18 Ways to Recover Sales through Shopping Cart Abandonment

18 Ways to Recover Sales through Shopping Cart Abandonment

Recover Sales through Shopping Cart Abandonment

Today greater amount of consumers are watching more video content than ever before.

Over the past few years content marketing has undergone a huge transformation and video has emerged to the top spot.

It is the most effective strategy you can use to connect with your audience.

The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 75% – that means 3 out of 4 visitors on your e-commerce site never turn into customers.

The following graph provides an accurate representation that is indicative of the cart abandonment situation in different regions of the world.

It is worth noting that the global stats average is representative of many regions’ averages.

Global Cart Abandonment Rate

For e-commerce retailers this is a huge lost opportunity especially when you consider all the costs and effort it takes to get consumers interested in your product or service in the first place.

This is a huge toll on your bottom line if you let 75% of visitors leave without making a purchase after:

  • creating content
  • social advertising
  • referral marketing,
  • investing into branding
  • SEO and SEM
  • optimising their journey with smart UX and CRO strategies

How to Calculate Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate?

To calculate the cart abandonment rate- you need to divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of created carts.

Subtract from one and then multiply by 100. 

How to calculate Shopping cart abandonment rate

For example – if you have 300 carts created and 100 completed purchases then your cart abandonment rate is 67%.

How can we stop abandoned checkouts?

You can help reduce the number of people who abandon their shopping cart on your site:

  • analysing your current checkout funnel
  • email remarketing
  • SMS remarketing
  • retargeting ads
  • by using exit intent overlays
  • live chat and chatbots and more

What percentages of shopping carts are abandoned?

The percentage of abandoned carts is different across industry and it ranges anything from 61% to 84%. The average basket abandonment rate is 75.6%.

cart abandonment rate by industry

This simple approach gives your video content a human quality, relatable and a personal production. The total cost is just one cup of coffee.

One of the best types of video content for vlogging is the simple concept of sharing your day at work. Nearly everyone is vlogging these days from celebrities to everyday person.

How to recover adandoned shopping cart

There are a number of cart abandonment solutions and strategies available to turn a significant number of abandoned carts into purchases and this is done through checkout optimisation.

Here we look at 18 of the best cart abandonment strategies to help you recover or reduce cart abandonment rates and reclaim some of those lost sales.

1. Track Google Shopping Cart Abandonment

You first need to determine your current cart abandonment rate before you implement any tactic to reduce the cart abandonment rate.

Setting up Google Analytics Enhanced e-commerce tracking is the best way to track your shopping cart abandonment rate.

Apart from determining your shopping cart abandonment rate – enabling Enhanced e-commerce tracking gives you powerful reports like:

  • Shopping Behaviour
  • Checkout Behaviour
  • Product Lists Performance
  • Sales Performance

In your Google Analytics report – go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Shopping Behaviour to find your cart abandonment rate.

google analytics enhanced shopping behaviour

2. Detect & Revise Leaky Checkout Process Areas

Once you have set up Enhanced e-commerce tracking on your site the next thing you need to do is conduct a goal flow analysis to determine leaky spots in the checkout process.

You can find the goal flow report by navigating to Conversion > Goals > Goal Flow provided that you have already created a Google Analytics goal for your shopping cart on your site.

google analytics enhanced goal flow

By conducting a goal flow analysis you can identify how your visitors actually flow through your site to the checkout process.

It also helps you determine leaky areas so you can come up with measures to reduce the drop off and boost conversions.

The easier you make it for customers to navigate between shop and cart the more likely they are to stick with it and actually check out.

Below are ways that will help you create navigating easier.

  • Identify the drop offs from the user flow report and fix them.
  • Create a stress free shopping experience for your customers. Do not make them click the back button after adding a product to the cart.
  • Keep the cart visible on every page so customers can easily return to their cart to complete the checkout at their convenience.

The process typically follows this flow:

shop to cart to completion flow

You can boost your checkout completion rate from 8% to 19% which can make a significant difference in your return on investment.

SMS communications usually have an urgent reaction compared to emails.  A recent study found that 95% of texts will be read within just 3 minutes of being sent.

SMS Remarketing

As more and more shopping is being done on mobile it makes sense to target consumer’s attention while they are still on the device to refocus their attention to complete the sale.

If mobile browsing and sales account for a large proportion of your traffic then it might be time to consider implementing SMS remarketing to remind customers that their cart is waiting for them.

Best-Digital Marketing - Customer Life Journey

To perform this – you will need to introduce phone number capture in your overlays and guest checkout and also ensure that your customer journey is optimised for mobile checkout since this could be a factor in mobile cart abandonments.

5. Send Email Reminder about Abandonment

A promising scenario is that you have the customers email contact details who abandoned their carts on your website.

So email marketing can do wonders to save your lost carts and bring back a great amount of money in this situation.

Example of remarketing campaign

Cart abandonment emails are triggered when customers leave the website without finishing cart order. 

A cart abandonment campaign can be a series of more than 1 email to persistently follow up customers until cart is recovered.

cart abandonment email marketing stats

Email still remains one of the most effective marketing tools but customers expect more than just a mass marketing mail out.

It needs to be deployed in a personalised and relevant way that makes the customer feel like they are being looked after.

Once they are back onsite you can welcome them and guide them seamlessly back to where they left off.

email marketing campaign statistics

Email and Fear Of Missing Out - FOMO

Your purpose is to remind them that something they want is awaiting them in the abandoned cart and create a sense of fear of missing out FOMO – creating the perfect follow-up email is an essential way to tailor the message to the customer.

Best-Digital Marketing Services - Fear Of Missing Out - FOMO

When implemented intelligently an email remarketing campaign can reduce the abandonment rate and increase conversions by as much as 25%.

Take a look at an example of remarketing email below.

email marketing call to action - cta

You can see that headlines are focused on reminding customers about their incomplete order.

The CTA is made prominent to drive the customer back to the cart page to complete the order.

6. Use Retargeting Ads

A less positive scenario is that your customers leave without giving you any detail to contact. It is best to test different timing settings to find the optimal amount of time between cart abandonment and showing an ad.

An advert retargeting someone is more likely to be clicked on than a standard display ad and it is because customers are being reminded of something they already want.

This can be done via A/B Testing Design and Ad Copy. Not only does A/B testing help optimise creative assets in ads but it helps keep ad sets fresh.

A / B testing of ad copy design

Click through rates can decrease by nearly 50% after five months of running the same ad sets. So A/B testing is essential for analysing ad performance and future campaign decisions.

There are a number of things to A/B test for ad optimisation.

  • Ad Copy: The copy used within the ad, the text size, colour, font or effects like shadowing.
  • Design: Backgrounds, products, border colours, overlays, layouts and any creative visual aspects.
  • CTA: Buttons vs. hyperlinks, copy variations and colours.
  • Ad Headline: Test what is likely the first thing consumers will see and read.
  • Promotion: 10% Off Save 10%, Free Shipping On Orders Over $50 vs. Free Shipping  
A / B testing of design

Retargeting Technique

To follow these customers and get them back to the site you need to save their cookies while they were in your store and target them with ads when they visit other websites or log into social media using the same browser.

That is called remarketing technique to retarget cookie visitors who previously visited your website with ads services.

They are 10 times more likely to click on a retargeting ad than a standard one with brand recognition and targeted content or offers.

A great example is Cole Haan in their Facebook retargeting:

facebook retargeting - cole haan- example

Retargeting helps you increase your brand awareness and convert visitors into paying customers.

Creating social retargeting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn can generates better engagement and results since consumers can like, share and discuss on the ads post which is shared under your business account.

There are many providers of ad retargeting software which will simply require you to install a cookie on your site.

From there you can segment abandoners to personalise the kind of advert they see.

Some examples include first-time vs return shopper, value of the cart or product in the basket, locations and the search terms that led them to the site in the first place.

If shoppers have questions or doubts they might hesitate and ultimately leave the checkout process if they are not able to find answers to those problems.

One way to get around this is to offer customers a live Artificial Intelligence – AI chat service to help them. 

Chat Bots Atificial Intelligence AI

Chatbots or conversational bots can be effective at a number of points in the customer service journey – from welcome messaging to lead generation to appointment setting.

They can also be extremely useful for FAQs since many customers in the checkout process will have similar questions about returns, shipping times and sizing or delivery options.

Chat Box Service Immediate Response

By installing a live chat app you can give customers the care and clarity they need to complete the purchase with confidence and it also cuts operational costs by 30%.

Chatbots can cross-sell and upsell, serve offers and discounts and create even more incentive for your customers to stay and complete the purchase.

You expect customers to give away their email for subscription, fill out transaction forms with their personal identity and submit credit card information all online.

Although shopping online is becoming a norm but online security is still – doubted.

Building trust and authenticity play a vital role in growing your online business as it helps to remove customers’ hesitation with their personal information and make a purchase.

Examples of trust badges

Adding Trust Badges

There are a few ways to present signs that you are an authentic, secure, safe and trustworthy.

A recent article indicated that almost 61% of shoppers did not finish their purchase because trust badges were missing.

Adding recognisable trust badges on your website at the bottom footer, on add to cart and in the checkout page can assure customers that they are shopping on a secure website verified by authorised organisations.

Another great idea is showing visitors that you have many other customers shopping on the store.

You can display notifications of recent sales made by real people from real locations to create a sense of a busy store and build trust in new customers.

sales pop apps insight sales, traffic and trust

61% of customers read reviews before making a purchase and 66% said they were more likely to make a purchase when it is accompanied by social proof.

Social proof is one of the biggest factors in making any purchase. Therefore providing verified reviews from other customers through a star rating or testimonials is a great way to create the security that social proof provides for shoppers.

Ratings and reviews can also be served at key points of the customer journey so if consumers are comparing shopping then an exit overlay might help them return to complete the purchase.

Enticing your customers to create an account on your website is a great strategy for customer retention.

It also helps you gather data about your visitors so you can curate a personalised user experience for each individual based on the data you have.

That being said forcing your customers to create an account prior to checkout may discourage them from completing the order.

create an account or guest check out

To overcome this you can replace the sign-in barrier by enabling a guest checkout. This way you can encourage your customers to complete the order even they are in a hurry.

This means that you can still collect an email address, name and phone number which is essential for email remarketing as well as staying in contact with the customer for delivery persons and be compliant with GDPR.

You can always prompt them to sign up for an account at the end after they have already completed their purchase.

If you want to gather onsite behaviour of your logged in customers –you will need to enable logged in user tracking in Google Analytics by setting up custom dimensions.

The length of checkout is a significant factor in basket abandonment.

A lengthy process might cause the customer to give up or get irritated so letting them know how fast they are moving through the checkout process is important.

different examples of progress bar checkout

Progress indicators or progress bars tell customers which stage they are at in the checkout process and how much there is to do to complete a purchase.

It is a useful visual reminder for customers and helps to reassure them that the process would not take long or perhaps that they will have a chance to review the order before confirmation.

According to recent data – 21% of basket abandoners felt that the checkout should be simpler.

cart abandonmnet during checkout

They might be concerned that there was no chance to review the purchase or make changes so having a step marked Review may help to ease concerns.

Visuals can often convey information more quickly and efficiently than text and can also make checkout forms seem less tedious.

A visual connection between the checkout pages and the rest of the site helps to establish credibility.

visual display of basket contents

If the checkout page looks like the rest of the site then it feels safe, secure and looks like it belongs to the same site.

Visuals can also convey key information like images of basket contents offer a quick reminder for users which is easier to digest than text.

Free shipping is everywhere so your customers will likely expect it on your site as well.

free shipping - delivery badges

It is clear that throughout all available stats that the most common cause for bailing on carts at checkout is shipping and handling cost related.

More specifically to get a glimpse of the most common causes we have categorised them as follows:

Shipping costs

  • High shipping costs
  • Extra costs (customs, etc.)
  • More costs appear later
  • Tax-related fees

Without a doubt free shipping can reduce cart abandonment.

But what if offering free shipping is not profitable for your business? In that case the solution is to set a free shipping threshold.

free shipping - deliver above a threshold

For instance, you can set your free shipping threshold just above your average order value of your store. 

Not only will it help you to reduce shopping cart abandonment but it also boosts the average order value of your customers.

Tools can aid address entry perform two useful functions – they make it faster and easier for shoppers and ensure that addresses are accurate.

They take a number of forms the most common is asking customers to enter a house number and postcode before searching for the address.

simple address finder

One alternative is to use address predictor tools which suggest matching addresses as shoppers’ type in their destination address.

address predictor tool

Sometimes upfront payment can be daunting or prevent some customers from being able to make a purchase at the point in their customer journey when they most want to.

Recently a number of third-party checkout partners have entered the market to allow customers to delay, split or spread payments out and options include Klarna, Clearpay, Afterpay, Laybuy, Payl8r and several others. 

Fashion retailer Boohoo makes these options clear at the point of browsing to allow the customer to shop with peace of mind.

A prompt to use payment options could also be used for any customers who appear to be hesitating at the payment point of the checkout to ease concerns over affordability.

offer different payment options

These options are largely aimed at millennials who want flexibility in how they pay and many of whom do not own a credit card.

Therefore making big purchases can be tricky with many millennial shoppers who prefer debit over credit. 

So offering these shoppers access to shorter-term credit could be a highly effective way of attracting these customers.

56% of shoppers surveyed in the Klarna Confidential Report reported that they were more likely to buy more if more varied payment options were available.

Social sign ins offered by many ecommerce sites can offer an easy alternative to registration and can speed up the checkout process.

offer social sign in as alternative

They can also help to avoid problem with passwords since users are more likely to remember social logins that they use regularly.

On the flip-side some retailers may feel uneasy about a third party site controlling customer data.

According to Visual Website Optimizer, ecommerce shopping cart conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in your page loading.

Checkout pages that are slow to load practically beg impatient shoppers to take their business elsewhere therefore optimising your checkout pages to be as fast as possible is a priority.

Some on-page technical elements are more easily optimised – for example your images should be as optimised to maintain that balance of quality and speed.

optimise page loading time

You can also limit the use of ad network trackers, poorly implemented tags, social plugins and other bloat to increase your page load times.

Other elements may be beyond your control – such as the delay between a customer clicking Place Order and your financial institution/payment provider actually processing their payment.

In this instance – consider using a visual representation of the delay to assure customers that something is actually happening like a loading bar or progress indicator.

This will let them know that things are happening behind the scenes and that they will be done momentarily.

One of the most reliable ways to prevent shopping cart abandonment is exit intent technology.

This sophisticated technology identifies when a visitor is showcasing exit behaviour and serves a strategically timed overlay with a message that encourages them to stay.

For example if a customer who has already reached the checkout page exhibits exit intent because the shipping costs are too high then a timely message offering free shipping for purchases over a certain amount might save the purchase and also increase the average order value.

With OptinMonster’s exit-intent technology you could present an even more targeted offer by displaying a different message depending on which item(s) the shopper has shown an interest in or which pages on your site they have viewed.

If the shopper still leaves without completing their purchase you can send them an abandoned cart email sequence to entice them to return.

exit intent pop up during checkout

Similarly certain onsite behaviour might indicate that the customer wants to compare prices with a competitor.

If that happens then the exit-intent overlay might suggest a discount on the particular items they added.

exit intent pop up offer discount

It is essential that this technology is deployed subtly and based on a data-driven understanding of customer behaviour or it may backfire, irritating the customer and causing them to leave for good.

Creating an exit intent popup can save your marketing budget by targeting abandoning customers before they leave your site and it is a lot easier than running a remarketing campaign.

Report also points out that 27% of surveyed online shoppers said they abandoned carts because of too long and complicated checkout process.

Optimising checkout process to be a simpler with flexible options can drastically reduce shopping cart abandonment for your store.

Consider going over all items in this checklist to optimise your checkout process for a higher conversion rate:

  • Make your checkout page mobile-friendly to reduce shopping cart abandonment on mobile devices
  • Shorten checkout form by requiring only vital information and minimise the number of required fields
  • Offer guest check-out a viable option for customers who do not want to reveal their personal identity or who are buying gifts for their friends
  • Provide numerous payment options to support customers from different age group and countries
  • Show progress bar to let customers know how many steps left to finish checkout

While you might never recapture all the customers who abandon their carts – the ugly truth is that a majority of small and medium online sellers can get a decent traffic but not make good sales.  

This is due to the outrageous shopping cart abandonment issue and the numbers prove that it is worth the relatively small investment it takes to reclaim those potential sales.


To be effective you need to resolve the root-cause problems. You need to fully and deeply understand why and where your customers abandon their carts.

As always the heart of improving conversions is improving customer journey.

By anticipating the customer’s thoughts, customising your communications, offering transparency, help when required and giving consumer’s options to complete a purchase in the way they would like to – you will see a corresponding decrease in abandonment and an increase in recovered cart sales.

However if you are finding it difficult then seek an experienced marketing agency like Best–Digital Marketing Services to help you set up strategies to recover sales through shopping cart abandonment.

Contact us today and see how we can help you boost your lost sales through cart abandonment.

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18 Ways to Recover Sales through Shopping Cart Abandonment.