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Julia Hammond
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The Mystery of the Abandoned Cart & How to Prompt a Sale

Regardless whether you’re an online start-up or an eCommerce giant, all businesses who sell online face the same issue – why do customers put items in their basket but never make a purchase? The answer to this question can help businesses improve their online checkout experience, so it’s valuable but often mysterious and elusive information to obtain.

The rate of cart abandonment is actually quite high (between 60% and 80%), which is understandable considering the number of factors that influence the buyer’s final decision. The reality is, there are countless reasons a customer may abandon their cart, from web functionality or mobile responsiveness, through to lack of information or even lack of funds. As the merchant, some of the problems may be out of your control; however, there are some practical improvements you can make to ensure the journey through to purchase is smoother for the customer.



Speed is the number one reason for a potential buyer to abandon their cart. We live in a fast-paced society, wherein most online shoppers will give you their minimum attention and have limited patience if things aren’t simple. If it’s too hard to make the purchase or it’s taking too long, you will definitely lose customers along the buying journey.

Minimise Data Entry

Limit the number of fields a customer has to fill to make their purchase. To speed up the consumer’s experience further, only ask for vital information in order to make the purchase. Form-filling is time consuming and not enjoyable for you customers. Reduce the time spent on entering details, and increase your conversion rate.

Member Checkout

To streamline the process further for your clients, enabling them to store their account information on your server is always a hit. Simplifying your checkout by allowing customers to login to thier personal account and pay in one step will not only make the process more palatable but will also inspire repeat purchases as the customer will be more likely to return to your store to keep their purchases quick.

Give an Incentive

Creating an account can be just as frustrating as a long checkout, so providing a good reason or benefit for your customers to do so takes a little of the sting out of the seemingly “wasted” time. The benefit should be immediate and tangible for the customer, like free shipping or a discount code. Many eCommerce stores also offer a loyalty scheme, which can, again, help to entice repeat customers.


Website Safety

While the web is a whole lot safer than it used to be, there are still concerns, particularly when it comes to monetary transactions. The fear of an insecure purchase or online scam is still one of the reasons people ‘chicken out’ when it comes to entering their personal details. Abating these security fears can help. Come July, Google will notify site visitors whether or not a site is secure with a big “not secure” sticker for all to see. The criteria to pass the Google security test is simple – you need an SSL Certificate. An SSL Certificate shows that any information provided by the user to the website will be encrypted so it cannot be hacked. SSL Certification is also noted by the switch from the traditional HTTP prefix, to HTTPS.

The Right Information

The copy on your website is just as important when it comes to that final, all-important click to purchase. The text should be clear and easy to understand. It should include all the details a buyer could possibly want or need before making a purchase, including the privacy policy and assurance that the site is secure.

Payment Flexibility

Card is still the most popular form of purchase when it comes to eCommerce sales. However, a lack of options or fees incurred upon these less common payment choices can drastically affect your customer’s decision to buy.

AfterPay and/or Zip Pay options have become expected options for online retail sales, so providing that extra flexibility is an important step to take. Many consumers have traded in the in-store fitting room for the comfort of their own bedroom and, as such, allowing your customers to effectively try before they buy has become the next big thing. The trust you show your customers by allowing these deferred payments will often also be reciprocated by the customer. A customer who trusts your business, is likely to return again.

Follow Up

Finally, many consumers get caught up in the distractions of everyday life and forget about the items they were going to purchase on their morning commute. Sending an automated (but personalised) follow up email, reminding them and enabling them to return quickly to their cart, could be an investment worth making for your business.

By Jen McKinnonJulia Hammond

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