reducing cart abandonment

7 Proven Strategies for Reducing Cart Abandonment Rate

E-commerce 9 min read

Struggling with abandoned cart rates?

Many wonder what is a good conversion rate they should strive to achieve, but in reality, there is no such thing. You should always aim to have a higher conversion rate than that you have right now, and anything above that proves that your efforts are paying off.

Almost two out of three shoppers abandon their carts because they don’t really want to buy, or they are waiting to compare prices with other Ecommerce shops.

According to the CXL Institute, the top 5 reasons why people abandon shopping carts are usually:

  1. High prices – If your prices are higher than those of the competitors, chances are customers are going to abandon their carts on your site and go shop elsewhere. If you don’t have a good value proposition that convinces the users to buy from you, then you have to have the best price and state it clearly.
  2. Shipping costs – Charging for shipping is often a downside and you should figure a way to stop doing it.
  3. Hassle – Forcing customers to register in order to shop, or asking them for too much information in long forms.
  4. Doubt – Is the website trustworthy, can I return the goods, how do I choose the right size?
  5. Slow site – This shouldn’t even be discussed anymore in the third decade of the 21st century. 

Now that we have addressed these, let’s get into the 7 proven strategies for reducing cart abandonment rate.

1. Product visuals

People want to see what they are getting.

Try to have high-quality images and even videos of products so customers can see them properly, include different angles, and in context. 

Make images zoomable. In the case of clothing, let customers see the texture, help them see how the product feels.

Zaful does this well.

reducing cart abandonment rate

Nike is another good example of this practice. By adding high-quality zoomable images of a product from different angles:

It showcases a perfect blend of textures and details.

Another thing to do is to make 360 degree rotating images, depending on the type of product, this can do wonders for your conversion rates. Some Ecommerce brands have claimed that adding a third dimension to their product images boosted up their conversion rates by 10%. 

One more thing Nike does well when it comes to visuals is adding images to site search:

8% of users search on the site and 25% click on the image-based search results.

And while images speak hundreds of words, videos speak thousands:

reducing cart abandonment rate

Now that you have the visual part of the equation set, let’s get down to the copy.

P.S. If you’re using Shopify and looking for a way to increase your upselling game, showing related products is a way to go.

2. Copy

It’s not about just the product description, but the overall copy of your e-store.

Copy is there to convince customers that they want and need the product and that they trust your ecommerce to buy from. It is important that the copy is informative, relevant and presented in a clear and simple way.

Don’t use overhyped words like the best offer, cheapest price, best quality, and similar. People have learned not to trust those. Rather convince them that what you offer is truly the best by being fully transparent.

Before copywriting make sure that you understand who you are writing it for. Know the target audience. Know what problems your product solves and why they should choose it over a competitor’s solution.

Make sure that you answer every possible question and concern customers may have regarding the product too. For example, if you sell clothes, make sure that there are metrics next to each size so customers can check which size will fit them best.

Let’s use Zaful, again, as an example of good practice:

And Matein does a great job of combining high-quality visuals, both image, and video format, with clear informative copy:

reducing cart abandonment rate

And don’t forget about the value proposition.

Many Ecommerce brands struggle with this and forget about the importance of having a value proposition, hence visitors won’t even grasp what the site is technically about.

It is obvious that you are selling something, but what makes you unique, different, and better than the rest? What’s your USP?

Etsy has a clear value proposition: Find things you’ll love. Support independent sellers. Only on Etsy.

On the other hand, we don’t like Zaful’s approach on this one. Its strategy relies too heavily on discounts and price promotions, and while good prices are what they are known for, it’s not well-advised long-term.

reducing cart abandonment rate

3. Addressing uncertainties

Make sure you address uncertainties that people may have about your products. Part of this is reflected in the previous example of Zaful showing metrics for the sizes of clothes. 

Having FAQ sections on the product pages and live chats regularly available can definitely help.

Next, think about the return policy. Whether the customers will be able to return or change the goods, how long it takes for them to be shipped etc.

Return policy disclaimer should be clearly available to your customers.

Here Asos, a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer, clearly states Free Delivery and Free Return policy.

4. Persistent shopping carts

Here’s a scenario:

A potential customer visits your website, likes the products, and adds it to the cart. Before finalizing their purchase, they decide they’d like to compare the prices with other brands and end up temporarily leaving their carts and your website.

A few days later, they come back to finalize the purchase only to end up frustrated seeing their shopping cart expired. 

It’s quite unlikely they’ll go through the work again to add the products back into the cart and resume the purchase. And, just like that, you’ve lost a customer. 

Luckily, by implementing persistent shopping carts, your customers can rest assured their favorite products are still waiting for them, weeks to come.

Here’s how Book Depository does it:

reducing cart abandonment rate

Your cart items will usually last weeks on end, if not more before they expire. 

You can also offer customers to save their cart content by emailing it to them. This way you even get to build your email list. Try testing this handy trick.

If you’re looking for more Ecommerce CRO hacks, take a peek at this article.

5. Frictionless checkouts

Many online shops lose their customers here. Long checkout forms, poor payment options, and too many mandatory fields are bothersome.

This is why Amazon is so popular. It saves all the information and ultimately saves time through the checkout process. 

Some stores even require that you fill both your address and shipping address even if you state they are the same! Not to mention, websites that ask for your physical address even though you are buying digital goods! Just awful. 😒

If you were to be presented with a checkout form that looks like this, you would leave too.

Instead, break the process into a few separate steps and divide them by showing them separately, like this:

reducing cart abandonment rate

Start by asking easy questions and from there build up. Ask only for the most important information needed to receive and ship the order. 

Show progress indicators 

Customers like to know where they are in each process and how much they’ve got left. Make sure that the list is numbered and visible to the customer:

Offer multiple payment options 

Different people have different preferred payment options, and surveys have found that 50% of the shoppers will simply cancel their order if their preferred option isn’t listed.

There are people that also don’t like risking their private data, and prefer using PayPal, so by adding PayPal as a payment option, you can win over a great proportion of customers.

Here’s an example:

reducing cart abandonment rate

Now that you have offered multiple payment options make sure that you simplify credit card input as much as possible. 

Not everyone knows what a CVV code is, and loads of people can’t even figure out their credit card number, or the type of card they have. 

There is absolutely no need for you to ask customers the type of their credit card. 

Bad example-wise: ASOS here asks for a credit card type – totally unnecessary.

Always remember that your main task is to make lives easier, not complicate them. Constantly think about how you can optimize and make processes easier. 

reducing cart abandonment rate

Sometimes a simple explanation of CVV is all you really need.

6. Promoting shopping cart contents

Just because they have added it to the cart, doesn’t mean they are going to even check the cart again, let alone buy it.

You need to keep on selling it to them, but don’t be annoying. A potential solution is to add a perpetual shopping cart.

A perpetual shopping cart will display the content of the cart while users scroll and browse around the website. The goal is to constantly remind the users about what they are going to buy.

Most shops show only the number of products customers have put in their baskets like Zaful does here:

It looks aesthetically pleasing, but it really doesn’t do the job. 

People will forget about it and move on with their lives. 64% of the Ecommerce brands have reported that their conversion rate increased thanks to using the perpetual shopping carts.

7. Following up with cart abandoners

If you have checked everything above, then you should try following up with cart abandoners.

By sending a simple email you can recover up to 30% of abandoned carts. 

You would be surprised how small the number of companies that do this is. Zaful gets another checkmark here:

reducing cart abandonment rate

Make sure that you send the email ASAP, because if they make a purchase somewhere else then it’s game over. They won’t care anymore.

Also, it is important that you track the insights carefully, like open rates and click-throughs, to see whether these emails are effective or not. Maybe you need to do a few tweaks to the subject line and overall copy.


Abandoned carts can drastically influence your revenue. To reduce chances for cart abandonment make sure to be transparent when describing products, use zoomable images to present product textures. 

When dealing with cart abandonment make sure to follow up with an email, add a perpetual shopping cart feature, provide multiple payment options and make the cart page informative.

Many of these core features are easily implementable using Shopify apps

By downloading an app called Vitals, you can make your life a whole lot easier. 

It’s 40+ apps in one, powerhouse app, aimed at scaling ecommerce brands looking to increase conversions, revenue and profits with a cost-effective solution and easy app management.

Start a 30-day free trial of Vitals now.

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Jordie is a content marketer and strategist specializing in B2B, SaaS, and Influencer Marketing. Currently, Jordie is building their first DTC e-commerce business.

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