News and articles

Curbing cart abandonment in seven steps

Curbing cart abandonment in seven steps

Over 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout. The reason? Inefficient, unclear and poor checkout experiences. Luckily, we have the solutions.

We’ve all been there – a full cart ready for checkout being left at the last minute due to unforeseen costs, membership requirements and convoluted payment processes. In order to increase checkout conversions, retailers need to create a smoother, more intuitive checkout system for their customers, and this guide is here to help. 

With the addition of seven simple changes and amendments, online retailers can create a far more enjoyable checkout process, helping bring in new and repeat customers. Read on to find out exactly how these issues can be fixed, and improve your conversions.

Turning browsers into buyers

Making buyers out of browsers is incredibly important to the success of any online retailer. This vital conversion happens at checkout, and so it’s important that new customers and visitors to the website can manage the process with ease. 

So, how does the checkout process work? And what do customers really want out of it?

Checkout is a key part of the customer’s journey, which extends from finding your website to completing their purchase. Known as sales funnels, these actions include adding items to a cart, and then making a payment in order to confirm an order. The process is traditionally divided into five steps, including ‘add to cart’, ‘view cart’, account registration, shipping and billing details, and, finally, confirmation. 

Add to cart and view cart

Adding items to an online cart usually takes place on the product page, but this is often streamlined by a ‘quick buy’ option, which takes the product directly from the results page to the cart. From here, the view cart page displays a subtotal cost, as well as an itemised list of all the products a customer has chosen, including basic information such as size, the product name or code, and a thumbnail. Websites also include the quantity of each product ordered, which can ideally be amended from the cart. Importantly, the ‘checkout’ button should be very clearly marked, inviting customers to proceed with their transaction. 

Account registration and shipping

Then, the checkout process starts. Many ecommerce sites begin by requesting login details from existing customers, and inviting new customers to register for an account. This requires the new customer to fill in a number of forms, including personal contact details and shipping information. After this step, a new total is calculated, with the addition of taxes and delivery cost. 

Payment and confirmation

The customer is then given the opportunity to review all their details, and the cart content, before committing to the purchase. Modern digital wallets allow customers to select their payment method ahead of time, with automatically updated delivery details. The final step includes a confirmation of the order, usually accompanied by a ‘thank-you’ message.

Challenging checkout

It’s important to break down the traditional checkout process, to see where things can go wrong. 

These checkout processes can often feel truncated or confusing, and this often results in high rates of cart abandonment. Some of the most common problems include the addition of unexpected shipping fees, confusing interfaces, errors with discount codes and limited payment options. 

Other causes for cart abandonment are closely related to customer behaviours, with many customers treating the cart more like a wish list, as they window shop. The cart provides a useful running total, and shows which items are available when, without the shopper having to press ‘checkout’. 

Seven steps to smoother checkout

There are different ways to tackle these problems. Managing the checkout process effectively will reduce customer confusion, which is the primary cause of cart abandonment, and increase conversion. The truth is that ecommerce is just as much about creating a positive customer experience as in-person retail is; if a shopper has to search for the next button to click, or the right box to fill in their address, they will become dissuaded from making the purchase. 

So how can online retailers ensure their carts aren’t abandoned? Here are seven simple steps. 

One: Alternative payment options

Each region has its own preferred payment option; credit and debit cards cover the majority of US, UK and Australian transactions, whereas Chinese shoppers opt for third-party payment solutions such as Alipay. 

Whilst online retailers don’t need to cover all these bases, it is important to research their market, and offer customers the right payment method for them. 

Two: Single-step checkout 

Requiring a customer to fill in too many mandatory fields is a recipe for an abandoned cart. By including only essential items on the checkout page, sites can streamline their process, keep customers engaged, and secure their sale.

Three: Guest checkout

With 28% of consumers not checking-out due to the fact that they don’t want to create an account, offering a ‘guest checkout’ option has proven an effective alternative. 

Very few people have the time to create a username and password for every online retailer they use. A guest checkout option streamlines the process, and very often guarantees a sale. Guest shoppers aren’t faced with the difficulty of finding and inputting large amounts of information, and, following checkout, they always have the option to register a full account at their leisure. 

Four: Safety in security 

By placing an online purchase, customers are placing their trust in the hands of a retailer. Security seals and logos can offer increased peace of mind, and help shoppers feel more confident in their decision to buy. 

Security services are offered by a range of providers, including McAfee and Verisign. These programs effectively test sites against unknown threats, and provide it with a guaranteed seal of authenticity. 

Five: Optimised mobile shopping

It is no secret in the world of ecommerce that mobile devices have surpassed desktops as consumers’ preferred device for online shopping. Making sure your site layout responds effectively to use on a mobile device, with a clean layout that doesn’t require a zoom and pinch action, will elevate the shopping experience and encourage shoppers to complete their checkout. 

Six: Clear costs

Concealed costs are proven to decrease conversion rates. Informing shoppers every step of the way is of absolute importance, especially when a brand is trying to build trust with new customers. 

In order to make the total cost of a purchase clear, online retailers should re-evaluate their cart layout, and use recorded live data to understand exactly what works for their customers. 

Seven: Email marketing

The checkout process doesn’t have to end with one purchase – email communications keep customers engaged with the brand, and provide reassurance about the progress of their order. With effective dialogue between retailer and shopper, the sky is the limit. 

Effective email communication can also help directly tackle cart abandonment. Cart flows are automated messages, which remind customers of any abandoned items in their online cart. These friendly reminders can help keep customers informed and engaged, whilst also reducing cart abandonment!

If you want to engage your customers in successful email marketing, get in touch with Studioworx at -

Let’s get your project started...

We’d love to hear from you and arrange a free consultation and quote. Please submit your details and we’ll be in touch soon.