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Running an eCommerce Business

eCommerce Essentials: Overcoming the Abandoned Cart

eCommerce Essentials: Overcoming the Abandoned Cart

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

8 years ago

eCommerce Essentials: Overcoming the Abandoned Cart

So you’ve invested in advertising, use social media to the fullest and you have traffic coming to your website.  But, your eCommerce store has one problem that has become very difficult to overcome; your customers are abandoning their shopping carts. With over 70% of online shopping carts being abandoned, the problem is running rampant in the eCommerce community. Luckily though there are a few tips and tricks that can be used to ensure your eCommerce store dodges the dreaded abandoned cart epidemic and thrives in the online world.

Simplify the checkout process

Many ecommerce stores have rather complicated checkout systems that make their customers jump through hoops just to buy one of their products. This can be a real deterrent for customers who just want an easy, convenient and efficient shopping experience.  Filling out long forms, giving information deemed unnecessary and forcing customers to become members all can grate on a customer and make them lose patience quickly. Fortunately, this problem can easily be helped.  With adding express checkout options and only asking for information that is of absolute necessity, transactions can carried out effortlessly and smoothly, making the checkout process an enjoyable experience for customers and achieving a sale for you. 

Transparent shipping cost

Shipping cost is one of the main complaints of customers and it is easy to see why. After loading a cart and starting the checkout process, a customer may suddenly see an extra charge placed on their order. This is often unexpected and off-putting for customers as they feel they are being tricked. In fact, it is reported that over 45% of customers fail to proceed with their purchase due to shipping costs. There are ways to avoid this undesirable reaction by simply making your shipping costs known. Solely by adding easily accessible information about your shipping costs on your website or inserting a calculator for customers to tally up additional costs, pricing can be made much more transparent and leads the customer to not feel misinformed or deceived  when purchasing. 

Reduce shipping problems

In addition to pricing, shipping can give customers anxiety in other ways. Problems such as the failure to tell customers if a store ships to their location or the inability to find the information regarding the time frame of their delivery can be off putting factors. Why not ease your customer’s worries about these issues by making it easy for them to find the answers to these questions? Placing information such as delivery locations, estimations of delivery time, etc. when checking out can really help a customer make a purchasing decision as it is reassuring to know their purchase will be safe and prompt. 

Multiple payment options

Many times consumers have filled their carts, have started to check out but are met with limited payment options and therefore must discard their items as they are unable to pay. This is frustrating to a customer and loses your ecommerce store valuable sales. Therefore, why not offer as many payment options as possible? Using Paypal and giving access to the larger payment options is essential, but also using smaller payment options can be an effective and easy method of gaining more sales and ensuring future growth. 

Allow customers to save their carts

Factors outside an ecommerce store’s control can lead to abandoned carts. Issues such as lack of time for customer to buy, indecision about the purchase or wanting to compare other product options can contribute to the breakdown of a sale. Although this can be difficult to control, ecommerce stores can take steps to allow customers to easily return and make a purchase. This can be done by allowing customers to save their carts. It’s simple and effective, as many customers find they can return to your ecommerce store with ease and proceed with the checkout process with minimal disruption. 

Make Information Available

Online shopping, although increasingly popular, does have its draw backs. Many customers enjoy the tangibility of products when shopping - something that online stores simply cannot offer; while others enjoy human interaction - something else that online stores simply cannot offer. However, there are ways to reassure a customer about your products and help them with their purchasing decision. Simply listing information about the product can help navigate customers as to whether this is the product they actually want. In addition, having fast and efficient customer service such as a free call phone number or a customer support messenger so that they can talk to helpful staff can provide a reassuring aspect to a customer’s shopping experience, hopefully leading your ecommerce store to growing in sales. 


As stated above, sometimes no matter what is done, an ecommerce store cannot control a customer from abandoning a cart. When a customer leaves your website there is a way to entice them back and it’s called retargeting. Retargeting is a method to reach customers who have been to your website previously. Using retargeting, an ecommerce store can contact customers who have previously shown a direct interest in the store. This can be implemented to solve abandoned carts as an ecommerce store can simply send an email reminder to a consumer informing them of the products they have shown interest in and how easily they can be purchased. It is a gentle reminder that they still have an opportunity to buy and reignites their awareness of your ecommerce store. If you don't have their email address, the second way to do this is to create retargeting adverts. Show people who looked at your products adverts of those specific products to remind them about their purchase intent & give them an easy way back to your site. 

Numerous ecommerce stores believe that they cannot do anything to stop abandoned carts but this is incorrect. By doing these simple yet effective steps, abandoned carts will significantly reduce, leading to more sales and helping to ensure the growth of a successful ecommerce store. Does your ecommerce store experience abandoned carts? What tips do you have to stop it? Please let us know in the comments. 


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