• Tina Mani

Top 3 reasons for abandoned shopping carts – Website Improvement, Retargeting Tips

69.23% of shopping carts get abandoned on a daily basis. That’s a huge number considering the amount of effort and cost involved in getting potential buyers to your web-store.

What’s more – Most retailers do not know the exact reasons why their carts get abandoned.

Let’s take a look at the top three reasons for cart abandonment, along with some best on-site and retargeting practices to increase your basket to order ratio.


59% of the people who abandon carts do so because they were not serious about buying in the first place.

Key Takeaway: Product recommendations are more important than abandoned cart reminders to buy the same product

On-site improvements: A) Add product recommendations to your cart page. Some of the retailers we spoke to were worried that they may distract and divert away the customer by adding recommendations to the cart page

Our study shows that the more choices you present, the higher chances there are for products to make it all the way to an order. If you are not sure about this, do this in a subtle way, on the side, like this example below

B) People use the cart like a placeholder for all the products they like. If you do not have a wish list already, it is time to enable one. On the cart page, enable your customers to move back items they do not want to buy immediately to the wish list so that these do not get dumped while short listing products.

Retargeting Tips

A) Do multiple follow ups with recommended products similar to the abandoned ones after they leave your site.

B) Show them their “Last Viewed Products” when they come back to your site the next time. Do not expect people to go back and check their carts.


21% of the people who did start to check out abandon carts because of shipping costs or freight taxes.

Key Takeaway: You may not want to subsidize shipping on the whole, so compensate by offering differential discounts to first-time buyers or loyal customers.

On-Site Tips:

A) Transparent and easy to anticipate shipping costs avoid last minute surprises and increase trust. It may be a good practice to calculate the shipping charges upfront instead of dragging potential customers through the process. Flat rate shipping may be a good idea if it works for you.

B) Dynamic pop-ups offering shipping discount for high value carts may help. To make it less painful for your customers to look for more products, display product recommendations right there with a message to add x worth of items and get free shipping.

C) Chat options at checkout may help answer last minute concerns about shipping or returns. Buyers need to be persuaded the same way sales reps do it in the offline world.

Retargeting Tips:

A) Monthly shipping discount coupons for frequent buyers, along with product recommendations.

B) Price Drop alerts for people who left items in cart.

REASON 3: 21% of customers abandon the cart when asked to login or register.

Key Takeaway: Reduce the number of steps to check out, you can always retarget guest users after they have left.

On-Site Tips: Reducing the number of steps is key to checkout success.

A) Provide Guest checkout options with only an email id and shipping address.

B) 1-click checkout – for eg. Paypal.

C) The only reason to ask for login should be to allow them to use their saved card information.

Effective methods for retargeting guest users:

A) Facebook dynamic ads: Add a Facebook pixel to your site and retarget customers using Facebook dynamic ads using rules like: “Show these products to the users who viewed them or added them to cart”

These ads require an upload of your product catalog. However, note that this will show the same products again. The key to success is to present your customer with more options – so you should create product groups where you include all the variants of a product in the same group.

B) There is a fairly new, but effective method to retarget your users. Browsers like chrome, firefox and safari allow you to send notifications to users with a single opt-in from your website. While browser push notifications have been traditionally used by content and news sites, they are very effective with e-commerce when used selectively, to send personalized recommendations. Read more about browser push notifications here.


An average of only 8.7% of the visits on your site lead to an add to cart event.

Is your personalization strategy limited to people who abandon carts? If your answer is yes, you may not be doing enough to increase your ecommerce conversions. So instead of waiting for your customers to abandon carts and then focusing all energies on such a narrow (albeit worthy) problem, you should adopt a comprehensive strategy including on-site merchandising and push merchandising through multiple channels.

YFret – The Ecommerce Marketing Assistant


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