5 Ways Startups Can Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

We look at the key reasons why online businesses fail to get customers to buy and give you tips on how to get them to do so

5 Ways Startups Can Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

If you are a small ecommerce business then you will know that shopping cart abandonment is a problem. If you don’t know shopping cart abandonment is the process whereby online shoppers fill up their carts only to then abandon them.

According to Baymard Institute, a small independent web research institute, the average documented rate of abandonment is 67.89%. This begs the question:

Why do online shoppers abandon their baskets?

These are just some of the reasons:

  • They were presented with unexpected costs
  • The website crashed
  • The process was taking too long
  • Their payment was declined
  • They were just browsing
  • They found a better price elsewhere
  • They opted not to buy
  • Saving items for later

This leads to the question:

What can you do to prevent shopping cart abandonment?

This is a problem that is never going to go away. You’re dealing with people, and despite all the data we can get out hands on, they can be unpredictable. There are however changes that you can implement to reduce its occurrence.

We’ve got 5 of them below:

1. Be clear about costs

Research published on Statista indicates that 56% of online shoppers left their cart without paying because they were presented with unexpected costs.

As experienced customers yourselves, we’re sure that you will have done this at some stage; you add your items to the cart, go to the checkout, but then find that there are additional fees. Did you abandon the basket? This won’t happen all the time, of course, but it can be a problem because it has the potential to leave the customer feeling cheated. The solution is to be upfront and clear about costs.

2. Create trust with security logos

The above research also found that 17% of baskets were abandoned due to concerns about payment security.

This is understandable when we consider that online sites can be vulnerable to security attacks. A careful customer is not a bad thing. You can help them to feel secure by adding relevant security badges at the checkout. Testing is however important as some studies indicate an increase in sales when using logos while others do not.

3. Customer registration

21% of online shoppers in the Statista research abandoned their basket due to the process taking too long.

We’ve all done it; you get to the shopping cart only to find that you have to register to complete the purchase. It can be extremely irritating when you are one of those people who like to get in and out as quickly as possible. It is however another aspect that requires testing because some do prefer to register and login to have their purchasing preferences saved. The best solution is to test and see what works best for your brand.

4. Ensure smooth site loading

Having a well-performing server is vital if your startup or small e-commerce business is going to sell and grow.

This is because a slow loading website, or one that crashes, is another reason why customers abandon their shopping carts. They only have a certain amount of patience, and there are other competitors vying for their attention. Remember, when it comes to website hosting: low cost can often mean low quality.

5. Offer a range of payment options

You need to make sure that you are meeting the needs of your customer.

One important aspect of this is making sure that you offer a range of payment options. MasterCard, PayPal, American Express, there are many that you will need to consider. You do not need to go wild and include all sorts of payment options though. Research your target market and consider what methods of payment they will use. And remember to show customers when they arrive on your site by using logos.

Stop losing money

Shopping cart abandonment basically means that you are losing money. There’s no other way around it. Analysing how your website performs and implementing the mentioned techniques can help you improve your site’s conversion rate. Testing should form a key part of this process as no two e-commerce sites are the same. What is important to remember is that shopping cart abandonment will always happen, but you can limit it.


Neil Boughton is Technical Director at iWeb Solutions, a UK based ecommerce website Development & Design Agency.

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