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Shopping Cart Abandonment – Ecommerce’s Biggest Challenge

by | Apr 12, 2012 | Website Management

As an ecommerce business, you know just how much work goes into getting customers into your shopping cart…

  1. You need to optimize your website to bring quality organic traffic into your marketing funnel.
  2. You must have effective PPC campaigns that bring people who are looking for your product or services to your website.
  3. You must have a website designed that maximizes conversions so that people quickly find what they need.


Then you are home free, right? Maybe not. There’s still plenty that could go wrong that would cause you to lose a sale.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with an ecommerce business’s biggest challenge – the abandoned shopping cart.

Organize Your Website

The very first thing you should do to reduce your cart abandonment rate is to make sure that your website is organized in a way that makes sense to buyers. Make sure your categories, subcategories, and sections are well-thought-out and structured so that a buyer can easily get to the product that they are most interested in. If your products are haphazardly thrown on your site you will cause frustration. Online shoppers will not spend an unnecessarily long time looking for a product and will leave your site and go to your competitor’s instead.

Eliminate Surprises

Make sure that buyers have all the information they need to be confident in their buying decision. If they reach checkout and discover that that the item is out-of-stock or the shipping is higher than they thought, they are likely to abandon the shopping cart. Make sure buyers have relevant information in the shopping cart including shipping options and associated costs and timetables, your return policy, tax information, and of course, availability of products.

Provide All Relevant Details

Provide all of the details that the buyer would need at checkout so that they do not have to navigate away to get details of the order. If the buyer has spent time on your website going through the items that they were interested in and then making several selections, they may not remember all of the specifics of the items they ordered so be sure to provide images, full descriptions, quantities, sizes, colors, prices and any other relevant information so that they can click on the payment button with confidence.

Don’t Require Buyers To Sign Up

Even though it is very tempting to require buyers to create an account to complete their purchase, resist the urge. Having their information does allow you to collect valuable information from them and allow for future marketing, but buyers are often reluctant to create another account. People are often overwhelmed with the number of accounts and passwords they have to remember so sometimes they just don’t want another account to remember. This is especially true for first time buyers.

The best option for this would be to give the buyers two choices. Allow them to proceed through the checkout process as a guest which allows them to quickly make their purchase. Or give them the option to creating an account emphasizing the benefits to them for doing so. One benefit could be that their information is stored and they won’t have to re-enter it during future purchases or allowing them to get on the “first to know” list meaning they will be the first to be alerted to any future sales or discounts.

A Few Tweaks May Be All You Need To Increase Completed Sales

With just a few tweaks, it is possible to significantly reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate. To an ecommerce business, one shopping cart upgrade can have a significant impact on their bottom line.


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