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6 Ways To Reduce Cart Abandonment

The pandemic has changed users' shopping behaviour and their expectations, making them reconsider and reprioritise their purchases and spending. In a digital world, having a digital strategy and a website with excellent user experience is no longer a luxury; it's now a necessity.

While driving relevant traffic with purchase intent is where most marketing efforts and budgets are expended, traffic doesn’t matter if a website isn’t ready to meet that traffic's expectations.


Shoppers are just a few clicks away from a better website, a cheaper alternative, or a product with better value when shopping both online and in stores. With digital shopping at the forefront of sales, and physical and high street stores slowly disappearing, converting most of their Google Ads traffic is crucial to online retailers.


Cart abandonment, or basket abandonment, metrics show the percentage of visitors who added items to their cart or basket but left the website without buying during that specific visit. Basket abandonment helps advertisers and business owners understand what portion of their users have shown interest in their product and expressed an intent to purchase and if their pricing, website, or product need revisions.

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Based on research conducted by Baymard Institute in 2019, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. This means that 2 out of 3 people who add products to their shopping cart will leave without purchasing. In 2020, this number was even higher, with an

abandonment rate of 88.1%, according to Statista, with the automotive industry having the highest cart abandonment rates with a 96.88% abandonment rate.

We put together this guide on how to reduce cart abandonment, improve your website conversion rate, and make the most of your pay-per-click budget.

Improve your website. The truth is that most users who aren't satisfied with your website will drop out before even adding your product to their cart. Every piece of research data and consumer survey show that bad website design, poor loading speed, and dated aesthetics are major conversion-rate killers.

In a modern, digital-first era, your website often provides a first impression to potential customers, and you want that first impression to be a good one. Businesses simply can no longer afford to not invest in responsive, user-friendly websites.

According to InVision, slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, judgments on website credibility are 75%-based on a website’s overall aesthetics, and a staggering 94% of first impressions are design-related.


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According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if they had trouble accessing it, and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. Imagine this scenario: your ad campaigns did a great job targeting potential customers, grabbed their attention, and interested them in your product. After clicking your ad, the website takes too long to load.


The user, still interested in the product you sell, does a quick Google search and ends up purchasing from a competitor with a similar product but with a much better website.

The good news is that platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and WordPress can streamline and simplify website design and creation, offering pre-optimised elements and simplified, user-friendly checkout.


Simplify your checkout process. Shoppers want the quickest and simplest shopping experience. No matter how good your product is or how competitive your pricing is, if your checkout process is confusing or doesn't seem trustworthy, most users who are interested in purchasing are very likely to end up buying from competitors.

A complicated checkout process with many steps, mandatory account creation – or even worse – payment method security concerns are a sure-fire way to deter clients from shopping from you for good.


To simply your checkout process and reduce basket abandonment, consider adding a progress indicator to help users understand where they are in the checkout process, especially if your business sells customised products and your checkout process must include multiple steps.

Minimise the number of clicks and page views necessary to complete a transaction. The easier it is for customers to add items to their cart, continue browsing, and quickly return to checkout when they’re ready to buy, the more likely they are to purchase.


Send abandoned cart emails. Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who have added products to their cart and begun the checkout process but did not complete their purchase. Abandoned basket emails are a super-effective customer retention tactic, especially when paired with a discount.

Most e-commerce platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce offer the option to send automated emails to users who started the checkout process but dropped out at some stage of the process.

According to the Baymard Institute, the number one reason for cart abandonment was extra delivery costs, customs fees, or tax. This was further confirmed with several tests we carried out at The PPC Agency, which found that offering free shipping or discounted next-day shipping resulted in the highest percentage of successful cart recoveries.


Add multiple delivery and payment options. As the above graph shows, delivery costs and speed were one of the top reasons why users didn't complete their purchases.


Buy now, pay later payment options, PayPal, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay are becoming the norm in online shopping across the globe. Usually preferred for their added security, platforms like PayPal are most people's default choices for online shopping in Europe.


According to Statista, 82% of responding online shoppers in the Americas cited credit or debit cards as their preferred payment method when making online purchases. In contrast, 80% of respondents from Europe claimed payment providers such as PayPal as their preferred online payment method. In the UK, buy now, pay later services are becoming increasingly popular, with Klarna being used by over 14 million consumers and over 13,000 retailers, and Clearpay being used by over one million users in the UK.


Trusting retailers with your credit card details is another step of the decision process when making a purchase. Smaller retailers and new brands need to go the extra mile to make sure users feel confident when shopping with them.


Have an awesome and visible returns policy. Online shoppers have unlimited options when it comes to buying from different retailers. The giants dominating the e-commerce landscape such as Amazon, ASOS, eBay, and Zalando all offer money-back guarantees and no-hassle free returns, turning these policies into the norm for online retailers.

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Since users cannot physically see what they’re buying, touch it, or determine the quality, one of the best ways to fight purchase hesitation is by offering bulletproof money-back guarantees or other assurances. This is especially important for high-cost purchases or when your product is priced significantly lower than that of a competitor. Social proof and positive buyer reviews play a crucial role in establishing trust and increasing conversion rates, but this simply isn't enough. Having an awesome returns policy, clearly and visibly displayed on the product and checkout pages, can help offset potential hesitation in your website visitors and help you reduce cart abandonment.


Use dynamic remarketing. We have previously discussed the key ingredients to successful display and remarketing campaigns in depth. Make sure you check out our other blog posts on the topic.


Much like abandoned cart emails, dynamic remarketing follows users who abandoned their carts across social media, websites, and apps, part of the Google Display Network. As a specialist Google Ads agency, we insist that display remarketing is essential for e-commerce businesses, more so than for any other type of business. In Google's own words:

"We know that what happens between trigger and purchase decision-making is not linear. We know there is a complicated web of touchpoints that differs from person to person. What is less clear however, is how shoppers process all of the information and choice they discover along the way...Ensure brand presence so your product or service is strategically front of mind while your customers explore."


If your business is not remarketing to people who showed clear interest in purchasing your product, you risk their forgetting about your product and essentially wasting the money you invested to get them to your website in the first place. Luckily, creating dynamic product campaigns on Google and Facebook is one of the simplest and most straightforward campaigns you can create on the platforms. When paired with a flash sale or free delivery, remarketing becomes your best weapon against abandoned carts.

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