How to reduce your cart abandonment rate

Published: April 2019

The bane of every online retailer’s life – cart abandonment!

We’ve all done it – clicked add to cart and then walked away. Why? There are so many reasons, and sometimes it can just be a simple, unavoidable error, like your internet cutting out, or a distraction pulling you away from your computer. However, more often than not, it’s the checkout process that has led you to change your mind. Let’s look at the most common reasons to abandon a cart, and see what you can do to prevent it happening to your business.


Cart abandonment rates


User experience

Failures in the user experience department account for many of the reasons customers abandon carts. Having to create a new account to order accounted for over a third of people who walked away from a shopping basket! The solution? Offering the option to create guest account, or remind them to sign up after purchase – it’s a little bit of work, but it could be worth it in the long run.

How fast is your website? The slower your website is, the less likely it is that people are going to hang around long enough to buy from you. Websites crashing accounted for 20% of customers abandoning carts! Check your website speed, and if it isn’t up to scratch, speak to one of our experts.


Cart abandonment rates


Issues around payment are another huge UX fail for a lot of consumers – lack of payment methods and payment security issues huge red flags to customers and will cause enough frustration for them to just close their browser and walk away.

Have you ever walked through your own payment process? Try it today – purchase a product from your own website and see if any of these issues are there. Can a customer only pay by card – rather than with Paypal or other methods? God forbid they have to stand up and find their card in order to purchase! This isn’t a joke – putting any form of barrier in the way of purchase, even by simply making them stand up and pick up their purse or wallet, is enough to make them not bother.

Finally, is your website secure? In 2019, we shouldn’t have to point out that your website must be secure – especially if you are handling personal customer information and payment details. Consumers are more savvy than ever when it comes to online security, so they need to be able to trust you before they’ll consider a purchase.


Costs and customer service

Shipping costs stand out time and time again as the number one reason for abandoning a cart! Is free shipping something you can accommodate into your costs? Could you offer free shipping after a customer reaches a certain spend? Give it some serious thought – it could be worth it in the long run.

Other common reasons for cart abandonment are unsatisfactory returns policies, no express shipping option and no coupon codes available. It might be worth taking a look at these three factors and if you can make any changes to your business.


Cart abandonment


Finally, is it clear what the total cost is before getting to the final payment screen? This is an issue that really upsets customers and almost a quarter of people will walk away from checkout for this very reason. Adding on postage at the very end of the process can be really frustrating for customers. They feel like they’ve been led on, and were only mentally prepared to pay so much. Worst of all, they probably would have been happy to pay the extra postage if they were informed at the start.

Ultimately, how can you be sure which of the above reasons is behind your cart abandonment rate? Take a look at when and where your customers exit your site – the checkout page with the highest exit rate will be where your answer lies. If you’re still not sure, come and speak to us.


Want to increase your online sales?

Contact us for information and advice.


We’ve been building and refining websites for over 15 years, helping companies just like yours get the most out of the digital world. Urban River are Newcastle’s web design agency and experts in e-commerce – we can help you today.

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