Shopping Cart Abandonment – How To Avoid It For Your Online Business

Shopping cart abandonment refers to a customer adding items and products to his/her cart for purchase, but in the end they do not complete the sale. Dam it must be frustrating for the website owner, see a visitor go all the way to the end, and then drop out. Just when you thought you had them.

Oh Well, how can we fix this, or reduce this happening?

Though some factors of shopping cart abandonment are beyond your control, there are still some 5 useful methods that may prove useful in lowering the rate of abandonment.

1. First of all, you need to have the right pricing in your products. Not having the right price on products and items is one of the common reasons of abandonment.

Pricing plays a big part to everything, now imaging a customer on your shopping website, they are browsing though your products, and adding items into your basket, by the time they finish they have a nice list of items in the shopping cart that they need to pay for. This is where they really start to think if they need these items, as they are about to pull the wallet. If your pricing is not correct compared to your competitors you have a good chance of losing the whole order.

Having a clear and competitive pricing would result to purchases made by the client because they like the product, because they believe you give the best deals compared to other websites that are selling the same items and because they can afford the prices – in effect, avoiding abandonment.

2. Provide thorough and clear information about your items on your website will also prevent clients from abandoning their carts.  Inputting information like additional fees on shipping and handling, or if free shipment applies only on selected areas and states would be a good way to encourage your prospective buyers.  Take note that one of the reasons why customers abandon their cart is that they are unaware of the handling fees and hidden charges that they incur when they add the items to the cart.

If handling and shipping fees are much more visible and clear for the customer to notice, then the customer can assess if he/she can afford the your items plus the shipping fees – giving you a higher chance of purchase while avoiding the chance of cart abandonment as well.

Useful information that is usually not offered clearly by online merchants is the policies and terms.  Policies that are unclear to customers such as no refund policies, return policies and guarantees, may confuse the customer and would result to the customer not finishing the transaction.

Information such as how a customer can down-sell a product or up-sell it will allow the customer to proceed with the transaction, giving them an option to make a few changes on their purchases based on their preference, without having to go back to the first few pages of the website or without being directed to another page or link.

3. Giving the customers the feeling of trust and security also decreases the incidence of cart abandonment.  This is an important part of the business transaction, considering that they will be providing payment information to your website in order to pay for their purchases of your items.  Remember that any part of your website that would set certain doubts to the customer would automatically result to abandonment.

Hence, it’s always good to provide proofs such as trust badges and security certificates in your website in order to erase doubts as to whether it will be safe for your customers to input personal information therein.

4. You also need to shorten the checkout process. This is to eliminate any transactions that are done by going to different pages or going from page 1 to input certain information, then move to page 2 for additional details, then onto the 3rd stage for confirmation.  Having these will mean a longer time to process the transaction – and it might irritate the customer that he might consider not completing the purchase at all.

Keep the process short a sweet, your visitor has made the first move and is willing to buy, do not complicate the purchase by having unnecessary steps. The quicker and simpler the checkout process is the better for you and your customer.

5. Provide clear and multiple paying method options. This is another common reason why a customer abandons its cart.  An example of this is when the customer is used to paying purchases thru PayPal – and your website only supports payment thru credit cards.  In other words, you will need to provide multiple, if not all payment options for the client in order to encourage to make the purchase – and not the other way around.

These are just some of the things that you need to take into account if you want to avoid shop cart abandonment in your online business.  Remember that in order to earn more in this business, you will need to employ all strategies in order to encourage prospective buyers to make the purchase.  If not, then there is a big chance that your transactions will be abandoned.

What other points can you think of would help reduce users abandoning shopping baskets?

Image by SXC

Article By: Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at, specialising in online business.

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