5 Simple Ways to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment

As an online business owner, you no doubt spend a significant percentage of your marketing budget on attracting customers to your site and enticing them to browse your offerings. You know better than anyone that it’s a serious waste of your resources if they get frustrated with the checkout process and abandon their purchases. Consider this: if your site gets 5000 visitors a day and has a 1.5% conversion rate, you have 75 customers per day. If you can redirect a portion of your budget toward decreasing shopping cart abandonment and increasing your conversion rate to 2%, you’ll have 100 customers per 5000 visitors. What can you do to get there?

Choosing an eCommerce Shopping Cart

The first step in making sure your customer completes their order is having a functioning ecommerce shopping cart. Nothing drops conversion like a poor checkout process. One good solution is to use an open-source platform like Magento. However, most shopping carts aren’t optimal straight out of the box. You will need to customize the checkout to match your product line and the overall user experience of the website.

Simplify Your Forms

Put yourself in the customer’s place. Would you really have the patience to submit tons of unnecessary information or navigate a lengthy and confusing checkout process—especially when competitors’ sites are much friendlier? No, most likely not. So take a good look at the required information fields in your checkout, and remove any unnecessary ones. For example, do you really need a shopper’s fax number or three separate phone numbers (home, work, and mobile)? If not, delete those fields. You can even try things as simple as combining the first and last name into one field instead of two. Save shoppers a step by providing the option to sync billing and shipping addresses.

While you’re evaluating your fields, make sure they’re organized logically. They should walk the customer through the checkout process in a fluid manner. Group them into sections with prominent headers: basic customer information, billing information, and shipping information. It’s also a good idea to try some A/B testing with different variations to tweak your checkout process further.

Make Guest Checkout an Option

guest checkout

Although it’s advantageous for you to be able to measure the lifetime value of regular customers with a designated account and to segment this data according to their specific preferences, it’s also wise to offer guest checkout. Some shoppers don’t want to bother with registration or are in a hurry, and you’re likely to see them abandon their carts if you make registration compulsory. Eight of the top ten U.S. retailers offer guest checkout.

Eliminate Distractions During Checkout

Keep the process simple—eliminate sidebars and social media links during checkout. If the customer has added a product to his cart and is in the middle of a transaction, the goal is to get him to check out, not encourage him to browse your site or Facebook page. There’s a place for these things—and it’s after he’s checked out. Your “Thank you” page can include complementary product suggestions, as well as links to social media sites, where users can review their purchases.

Flash Your Badges

Zappos Badges

Make sure to display your authority badges and other “Shop With Confidence” messaging prominently. Your SSL logo reassures customers that their information is safe and secure—and in the age of identity theft, they’ll appreciate it. You should also share your Better Business Bureau or other accreditation that instills trust. Zappos.com features a number of accreditation at the footer of the site.

Be Upfront with Shipping Costs

Encountering a high shipping fee in the last step of the checkout process can be a nasty surprise. Frustrated shoppers might close their browsers and cancel their transactions if they’re caught off-guard. Display your shipping prices or give the user the ability to calculate estimated costs prior to checkout to avoid last-minute cart abandonment. Often flat-rate shipping (or even better, free shipping) is an attractive solution.

When a user has placed an item in the cart and begun the checkout process, it means she likes both your products and your prices. When you’ve cleared those two major hurdles, there’s no reason to lose business simply because your checkout process isn’t smooth. Again, it’s important to put yourself in the customers’ place. You want them to be singularly focused on providing billing and shipping information and hitting “Place order.” Avoid frustration and distraction, assure that private data is secure, and don’t spring pricy shipping on your customer at the last second. Take these simple steps to keep your shoppers happy, and you’re sure to see an increase in your conversion rate—and a growing list of satisfied regular customers.

About Asi Erenberg

As one of ECommerce Partners’ co-founders and its marketing guru, it is Asi’s vision that guides the company and drives it forward as a leading ecommerce solution provider. His primary focus is on strategic planning and business development. It is thanks to Asi’s development of internal best practices and methodologies to spot online trends, generate web traffic, and maximize conversion that ECommerce Partners (http://www.ecommercepartners.net/) is able to successfully create online businesses for the world’s leading brands.

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