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Shopify Abandoned Carts: Reasons, Hacks, Tips, and More

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For E-Commerce stores, the looming fear of an abandoned cart never really goes away. Much like ghosting, where all communication is cut off without any explanation or justification, shopping cart abandonment by the customer cuts much deeper than simply browsing and exiting the website. 

But what exactly is an abandoned cart? ‘Abandoned cart’ describes the situation when a customer in an online store adds products to his or her cart, but doesn’t follow through with the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, which compiled data from 49 different studies on abandoned carts, the average rate of e-commerce shopping cart abandonment is as high as 70.19%!

In other words, seven out of every ten customers have abandoned a cart without making a purchase. According to the same study, this equals a whopping $260 billion worth of orders! 

But worry not, through incorporating a few specific modifications and changes to the user experience, some of these abandoned carts can be easily acquired back. In fact, a study predicts that making 39 unique improvements can lead to a 35.26% increase in conversion rate for the average large-scale E-Commerce platform.

In this guide, we present to you the most common reasons why users abandon their carts and some of the quick and easy solutions to your abandoned cart problem.

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Reasons Behind Abandoned Shopping Carts

First up, it is important to highlight that some users who add goods to their cart simply weren’t looking to buy them in the first place. As a matter of fact, as much as 58.6% of US respondents in an abandoned cartstudy stated that they were “just browsing / not ready to buy”. Now, of the remaining respondents, the reasons cited are those which can be fixed with a few tweaks, and we highlight some of these reasons below:

Abandoned Shopping Carts

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Unclear pricing and high shipping costs

If there’s one thing customers hate the most in the world, it is the lack of transparency brands provide about the cost of goods. Bundling up secondary costs throughout the checkout process, such as high shipping costs and additional taxes, is likely to cause abandoned cart syndrome due to the total price exceeding their budget.

Moreover, the lack of up-front clarity on pricing can also damage the reputation of your store, and customers might even see it as deceptive. In fact, the study mentioned above states that of the remaining respondents, a whopping 48% abandon their carts during checkout due to the extra costs of shipping, taxes, and fees being too high. 

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The fix to this is easy and straightforward: being transparent about the costs from the get-go. If additional costs and taxes are required, clearly state what the cost will add up to on the very first page itself, instead of taking the customer through an emotional rollercoaster of additional costs. Being upfront won’t just help decrease the abandoned cart rate, but will also make your store known for its excellence in transparency. The problem not only plagues small businesses, but even big industry giants equally. Let’s take the case of India’s telecom sector where Vodafone and Airtel duopoly charged excess customer fees without any transparency. With the advent of Jio, the duopoly crashed, and each telco operator had to open cost setting guidelines to the public. 

A notable mention here is The Tea Haus, with a clear policy of charging shipping rates for orders below $25, and an upfront charge of just $3 for products below the 25 USD mark. The shipping charges increase with bag weightage, amount ordered, while ensuring a consistent free shipping option over the mark. 

Critical Slide Society, too follows a same shipping pattern- charging a flat fee of $10 for orders below $100, and free shipping for products reaching the mark. The store is equally transparent about international taxes and charges, and calculates them on a real-time basis with respect to the host country. You can also checkout the PageFly guide to optimizing your shipping settings for more customer conversion. 

Allowing for different options for delivery speed-such as standard and premium-also helps, as it gives customers more choices, and they can decide whether they want to prioritize speed or money.

Mandatory account requirements

24% of the remaining respondents state the platform requires them to make an account as a reason for abandoning their cart. Going through the long process of creating an account right when you’re about to buy a product can be a tedious and distracting task that the customers aren’t likely to appreciate. 

Customers like everything to be crisp and to the point so that they can get done with the checkout process quickly. Not requiring an account to purchase the product is an easy fix to this problem.

Alongside the option to log in, allow for a Guest Checkout option, where customers can put in their billing and delivery information, and that's it!

Here’s an example of Lululemon doing just that. 

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Complicated and long checkout process

Time-consuming and long checkout processes which take you through several steps tend to be bothersome to customers, especially if the process is complicated. Amidst, all reasons for cart abandonment, a complicated checkout still tops the list with 73% of users fed up with a long, and conventional exit process.

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It is important to remember that marketing and presentation don’t just end when the user clicks on the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” option. Simplifying the checkout process as much as possible, coming up with a sleek layout, only asking for details that are required for billing and delivery, and doing away with distractions like pop-ups and advertisements until the checkout is completed, are a few ways to ensure that the customer’s eyes are set on one thing and one thing only: buying their favorite products from your store. 

A complicated checkout is the major conversion killer and Boots’ exit page is a testimonial to the fact. Usually, the checkout process should only contain: total product cost, customer details, and cart edit options. However, Boots product page is filled with redundant details that could have been part of user profile, more than the final checkout page. 

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For a simpler page, businesses can think about removing shipping charges from the 1st page, and later adding them under the payment section. Moreover, so much content cluttering and upto 6 CTA options on the checkout page might distract user and can lead to cart abandonment. 

Puma has done a great job in creating an ideal checkout page:

check out page

No excess cluttering, on-point content and minimalist color coding to make UI visually appealing. 

Abandoned Cart Recovery: Tips, and Best Practices to Get Your Lost Sales Back

These were some of the most common reasons why customers abandon their carts midway. Apart from the solutions provided above, there are many more ways to ensure that customers go through with the checkout process and don’t leave their carts hanging!

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Writing abandoned cart emails

Once a customer has already abandoned their cart, an effective way to bring them back is by sending them reminders through various means, including emails, SMS, and push notifications. Using these tools in combination can ensure that the customer is reminded of their abandoned cart, and increases their chances of completing the checkout process.

Emails are a common tool many e-commerce stores use, including brands like Ajio, Zivame, or even bigger sharks like Flipkart, or Amazon, There are many ways to make your abandoned cart emails catchy and ensure that they stand out. The abandoned cart email sequence should include using witty one-liners, adding a humorous element, giving them a personalized touch that highlights the needs of the consumer, and using templates and designs which speak to your brand.

Nomad, for instance, incorporates humor into the emails it sends, including phrases like “so you got cold feet?”, in order to stand out from generic emails which simply remind you of your abandoned cart. To tackle the abandoned cart phenomenon, online stores can deploy email marketing software to write eye-catching email marketing copies. You can also check out the Shopify cart recovery guide through email marketing. 

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Dollar Shave Club is another brand that uses witty one-liners to entice customers into completing the checkout process. They highlight the product front and center and also use bullet points to detail what benefits you get by buying from their brand. This makes the text a quick and easy read, which still provides all the information required to re-acquire a customer. 

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To combat the cart abandonment syndrome, email marketing can prove to be a low hanging fruit. However, be it cold emailing, or text messaging, user data should be your north star. On Shopify, users can gather data through abandoned cart tracking aka abandoned checkouts. The portal stores user information for upto 3 months, and refreshes data every monday. The analytics help you figure out at what stage the cart was abandoned, so you can figure out the right marketing/conversion practice for a particular user bunch. 

Once you have identified the target audience, you can deploy automated emails to reflect your cause with catchy subject lines. Care Cart’s recovery email product consolidates all cart abandoner data for bulk email, with relevant content. Emails could range from the checkout phase, to reminders and last-minute discount related push notifications.

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Another email marketing app for Shopify users is Retainful. The app offers single-click recovery, coupon codes, UX-friendly templates, multi-device compatibility and a variety of discount options. 

Another evergreen marketing channel to reachout customers is via SMS marketing. Text messages has a higher open rate, low chances of going cold, with better reading times. Open rates for SMSes can even cross 90%, as compared to 20% for emails. Businesses can think about using TxtCart as their go-to SMS marketing solution. The app boasts of 20%+ revenue upticks after deploying the automated SMS tool, offering single-tap setup, and distributed SMS outreach based on customer data and shopping stage. 

These apps can make a huge difference to your abandoned cart problem and offer a variety of tools that enable you to break your audience down into specific categories in order to send more personalized emails, provide in-depth analytics to give you a detailed view of which methods work and which don’t, and offer pre-built chatbots, among many other features.

Diversifying payment options

Another problem customers run into is not having their preferred payment options available during checkout. Ensure that the most commonly used payment methods are available in your store, and allow customers the freedom to choose between various ones.

This requires doing research on the kind of payment methods your target audience uses most commonly, based on geographical, cultural, and demographic factors. Some of the most commonly used payment options on E-commerce websites worldwide include Credit cards, Debit cards, Bank transfers, Cash on Delivery, App payments, and Direct Deposits. 

Offering discounted delivery and deals on your online store

Once customers have already abandoned their carts, a sure way to get them back is to offer them discount coupons for your store. Sending eye-catching emails detailing that they’ll be able to purchase the products at a lower price than they initially expected can encourage them to finish the checkout process.

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Discount coupons can be employed in various forms, such as offering a percentage off on an item, providing free shipping, or providing a buy 1 get 1 free option to improve on your lost sales. These discounts should also be strategically timed, and shouldn’t be sent more than a few days late, or the customer might lose interest or forget about the product.

Since one of the biggest reasons customers abandon their carts is the high additional costs, this method tackles that problem head-on. Studies suggest that the open and click-through rates of emails that include discount coupons are above average (44.37% and 10.85%, respectively). Moreover, E-Commerce stores can recover between 3% and 11% of orders through offers on abandoned carts. Use coupon codes as a measure to impress your online shoppers.

Adding exit-intent popups

Incorporating exit-intent popups allows you to reach out to the customer one last time before they exit the checkout page. These pop-ups can either be a final call to the customer to buy the product or highlight the different features or discounts available on the goods. 

Pop-ups are effective tools for customer conversions and have a conversion rate of 2-4% on average. Adding unique features to these pop-ups, such as using the customer’s name, including interesting facts or statistics about the products in their cart, or offering them discount coupons or free shipping, is likely to increase that conversion rate even further. Here are some examples of how to design your own exit-intent popups. 

Check out Champion’s exit popup in the case. With a sleeky design, and attractive discounting options (free shipping here, and 80% black Friday sale CTA in other cases), Champion has truly championed the way to increase customer conversion. Usually, a deadline-oriented popup creates a sense of urgency among customers in buying your product. Exit popups like 70% off just for you, offer lasts till Christmas! work wonders in creating FOMO for your customers: a proven marketing strategy for small businesses. 

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In the second example, makers decided to use more visuals and animations to create catchy popups, since our brain has a bias in retaining and acting on designs, more than written information. 

Here, the idea is to use minimum words, while ensuring all message is conveyed. Here, featuring a live human image might create a better connection with your audience. The popup here is simple, and lean, and conveys the message in a streamlined format. 

Using a Shopify app like Personizely helps businesses send automated email and exit intent popups to convert lost sales. With the popup channels, users can create cart abandonment widgets, upsell widget, limited time promotion widget- all through a single tap and automated templates. Moreover, the platform is low-code and requires no previous coding knowledge to program widgets. 

 

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For many customers, exit-intent popups can be the slight push or the one last motivation they needed to go through with the checkout process, which is why it is extremely important to ensure that your popup conveys just the right message with a call to action. 

Single tap checkouts

When you imagine a checkout process at an online store, you probably think of going through multiple steps either filling up or verifying your name, shipping address, and payment details. But it really doesn’t need to be that complicated. For returning customers, the checkout process can be streamlined to the extreme by simply saving their shipping and billing information and allowing them the option to do a single-tap checkout, where all they need to do is tap on the Buy button to place their order.

This process leads to the minimum hassle and time consumption for the customers, and greatly reduces the various steps between browsing and buying, ultimately leading to lesser abandoned carts. 

Clarity on returns and exchanges

Online stores have blessed us with a delivery system that allows for exchanges and returns right outside your doorstep. Not allowing for returns and exchanges on your products can act as a barrier to customer acquisition, and it may be the case that the customer abandons the cart after finding out that returning the product is not possible.

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Allowing for a lax return and exchange policy with none to minimal additional charges, or mentioning upfront that returns and exchanges aren’t possible, makes it clear to the customer what the policy is from the get-go, and shouldn’t result in abandoned carts later on in the process. 

Tackling abandonment on smartphones

These days, you may come across a person who doesn’t possess a laptop or a computer, but rarely will you come across someone who doesn’t possess a phone. In fact, smartphones accounted for 56% of E-commerce sales in 2021. Despite this, many online stores haven’t been able to develop a smartphone-friendly user interface to allow for shopping with ease.

As an example, a survey found that customers find it a hassle to pinch and zoom in every time they need to read a text or press a button. Inconveniences like these have resulted in the cart abandonment rate being 10% to 20% higher for smartphones than for desktops. 

There are various ways to make your store’s website smartphone friendly. Offering the option of autofill for billing and delivery information, sizing the buttons to be big enough to be easily tappable without zooming in, and keeping the fonts large, are a few easy steps to ensure that your mobile users get the same luxurious treatment as their desktop counterparts.

Using on-site Abandoned Cart Recovery web messages

Show shoppers personalized popups with their cart items, and convince them to return to the cart and finish their order.

If you want, you can also offer an incentive to get higher conversion rates.

Adoric pop up

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Parting Note

There is no doubt that the advancement of technology has brought the consumer and seller closer to each other than ever before. Now, you can be sitting in Malaysia and shopping for a niche product that is only available in Canada, right from the comfort of your home.

But, with new advances, customer expectations have also rapidly risen, and catering to those expectations and needs should be the store’s number one goal. In doing that, you don’t just help the customer, but also help yourself.

This was just a short guide detailing some of the many strategies you can deploy to ensure lesser abandoned carts, and recover lost sales, and lost customers. There are many more approaches you can take, including setting up retargeting ads on social media, providing live chat options to offer assistance, and removing ads from competitors on your website. 

Incorporating multiple of these suggestions together is sure to decrease the rate of abandoned carts in your store, and will help it gain the reputation of a transparent, user-friendly, and to-the-point brand.

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