How to Reduce Abandoned Carts & Improve Checkout Process

woman with coffee and shopping on tablet, screen shows a shopping cart icon

It’s easy to underestimate the value of the checkout process. One might think that once a would-be customer has selected what they want and put it in their cart, you may as well have made the sale. However, that isn’t the case.

Cart abandonment, where someone simply leaves your website without confirming their purchases, is a real issue for many online stores.

Join us today as we discuss some ways to get customers to stick with their shopping carts all the way through to the sale. We’ll discuss some of the reasons customers abandon carts as well as actionable methods to convince them to buy.

What Causes Cart Abandonment?

Online shopping can be complex psychologically. If someone is putting items into their online shopping cart and abandoning them, you often have a sale in waiting. The trick is determining why that person abandoned their cart.

We’ll begin by reviewing some of these common causes and then discuss solutions shortly after.

Error or Forgetfulness

While cart abandonment is never desirable, it’s generally the hope of business owners that the only thing causing it is error or forgetfulness on the part of the customer. 

It may sound like wishful thinking, but many abandoned carts really result from a simple mistake. This won’t always be the case, but it’s a more common occurrence among frequent online shoppers than we might expect.

Customers might select what they want and then wait, perhaps for a paycheck or confirm what people in the household want. If enough time passes, it’s easy to forget about that cart even if you wanted everything in it.

Intrusive Design

When customers visit your online store, they want to make a purchase. Certain design choices, like forcing them to make an account, come off as annoying and intrusive. 

As a rule, the path that allows a stranger to your store to visit your site, select what they want, and make their purchase should be simple. The fewer hoops they have to go through, the less likely they are to bounce off.

The mistake many entrepreneurs make is getting too excited at the idea of a new prospect. If you push too hard for someone to make an account or give personal information, sometimes you’ll only end up burning a sale.

Bad Price Updating

The psychological line that decides whether someone views a store as honest or not is often blurry. However, one of the quickest ways to put a customer off is making them think you’re trying to obscure the price they’ll be paying.

Many online shopping sites make the big mistake of only estimating the total of a purchase near the end of the process. The trouble with this is that if taxes and shipping suddenly add 20+ dollars to the cost right before they confirm, it feels like you’re trying to cheat them.

It can be a good idea to try and estimate the shipping and tax of a customer’s selection as early as possible. You can also keep a small running total somewhere on the page, so they always know the rough value of what’s in their cart.

Improving Your Shopping and Checkout Processes

There is good news: abandoned carts means site visitors who reach that point tend to be near the final steps of the sales funnel. They know about your site, want what you have, and only then did something put them off.

There are a few ways to help correct your site and general processes to guide lost customers back. Here are some of the most actionable tips for shopping online services.

First, you need to make purchases easy. The more steps a customer has to take to make a purchase, the more customers you will lose. Customers with accounts should make a purchase with only a couple of clicks if they so desire.

Second, be honest and straightforward in your design. Show a rough estimate of how much a customer’s cart will cost as soon as possible and make removing items they don’t want simple. You’d rather have a smaller sale than no sale.

Third, remind customers who have accounts with you about their carts. Send them emails on occasion mentioning they still have a full cart, especially if new deals are available.

Using Professional Help

Finally, consider the help of a web design service. Companies like ours have studied customer psychology and know a lot about what works when it comes to e-commerce. 

Companies like ours have the resources to devote to that task that you may lack. That’s the value of specialization; your company has to focus on all aspects of your store, whereas ours can afford to master elements of it, such as web design and SEO content.

If the idea of fixing multiple issues on your website sounds like a challenge, professional help can make it easy. All you need to do is find a reliable company.

Help with Digital Strategy to Web Design

The odds are good your checkout process could do with being improved. Even the best companies occasionally see abandoned carts! And there’s almost always a way to bring at least some of those customers back.

If you’d like help with your checkout process, digital strategy, and beyond, contact us. At Pixaura, we’ve helped companies big and small find new heights. We’d love to help you too!