Don’t Let Abandoned Carts Ruin Your Business

Last updated on November 5th, 2023 at 10:55 pm

Over 3/4 of shopping carts are abandoned before purchase, recovering some of that may be your key to success.

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Are you missing out on sales even though there are plenty of visitors on your site? If you don’t have a great retargeting strategy, you may well be. According to research, an average of 77.24% of visitors abandon their cart.

What this boils down to, in real terms, is that only three out of ten people are likely to complete the sale. That, in turn, means that seven out of those ten people choose not to close the deal. That’s a lot of business that you can’t afford to lose.

But what can you do about it? In this post, we’re going to answer that very question. We’ll look at:

  • Why people abandon their carts
  • How you can minimize the chances of them abandoning the cart
  • And how you can reel them back in after they have abandoned the cart

Why People Abandon Their Carts

There are a number of reasons why people fail to complete the sale. We’ll discuss the most common ones below.

No Trust

Imagine this. You find a site that you like. It has great products at good prices. You’re quite happy to load up your cart. Then you move on to the payment screen. Suddenly, you wonder, “can I trust this site with my credit card information?”

It’s a valid concern. Over the last few years, we’ve seen some massive hacks. And if huge companies like Experian and Capital One can fall victim, what chance does a small ecommerce store have?

How to Get Around This

Getting around this can be difficult. It’s not impossible, though. For starters, having a valid security certificate is a no-brainer. Go beyond this, and offer clients alternative methods of payment. Perhaps they could use PayPal or direct deposit. Giving them options helps them overcome qualms that they may have about the safety of your site.

The next thing to work on is building a strong brand. Show testimonials of happy clients. Encourage your existing clients to engage with you on social media. Let them get the word out.

Finally, consider instituting a generous return policy. If all other companies offer a thirty-day money-back guarantee, make yours a sixty-day one. Consider adding a prepaid return envelope. If clients see that returns are simple, they’ll feel more reassured about how professional your company is.

High Shipping Costs

Shipping is enough to drive the online retail nuts. If you offer free shipping, you must increase your prices accordingly. However, if you tack it on as an extra, they’ll rethink buying the item. Not all buyers realize that free shipping is incorporated into your costs.

How to Get Around This

There are a few ways to do this.

  • Be upfront about shipping costs. If you head over to sites like AliExpress and eBay, you’ll see that the shipping is quoted on the product page. This reduces sticker shock later. Your client won’t go through the whole process thinking that they’re paying $5 in total. They’ll know from the outset that they’ll pay $5 plus another $3 in shipping.
  • Offer free shipping. We’re not suggesting that you offer free shipping on every item. But why not offer free shipping if they buy above a certain amount? Or, if you need a quick sales boost, run a promo that offers free shipping.

Checkout Process Takes Too Long

Here, we’re going to use Amazon’s One-Click checkout policy as an example. It’s something that all of us at the office have used from time to time. Want to guess how many of those purchases have been canceled or returned? Hardly any.

Why? Because you can simply enable the feature, hit the “Buy with one-click” button, and you’re done. There’s no time to second-guess the purchase. There’s no sticker shock and no pause to input payment details. By making the process as simple as possible, there is less time for the client to change their mind.

If you’ve got a multi-stage checkout process, you might well be losing business. A long checkout process gives the person more time to second-guess their decision. The more complex the process, the more likely they are to become bored or decide it’s simply too much effort.

How to Get Around This

Streamline your checkout process as much as possible. Make it as simple as possible to facilitate impulse buys. Every time someone has to go from one page to another, you’re giving them extra time to rethink their decision.


In some cases, users simply have little to no intention of buying at that time. This is the online version of window shopping. They might just add things to the cart with the intention of taking another look at them later. Or perhaps they want to see if they can get a better price somewhere else.

How to Get Around This

Try to create a sense of urgency. This could be in the form of limited-time promotions or a value-add that’s too good to resist. Perhaps a follow-up email offering an additional 5% off the purchase or free shipping might tip the scales in your favor. Just be sure to put a time limit on the offer.

Consider Alternative Buying Channels

We’ve already mentioned the idea of offering different payment options, such as PayPal, to increase trust. Now it’s time to do some market research. Would clients like an app that’s linked to their phone payment system? Do they want to buy on social media? You don’t need to have 20 million payment options, but do make sure that you have the ones your target market prefers to use.

Your Goods are Overpriced

The curse of the digital age is that it’s so easy to compare prices online. If your prices are significantly higher than those of other similar stores, you’ll lose a lot of business.

How to Get Around This

This is a difficult one. There’s only so much price-cutting that you can engage in before it becomes unprofitable. There are two ways to go here.

  • Stick to the higher prices, but offer added value. For example, instead of just selling your hand cream, throw in a free nail file as well. Or, why not partner with a local nail salon? This way, you could offer a 10% discount on a manicure. The idea is to find add-ons that won’t cost you a fortune, but that your clients would find valuable.
  • Offer bulk discounts or special coupons. We all love getting a bargain. Offering a discount might make your prices seem more reasonable.

Technical Issues

Online users have little patience for sites that take forever to load. They have even less patience for broken links or having to hunt around for pages they need. Of all the issues listed above, this is probably the one that will cost you the most business.

How to Get Around This

If necessary, consider redesigning the site. Strip it off all elements that have no value. It’s far better to have a simple site that works flawlessly than a complicated one that keeps lagging. It also pays to remember that load speed is an important ranking factor for search engines.

Before the site goes back online, test it thoroughly. Does everything work as it should? How quickly does each page load? Can it be navigated intuitively?

Making Money Online

How to Recover Sales from Abandoned Carts

You’ve done your best on-site. Unfortunately, there are still those who abandon their carts. Do we let them go or give it one last try? The answer, of course, is to give it another try. There are a couple of ways to do this.

Abandoned Cart Emails

All entrepreneurs know how difficult getting new customers is. Having someone abandon their cart can be disheartening. Fortunately for us, by the time the potential customer abandons their cart, they’ll often have handed over their email address. Use this to your advantage by sending them an offer they can’t refuse. Today’s CRM and sales programs offer automated email options for this very purpose.

Most companies include an offer in the form of a discount or something of extra value. You might offer them extra information on the benefits of the product, or additional uses that they might not have known about. The idea is to get them back on the site to complete their purchase.

We’d recommend sending one or, at the very most, two emails here. More than that might mark you as a spammer.

Ad Retargeting

What happens if you don’t have the client’s email? Or if you don’t believe that email marketing would be effective in your case? That’s fine; ad retargeting is a powerful tool at your disposal. All you need to do is put an ad pixel on the checkout page. This allows you to track the client when they go to another site. That way, you can present them with ads through other channels like Google and Facebook.

Is This Worth the Effort?

Overall, we’d say yes. Think about it this way – the person liked the product enough to add it to their cart. They already made the first part of the buying decision. Getting them to part with their money should be easier than with someone who’s a first-time visitor. And, if we’re completely honest, no business can afford to lose a sale without a fight.

Tech Blogger | + posts

I'm a lover of all things technology. My favorite topics to write about are web design, SEO, and business marketing.

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