How To Reduce Abandoned Carts

June 14, 2023

Imagine this!

You have a brick and mortar store. A customer walks in and scans through the store. He/She starts filling up the basket with all the products they want. It seems they are enjoying the shopping at your store. And you are excited! They come to the payment counter and Boom!  They no longer want the stuff they put in their basket sometime back.

Sounds Familiar? The only difference is it happens with your online e-commerce store.

This is the everyday story of millions of online shoppers or Window Shoppers.  They come to your store, look at the products on the virtual shelves and fill their e-carts. Then, they are gone. They simply abandon the carts.

Abandoning Carts is not a new phenomenon. Shopping cart abandonment is a phenomenon when people add products in their carts and leave without proceeding to buy.

Abandonment is not just about abandoning the cart. It is anywhere between the cycle starting from opening your store in the browser to placing the order.

Cart abandonment may be the most prevalent one and may be easy to track. However, there are several types and patterns, store owners can look for to reduce abandonments.

Booking Abandonments

Booking abandonments refer to abandonment while booking tickets online. A customer initiates to book a traveling ticket or a hotel ticket but leave without completing to buy the offer. There is a whole lot of reasons and research involved over this, which you can find on salecycle.

Form Abandonments

This is the phase when a customer, willing to buy, abandons the store at form filling for quotes, newsletters, etc. It is quite obvious that form filling is mandatory while shopping online but this kind of abandonment occurs when form is either too long or not relatable to the current ongoing purchase.

There are several ways you can adapt to avoid form abandonment and yes, it can be easily controlled.

  1. Keep forms short and precise.
  2. Eliminate unnecessary questions.
  3. Design forms that are fun to get over with.
  4. Put guiding text/images for users to get through the process.
  5. Validate in the real time (in-line validation) that shows errors as soon as user makes one.

Browse Abandonments

When a user searches for a product in a search engine and lands on your store, and then after browsing products, he/she leaves without adding products to the cart, it is browse abandonment. Also, if a user has specifically visited your store and browsed some products and left without adding products to cart, then this is browse abandonment.

To win this public back is a tough job. Because they haven’t added products to the cart and this is a typical shopping behavior. However, store-owners send emails (discusses later in detail) that are highly personalized and targeted to get them back on the store.

Why is it important to reduce shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is a major issue prevailing in online markets where stats reveal almost every 2 carts in 3 are abandoned.

But wait, there can be a bright side to it! Cart abandonement can be considered as the gateway to people’s thought process who hold an interest to browse through your store and add things in their cart. This indicates they are interested. Why did they not buy? There can be a couple of reasons to it.

Reasons for abandoned carts


If targeted carefully, they may end up buying. Or better, they may even end up being your permanent clientele.

Before diving into the ways of how to get these people back on your store and especially in their cart, we will see what goes around in the mind of these people. It is necessary to classify the abandoners because we want to extract those who actually wanted buy products. This is the section we want to target and believe it or not, this is a smaller section!

Research shows that of all the abandoned carts, only 41% of these buyers were willing to buy and backed due to some or the other reasons. Rest 59% were never even ready to buy.

Now looking at the stats from statista, 61% of people felt the slam of extra costs. 61% of these 41/100 is 25%. These 25% people are those who wanted to buy but went back to not buying because additional costs emerged.

Research shows abandoned cart emails win back 12-15% of public and personalized emails are 6 times more effective. Hence, we are on our way to realize what could be done.

You can either prevent abandoned cart cases or aim for getting the people back. Based on this, there are two approaches to abandoned cart prevention and recovery.

  1. Before Abandoning
  2. After Abandoning

Before Abandoning

Here are 10 tips to ensure that people who came with the intention of buying never opt to leave without buying.

Tip #1: Display Images

On checkout page, go for displaying clear thumbnails of products instead of plain text. Images appeal to buyers, and while placing the order, they are assured of the features of the item. So, they tend to visit back to products page less.

Tip #2: Display Security Logos

Security Logos around the checkout page keeps the buyers assured of the payment related security concerns. Statista says 17% of visitors won’t convert because they are more concerned about their security.

However, there are other studies also that revealed adding such logos declined some visitors from buying, So it is upto you to make proper research and decision with respect to what kind of people are visiting your store.

Tip #3: Determine How Your Checkout Page/s look

In some cases, it is convenient for the buyers to have single checkout pages, and in some, multi-checkout pages are a necessity. You have to evaluate what kind suits your store the most.

Also, if you have provided multiple checkout pages, then make sure you display a progress bar somewhere so that buyer exactly knows how many pages are to be filled.

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling of “Oh, one more page to go” when people are excited to buy products from your store, so make sure you don’t kill the vibe.

Tip #4: Provide easy cart editing

All the discussion above in this article points to how people leave carts without buying. So when they are convinced enough to add products to the cart, keep them held there. It is very inconvenient for the buyers when the cart is not easily editable. So, your stores cart should be easy to edit so that buyers can correct their mistakes in the very instant without any hassle.

Tip #5: Provide different payment methods

Provide different payment methods to your buyers like paypal, various debit/credit cards, etc. Stats state 29% of people leave your store after reaching to payment page. Hence, making sure that people are not leaving because of limited payment options is one way to reduce this number.

Tip #6: Offer Help Services

While buying online, everyone usually is full of doubts. Some have doubts regarding the features of product, some have doubts regarding the time of delivery and so on. So, it will be a plus point to keep visitors stuck on your store by providing a toll-free contact number or a chat window by side.

Tip #7: Offer guest accounts

Studies have shown that your customer conversion can be improved by numbers by just one simple step: Remove compulsory registrations for buying. Providing to go on with guest accounts is one small yet crucial step that may change buyers mood completely.

Tip #8: Optimize shipping costs

56% of abandoners admitted that they abandon cart when bashed with additional charges. One good idea is to take care they are never presented with such situations. Shipping inclusive pricing of product will create a scenario where shipping seems to be zero or very small. So, never again let your buyers fly away just because their psychology says shipping are extra charges.

Tip #9: Include reviews

When you are selling in a market, which is already full of named brands, credibility is something that can set your game apart. Hence, make sure to include testimonials of your previous buyers to make visitors feel assured that what they are buying is not wrong.

Tip #10: Ensure exchange and refunds

Buying online, no one is sure that what they have ordered is going to arrive as expected. And, some items are such that even you can’t be sure. Firstly, take proper care when delivering products. Even after delivery, if the consumer is not satisfied then you should come ahead and take charge so that buyers get what they want.

All these measures when taken carefully will reduce a lot of abandoned cart cases before they happen. After this, if people seem to leave without buying, then there are some ways to pull them back and get them buying.

After Abandoning

Let’s dive into two of the most powerful ways to combat cart abandonment.

1. Ad Re-targeting

Ads Retargeting Flowchart

The above figure is pretty self explanatory. Retargeting is your ads getting displayed to people who have left without buying. Adroll says, “2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your [retargeting] ads to them as they visit other sites online.”

You have a lot of independence on how you want your retargeted ads to look. For example, if a buyer left after adding a pair of shoes on your store’s cart, then you can display that same pair of shoes to that buyer on all the sites your ads are allowed.

This is a great way to make people remember that they have an abandoned cart left at your store.

2. Abandonment Email Campaigns

This is most used and most effective way to get people back. Email recovery methods have been in place because this gives user a feeling that they are personally being monitored and that they matter.

There are many ways this practice is implemented and some predefined patterns. Usually, sending emails thrice is believed to be standard. One for reminding that cart has been abandoned after few hours, second and third follow up mails in the time span of days after first day.

So, the process of designing abandoned cart emails is a three-way progression.

  1. The Reminder Email
  2. The Email informing about Discount with Deadline
  3. The Deadline Reminder Email

The reminder email is the first email that you send to the abandoner to bring in his vision that his activity has been noted. Crafting these emails is a very crucial task. As you never leave any stone unturned in terms of marketing, give equally great attention to this technique of remarketing too.

There are several ways (that we will discuss later) you can design these emails to be very effective and hit just the right spot.

If the reminder email was not enough to woo your customers back then entice them by letting them know that you are now providing exciting offers on their buy. This step should be taken very carefully and only when necessary. Because, you don’t want people to believe that to get discounts, they should keep abandoning your carts.

To make this discount email more efficient, designate a deadline to mentioned offers. With the deadline attached visitors will feel more compelled to buy because “limited time offers” sound more appealing.

The last followup email should be a reminder of deadline and that discount period is about to get over. This is for those procrastinators who could have converted after second email but are too lazy. So, when they will see that offer period is ending they may rush to your store.

These is just a basic pathway for how to approach and retarget visitors with email campaigning. You can be as creative as you want to be. If you are looking for some inspiration on how to write enticing email, you can find some great examples on this Shopify article.

After going through that Shopify article there are various tricks that we came to know about. Following are some of the ways you can adapt to write emails that convert abandoned carts to sold products.

  1. You can use larger images that look attractive in the email itself.
  2. You should use larger buttons for call to action so that it makes visitor clear that he was supposed to buy this item.
  3. You should step out of the comfort zone of being too formal and use some bold sentences to grab the attention of the visitor.
  4. You should always show your concern for the visitor mentioning that he/she may miss an exciting offer.

Abandoned carts is affecting online sellers everywhere and sums up some of the worst affects on online retailing. But with the above set of rules, tips and tricks you never know what all good can happen! It may even convert those 59% visitors to buyers that never wanted to buy. So, go on with your experiments and win your customers back!

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