Conversion Optimization

27 powerful ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment (w/ examples)

Almost 70% of shoppers leave their cart without buying. How to reduce cart abandonment rate? Here are 29 powerful ideas to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Check it out (pun intended)

27 powerful ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment (w/ examples)

The average shopping cart abandonment rate on a global scale stands at 70.21% today. 

Mobile cart abandonment rates also drive the point further—as of 2023, it’s pegged at 85.65%

It is, without doubt, one of the biggest challenges that eCommerce founders face today. 

Which is why in the piece below, we’ve rounded up our learnings from working with 500+ businesses across the world—on how to tackle cart abandonment and slowly move towards better conversions. 

Let's jump into the tactics, shall we?

27 powerful ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment

1. Pitch smaller % but higher $ discounts

As per a study by Klaviyo, the revenue generated from emails that pitched a 5% off was higher than those that pitched a 25%+ discount. 

lower percentage discounts promise greater revenue per shopper

Taking this data into consideration, when you create your popups or landing pages, try pitching a smaller discount to drive more checkouts and reduce cart abandonment. 

For dollar-based discounts: The greater the better. This is due to the nature of the discount.

When you say flat $50 off, it's a fixed amount - regardless of the amount the shopper has to shell out. 

For percentage discounts: Keep them lower, because they can quickly add up even if they seem not so huge. 

Remember: The Rule of 100

For setting discounts, look at what your price is—if it’s lesser than $100, offer a dollar discount—for what’s above $100, stick to percentage discounts. 

2. Reduce anxiety triggers  

You’re responsible for reducing friction at the cart stage because it’s literally right before checkout. 

In fact, research clearly shows a correlation between anxiety and the reduction of online purchasing. 

Here are some tips to make your shoppers’ lives easier after they’ve added to cart:

- Offer options to edit the cart with buttons to add or detract quantity, choose a different color/size, save for later etc. 

- Ensure the coupon field is fully functional—that is, it shows relevant offers and application is easy & instant 

- Provide at least 3 different modes of payment—include a 1-click checkout for faster purchases

- Write return and exchange policies in simpler language

- Recommend up to 3 relevant products only and no more to avoid paralyzing shoppers with too many choices

- Ensure that your trust seals and logos are recognizable 

- Remove distractions such as pop-ups, sticky navigation bar, and footer

- Offer multiple delivery options such as store pick-ups and paid options for faster shipping

- Give shoppers a chance to review the order before making the payment

3. Add nudges for convenience 

urgency nudges can help you reduce cart abandonment

Customers tend to overthink their purchases. 

And this is why if you’re able to figure the right ways of guiding them towards the right products, you’ll also probably be able to reduce cart abandonment. 

Here are a few things you could do to call attention to products:

- Already in the cart, with additional info such as promo offers and extra features

- Browsed previously, with date and time info  

- By showing real-time stock alerts to create urgency

- By featuring trigger exit-intent pop-ups 

- By adding a countdown timer to show how much time is left on a promotional offer

- By using price anchoring—striking out the higher price & highlighting the lower price

Remember: You can add nudges like ‘email my cart’ or ‘share my cart’, which helps shoppers to visit their cart or get feedback from their friends on certain products. 

4. Offer a snippet of product description on the cart page 

Including a snippet of your product description will allow users to think about the purchase—for a tad bit longer. 

Reduce customer objections: Pick out how the product can impact the shopper’s life—looking at the lifestyle preferences of your target audience can help you pick out the details that’ll matter most to them. 

Alternatively, include the customer support number or live chat option to ensure customers can reach out. 

5. Let them know WHY you’re asking for info

feature only those form fields that help a shopper finish the purchase quickly

According to Baymard Institute, 61% of respondents in a survey complained that many ecommerce websites ask for information that seems unnecessary or too much. 

You might have a very solid reason for asking for their contact number or alternative email address etc., but visitors need to know what that reason is. 

This helps remove any fears that visitors may have on shopping from your website and reduce cart abandonment rates.

6. Keep talking to customers through the buying process

Give your customers a seamless browsing experience by integrating customer support services.

As soon as buyers reach the checkout page, they often tend to have doubts related to the refund policy, the payment procedure, or the quality of the product.

Feature the live chat option within accessible view—alternatively feature a phone number as well—just like in the following example.

an accessible live chat option helps shoppers through checkout

Ensure the chat window presents options like FAQ (increasing the level of self-service) and click-to-call (improving the time it takes for the customer to get an answer to a complex query.)

Warby Parker live chat example

Reassuring messages like ‘We’re almost there’ and ‘One step and you’re done’ encourage the customers to go the whole nine yards.

7. Be clear about all costs on every relevant page

According to research, extra unforeseen expenses are the No. 1 reason shoppers abandon their cart. 

In fact, 48% of customers abandon carts due to unexpected costs. 

Once a buyer adds a product to the cart, they will not like to witness a jump in the amount. 

For instance, if any product is removed from the cart page, the total billing amount should reflect that change. This applies to shipping costs and taxes as well. 

Check out the following example—notice how elaborately the brand mentions the shipping options—some even let the shopper calculate, so that the final price reflects it.

multiple relevant shipping options make for easier checkout

Be upfront about all costs - shipping charges, taxes, and other probable fees. 

You can also provide: Multiple delivery options and point out how much each will cost. For example, Amazon offers express delivery and relaxed delivery.

8. Ask customers to register after checkout

crate & barrel checkout page example

Creating an account can be a huge deterrent and cause shoppers to abandon their cart. 

Customers have become more conscious about sharing their information. They will hesitate before signing up through their Gmail or Facebook accounts, fearing breaches in social security. 

However, you do need a way to communicate with your ‘guest checkout’ customers. 

The solution: You can ask them to create or register after purchase. You can make it an attractive proposition by offering a relevant CTA that says ‘track your order’. 

Once the order has been delivered, you can transfer these customers through the post-purchase email journey.

We suggest offering promos such as ‘40% off on your next purchase’ to increase the possibility of repeat orders and reduce cart abandonment.        

9. Are you changing to international currencies?

If you have scaled your eCommerce store for international deliveries, then you need to show that transition in the shopping experience. You don’t want to frustrate customers as they calculate the exchange rate. 

What you can do: Include geolocation capabilities to calculate shipping costs. Optimize cart and checkout pages so that they are easily translated into different languages as well.  

A brand that’s known to optimize their site for various currencies is Nordstrom—as soon as you land up on their homepage, you’ll notice all the prices in your native currency. 

10. Don’t just make it mobile responsive (design for mobile!)

The mobile shopping experience needs a different design if you’re trying to figure out how to improve the cart abandonment rate. 

Quick Tip: Optimize the cart page for a one-hand user experience and keep the most relevant clicking elements in the thumb zone (like a full-width CTA button?).    

Utilize dynamic keyboards that change with checkout field needs.

So when you need a customer to type in a phone number, or use a numbers field, be dynamic by showing only a numeric keyboard. You can do this for letters or special characters as well.

11. Highlight IMPORTANT details of your refund policy in a few words

If you’re trying to get shoppers to reduce leaving their shopping carts, one area of focus should be how you feature the refund policy. Remember that most shoppers don’t like legalese and many pages of fine print. 

So try summarizing the whole thing in 2-3 lines and mention what matters on the checkout and product pages such as offer trials and free samples—and alongside feature a link that hosts the whole policy. 

let shoppers know the most important details of your refund policy in short

12. “Save for later” exit-intents 

There’s nothing better than saying something engaging to your users—just when they’re about to leave.But gifs, discounts and sales are all generic and overused. 

A more personalized option is to ask them to “Save for later” by signing up. This is an easy way to get their email and engage with them. 

You can also add previews of pop-ups for a better mobile experience and reduce cart abandonment. This will also be compelling to the visitor as it's more relevant to them and not too pushy. 

offer the save for later option in your exit intent pop ups

13. Create trust around a secure checkout

Safe checkout is everybody’s top priority when shopping on an eCommerce site. 

Research shows that 60% of customers don’t buy from sites without trust badges.  

Include trust badges from recognized organizations. 

VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Norton icons assure customers that their financial data is secure. 

Popular and secure trust badges examples

14. Give pop ups a rest  

A popup is great but popup(s) are bad for the user experience. It disturbs the shopping experience of users on the cart page. 

Here's some advice — avoid banners and pop-ups that customers are compelled to click and move to another page (which becomes an endless loop.)

RXBar has a simple cart abandonment page with no popups or banners. The goal of this page is to provide payment methods and address concerns such as shipping costs and the option to enter the promo code. 

a simple cart page design takes away distractions for shoppers

15. Make the CTA pop 

Instead of using too many CTAs with the same button color, the right way is to make the main CTA button stand out by adding a unique color button. 

Under Armour uses a red CTA button for checkout which is a visual cue for the customer to take action. 

Remember: Red is a color associated with urgency. 

using a bold checkout CTA button persuades shoppers to keep moving towards paying up

16. Upsell for sure (but subtly)

Upsell products using their browsing activity by looking at their intent data.

Be gentle with product recommendations so customers complete the purchase without abandoning their shopping cart. 

RXBar makes product recommendations gently using the copy.

Second, the products are aligned with the health goals of the target audience.

Not to forget, that the brand offers free shipping on all orders over $30, making it a persuasion trigger to qualify for the free shipping. 

the language used for upselling has an impact on the shopper's buying decision

17. Make the payment process user-friendly 

Long and complicated checkout processes form 17% of the reasons why customers abandon carts. 

The payment process must require less time to complete. Offering express checkout is an effective way to reduce cart abandonment. 

Gymshark offers express checkout with three payment options.

PayPal and GPay are popular payment methods that elicit response due to their familiarity.

Familiarity is one of the most important types of social proof. Interestingly, 27% of US customers use PayPal and Amazon. 

Gymshark offers multiple payment options at checkout

BNPL options also compel users to make purchases since they can pay in four interest-free installments and distribute the financial burden. 45% of customers use BNPL services to pay for purchases they can’t afford. 

18. Enable editable buttons on the cart page 

Your cart page should be a reminder of the items the customer is going to buy. The customer shouldn’t have to leave the checkout page to edit their order. 

Anthropologie allows customers to remove and edit their order on its cart page. 

make it easy for shoppers to edit their order at checkout

The Save for Later option is an effective way to keep the customer in the loop so the chances of a recurring purchase are high. 

19. Offer multiple shipping options  

Since not all brands provide free shipping, there has been a rise of curbside pickup and in-store options.

This saves time and costs for both customers and the retailers. 

Another option to induce confidence is to specify the delivery date so that customers aren't kept in the dark.

As per a study, 48% of customers prefer 2-3 days whereas 42% of customers are okay to receive it in 4-7 days. 

If you have a physical store: Experiment with shoppers being able to order online but picking up locally (based on their location.) This is what iconic brand IKEA ensures in a way to ease the lives of shoppers. 

20. Always keep the shopping cart within reach

A smart way to ensure customers can locate their carts is to show nudges or visual cues.

BuiltAthletics uses a blue color nudge to highlight the cart. This helps the shopper easily spot and navigate to the shopping cart. 

You could also try: A floating cart button that expands into the mini cart when the shopper is done scrolling. 

BuiltAthletics cue to guide users to the shopping cart

21. Highlight credit card decline with reasons

4% of US customers state declined credit cards are the reason for cart abandonment. 

Often the reason for credit card decline is non-payment of dues or insufficient credits but the customer is forced to go to the bank website to confirm. 

Your eCommerce checkout page must confirm the exact reason and provide other options such as express checkout and BNPL

22. Nudge them towards checkout 

Once the customer adds the items to the cart, provide two options ‘Continue Shopping’ and ‘Go to Cart Page’. By color blocking the “checkout” button, you’re also offering intuitive directional guidance to the shopper. 

 MyProtein gets this right making it a UX win. 

offer options to checkout and to continue shopping on the cart page

Create identifiable visual patterns. Notice how the CTA and the color of the CTA button and the cart are the same. This is a visual cue for customers to take action. 

The checkout CTA and the rest of the elements on the cart page must be distinct in terms of colors. Here’s an example from 

ensure shoppers can correlate between design elements at checkout

23. Draft cart recovery emails that are different and not boring 

The open rate for cart recovery emails is almost 50% with a 6.5% CTR. 

The key to stand out is to tackle 2 key areas: the subject line (yes they are important) and the body of the email. 

Experiment with email workflows: You can ask for feedback regarding browsing experience, share testimonials, send cart, search, browse, and category abandonment emails.

Here are a few tips to craft the cart recovery subject line to be more convincing: 

- Avoid being too direct like “Complete your checkout to get your product”—keep room for some curiosity

- Use humor to grab their attention—it gives readers a chuckle and keeps them interested in what you have to say

- Use emojis to add a bit of personality to your subject line but make sure not to go overboard. 

cart recovery subject lines with emojis

- Avoid leading with generic offers like Free shipping—instead offer a dollar based discount because it can impact the CTR

When it comes to the cart recovery email body, here are a few to-dos:

- Provide more alternatives to their selected product—more colors or versions—this keeps them interested if they happen to change their mind

- Design your email to replicate the cart page of your website—it creates recall

24. Spend smart on Retargeting (weed out low-performing ads)

Retargeting ads aren’t anything new—but they can potentially cost a lot to reduce cart abandonment. 

If you’re not generating the ROAS you expect: Take a look at the ads you're running, identify which ones have generated the most traffic back to your site and the largest conversions. 

An easier way to run an analysis of your ads is by using tools that can run a thorough analysis of all your ads and provide insights on what’s working, what isn’t and how to fix them.

25. Test the cart page YOURSELF

A/B testing is a crucial part of the eCommerce conversion strategy. It helps you decide what’s working, what needs improvement and consequently reduce cart abandonment rate. 

Use your eCommerce store and follow similar paths as your customers. 

Browse, add products to the cart, fill out each form, and complete each field. 

This will help you determine challenges on the cart page.

You will be able to answer questions on font reliability, product image view, effectiveness of product descriptions, navigational UX and so much more.

26. Site crash? All you need is an engaging error message (+ navigation resources)

Yes, you certainly need a developer watching your site’s uptime and keeping a check on your store’s vitals but sometimes, for even the biggest websites, things can go south. 

What can you do to keep visitors from abandoning their cart?—A funny but helpful message, like the following one:

Madcloth error page message is interesting and showcases navigational links

What’s great about it?

- Witty copy that incites an emotional reaction from the shopper

- Links that can lead the shopper back into the site & help further exploration

Additionally, feature navigation links that can help the shopper continue their journey within the site.

27. Make sure your site works fine on ALL browsers 

Your eCommerce store caters to different customers with different choices of browsers.

While Google Chrome is the most popular browser with 64% of users worldwide and 49.2% in the US, other browsers have a sizable user base. 

Put your IT team to work and make your site work all on different browsers. 

To reduce drop-offs, ask users to shift to a different browser for a better experience and in the meantime work on making the site all-browser compatible. 

Recommended reading:

40 Abandoned Cart Email Examples that Actually Win Back Lost Customers

Cart Abandonment Pop-Up: 14 Amazing Examples (That Actually Work)

Prevent Shopify Cart and Checkout Abandonment: 24 Tested Ideas

Cart Abandonment 101

1. What is “cart abandonment rate”?

Cart abandonment is when customers add products to their cart and start the checkout process but leave before completing the purchase.

This cart abandonment rate identifies the percentage of users that leave before completing the checkout process. 

A high cart abandonment rate indicates a poor customer experience which affects the overall revenue of the business.

2. Why is cart abandonment cart rate high?

Customers can abandon their shopping carts on your website for a lot of reasons.

Lack of Trust - Even though the world has switched to making digital payments for every purchase, there are still some people who are afraid of making online transactions and providing information about their credit and debit cards to any website. 

Hence, it is important that you improve the conversions of your website and build the trust of your customers via social proof and by building a strong brand name. You can also offer the advantage of a strong return & refund policy to your customers to win their trust.

High shipping costs - Most of the customers abandon shopping carts when they get to know how much their order totals to with the shipping charges. Offering free shipping promos can solve this problem for your customers.

Complexity - Online shoppers generally have a short attention span and will abandon the checkout flow if it is too complex or time-consuming. You can avoid this by making the checkout process easy and painless. (Here are some valuable suggestions.)

Lack of payment options - Limited payment options can make your customers abandon the shopping cart—when customers don’t find their preferred payment option, their intent to make the purchase often changes.  

Technical problems - Slow site speed, frequent error messages and error pages can push shoppers towards cart abandonment. 

It is important that you keep a check on the analytics of your website and ensure that the checkout process has no show-stopping bugs.

3. How is cart abandonment rate calculated?

The shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of transactions that were initiated.

Shopping cart abandonment rate gives the retailers an idea about the percentage of users who change their minds after adding the items to the cart and abandon them.

4. How do you target cart abandoners?

Targeting cart abandoners is a three-step process:

Step 1: Communicate & remind

Shoppers leave their carts behind for a number of reasons including distractions, sudden worry of impulse buying, finding a better deal elsewhere as well as more common issues like unprecedented high costs and friction in the checkout flow. 

When you’re targeting cart abandoners, the idea is to re-engage them in a conversation about the abandoned cart—through email, SMS or WhatsApp messages. 

Here are a few ways to ensure your communication is relatable for shoppers:

- A subject line that drives a benefit (they need to want to open that email or direct message)

- Within the email or message, the content needs to take their attention to the abandoned cart—tell them what they could be missing out on if they don’t buy immediately. 

Step 2: Offer something in return for checkout to resume

If they still don’t checkout after your reminder, it’s time to give them a reason to do so.

The only reason shoppers would sit up and take notice is if you give them an offer they can’t refuse. 

Position this as an urgency nudge: say it’s a one-time offer or feature a subscription discount for the product they added but didn’t buy. 

Step 3: Create checkout ease

Make it easy for shoppers to go straight to checkout from the email or the SMS. 

Feature a number of payment methods to simply moving forward—and if it’s a return customer, consider auto-filling some crucial information to prevent fatigue. 

5. How do I reduce abandoned carts on Shopify?

Here are some crucial steps you can implement when you’re trying to reduce cart abandonment on Shopify:

- Be transparent about all additional costs (offer a way to shoppers to calculate shipping charges for their location etc.)

- Offer rewards to returning customers (even small but repeated discounts for loyalty can establish a greater connect between shopper and brand)

- Feature a free shipping threshold (even if free shipping isn’t possible)

- Create a customer-centric return & refund policy (and ensure shoppers get to understand the fundamentals before & after adding to cart)

- Highlight FAQ & live chat support (this can take care of customer objections right when they’re occurring)

- Offer various forms of payment methods (a mix of traditional & emerging methods can help you target various segments of customers)

- Reduce form fields at checkout (only ask for information you need for the purchase & the delivery)

6. How do you improve abandoned cart flow?

When you’re trying to improve your abandoned cart flow, which is nothing but a series of messages you set into motion to reel cart abandoners back, you’ll have to look into the following:

- The time delays: When it comes to an abandoned cart flow, a time delay is essentially the time window you choose for a message to be sent within an event—for example, how soon you send out the first abandoned cart email after a shopper has left their cart behind is a form of time delay. 

The time delay for the first message is best kept within 2 to 4 hours of a shopper abandoning their cart. 

The second message can be sent in the next two days, and the final message can be sent two more days later. 

- The content you will use: It helps to use a tone that’s conversational and informative, Content that reads aggressive or plain salesy can be repelling. Check out how in the following example, the brand has used a tone which is humorously truthful about the situation:

example of engaging abandoned cart email message

- The persuasion techniques to use: Would you feature a dollar or percentage discount? Would you feature an exclusive subscription price? Or would you offer an extended warranty? When, how and what frequency you mention these can have an impact on a shopper’s intention to return to their cart.

Before you go, here's something to think about:

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.

And this is the problem ConvertCart solves.

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.

How we can help you:

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions.