Tips On How to Solve the Shopping Cart Abandonment Puzzle

Tips On How to Solve the Shopping Cart Abandonment Puzzle by Lucy Maher.  Available from <> [Nov 14, 2016]

You can design your website to be mobile-friendly, engage the right search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to attract eyeballs, and create compelling content to engage visiting consumers.

But if your checkout process has inefficiencies, you could potentially lose sales from customers who abandon their shopping cart – an outcome that is more common than one may think, and for reasons that could easily be avoidable.

“Shopping cart abandonment can happen simply because the retailer didn’t accept the customer’s form of payment,” said Keith Wilson, Head of Integrated Payments at Discover Global Network. “In a case like that, I’d advise retailers that when building out their e-commerce platform, make sure they’re connected with an acquirer and/or gateway that specializes in mobile and web payment systems to ensure they’re given as many payment options as possible. Solving for customer pain points can help to keep quality of the checkout experience high, and shopping cart abandonment low.”

Just how often are shopping carts left full without purchase? According to the Baymard Institute, an ecommerce usability research institute, 68.81 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned. The most common reasons? Everything from slow load times and unclear return policies, to a “too-lengthy” checkout process and difficult to find coupon codes[1].

Indeed, “there are many components along the digital shopping journey that are broken and create opportunities for cart abandonment,” says Jordan McKee, senior analyst, mobile payments, at 451 Research. “When solving for cart abandonment, retailers should let simplicity, immediacy and context serve as their guiding principles.”[2]

Invest In Digital Wallets

Time-consuming forms and the requirement to key in payment card credentials create plenty of chances for the prospective buyer to leave the site and perhaps never to return again. Some retailers are addressing this issue by implementing digital wallets that streamline the checkout process and remove elements of friction.

Craig L. Aberle, Publisher of, raises a good point.

“If I’m 55 and trying to buy something on my iPhone, can I simply check out with Paypal in one or two clicks, or, must I struggle with my reading glasses and enter a credit card number, address and all kinds of information?” he asks. “That is a real problem for me, as an older consumer. Also, if I am sitting in a public place, and I don’t want to take my credit card out of my wallet—I will not make a purchase. Think about adding Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or Paypal to your check out page.”

Install a Progress Indicator

Once potential customers have selected their products and placed them in their online shopping cart, they want to know how long the checkout process is and at what stage they are in.

While there are ways to streamline the process—including relying on digital wallets to cut down on the number of steps—a simple way to keep consumers abreast of their progress is to clearly spell it out for them with a progress indicator. This feature highlights the customer’s place in the checkout journey and how many steps there will be until they are finished.

Understand the Importance of Mobile Design

“Many retailers are also losing sales due to their lack of responsive design on mobile sites,” says McKee. “That’s because mobile is becoming the de-facto platform for commerce, yet not all retailers have optimized their e-commerce sites for this transition, creating a poor user experience[3].”

Indeed, perhaps nothing irks a customer more than going to a brand site on their mobile phone and having to pinch and scroll because the site is designed purely for those visiting on a desktop or laptop.

Instead, “forward-thinking retailers should increasingly think mobile-first to ensure they are providing experiences consistent with their shoppers’ browsing behaviors,”[4] he says. This means hiring a web design firm to design your site for use on both a computer and smartphone or tablet.

Rely On Thumbnails to Keep Consumers Interested

With so many opportunities to abandon their carts, providing thumbnails — or small photos about the size of a postage stamp — of a user’s intended purchases throughout the checkout process could be one way to keep them wanting to complete their transaction. Think about it: when you shop in a brick and mortar store, you keep your intended purchases with you. Why would they disappear during the mobile shopping experience?

“E-tailers and retailers should be careful to use smaller sized graphics that load quickly on mobile devices,” says Aberle.

Follow these rules of thumb and you could be spending less time wondering why your customers aren’t hitting “confirm purchase” and more time counting a potential increase in sales.

Tips On How to Solve the Shopping Cart Abandonment Puzzle by Lucy Maher.  Available from <> [Nov 14, 2016]