Shopping Cart Abandonment: 6 Ways to Overcome it

May 11, 2015

As an online retailer, do you consider shopping cart abandonment a personal rejection? It’s not. But it can be a sign that something in your online shopping process needs your attention.  It may be time to rethink what is actually happening when your customer fills their cart and makes it all the way to your online checkout only to bail on the purchase. According to Business Insider, in 2013 “as many as 74% of online shopping carts were abandoned”. In dollars, that equals about $4 trillion worth of merchandise left in [online] shopping carts all over the internet. But all is not lost. In the case of shopping cart abandonment, you can fix the problem.

It’s a sad fact of online retailing that all too often merchants do things to make it far too easy for a potential customer to walk, or in this case, “click” away leaving unpaid for items in their online shopping cart. It’s in your best interests to make the checkout process more convenient for customers so they see it through to the end. In order to minimize shopping cart abandonment, it’s important to understand what would make a consumer abandon their online shopping experience with you.

1. Keep ‘em moving

The problem: After spending their valuable time shopping online, the last thing a customer wants to do is jump through numerous hoops and complete multiple pages of information before they can complete their purchase. 

You can fix this: Ask for only the bare minimum of information, such as name, shipping address and email during the actual checkout process. Leave requests for opening accounts and signing up for loyalty programs until after the sale is completed. A satisfied customer is more likely to want to provide that information. 

2. Tell them the cost...the whole cost

The problem: According to a study conducted by, about 41% of customers abandon their shopping cart because hidden fees crop up after they move on to the online checkout process. Additionally, 44% of customers abandon their shopping cart because of high shipping rates1

You can fix this: Make sure you clearly state all fees, such as shipping and handling, up front. Also, consider a variety of shipping options that range from free (for a minimum purchase, for example) up to premium, and next day service without a minimum purchase. This will provide the customer with a sense of control over their shipping cost. And if your shipping costs vary by geographic region, you can either offer rates based on the customer’s location, or you can average it out, looking at where the bulk of your online sales come from, and go with a flat rate. Club Monaco, for example, offers their online customers a flat rate of $8.00 shipping anywhere in Canada (which is waived for purchases over $150.00)

Take it one step further, and engage the customer with an incentive to keep shopping. Walmart tells customers how much more they need to purchase to qualify for free shipping. 


3. Make it easy to pay

The problem: If your customer makes it all the way to check out, only to find that their preferred method of payment isn’t available, you’ll quickly find yourself with an abandoned cart.

You can fix this: Offering a variety of secure payment options makes good business sense. A payment processing company, like Moneris, for example, can integrate with over 20 different third-party shopping carts for an easy, quick and convenient checkout experience. 


4. It ain’t over till it’s over

The problem: Customers leave abandoned shopping carts for a variety of reasons including not being ready to commit to the purchase. In fact, a study by Forrester found that 41% of online shoppers who abandon their carts do so because they are unprepared to make the purchase.

You can fix this: Business Insider estimates that of the $4 trillion in left-behind merchandise, approximately 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers1. Keep the dialogue open with customers by emailing them to remind them of what was left in their cart and invite them back to make the purchase when they’re ready. You can also offer customers a “wish list” where they can park unpurchased items for recovery at another time.


5.  Hey…check out is over here!

The problem: Your customer has loaded up their online cart, they are done shopping and now they just want to pay but they can’t find the “check out” button. .

You can fix this: This is the time to go big and go bold! Nothing can make a customer abandon a shopping cart faster than not being able to figure out how to complete their online purchase. Be sure to include a big, colourful button that links to your checkout page. Now is not the time to get creative - keep the copy on the button straightforward like “Check out now”, or “Buy now”.

6.  It doesn’t end with the sale

The problem: The sale is done and now what? Is your customer left wondering how long it will take to get their purchase delivered? Do they know how to track their items and who to contact if there is a concern?

You can fix this: Immediately after the purchase, a follow up email can be sent thanking the customer for their purchase and providing them with all of this information. Some savvy retailers, like Apple, continue the communication with regular updates to let customers know where exactly their items are in the delivery process.


This article is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to provide you with any personalized financial, marketing, accounting or tax advice. Neither Moneris Solutions Corporation (Moneris) nor any of its affiliates shall be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of use of any of the information contained in this article. Neither Moneris nor any of its affiliates warrant or make any representation regarding the use or the results of the use of the information, content and materials contained in this article in terms of their correctness, accuracy, reliability or otherwise.

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