Abandoned carts happen when consumers put something in their online carts and then walk away or close the browser tab. This is more common than you might think—and every abandoned cart means lost revenue.

eCommerce businesses of all sizes handle abandoned carts at some point, but taking the right actions to solve the problem can be difficult. Everyone can create an abandoned cart email reminding consumers they left something behind, but is that really effective?

Why do consumers abandon their carts?

There are dozens of reasons consumers leave items in their carts, and only some of them are in your control. This can make it a very difficult problem to solve.

Sometimes, consumers get distracted, need to do something else first, or decide they simply don’t want the product any longer.

Other abandoned cart reasons are things you can solve. These include:

  • Misleading or nonexistent shipping and return policies
  • Hidden fees and charges
  • Slow-loading websites
  • Overly complicated checkout process
  • Desired payment methods not supported

4 Ways to Reduce Your Abandoned Cart Rate

1. Make website navigation easy to understand

Overly complicated website navigation and layout are the enemies of successful consumer purchasing. Especially if you market to an older demographic, adding complexity is never a good idea.

Not only does it confuse the customer, it also slows your website down. And if your website takes too long to load—even more than a few seconds—consumers can get frustrated and decide to shop elsewhere.

By removing unnecessary bloat on your website and making the user experience as simple as possible, you significantly reduce the chance of someone getting frustrated and leaving you behind.

2. Create a personalized email or campaign

While simple “Here’s what you left behind” emails used to do the trick, modern consumers demand a lot more personalization from the businesses they spend their money with.

Whether you want to send a single email or an entire abandoned cart sequence, take the information you have about the product left behind and send an automated email that highlights the value propositions of that product to the consumer. If that product can make a part of their lives much easier, list those benefits.

If you have user reviews or user-generated content (UGC) on social media, don’t shy away from including that in your abandoned cart email. It won’t come off as braggy—it will make the consumer feel like they can trust you and your messaging, because you’re using real people’s feedback and lived experiences with your product. That’s easier for someone to relate to than the marketing messaging you use to sell them on it.

3. Provide multiple secure payment options to choose from

Online payments are common in today’s economy, and the options for completing those payments are endless. Some consumers prefer to pay directly from a debit card, while others prefer the protection of a service like PayPal or Shop Pay. Payment plans through companies like Afterpay or Klarna that offer “buy now, pay later” solutions are also popular.

By providing as many options as possible, you significantly expand your potential market.

But what about checks? Surprisingly, some consumers shopping online still prefer to pay via check, and some high-risk businesses need to accept checks instead of credit cards. For eCommerce businesses, dealing with paper checks just doesn’t make sense; the time it takes to receive payment is much too long and slows down the entire process. Electronic check payment is a payment solution for websites that also exists for businesses that want to offer that option to their consumers.

4. Make shipping fees and return policies transparent and easy to find

Hidden fees and overly-complicated return policies are huge deterrents for consumers. Everyone wants to know exactly how much a purchase will cost them, down to the sales tax, shipping fees, and so on.

For example: If you only offer free shipping after a certain purchase threshold, make that explicit on your website and in the cart.

You could even use this to your benefit—if you add a banner that shows how far away free shipping is, consumers might be tempted to add more products to their cart just to get free shipping.

Additionally, some small business eCommerce sites require consumers to pay the shipping fee for any returns. Make sure to state this explicitly on your website to avoid any customer upset.

Decrease Your Abandoned Cart Rate – Starting Today

It’s impossible to prevent all cart abandonment, but you can decrease it dramatically. By improving website UX, creating personalized email campaigns, offering multiple secure payment options, and making shipping and return policies as transparent as possible, you can remove purchase roadblocks and ensure a seamless, successful checkout process for your customers.