How to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

By Arielle Mullen, Senior Digital Strategist

Back in the 1970s, when online marketing wasn’t really a thing, products were advertised via billboards, TV or newspapers. It was reported that the average person saw between 500 to 1600 ads per day. Today an average individual is estimated to encounter between 5,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. 

As an online proprietor, capturing the customer’s attention is, of course, your priority number one. Grabbing your customer’s attention paves the way to being remembered—to stand out amongst all of the other messages coming at consumers at any given time and win a more permanent spot in the consumer’s mind.

But despite your best-laid plans to attract customers’ attention and to lure them to your store, most shoppers who visit your site start shopping, then close the tab so they can watch the latest trailer for Friends Reunion airing on Netflix, or probably get distracted by a phone call, never to return. Shopping Cart Abandonment is one of the worst nightmares for an online store owner.

In this article, we will talk about shopping cart abandonment. What is it? Best practices to reduce cart abandonment and Shopify apps that can help you reduce abandoned carts.

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Abandonment is an eCommerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action. The term ‘Shopping Cart abandonment refers to the scenario when customers add items to their online shopping cart but exit without completing the purchase.”

The shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of carts created. 

Ecommerce Brands lose an estimated $18 Billion in Sales Revenue each year because of Cart Abandonment. Let us dig in some more statistics; The typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%.  Mobile Users pose an even higher abandonment rate of 85.65 percent, customers are about 10% more likely to ditch a shopping cart on their mobile devices than when shopping on a desktop computer.

The Online Shopping Process

How you might think it works:

  1. Customer scrolling through their Instagram or Facebook feed
  2. Comes across your advertisement 
  3. Clicks it
  4. Lands on your website, likes the product, and adds it to the shopping cart.
  5. Enters payment information
  6. And voilà… Purchase Successful!

But the process is not that simple. This is how it actually works:

  1. Customer scrolling through their Instagram or Facebook feed
  2.  Comes across your advertisement 
  3. Ignores it – Believe it or not, four of five American Consumers ignore online ads most frequently.  A 2013 study by Infolinks claims 86% of consumers suffer from banner blindness.
  4. See another ad on social media.
  5. Clicks it this time
  6. Opts in with email address (no purchase) – This time, though you did manage to get some validation from the customer in the form of his/her willingness to receive marketing communication from your brand, a purchase is still not made.
  7. Customer Receives email campaign.
  8. Deletes it – Though you might think your email is special. But to the reader, your email is just another one in a million. The possible reasons for ignorance can vary either your message headlines aren’t irresistible, your email isn’t primed for mobile, or simply your timing is off.
  9. Receives 2nd email campaign 
  10. This time Clicks through and lands on your website.
  11. Check out products and Adds to the cart.
  12. Gets distracted, abandons cart – On average, nearly three-quarters of all online shopping carts get filled up but never checked out. It’s very common for online shoppers to get distracted and abandon a cart. The reasons can be multiple; An incoming phone call, an impulse to compare prices at another store, a dying battery—Remember! It doesn’t take a lot to break the eCommerce spell.
  13. Receives abandoned cart email campaign – Abandoned cart emails are crucial. They are typically sent to people who leave part-way through checkout and can recover around 10% of lost revenue.
  14. Clicks through and Completes transaction – Ahh, finally!

The above steps give a glimpse of the complex and often unpredictable consumer buying process in retail and eCommerce. Getting your visitor to add an item to their cart is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Plenty of things are going on behind the scenes. Usually, a lot of thought and actions beneath that decision are in place to encourage customers to visit your site and then actually complete a purchase and not leave their carts abandoned.

Best Practices to Reduce Abandoned Cart

Below are 8 awesome tactics that can help you reduce the cart abandonment rate.

Tactic #1: Establish and build trust in your transaction forms.


Data cited by Shopify indicates that almost 61% of consumers had not purchased something online because trust logos were missing. In addition, more than 75% of consumers had chosen against making a purchase because they didn’t recognize the trust logos. 

Consider using: 

  • Trusted payment processors, like Paypal or Stripe
  • Money-back guarantee or solid return policies.
  • Security badges
  • Customer service contact information.

Tactic #2: Include a progress indicator on checkout pages.


By clearly guiding customers where they are in the checkout process, you’re eliminating the potential worry that actually buying something from you will take more time than the prospect is willing to commit.

It assures visitors that they’re almost done, and they’ll soon be able to get back to looking at cat .gifs online or whatever it is they’d rather be doing. It also helps eliminate ambiguity and makes the process clearer and easier for customers to understand. Several studies have shown that most consumers prefer having a clear indication of their status in the process of completing a task, and eCommerce is no exception.

Tactic #3: Include thumbnail images of products throughout the purchasing process.

Including thumbnail images of the products they’ve placed in their cart can be another “grounding” technique that reassures the customer of what they’re purchasing.


When you buy something in an actual store, you can see whatever you’re buying right there in front of you. This might not necessarily be the case in an eCommerce experience. By including thumbnail images of products in the customer’s cart, you’re not just helping them remember what they’re actually doing – you’re eliminating the possibility of distraction, specifically of the hesitation a customer might experience if they can’t immediately remember what they’re buying.

Tactic #4: Be crystal clear about all costs upfront—especially shipping.

Consumers absolutely hate paying for shipping costs – so much so that it’s the single biggest reason for shopping cart abandonment. Nearly 80% of consumers cited free shipping as a key factor for their online purchasing decisions.


(Image via KISSmetrics)

It’s vital that you’re as forthcoming about shipping costs as you possibly can be. Don’t try to sneak shipping costs in toward the end of a transaction. Your customers deserve (and expect) better than that. Be upfront about how much it will cost to get your products to your customers.

Tactic #5: Offer multiple payment options.

Credit card payment options are a no-brainer, but today, consumers have more choices than ever before of how to pay for goods online. PayPal is still going strong (somehow), but mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger demographics.


Offering more payment options minimizes – or eliminates – another potential reason a customer has to abandon their cart and take their business elsewhere. Sure, the more payment choices you provide, the more hassle it is for you as a business owner (and the higher your merchant services fees maybe), but you’re giving your customers what they want, and that’s what it’s all about.

Tactic #6: Offer guests checkout items.

Forcing customers to create an account with your store can be a major deterrent to completing a purchase. Being forced to create an account for checkout is the number two reason people abandon online shopping carts, number one being additional costs revealed at the checkout.

Tactic #7: Optimize your page load times.

According to Visual Website Optimizer, eCommerce shopping cart conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in your page loading. Conversely, checkout optimization can increase conversions by 35.62 %.

Checkout pages that are slow to load practically beg impatient shoppers to take their business elsewhere, so optimize your checkout pages to be as fast as possible.

Some on-page technical elements are more easily optimized than others. For example, your images should be as optimized as possible to maintain that crucial balance of quality and speed. You can also limit the use of ad network trackers, poorly implemented tags, social plugins to increase your page load times.

Tactic #8: Use remarketing to target abandoners.

Although the previous tips can help reduce shopping cart abandonment, remarketing helps you win back the prospective customers that you will lose along the way.


Remarketing is absolutely essential for eCommerce retailers, perhaps more so than for any other type of online business or advertiser. If you’re not remarketing to people who came close to crossing the line, you’re effectively restricting yourself to just one shot at getting visitors to convert in a single session—an almost inconceivable feat in today’s multi-device online environment.

Shopify Apps to Reduce Abandoned Carts

The following are the top 3 apps to help reduce your Shopify store’s cart abandonment rate.


Email Marketing. With Klaviyo’s abandoned cart setup, you can remove the clutter and clear the picture. Klaviyo will help merge Shopify data and other leading applications to segment your crowd, and deliver super-targeted, tailored email promotions.


Abandoned Cart Recovery. The app alert shoppers to restore purchases after leaving their carts, using premade email series to successfully connect and attract consumers.


Pop-Ups, Email, & SMS. The app helps create lovely popups with easy-to-use targeting & prompts to get people to join the list. Contacts to Mailchimp & Klaviyo auto-sync.

Additional Marketing Campaign Tips

  1. Remember to always write copy from the perspective of a real person. Be honest, keep it simple, and write with your audience in mind. Ask yourself: What does a person viewing my ad/visiting this page of my website/opening my email/etc. Need to know right now? What questions do they have? What are the number one sticking points of customers before they decide to buy? Create a campaign around that.
  2. Create mega urgency by creating a “1-hour sale” and sending it to your VIPs via email. Give them 6-8hrs of advance notice, and send during peak open rate hours.
  3. Ask your top VIPs to create their own content like recipes, record product unboxing videos, etc. (start with friends & family to get the ball rolling).


In the rapid-paced world of eCommerce, the key to survival is always to be one step ahead of your buyers, anticipate their needs, and be ready to offer them a quick and simple solution. In an arena that’s rife with cutthroat competition both offline and online, for any retailer to be successful, it’s crucial to work on areas that might be causing friction with your visitors. Customers do NOT buy the first time they hear about you. With a messy clutter of fake news and misleading privacy practices, establishing trust in a website or app has become crucial. If you get it right and earn your client’s trust, it can give conversions a powerful boost.

Ensure that the process from product discovery to purchase is made as simple as possible. Problems such as security concerns, slow websites, long and complicated checkout processes, and many others can be solved easily by implementing the tactics presented in this article. This way, you’ll have a far greater chance of convincing your customers to convert! Lowering your cart abandonment rates will skyrocket your conversion rates and boost your sales.

But remember to be patient too, building a trustworthy image takes time. So, If you want a big holiday season, you have to start working on that awareness stage audience NOW.