10 Tips to Reduce Cart Abandonment

May 11, 2010

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Last year, website shopping cart abandonment rates jumped to as high as 60%, according to LiveMarket, in part due to consumers’ jitteriness about the economy. Here’s what you can do to reduce cart abandonment at your online store.

  1. Show stock availability on product pages and show which countries you ship to. Disable the cart button for out-of stock or back orders. Xanadu Gaming Store is a good example.
  2. Show tax and shipping charges pre-checkout to prevent “sticker shock” – the number one reason for cart abandonment.
    Don’t require login, but instead allow guest check out. Make account creation optional after the purchase is complete, and explain the benefits of registration (faster checkout next time, order tracking, special discounts, etc).
  3. Use SSL (secure socket layer) certificates, and make sure you renew them when they expire. SSL certificates protect credit card numbers and personal data, preventing identity theft. Customers do look for them.
  4. Show credibility indicators like McAfee Secure and TrustE badges.
  5. Ask for email address in the first step of checkout. Explain that you will only contact customers if there is a problem with their order.
  6. Place a link to your privacy policy in proximity to where the customer enters personal information. Use pop up windows so the customer doesn’t leave the checkout process.
  7. Provide a 1-800 number on each page, and use a unique number tied to the cart so you can track how many calls came from within the cart process. Mongoose Metrics provides both unique 1-800 numbers and the ability to track conversion in Google Analytics.
  8. Don’t ask for more information than necessary in forms, and mark required fields with an asterisk. Often times customers get frustrated when their form is not accepted because of an empty field.
  9. Sometimes customers use the cart to bookmark items of interest to purchase later. Consider increasing your cookie length and using a persistent shopping cart, which saves the contents of the cart for a number of days. Let customers know on the cart summary page how long their cart details will be saved.

Based on an article by Linda Bustos

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