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Cart abandonment is a common problem in the e-commerce industry. Typically, about 7 out of 10 orders do not result in a purchase. And while it seems quite natural for users to behave this way, it becomes a big concern for retailers because cart abandonment impacts conversion rates and reduces sales. According to Forrester, the e-commerce cart abandonment results in $18 billion losses each year. The reasons for this may vary, but we will focus on the most common one – UX design.
This article will outline the reasons for shopping cart abandonment, how to calculate it, and will provide top UX tips on how to reduce cart abandonment and increase your conversion rate.
Cart abandonment: what is it and why does it matter?
Accodring to its name, shopping cart abandonment refers to a situation when online users add products to a shopping cart on a website but leave without finishing the purchase. Items added to a shopping cart but never purchased are considered “abandoned” by the shopper. For an e-commerce store, cart abandonment is a crucial aspect. Here are some of the most crucial shopping cart abandonment statistics:
- The average order abandonment rate for shopping carts differs on various devices: desktop – 69.75%, tablet – 80.74%, mobile – 85.65% (Baymard Institute);
- The average rate of checkout abandonment across all industries is 70% (Baymard Institute);
- The average eCommerce cart abandonment rate in 2023 is 69.99% (Baymard Institute);
- Each year, e-commerce loses $18 billion in revenue due to checkout abandonment (Forrester);
- Improving checkout design can increase the conversion rate by 32.26% (Baymard Institute);
- The shopping cart abandonment rates for specific industries are as follows: automotive 98.6%, hotels 87.5%, retail 84.5%, travel 79.9%, pharmaceutical 76.9%, and insurance 67.9% (Statista).
As you can see, shopping cart abandonment is an issue that affects ecommerce businesses across a wide range of industries. E-commerce companies also use a cart abandonment rate to track a website’s performance. A high abandonment rate may indicate a poor user experience or a broken sales funnel. This results in lost sales, which lead to lost revenue. But the good news is that companies can control their abandoned carts by calculating their rate and determining how crucial it is.
How to calculate your cart abandonment rate
A cart abandonment rate is often used in ecommerce as a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure how many users add items to their carts but do not complete a purchase. You can calculate your cart abandonment rate using the following formula:
(1 – (The number of completed purchases/ the number of created purchases)) x 100%
For example, there are 500 created purchases, but only 200 have been completed. Let’s use the formula (1-200/500) X 100 = 60. The result means that 60% of your users abandon their shopping carts. This is quite high, isn’t it?
However, a high abandonment rate may not be as bad as you may think. Keep in mind that cart abandonment rates can vary based on industry, product type, and even the type of devices. Do not forget that every unfinished purchase has a reason. So, your next step is to understand these reasons and find a way to lower the rate.
The most common reasons for cart abandonment
No doubt that every e-commerce store is unique. However, there are some common reasons why users stop in the middle of the sales funnel and drop out:
- Lack of trust: when users feel uncertain about the security of their information, they are more likely to abandon their carts;
- Complicated checkout process: a complex or a too lengthy checkout process can discourage users from proceeding;
- Website technical issues: when users encounter slow page loading, glitches, or crashes, they receive a poor user experience;
- High delivery costs: when users realize that shipping costs are too high, they might abandon their shopping carts and compare prices with competitors;
- Hidden costs: users are usually discouraged by unexpected costs during the checkout process (i.e., high shipping fees, taxes, or additional charges);
- Lack of payment options: limited payment options also form a poor user experience and do not allow completing a purchase;
- Lack of motivation: users often add items to their carts without a solid intention to purchase, but simply to save things for later;
- Complicated UX: a website with confusing navigation or too many pop-ups can lead to frustrated customers abandoning their shopping carts.
The listed above reasons can help businesses identify areas for improvement and implement the most suitable cart abandonment strategy to resolve them. Now, let’s focus on the role of UX design in cart abandonment.
How UX affects shopping cart abandonment
The most successful ecommerce businesses have one thing in common: they continually strive to improve the customer experience (CX). CX covers a variety of factors such as friendly customer service, easy returns, fast shipping, and most importantly, great user experience (UX).
When shopping online, users expect retailers to deliver product information quickly and consistently. A well-designed and optimized UX design can keep users engaged on a website to achieve their goals. In contrast, poor UX makes it difficult to navigate or access product information and negatively impacts the user experience. Visitors will likely switch to another website if they have any difficulties during site navigation.
By tracking and analyzing cart abandonment rates, businesses can identify pain points in their checkout process, implement improvements, and thus, increase the likelihood of converting potential customers into sales.
How to reduce shopping cart abandonment: UX tips
As discussed, shopping cart abandonment occurs in every ecommerce store, so retailers need a strong strategy for fixing that. If you want to keep your customers on your website, you need to provide a superior user experience (UX) and here is how you can do that.
Keep the checkout short and simple
According to Splitit, 87% of online shoppers abandon shopping carts during the checkout if the process is too complicated. It makes sense since users prefer to spend less time filling out registration forms, email addresses, or phone numbers. Thus, a less complicated checkout process with a guest checkout option may be really helpful to keep your customers engaged and prevent them from going to your competitors.
Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Reduce the number of checkout steps;
- Offer social media registration;
- Offer autocomplete of the form;
- Implement progress indicators;
- Add minimal distractions such as banners or pop-ups.
A smooth checkout process can minimize friction and encourage users to complete their purchases. Moreover, it is crucial to remember that the checkout process should work well on mobile and desktop to maximize user satisfaction.
Optimize website speed and performance
According to numerous researches, users tend to leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Slow-loading pages frustrate users and may result in them visiting a competitor’s website. In contrast, a seamless user experience encourages users to stay on a website, explore products, and make purchases. To achieve a high website speed and performance, companies can:
- Compress files;
- Optimize images;
- Use specialized plugins for better performance;
- Use browser caching;
- Servе images in next-gen formats;
- Use AMP (accelerated mobile pages) if possible
Monitoring a website’s performance regularly can improve user experience. For users, it means having a pleasant, hassle-free experience when searching for information and making purchases. While for e-commerce owners, it results in a website with a lower bounce rate and a higher conversion rate.
Provide superior optimization for mobile
Mobile has the highest abandonment rate of 85% across tablets and desktops. Hence, user experience on mobile devices must be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. In order to achieve this, companies can incorporate the following:
- App-only discounts;
- Simple navigation;
- Guest log-in option;
- Appealing push notifications;
- Easy product filtering and sorting;
- Order confirmation and tracking.
With these UX tips for mobile apps, you will not only create a seamless shopping experience but also gain a competitive edge over your competitors. Amazon, eBay, и Shopify are the most prominent examples of this. When it comes to mobile users, simplicity, convenience, and performance should be prioritized.
Use a prominent call to action (CTAs)
Many online stores do not pay proper attention to CTA buttons on their pages, believing that users will only add products to the cart if they are going to make a purchase. However, a well-placed CTA button can help capture the user’s attention and push customers along during checkout. For example, by providing a “Checkout” button on every page, companies can expedite the checkout process.
Thus, designers should create clear and visible CTAs, use bright colors and clear labels to keep users engaged until they finish shopping.
Build trust and security
Security is the second extremely important aspect that users pay attention to after a convenient and simple e-commerce website. Building trust and credibility through UX design is essential for reducing shopping cart abandonment. A well-designed website with proof of reliability makes users feel safe and confident that they can purchase from it.
Here are some tips for building trust on your e-commerce website:
- Use high-quality product images;
- Display SSL certificate and badges;
- Provide social proofs;
- Provide secure payment options and encryption;
- Provide transparent pricing and shipping data;
- Provide a clear return and refund policy.
With these elements in your UX design, you create a user experience that fosters brand trust. Over time, e-commerce websites will be able to build not only customer loyalty but also long-term relationships.
Make return policy clear and visible
According to Metapark research, almost 56% of shoppers were deterred from shopping because of an insufficient return policy. Therefore, businesses should make their return policy highly visible during both browsing and checkout. A clear and easily accessible return policy provides reassurance to potential customers, building trust and confidence in their purchase decision.
To make your return policy clear and visible, you can:
- Provide free returns (if possible);
- Provide various ways to return;
- Clarify the refund policy;
- Place a link to the return policy in a visible location;
- Offering a brief summary of the return policy;
- Use trust signals, such as satisfaction guarantees.
Allow easy saving and editing of shopping carts
One of the benefits of online shopping is the ability to leave your cart filled with items and return to them later to carry on with shopping. Sometimes, shoppers may need to compare products, complete a shopping cart, or take their time before purchasing. During any stage of the buying process, users should be able to save their shopping carts or edit for later. The best way to save carts is to:
- Add a “save for later” button;
- Add a “save to a wishlist” button;
- Keep editing features visible in a menu;
- Add a “cancel” button to restore the item.
By offering website flexibility, you show appreciation for your customers and commitment to providing excellent user experiences. Therefore, satisfied users will likely return and complete their incomplete orders.
Offer multiple payment options
Once users are satisfied with your product and website and ready to make a purchase, paying close attention to the payment process is vital. To prevent another opportunity for cart abandonment, the checkout process should be fast, simple and convenient for end shoppers. Multiple payment options and an appealing design are helpful here.
E-commerce can provide a variety of payment options, such as:
- Traditional payment options, such as credit cards;
- Alternative payment options, such as ApplePay, or PayPal;
- Payment options based on region;
- Auto-completing payments;
- Saving the payment data;
- Reduced payment fields.
If customers can find their preferred payment method on your site, and the process is easy and hassle-free, they will likely complete the purchase and come back.
Conduct A/B testing
One of the best cart abandonment solutions is A/B testing, which allows designers to identify the reasons behind cart abandonment and make the necessary changes. A/B testing is an essential part of UX design at any stage. It involves comparing two or more versions of a webpage or an app (A and B) to determine which version performs better to increase conversions or reduce cart abandonment (according to a goal).
Remember that A/B testing is not a “do and forget”; you should do it regularly as your website and users’ behaviors change. You can reduce cart abandonment and convert more customers by continuously optimizing your website based on A/B testing results. Moreover, you can test out different checkout processes and compare them to see what works best.
For e-commerce retailers, abandoned shopping carts have been and will continue to be a challenge. Therefore, every business owners need a unique strategy to address cart abandonment and ensure it does not happen again. Your e-commerce strategy can benefit from the listed above UX tips to reduce cart abandonment and convert shoppers into loyal customers.
To build and implement a successful e-commerce strategy, you should turn to web development and UX experts who know how to make your website stand out among your competitors. At SoftTeco, we create UX designs for e-commerce solutions that are intuitive and user-oriented to ensure both customer satisfaction and business success.
What is cart abandonment?
How to reduce cart abandonment?
What is the cart abandonment rate?
By tracking and analyzing cart abandonment rates, businesses can identify pain points in their checkout process, implement improvements, and convert more potential customers.