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How to Reduce Cart Abandonment During Checkout

Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin

Your bottom line will see a boost when you take steps to make sure people buy what they add to their shopping cart.

  • The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 68%. 
  • Understanding your target audience can keep those consumers from bouncing off your checkout page. 
  • Simplifying the checkout process can remove one of the leading causes of abandonment. 
  • Accessibility options make your site easy to navigate by focusing on UX. 

Do you have an online business with a high cart abandonment rate? If so, you're not alone. On average, 68% of people will bounce from your checkout page without completing their purchase. It's your job as a business owner or marketer to retain these people and keep them interested in your brand. 

The thing is, there are plenty of reasons someone might abandon their cart. Lack of engagement, complicated checkout processes, limited accessibility, and distractions like social media are just four of the main causes of this phenomenon. 

Here are several tips to help you overcome these sales barriers. Additionally, we will show you how to put this advice in practice so you can reduce the number of people that leave your website without completing their purchase. 

Understand your target audience 

When you're marketing to leads through email and social media, is there a process you use to distribute content? One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when trying to convert leads is marketing to people that do not fit their ideal customer personas. 

Customer personas are essentially profiles that consist of traits possessed by people who benefit most from your product or service. For instance, if you run an email marketing SaaS, one of your customer persona traits should mention that this person is struggling to generate leads, or that they want to learn new ways to reach consumers. Knowing pain points and goals help you plan your marketing material, which is designed to bring people to your checkout page. 

Imagine what would happen if you got that process wrong. Let's say you create a marketing plan that only features the content you think consumers want to see. Suddenly, your cart abandonment rate is at an all-time high. People are not making the connection between your marketing material and product, which causes them to leave your website. This probably means that the people who would benefit the most from your product don't have the same vision or understanding of the product you’re offering. 

The best thing you can do is step back and take a look at your analytics data. You'll find a wealth of information about your customers through your email, social media and website data. Compile all of this information and create an experience that matches the goals, pain points and values of your audience and put it into practice, and you will see a reduction in cart abandonment. 

Simplify the checkout process 

If you want to reduce the number of people leaving your website, you have to consider redesigning your checkout page. We have all visited a website to buy something, only to discover that the checkout process has five pages. If you're like many others, you left that page and never looked back. 

Now take that experience and apply it to your own business. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do consumers have to navigate multiple pages to complete their purchase? 
  • Are there any limitations (such as shipping overseas) that consumers need to know before they enter their credit card number? 
  • Can customers easily find and enter their coupon codes? 
  • Will visitors get an email confirmation after they complete their purchase? 
  • Is the on-page text clear and concise so anyone can understand it?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you might want to consider simplifying your checkout page and procedure. One of the reasons consumers demand simple checkout processes is because many are using their smartphones to complete their purchases. Smartphones are convenient for consumers, but the small screens and precision required to navigate checkout pages discourage some users, resulting in an abandoned cart. This trend shows no signs up letting up, with mobile sales predicted to overtake PC sales by 2021

Add accessibility options 

Simplicity is great, but accessibility is a necessary component of every website. In a nutshell, accessibility boils down to creating a stellar user experience. Visitors should come to your website for the first time and understand how to navigate your site – including your checkout page. 

There are several UX decisions you can make that will streamline your checkout process and reduce abandonment. For starters, make sure consumers can see their cart icon, even if they are not done browsing. The cart serves two purposes. First, it acts as a reminder that the consumer put something in their cart and needs to checkout. The second reason is it improves accessibility by helping new users instantly navigate to their cart so they can complete their purchase. 

We also suggest adding a to your checkout page a chatbot that leads the consumer to a live chat agent if they have questions. Nothing will make someone leave your store like uncertainty. Your support team should be able to handle all of the problems that come their way. The accessibility of a live support team while on the checkout page can significantly reduce the number of people who leave your site without becoming customers. 

Remarket to abandoning visitors  

Remarketing, which is also called retargeting, is a marketing practice where you reach out to consumers that already abandoned your checkout page. The idea here is if you can convince them to come back and complete their purchase, your overall abandonment rate will fall. 

There are several ways to engage with consumers that fall into this category. But first, let's talk about how you add customers to your retargeting list. We are all familiar with the new regulation, where websites have to let you know if they are leaving cookies behind on your browser. These cookies are dropped and used to identify trends, like leaving a cart with items, so marketers can make a more enticing offer to convince the person to complete their purchase. 

Social media is an excellent platform for retargeting. There are over 3 billion people across all social media platforms, and you can safely bet that your target audience uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or one of the other countless smaller platforms. When that person is browsing their social media account, you can trigger ads, because of the cookie, that allows you to present a new offer. For instance, you could tell consumers if they come back and complete their purchase within 24 hours, you'll give them 25% off their order. 

Additionally, you can send email reminders to participants that created an account with their email address. This method of retargeting involves you automating emails to consumers that abandon their cart with a reminder that they left before completing their purchase. The key here is pacing. Don't flood consumers with retargeting emails. Instead, send one within 24 hours, one after 72 hours, and one a week after they left your website. 

Don't get discouraged by your cart abandonment percentage. You won't find a single business owner that sells to every person they meet. However, you can use these tips to improve your current checkout process and reduce the number of people that leave your website. Before long, you'll have a manageable abandonment rate, more sales and increased engagement. 

Image Credit: Nattakorn Maneerat/Getty Images
Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin Member
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.