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How to reduce e-commerce cart abandonment rates

'Add to cart' is a concept that is easier on an e-commerce site than in a real brick-and-mortar store. By the same token, cart abandonment is far easier online than in real life. While people may change their mind in a real store too, we don't often see multiple trolleys with items in, deserted at checkout points. Yet, this is one of the biggest challenges that online stores face, with nearly 70% of shoppers exiting their site with items in their cart.
How to reduce e-commerce cart abandonment rates

According to statistics the most common reasons for this are:
  • Customers weren’t ready to buy the item/s just yet,
  • Customers were unsure whether or not they could trust the website,
  • The total price with delivery included was more than they expected,
  • The online shopping process was tedious, or took too long,
  • Shoppers needed approval from another person first; or
  • Shoppers became distracted.
While e-commerce cart abandonment might be a phenomenon that the majority of online stores struggle with, there are ways to address this problem.

1. Showcase trust building elements

Online shopping and trust go hand-in-hand, should customers not trust your store, they probably will not proceed to through the check-out with confidence. Build trust! This can be achieved by including Reviews from previous customers, prominently displaying on your website, the Security Seal from the SSL Certificate that gives it a secure URL.

2. Provide multiple payment options

Online shoppers are slightly nervous when it comes to using any new payment gateways. They prefer their known and trusted ‘favourite’ one, this may cause them to abandon their cart at checkout, should they be confronted with a payment gateway that they do not recognise, or are comfortable with.

3. Test and rethink your check-out process

Fact: nobody likes forms. Does your check-out process use forms? Ensure that your check-out process is as quick and easy as you can make it and allow for Guest shopping. If possible, indicate where in the check-out process the customer is i.e. Step 1 of 3.

Is your website perhaps too slow?’s WordPress Hosting has particularly been designed to make your WordPress site function at warp-speed.

4. Be upfront about delivery costs and timelines

Online shopping is super convenient however, there is one little snag: delivery fees. Many customers don’t mind paying extra to get items delivered to their door, but for others the extra R120 may make their purchase too excessive.

Maybe it is not the delivery costs that’s the problem, perhaps it’s the waiting period prior to receiving their purchase. Shoppers in a store have their purchase immediately after buying it, online shoppers on the other hand, may have to wait days, sometimes even weeks, for their purchase to arrive.

Are you perhaps making them wait too long? Ensure you showcase the cost of shipping prominently on your website and rethink your shipping options and prices.

5. Provide online assistance

Not all online shoppers shop online that often, so they may have questions, or be confused and need assistance. Provide your contact details noticeably on the website, or better yet include a live chat option. Supporting people as and when they are unsure is just part of the solution. You can prevent future confusion by prominently displaying the steps to follow on your website.

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