here’s how the same checkout page above looks on mobile with an easy scroll:  

mobile optimized checkout page to prevent cart abandonment

6. Use security badges and trust signals 

Like we said, privacy issues and security breaches have become very common. People are becoming more cautious when it comes to sharing private information or monetary aspects. So apart from using a reliable ecommerce platform, you need to reassure them by displaying the security measures you have in place. 

For example, showing secure payment badges in the payment section of your checkout can ease the anxiety around making online transactions. 

Explore all security apps for your Shopify store here

7. Keep your cart total breakdown transparent 

Imagine making a purchase from the items on sale, only to be told there are additional charges at the billing counter. 

There’s a high chance you will abandon the purchase or leave out a few items. 

The same holds true when shopping online. So make sure you provide a clear breakdown of your cart total. This should typically include the following: 

  • Cost per product 
  • Discount per product 
  • Total cost of cart 
  • Total discount on cart 
  • Taxes on the cart 
  • Shipping and delivery costs 

Here’s an example of cost breakdown even if you offer shipping for free, from HeadphoneZone: 

cart total breakdown

8. Offer multiple payment methods 

From credit cards to digital wallets and cash on delivery, every consumer is different and chooses to pay for purchases differently. 

It is important to understand who your target audience is, what payment modes they tend to use the most and offer those on your store. 

As per Statista, 67% of consumers choose to pay using credit cards, 37% prefer using debit cards, 28% opt for cash on delivery, 37% use mobile wallets and 14% want netbanking offered. 

To enable multiple payment methods on your store, here are some resources to get you started:  

9. Offer multiple shipping options 

Another reason for cart abandonment is not being able to receive the product on time. 

Imagine wanting to buy a Christmas gift and the store delivers it close to New Years. Your surprise goes right out of the window! 

This is where offering multiple shipping options can help. To be able to do this, you will need to partner with multiple delivery service providers. 

Shopify has partnered with the best of delivery partners. You can start using their services by installing their respective apps. Explore them all here

10. Implement an exit intent popup 

There can be a number of reasons for a visitor to abandon their shopping cart.

But that does not mean they’re not interested in the products they have in the cart. Use exit intent popups as a nudge to these buyers before they leave the site. 

Grab their attention by offering a time-sensitive discount, free shipping or creating FOMO around them. The idea is to give them a final nudge before they abandon the cart so make sure the message is crystal clear as well as actionable! 

Here’s a simple example of an exit intent popup meant to prevent shopping cart abandonment: 

exit intent popup to reduce cart abandonment

To create a popup on your store, explore all Shopify apps here.

11. Send out an email reminder 

If the buyer does abandon their shopping cart, you have their contact information available to reach out to them. Use the email address to send out an abandoned cart reminder. 

You can automate shopping cart abandonment emails using Shopify Email. So that the reminder goes out within the first few hours when the consumer is still interested in the product. 

A few good practices to follow for abandoned cart reminders on email include: 

  • Keep your email personalized 
  • Keep your reminder up, front and centre 
  • Include an image of the product left behind 
  • Provide a link back directly to your cart 
  • Offer an incentive like a discount or free shipping 
  • Create FOMO around the product 
  • Always send a follow up email! 

Here’s an example of one such email: 

abandoned cart recovery email example

Looking for more cart recovery email examples? Read this blog

12. Send out an SMS reminder 

SMS is proven to have a 98% open rate and an average open rate of about 45%, making it more likely to convert an abandoned cart. 

Just like emails, use SMS to remind the consumer of what they’ve left behind. Club it with an offer that provides a purchase motivation and link them back to the cart to complete the purchase. 

shopping cart abandonment - sms marketing

You can automate your reminders for shopping cart abandonment using a Shopify app. Explore them here

13. Send out a WhatsApp reminder 

Another channel that is picking up as an effective way to communicate with buyers is WhatsApp. 

You can send out abandoned cart reminders, follow ups and discounts to bring them back to your store and complete the purchase. 

Here’s an example of a cart recovery campaign on WhatsApp: 

whatsapp abandoned cart recovery message

You can run shopping cart abandonment recovery campaigns with WhatsApp marketing apps. Explore them here

14. Set up cart recovery retargeting and remarketing ads 

Go beyond sending reminders on communication channels. Tap into the platforms that your consumers are using on a day to day basis; namely, social media and the search engine. 

You can remind consumers of the products they have left behind by running retargeting and remarketing ads. An ad copy that includes the value the products offer and a discount, can get the buyer back to your store in no time. 

Here are a few resources to help you get started: 

15. Highlight your return/ exchange/ refund policy 

A lot of online purchases get abandoned simply because the consumer is worried about making the wrong one! 

This is where highlighting your return, refund and exchange policies come in handy. Being transparent about the process and showing how a buyer can trust you to deliver the right product, can help prevent shopping cart abandonment. 

The Loom has created an extensive section listing down all the policies clearly: 

keep your order policy clear

15. Monitor and learn from your customers

No matter how many strategies you have in place, shopping cart abandonment is a phenomenon that will continue. 

This is why you need to monitor the impact of the above tips on your abandoned carts and the number of sales you’re able to recover. 

Continually monitor the numbers to see what works for your business and where you need to improve. Another way to do this is to learn from these consumers and request them for feedback. 

How are you handling shopping cart abandonment? 

With no dearth of options when it comes to making purchases online, it’s important to have a cart recovery strategy in place from day 1. 

If you have a store on Shopify, it becomes much easier. We have thousands of Shopify apps that equip you with the right tools for the strategies above! 

Get started today and don’t lose another sale. Explore all apps for abandoned cart recovery

Do you want to create your own online store?