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Shopify Marketing

Prevent Shopify Cart and Checkout Abandonment: 24 Tested Ideas

How do you prevent your Shopify store customers from exiting at the cart and checkout stages? Read these 24 tested ideas to find out.

Prevent Shopify Cart and Checkout Abandonment: 24 Tested Ideas

Anyone in the eCommerce business knows how tough it is to negotiate Shopify cart abandonment by promising customers. 

And given that across industries, the average cart abandonment rate stands at 69.99%, businesses need to be on their toes. 

Then there’s Shopify checkout abandonment, a phenomenon where people begin filling out payment and shipping details, only to ditch the process and leave the site. 

Both forms of abandonment are known to rise even more during the holiday and festive season - for obvious reasons of amplified choice and distraction. 

The month of December, in fact, clocks the highest cart abandonment rates. 

Since both these metrics are crucial to your Shopify store’s success, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions that can help lower both cart and checkout abandonment significantly.

The sections covered in this piece are:

  • 10 tested ways to reduce Shopify cart abandonment
  • 14 proven ways to reduce Shopify checkout abandonment
  • FAQ on Shopify cart & checkout abandonment

10 tested ways to reduce Shopify cart abandonment

1. Reduce shipping costs

A Baymard study found out that 55% cart abandonment happens because of costs being too high. 

And one kind of cost that’s known to scare Shopify eCommerce customers away is shipping cost. 

Here are a couple of considerations you’d have to make while revisiting your shipping costs:

  • What kind of profit margin do you want? (Ensure to look at BOTH your fixed and variable costs to determine this.)

Pro Tip: Choose a highly reliable profit margin calculator app like Draft Profit Margins to calculate aspects like minimum order price & possible discounts. 

  • What extra costs would you not be able to reduce? (Maybe it’s the materials needed for producing a product or the increased price of manpower due to shortages.)

Here are some Shopify-specific ways to not let your shipping costs soar through the roof:

  • Leverage the Shopify shipping profiles feature. It lets businesses take control of shipping prices for each product. Calculating free shipping also becomes easier because you can draw out averages by applying specific rules to different shipping profiles. 

  • Offer bulk order discounts. When you promote bulk orders through discounts, buyers feel pulled to purchase more at one go. This nullifies the need for you to keep your shopping prices high. Use Shopify’s bulk order discounts feature through dedicated apps like MyBulk

2. Put an abandoned cart recovery strategy in place

As a Shopify business, it is not entirely possible for you to have complete control over cart abandonment behavior of customers.

However, to wheel customers who have abandoned their carts back, it’s helpful to put an abandoned cart recovery strategy in place. 

Here are some helpful pointers you can consider to come up with your own strategy:

  • Create a series of relevant recovery emails. Remember to create a sequence that feels compelling to the receiver and not annoying. 

For example, email 1 can be a simple reminder of what’s been left behind in the cart, email 2 can be about an attractive discount and email 3 can suggest other products that the customer might fancy. 

  • Enable push notifications. Including high-definition pictures in your push notifications can grab more attention. 

  • Send reminders over SMS. Creating urgency in a non-pushy way can be perceived as favorable by most customers. Offer a limited time window for the purchase to be made alongside an attractive discount. 

Pro Tip:

A Shopify specific app like SMSGo can come in handy. 

3. Use Shopify specific cart abandonment tools

A challenge like cart abandonment can become a persistent problem for your Shopify eCommerce store. 

To that extent, there are some powerful Shopify specific tools out there that can help you solve a number of issues that in turn result in customers abandoning their carts - from lack of live chat support to misplaced marketing efforts. 

Pro Tip:

Engage is an out-and-out email marketing platform that can help your Shopify business wheel back customers who have abandoned their cart.

Alongside, this tool also ensures you make the most of your email marketing strategy around wishlist reminders, welcome communication and upsells & cross-sells. 

4. Make them think differently using exit intent strategy

They add products of choice to the cart and even without clicking on “buy now” they’re out. 

With a clear exit intent strategy, you could craft exit intent popups that can help your customers reconsider their decision of leaving. 

Here are a few ways to ensure your Shopify exit intent communication is on-point:

  • Keep a lookout for the most probable causes for exiting. For example if you’re not offering free shipping but your closest competitors are, this could be a put-off. In this case, see if you’d like to offer a pop-up that promotes a sample product as a giveaway. 

  • Ask for customer feedback. Introduce a short, multi-choice form that’ll help users instantly select their reason for exiting. 

Here’s an example:

exit intent survey multi-choice example
  • Give them a reason to come back, even if they don’t shop right away - but make sure to have them added to your mailing list. 

Here’s an example that shows how:

exit intent popup asking for email signup

Pro Tip:

Use Seguno to create, manage and track how your exit intent popups are performing. 

Shopify popups on your mind? Read 18 ways to make Shopify popups less annoying (+ examples)

5. Use Whatsapp to serve up stellar customer support

When it comes to Shopify abandoned cart recovery, a lot depends on what medium you choose to communicate over. 

Whatsapp is known the world over for its high accessibility and open-and-read rate. 

As a Shopify business owner, you too could use Whatsapp to focus on a very specific aspect of cart recovery: top-notch customer support. 

Here are a few considerations to prioritize:

  • Send personalized discounts by highlighting benefits. A big part of personalization isn’t just getting your customers’ names and demographics right - it’s also about positioning the products they prefer in a way that they can relate and benefit from. 

  • Offer awareness around your user-friendly return/exchange policies. This is especially relevant support for those who’re unsure of making the purchase because they’re unsure about your policies. 

  • Highlight your post-purchase customer support. It might seem counterintuitive because they have abandoned their cart, right?

But it’s been seen that reassurances around post-purchase customer support work really well in re-establishing trust. 

  • Leave customer reviews on the products that have been abandoned. Something as simple as “(name of the product) is still waiting in your cart. Meanwhile, we thought sharing (customer name)’s experience with (name of the product) would be meaningful”, can work. 

  • Gather feedback on your website pages and features. This is an indirect approach to establish brand credibility through Whatsapp. Ask a limited number of pointed questions and make it easy to answer through multi-choice options as well as an open field for each question. 

Pro Tip:

Leverage a focused customer support app like Whatsapp Chat + Abandoned Cart to make it easier for customers to reach out to you (this app, for example, features a Smart Chat feature that customers can access immediately without needing to open an email etc.)

6. Make all ongoing discounts instantly accessible

Many shoppers are sure about the product they want to buy but aren’t exactly sure if they want to pay the price you’re asking for. 

So, they end up hunting for similar deals across other Shopify stores. 

One way to tackle this problem is to make your ongoing and applicable discounts feature around where the primary “add to cart” CTA is placed. 

If the customer can instantly apply these codes and coupons and figure out what they have to finally pay from pocket, you’re one step closer to converting them. 

Alternatively, the cart summary can also feature an “apply coupons” button, which can further expand into applicable coupons. 

apply coupons tab under order summary in the full cart page

Pro Tip:

Leverage the following Shopify apps to offer attractive cart discounts to customers:

Coupon Discount on Cart is a highly rated app that can help you feature handpicked coupons on the cart page, easing CX in the process. 

Stackable Discounts make it possible for customers to combine multiple discounts - while they’re alerted of the savings they’ve made. 

7. Offer them alternatives to account creation

Most shoppers freeze at the thought of account creation and would rather flee than proceed towards checkout. 

One way out of this challenge is to offer alternatives to account creation. 

Here are a few you could look at for your Shopify business:

  • A social login button 
  • A payment provider login option 
  • Guest checkout

While in the first two the user can leverage existing accounts to make a transaction, in the last they can use their phone to create an OTP and proceed. 

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to incentivize account creation. 

Offer a discount or a range of viable products that the user can sift through to pick a free product.

The idea is to highlight account creation anyway because we all know advantages like a personalized wishlist and super personalized offers can be enjoyed only through a user account.

8. Feature a CLEAR benefit in the cart summary 

When you’re trying to ensure customers don’t leave after adding products to the cart, you’ll have to make your cart summary work harder. 

Apart from the price, extra fees and other cost elements, the cart summary can feature a CLEAR benefit. 

Psychologically, this can be a reminder for the customer to make the purchase right away and not wait for later. 

Here’s an example from the well-known Shopify brand Luxy Hair

The brand automatically offers a FREE gift but also serves up the option of the customer choosing another free gift for themselves. 

Luxy Hair free gift options in the product bag
Keen to read more? Check out 30 Shopify product page templates (+ stunning real-world examples)

9. Launch a referral program leveraging Shopify-specific apps

Offered an attractive discount on the mini cart/cart page and you have potential buyers still abandoning their carts?

This is a classic example of customers wanting an even better deal - something that you can leverage with a referral program. 

A referral discount in the cart can read like this: 

“Get an additional 15% off when you refer 2 friends.”

You can also reward returning customers for already referring your brand to loved ones or for making purchases over a certain threshold. 

Here are two Shopify-specific apps that make referral programs easy to implement:

  • ReferralCandy lets Shopify businesses set up their referral program in just 30 minutes and send automatic rewards to customers who have made referrals. 

  • Gather makes it possible to target customers by how many items are lying abandoned in their cart. Additionally, the app features an efficient fraud detection system specifically created for self-referrals. 

10. Feature the chat button within the shopping cart window

Imagine a customer having questions after they’ve added items to their cart but suddenly feel fatigued by the many steps involved in reaching out for customer support. 

What are they most likely to do?

They leave their cart as is not to buy at that point in time - perhaps making a mental note to make the purchase later. 

As a Shopify business owner, this is a loss of revenue for you. 

One that can be avoided by making a simple tweak:

By featuring chat within the cart window. 

Here’s an example from Shopify brand Pipcorn. 

Pipcorn features the chat button in their mini cart section

14 proven ways to reduce Shopify checkout abandonment

1. Highlight your security certifications for customers to see

Thankfully, at a very basic level, Shopify ensures all its stores are PCI compliant.

By hosting your storefront on Shopify, you automatically check 6 PCI standard categories:

  • Ensuring a secure network connection
  • Safeguarding cardholder data
  • Incorporating strict access control measures
  • Running a vulnerability management program
  • Working actively with an information security policy 
  • Running regular checks and tests on network security

Additionally, when you install and activate an SSL certificate for your store, ensure you highlight it for customers. 

Added to that is the TLS (transport layer security) certificate that works to protect sensitive data of both merchants and customers.

If you have this activated, it’ll need highlighting as well. 

2. Enable guest checkout + one-page checkout

To strike a balance between gathering customer information for enhanced personalization and reducing customer frustration during checkout, two steps are necessary:

  • To offer the guest checkout option along with the usual “create an account” step
  • To offer guest checkout in combination with a one-page checkout option

The latter is especially relevant when you’re trying for customers not to abandon the buying process on the checkout page. 

Here’s a one-page guest checkout example from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, a Shopify brand. 

Jeffree Star Cosmetics one-page checkout example

3. Consider one-click checkout

The one-click checkout option is a cakewalk on Shopify because it lets merchants leverage their ‘Shop Pay feature. 

Shop Pay enhances user experience in a number of ways through one-click checkout:

  • Saves sensitive data around payment information in an encrypted format
  • Autofills shipping, billing, credit card and contact information that’s showing up for a repeat purchase
  • Offer the option to ‘buy now pay later’

According to Shopify, Shop Pay has been seen to improve checkout speed by 4X. 

The following is an example from sustainable fashion brand Allbirds, which features express checkout with Shop Pay.

Allbirds features one-click checkout over Shop Pay

4. Display all the available trust signals 

54% consumers who bought products over the internet have admitted that they’ve been victims of online fraud. 

This is all the more reason for you to feature trust signals on your checkout page on priority. 

Buyers respond well to a number of trust symbols on the checkout page, including:

  • Logos of established payment methods (wallets, credit cards etc.)
  • Visual signals of secure connection, security certificates etc. 

Look at the following example of a Shopify checkout page - it shows the many trusted payment method logos clearly. 

logos of trusted payment methods on checkout page

5. Enable alternative payment methods & approaches

Potential customers on your Shopify store are permanently on the lookout for the payment method that’ll help them finish faster than all other options. 

This is why it becomes critical to feature as many alternative payment methods on the checkout page as possible. 

Along with the typical credit and debit card features, you can consider the following alternatives as well:

  • Digital wallets like Amazon Pay and Google Pay
  • Loyalty points
  • Shop Pay 
  • Cryptocurrency

Thrive Causemetics, for example, offers a number of well-known internationally recognized digital payment options. 

Thrive Causemetics features multiple well-known payment options

Alongside, you may also want to offer customers the options to pay in parts, share payments with others (especially while buying gifts etc.)

Here are a few Shopify-specific apps that can help:

  • Split enables customers to split their order total into multiple staggered payments or even have it divided across multiple payers. 

The app offers a real-time synchronized view of updated and pending payments to avoid confusion. 

  • Paywhirl makes subscription-based payments possible.

The app is designed to offer customers control over how they manage and customize their subscription payments. 

Love what you're reading? Dive deeper with 24 effortless Shopify checkout page customizations that increase sales

6. Optimize when you send checkout abandonment emails

When you send out through abandonment emails to retarget customers is AS IMPORTANT as what you communicate over them. 

Here’s how you can stagger your checkout abandonment emails on Shopify, which allows you to select the time (under the “Send After” section within “Checkout”):

  • The first reminder can be 4 to 6 hours within them abandoning their cart and can focus on the items that were left behind. It makes sense to offer social proof at this stage. 

  • The second reminder can be within the first two days of abandonment. It makes sense to offer them a discount or a personalized free gift at this stage to make the original purchase seem attractive. 

  • The third and final reminder can be within a week of them abandoning their cart products at checkout. 

Here’s an example from leading mattress brand Casper, which is also known

to host its store on Shopify. Notice how they feature customer reviews in it. 

casper checkout abandonment email example

7. Offer multiple types of shipping (& charge for them separately)

With Shopify’s Carrier Calculated Shipping (CCS) method, it’s possible to offer multiple types of shipping options on the checkout page and also create separate charges for them. 

CCS enables merchants to feature shipping options across carriers featured by Shopify (such as UPS, FEDEx etc.)

Alternatively, if you have an existing third party carrier, you can link them to your Shopify admin. 

separately mentioning shipping options on Shopify checkout page example

8. Offer a neat price breakdown 

It’s easy to think that if the customer has added a product to cart, they should very well  be able to remember how much it costs.

And so, there’s no real need for a price breakdown at the checkout page. 

But here’s the catch. 

It is only at the checkout stage that costs around shipping can be calculated and added to the subtotal (typically the price of the product). 

This is why a neat price breakdown ensures customers are on the same page as you - and trusts that you’re not adding anything EXTRA at this stage. 

In the following example from Death Wish Coffee, it’s clear that shipping rates are based on location and are added once the customer keys in their shipping address. 

Death Wish Coffee features a price breakup at checkout

9. Optimize the format of your remarketing emails

It’s tempting to make your Shopify remarketing emails super creative. 

However, it’s best to remember that it is in fact VERY SIMPLE communication that wins customers back. 

While optimizing the format of your Shopify remarketing emails, here are a few factors you may want to double check:

  • The CTA needs to feature a low commitment action.

This creates a non-pushy environment for the potential customer to respond to. 

Here’s an example from Shopify brand Casper

“Return to Cart” is just a subtle nudge. 

casper CTA nudge on checkout abandonment email

  • Customer support links are non-negotiable.

Customers may actually want to reach out to talk of a hassle they faced on the checkout page.

Feature the link to your live chat, link to your FAQ section and also offer up any toll free support numbers. 

  • Highlight brand incentives.

And no, we’re not talking about targeted discounts.

We’re talking about factors like “easy returns” and “free delivery”. 

Here’s how Nordstrom does it. 

nordstrom clearly features brand incentives on their checkout abandonment emails

Pro Tip:

As an exclusive email marketing tool, Engage can work with you to personalize every remarketing email for every user so that you can prioritize their preferences in the most strategic ways. 

Looking for actionable advice around Shopify email marketing? Read Shopify email marketing: The complete guide (top strategies & apps)

10. Only ask for data that’s essential

Asking for too much information only lengthens your Shopify checkout process. 

One way to change this is to only ask for information that will help a sale happen. 

Another thing to remember is that if you’re asking some data for very valid reasons, ensure you clarify that and don’t let the customer do the guesswork. 

For example, if you’re asking for their phone number, mention it’s because they’ve chosen the order to be sent as a gift and it’ll help the courier

company stay in touch. 

11. Show prices in the native country’s currency

Quite naturally, customers don’t want to do the hard math of converting prices from another country to their own. 

In fact, to be able to do this on a Shopify store, a potential customer may step away from the checkout page never to come back. 

Avoid this CX gap by implementing a currency conversion feature at your Shopify checkout, especially if you’re an eCommerce brand operating internationally. 

Here are some Shopify specific apps that can help:

  • Currency Converter Plus features 222 currencies and updates currency valuations every few minutes. CCP is also fully compatible with Shopify Markets and Shopify Payments Multi Currency. 

  • Currency Converter Ultimate works seamlessly with Shopify markets feature and offers hourly exchange rates for more precise conversions. 

12. Offer coupon codes & discounts on the checkout page

To make Shopify checkout work towards customer retention, bring in coupon codes and discounts at this stage. 

There are two ways of doing this:

  • Email an applicable discount code to a customer or show it to them when they’re on your website (either on the cart or checkout page)

  • Directly apply the discount code that is applicable to the purchase value and type that the customer has made (as per Shopify rules, at any point in time, you can only have one active discount that can be directly applied.)

automatic discount applied at shopify checkout example

On Shopify, if a customer has an eligible discount code to apply, then they can’t enjoy an automatically applied discount and vice versa. 

Here’s how Shopify brand Loreta creates space for a discount code to be applied. 

Loreta allows customers to apply a discount code on their checkout page

13. Use a progress bar to let customers know how long it’ll take

Not all kinds of Shopify stores can incorporate a one-page checkout. 

Especially for more expensive and complex purchases which require the business to ask for more information/verification details, a multi-page checkout might be the only answer. 

Under such circumstances, a progress indicator is a must. 

Alternatively, you could also use breadcrumbs on the top to show what sections are still left to be filled by the customer. 

Here’s an example:

Loreta uses breadcrumbs to tell customers about their checkout progress

14. Let customers add items to their wishlist from the checkout page

Sometimes, it is impossible to change the minds of potential customers around checkout abandonment on your Shopify store. 

However, when you make the small adjustment of bringing in the wishlisting option on this page, it helps. 

What it does is it increases the potential of the customer coming back for the purchase at a later date. 

Additionally, it also makes more room for you to run your retargeting and remarketing campaigns.  

Anthropologie features a wishlisting option at checkout

To keep converting better on Shopify, read: How do I boost my shopify conversion rate? (8 effortless strategies)

FAQ on Shopify cart & checkout abandonment

1. How is cart abandonment different from checkout abandonment?

Though they’re often used synonymously, there’s a clear difference between abandoned cart and abandoned checkout. 

Cart abandonment occurs when a potential customer has added items to their cart but does not proceed towards the checkout page at all.

They make their way out either after glancing at the mini cart, or else after seeing the full cart page. 

Checkout abandonment occurs when a potential customer has already clicked on “checkout” and has landed on the checkout page.

However, for a variety of reasons, they can exit this stage either while filling out their payment or shipping details. 

2. What are the three most common reasons for Shopify cart abandonment?

  • Shipping costs being too high. 

  • Being forced to create an account before buying. 

  • Customers deal-shopping across several websites. 

3. How does Shopify calculate cart abandonment rate?

Shopify specifically looks at two separate elements to calculate cart abandonment rate:

  • How many successful sales took place
  • How many visitors added items to the cart

The rate is then calculated by:

(Number of visitors who added items to cart - Number of successful sales) / Number of visitors who added items to cart

4. Why are there so many abandoned checkouts on Shopify?

  • Too many forms to fill
  • Too many fields on each form
  • Lack of security and trust signals
  • No progress notification to orient the visitor
  • Repeated declined payments
  • Lack of trusted payment providers

5. What is a good checkout abandonment rate?

While the ideal checkout abandonment rate would be 0%, realistically, that’s just not possible.

So if you have a Shopify business and you don’t have an abandonment rate that exceeds 40%, that’s considered good.

However, businesses that are doing exceedingly well have an abandonment rate of about 20%. 

6. What is a good checkout conversion rate?

According to Shopify, anything above 3.3% is considered to be an excellent conversion rate amongst businesses on the platform.

Only about 20% of all Shopify businesses clock such numbers. 

7. How can I improve my Shopify checkout flow?

To ensure customers experience an easy checkout flow, you’ll have to ensure:

  • Limited number of form fields
  • A wide number of trusted payment methods
  • Social proof to validate the customer’s buying decision
  • Customers can buy using multiple currencies
  • Feature last minute incentives like discounts 
  • Display an indicator that displays checkout progress

8. What is checkout optimization?

Checkout optimization is a set of carefully applied strategies that can help customers experience a smoother checkout process while reducing friction & distraction and increasing trust & confidence. 

9. How do you initiate checkout?

The journey towards checkout is initiated as soon as the customer has added a product to their cart.

The very next step to a final cart page is checkout, which can either be a one-page process or lasting several pages. 

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