reduce cart abandonment

Reducing cart abandonment is a big task. There are limitless options for testing and changing how customers move through your conversion funnel. No matter how limitless your options are, there are a few essential methods for reducing cart abandonment that you simply cannot ignore.

To help you narrow your focus and hit the most important parts of combating cart abandonment, we’ve created the 2015 Reducing Cart Abandonment Checklist! Let’s get started.

1. Show All Fees Upfront

Don’t delay the inevitable; tell your shoppers how much your product will actually cost as soon as possible. Yes, taxes, fees, and shipping costs will drive up the price of any online good, but withholding information about additional fees doesn’t fool shoppers. It simply pushes away those who feel like you’re hiding something.


Use the example from above as a reference. In the shopping cart, Gap lists out different shipping options and clearly labels the subtotal as “before tax.” Fee transparency is good for business; hiding fees drives up abandonment.

2. Simplify Shipping Options

Establish a simple method for determining shipping fees. Obviously, the most simple fee schedule is ‘free,’ but we understand that’s not possible for every business. If you can’t offer free shipping, there are number of other shipping options that’ll keep shoppers happy and reduce cart abandonment.


3. Allow Guest Checkouts

Allowing shoppers to add to their carts and checkout without logging in is industry standard. As of a 2012, 80% of the top US retailers had guest checkout implemented and converting, and it’s only become more commonplace since then.


Retailers aren’t the only ones who see guest checkout as mandatory. According to KISSmetrics, 23% of users abandon when forced to register with a website. People don’t like spending time creating another set of credentials to remember. It’s a chore and it’s unnecessary in most cases. Unless you have some outstanding reason for requiring registration, get your guest checkout started—the results will speak for themselves.


4. Offer Multiple Support Channels

Make available multiple methods of contacting customer support directly from the shopping cart page. If you offer real-time chat support, display a button prominently. If you have a telephone number people can call, run it along the top of the shopping cart.


Making support available on the cart page doesn’t just reassure shoppers, it’s also an important part of keeping the funnel flowing towards conversion. If people can’t get the help they need from the cart, they’ll go search elsewhere, which usually means taking a few steps backwards. Preserve your forward momentum and reduce cart abandonment by assisting those who need it right where they need it most.


5. Reduce Page Load Times

Cut down on the frills, bells, and whistles on the shopping cart page and make sure it loads quickly. How fast? According to a 2010 study from Akamai, there’s a “three second rule.” 57% of consumers will wait just three seconds before abandoning a page.

This doesn’t mean your shopping cart page should be nothing but whitespace and plain text. Prioritize loading the essential elements to make the page functional before anything else. Consumers hate to feel stuck in place–load to an interactive state quickly.

6. Use Trust Symbols

Use recognizable, official trust symbols on your page to help alleviate consumer trust woes. This is particularly important for smaller businesses. A good amount of shopper trust is based off of name recognition. If you haven’t yet established yourself as a big name, trust symbols are a great way to borrow someone else’s.


Which trust symbols work best? A poll from the Baymard Institute ranked the following top 4 trust symbols:

  1. Norton Secured
  2. McAfee Secure
  3. TRUSTe Certified
  4. BBB Accredited Business

Keep in mind, however, that trust symbols have different meanings. Some claim protection from hackers (McAfee) while others attest to your business practices (BBB and TRUSTe). Test multiple symbols and see which combination reduces cart abandonment most.

7. Explain Your Policies

Put your shipping, return, and privacy policies in plain view. If consumers have questions about these policies, they’re going to look for answers before converting. Our research has shown that near 7% of consumers attribute their cart abandonment to a lack of clear return or privacy policies. So, in this case, reducing cart abandonment may be as easy as including a link at checkout.

For the full text of lengthy policies, make sure links open up into fresh windows so you don’t direct shoppers away from the cart. Remember, discounted shipping and free return policies are great selling points. If your store runs promotions like these, show them off proudly!

8. Optimize for Mobile

Your website must be optimized for mobile. Whether you use responsive design, a separate mobile website, or simply make your existing website play nice with smaller resolutions, you need to have a functioning portal ready for your visitors. We’re nearly halfway through 2015 and mobile is taking over as the number one device for Internet browsing.

Mobile browsers are quickly becoming the majority. Get with the times and start offering these mobile browsers a useful, natural shopping experience.
If you can safely check off the 8 items on this list, then you’re well on your way to an optimized shopping cart. That being said, as any ecommerce professional will tell you, there’s always room for testing!

Article originally posted on UpSellit’s blog.