Four things you can do to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates

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If you sell products on your website (for example, books, courses, or freelance writing services), the statistics can make for sober reading. About 70% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart. It’s certainly not what you want to hear at this time of the year, the most profitable season in the online shopping calendar.

But hope is not lost. Many shoppers who abandon their shopping carts usually come back.

However, for those times when they don’t come back, here are four things you can do, right now, to improve your checkout rates.

How to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates
How to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates
  • Woo them back with a discount

Use exit intent pop-ups to offer abandoning customers a discount. They are relatively quick to set up and are available from most list builders, like

Active Campaign, an email marketing service offers this tool through their site tracking feature.

The feature allows you to log people’s visit (that’s if they are already on your mailing list) to a particular product page. If they visit that page a few times without buying, that’s a clear indication that they are actively interested in your product, but have yet to make a purchasing decision.

You can nudge them towards a purchase by sending them a discounted coupon in an email. The best thing about this process is that it is all automated, so you don’t have to do much.

  • Review your security and payment settings

It’s great that you take online security seriously. But, are there any ways to make the verification process shorter for your customers, by for example, reducing the checkout steps to two?

They’ve piled their shopping cart with your products. They are now at checkout, and there you are, asking them for irrelevant information.

Think about it: do you really need their telephone number when you’re shipping a digital product?

They’ve made it this far. Don’t make life difficult for them or for yourself. Just keep on nudging them further along the checkout counter. The only way to do this? By making your checkout page as distraction free as possible.

Distraction-free webpage
Distraction-free webpage
  • Be clear about your shipping rates

There is nothing online shoppers hate more than shipping rates. They also hate being deceived, so be clear about your shipping rates from the onset. We all know what it’s like to pile things in our online shopping cart and get to the checkout, only to be slammed with a shipping rate that we weren’t aware of. We feel deceived. Being human, at that point, we react and do the only thing that we think is fair: abandon our shopping cart right there and then, if only to teach the supplier a lesson.

Be transparent about your shipping rates, and if they can’t be reduced, offer it as a premium service. For example, by offering delivery within 24 hours.

  • Display your returns policy

Again, this comes back to the trust issue. Have a clear and simple returns policy. Your customers may not have any intention of returning your products, but they like knowing that they have the option to do so.

It also goes without saying that you need persuasive copy to actually get your prospects to fill up their shopping cart with your products in the first place. And if you’re wondering how to do this, check out these posts:

By implementing these four steps, you should be well on your way to improving your checkout rates (and making those sales this holiday season :-)

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Author. Nominated for Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Helps writers write better & make more. Write your first book:

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