Conversion Optimization

21 Clever Ways To Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

Are you seeing too many checkout drop-offs? Read to find out some tried and tested methods to significantly improve the checkout abandonment rate of your online store.

21 Clever Ways To Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

Recently, I added products to a store’s cart but bounced off before payment as I found a store that would deliver earlier.   

Mere 10 minutes later, I received a call from a customer service person who outlined eligible offers for my cart.

Half an hour later, a WhatsApp message welcomed me to the community. 

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate - the june shop

And a couple of hours later, a welcome email

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate - the june shop

What’s good about it?

The whole experience planted a good first impression about the store’s customer service. 

Although I didn't purchase this time, I’ll remember the store’s experience and might even check out the next time. 

Furthermore, I will recommend them to others.

What’s not good about it?

While the call was a surprise marketing choice, only a few shoppers might like receiving them. 

Also, after a series of marketing messages, the store has gone cold turkey and I’ve received no other prompts to return to the store.  

This experience made me think of how stores are reducing checkout abandonment with tried and tested methods. 

How To Reduce The Checkout Abandonment Rate: 21 Tips

1. Reserve the cart 

Most first-time visitors might hesitate before buying from your store. 

On the other hand, if you sell high-ticket products or if the overall cart price is high, then shoppers will think twice before making a purchase.   

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Show a countdown timer to indicate that the cart will be reserved for a limited time

✅ Let shoppers ‘save the cart’ by sending it to their email or sharing it with their friends or family. 

✅ Ensure that cart contents are synchronized across different devices. If a shopper adds products to the cart on a smartphone, make them available on other devices as well. 

✅ For logged-in shoppers, save cart contents to their account so they can access it from any device.

✅ When a shopper returns to your store, show a prominent reminder about their saved cart.

2. Ask shoppers why they are exiting checkout

There are many reasons why people abandon checkout.

However, it might be different for your store.   

That’s why, the simplest way to reduce checkout abandonment is to ask your shoppers why. 

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Ask a concise and straightforward question, such as "We noticed you're leaving. Is there a reason you decided not to complete your purchase today?"

✅ Use multiple-choice questions and rating scales to make it easy for shoppers to provide feedback. 

✅ Make sure your exit surveys are optimized for mobile devices, as a significant portion of shoppers may be completing their purchases on smartphones or tablets.

Checkout Abandonment Rate Example - The June Shop

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

3. Offer social media login options

With social media login options, eCommerce stores can enhance the user experience, improve data accuracy, and drive higher engagement and conversions. 

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Use short, persuasive text like “Checkout faster with Facebook” or “Log in with Google for a quicker experience.”

✅ Customize the social media login buttons to match your site’s branding while maintaining the recognizable logos of the social media platforms.

✅ Incentivize with discounts, loyalty points, or exclusive offers for shoppers who log in via social media.

✅ Localize social media login options for shoppers from different regions (e.g., WeChat for Chinese shoppers).

✅ Test the login flow on various mobile devices to ensure it is smooth and intuitive.

4. Show product thumbnail and summary on the checkout page

Seeing the product image on the checkout page reminds customers of what they are buying, which can reinforce their decision and reduce second thoughts.

This also lets customers quickly review their cart without navigating back to the product page.

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Ensure product thumbnails are large enough to be visible but not so large that they clutter the page.

✅ Include essential details such as product name, price, quantity, and key features.

✅ Provide an option to expand the summary for more details without leaving the checkout page.

✅ Ensure the thumbnails and summaries are optimized for mobile devices, maintaining readability and usability.

5. Give shoppers an option to edit the cart - without leaving the checkout page

Incorporating an in-page cart editing option can significantly enhance the checkout experience, reduce friction, and minimize the likelihood of abandonment.

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Use simple up and down arrows or plus/minus buttons to adjust quantities.

✅ Show clearly labeled buttons and icons for editing actions (e.g., pencil icon for editing, trash bin for removal).

✅ Provide instant visual feedback (e.g., loading spinners, checkmarks) to indicate that the cart is being updated.

✅ Ensure that any changes to the cart are reflected immediately in the total price.

6. Use visual cues to show how far customers are in the checkout process

Cues help shoppers understand where they are in the process, how much is left, and what steps they need to complete.

How to reduce checkout abandonment rate:  

✅ Show a progress bar that fills as the customer progresses through each step of the checkout process.

✅ Change the color of completed steps to distinguish them from the current and upcoming steps.

✅ Display upcoming steps with a lighter color or outline to indicate that they are yet to be completed.

✅ Ensure shoppers can navigate back to previous steps without losing their entered information. 

7. Show accurate error messages

When customers encounter issues during the checkout process, well-designed error messages can guide them to quickly resolve problems.

This way, you can reduce frustration and prevent checkout abandonment. 

How to decrease checkout abandonment:

✅ Show error messages as soon as an error is detected (e.g., as the shopper types) rather than waiting until form submission.

✅ Use straightforward language that the average shopper can understand.

✅ Offer next steps with messaging like ‘An unexpected error occurred. Please try again later or contact support if the issue persists.’ 

✅ Highlight the erroneous field with a red border or background to draw attention.

8. BNPL option to reduce checkout abandonment rate

BNPL services let customers to spread the cost of their purchase over time, often with no interest or fees, making it more affordable and attractive to complete the purchase.

Millennials and Gen Z consumers, who are more likely to shop online, often prefer BNPL options as they may not have access to traditional credit cards or prefer to avoid accruing interest.

How to decrease checkout abandonment:

✅ Display the BNPL option prominently on the checkout page to ensure customers are aware of this payment option.

✅ Consider offering special promotions or discounts for customers who choose the BNPL option, such as a percentage off their first purchase or free shipping.

✅ Promote the BNPL option across various marketing channels, including email, social media, and website banners, to increase awareness and encourage adoption.

9. Provide a surprise gift or discount code 

Who doesn’t love a surprise?

Especially if they are surprise discounts. 

How to decrease checkout abandonment:

✅ Set a minimum purchase requirement for customers to qualify for the surprise gift or discount code. 

✅ Create a sense of exclusivity by limiting the quantity or availability of the surprise gift or discount code. For example, offer it to the first 100 customers or only for a limited time.

✅ Align the surprise offer with seasonal or holiday themes to capitalize on peak shopping periods and tap into the festive spirit of your customers.

10. Feature ‘Mystery box’ checkout

Another way you can improve checkout abandonment is with ‘mystery boxes’ where customers opt to receive a surprise selection of products curated by your store.

How to decrease checkout abandonment:

✅ Introduce limited edition or seasonal Mystery Box themes to create a sense of exclusivity and urgency. For example, holiday-themed Mystery Boxes or special edition boxes tied to popular trends or events.

✅ Use data analytics and customer insights to personalize the selection of items in each Mystery Box based on the customer's preferences, purchase history, or browsing behavior.

✅ Incorporate the Mystery Box option into your referral program by offering incentives for customers to refer friends or family members. 

✅ Create anticipation with exclusive previews or sneak peeks of upcoming Mystery Box themes to existing customers or email subscribers

Checkout Abandonment Rate Example - Rooted

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

11. Offer a ‘Try before you buy’ option 

Product samples can be an effective strategy to reduce checkout abandonment rates. 

This is a low-risk way shoppers can experience your products before making a purchase.

How to decrease checkout abandonment:

✅ Surprise customers with a sample pack of assorted products included with their order. 

✅ Let customers select a free sample of their choice from a curated selection of products at checkout.

✅ Offer virtual sampling experiences through video consultations or augmented reality (AR) try-on tools on your website. 

Checkout Abandonment Rate Example - Glow Recipe 

We love how Glow Recipe lets shoppers edit the quantity of samples they wish to try. 

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

12. One-click checkout for returning customers

One-click checkout option for returning customers can significantly reduce checkout abandonment rates and improve customer satisfaction.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Highlight the one-click checkout option on product pages, shopping carts, and the checkout page itself. 

✅ Provide a confirmation screen after the one-click checkout is initiated, summarizing the order details so customers can review and confirm their purchase before finalizing the transaction. 

✅ Ensure that the one-click checkout option is compatible with different devices and screen sizes, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

13. Outline a clear return policy

Create a positive shopping experience for your customers with shopper-friendly return policies on the checkout page.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Ensure that your return policy is prominently displayed on the checkout page where it is easily visible to customers. Consider placing it near the order summary or above the "Place Order" button to catch customers' attention.

✅ Use visual icons or symbols to represent key elements of your return policy, such as a clock for the return timeframe or a checkmark for eligible items. 

✅ Highlight user-generated content such as customer reviews, photos, or videos that showcase positive experiences with returns to build credibility and trust.

14. Ask for text updates

Text or WhatsApp marketing is a better way to connect with customers so that they are not overwhelmed by emails.   

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Explain the benefits of signing up for text updates, such as receiving real-time order status notifications, shipment tracking information, and exclusive offers or discounts for future purchases. 

✅ Give customers the option to customize their text update preferences, such as choosing the types of notifications they want to receive (e.g., order confirmation, shipping updates, delivery alerts) and the frequency of messages.

Checkout Abandonment Rate Example -  Burrow

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

15. Ask to save details for the next purchase 

Personalize your checkout experience by saving customer details to reduce any friction.  

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Use a prominent call-to-action button or checkbox with clear wording such as "Save my details for faster checkout next time" or "Remember me for next time".

✅ Ensure compatibility with browser autofill features so that the saved details can be automatically populated in checkout fields.

Checkout Abandonment Rate Example - Slowtide

Reduce Checkout Abandonment Rate

16. Offer a subscription-based checkout option 

Statistics show that more than half of online shoppers (54%) have subscribed to an eCommerce subscription box service.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Integrate subscription options with your loyalty program to reward subscribers with exclusive perks, discounts, or points.

✅ Use subscription options to cross-sell or up-sell complementary products or premium subscription tiers. 

✅ Let shoppers personalize their subscriptions by selecting specific products, flavors, or styles to be included in their recurring shipments.

17. Feature multiple payment options

Statistics show that 9% of online shoppers will abandon their cart if the checkout lacks their preferred payment options.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Include a variety of payment methods like credit/debit cards, digital wallets (e.g., PayPal, Apple Pay), bank transfers, and alternative payment methods (e.g., Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm).

✅ Consider offering region-specific payment methods or currencies to accommodate international customers and enhance their shopping experience. (For example, GooglePay in India).

18. Provide live chat support

Live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Address customers by their name, acknowledge their previous interactions or browsing history, and offer relevant product recommendations or assistance based on their preferences.

✅ Trigger live chat invitations when customers spend a certain amount of time on the checkout page, display exit intent, or attempt to abandon their cart. 

✅ Offer live chat support round-the-clock to cater to customers in different time zones or with varying shopping habits. 

19. Use exit-intent pop-ups to urge checkout 

Effective exit-intent popups can increase an ecommerce store's conversion rate by a whopping 20%.

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Set up exit-intent pop-ups to trigger when a visitor shows intent to leave the checkout page or website. 

✅ Offer a compelling incentive or special offer in your exit-intent pop-up to entice customers to stay and complete their purchase.

✅ Use persuasive language that communicates urgency and encourages immediate engagement, such as "Don't Miss Out!" or "Claim Your Discount Now!"

✅ Enable geotargeting to display region-specific offers and incentives that resonate with visitors from different countries or regions

20. Feature multiple shipping options 

A study shows that 67.77% of US shoppers value two-day shipping when shopping online, underlining the importance of fast shipping in eCommerce. 

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Offer a standard shipping option with an estimated delivery timeframe that meets customers' basic needs. 

✅ Highlight the shorter delivery timeframe and any guarantees associated with expedited shipping to appeal to customers who prioritize speed and urgency.

✅ Offer express or same-day delivery options for customers who need their orders delivered quickly.

✅ Provide store pickup or click-and-collect options for customers who prefer to collect their orders from a physical location. 

21. Include trust signals 

A study shows that 73% of consumers trust ratings and reviews before purchasing a product. 

How online retailers can reduce checkout abandonment:

✅ Display recognized security badges or seals like Norton Secured, McAfee Secure, TrustArc, and BBB Accredited Business prominently on your checkout page. 

✅ Incorporate customer testimonials, reviews, or endorsements that highlight positive experiences and satisfaction with your products or services.

✅ Show messages such as "Secure Checkout" or "100% Safe & Secure" to reassure customers about the safety of their transactions.

Checkout abandonment rate - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the checkout abandonment rate?

Checkout abandonment rate refers to the percentage of shoppers who initiate the checkout process but leave the website or abandon their cart before completing the purchase.

2. Why do shoppers abandon their carts during checkout?

Shoppers abandon their carts for various reasons, including:

  • unexpected shipping costs, 
  • complicated checkout processes, 
  • concerns about payment security, 
  • lack of trust in the website, 
  • comparison shopping, or 
  • simply changing their mind.

3. What’s the average checkout abandonment rate?

According to Baymard Institute, the average checkout abandonment rate is 69.99%.

This is an average of 48 shopping cart abandonment studies, which range from 56% to 81%

4. How can I calculate the checkout abandonment rate?

Checkout abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the number of completed purchases by the total number of initiated checkouts, then subtracting the result from 1, and multiplying by 100 to express it as a percentage. 

The formula is: (1 - (Completed Purchases / Initiated Checkouts)) * 100.

5. How can I follow up with shoppers who abandon their carts?

You can follow up with shoppers who abandon their carts by sending cart abandonment emails or SMS messages with personalized product recommendations, reminders, or incentives to complete their purchases. 

You can also retarget them with display ads or social media ads to encourage return visits to your website.

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