How to Avoid Abandoned Cart Syndrome

May 10, 2022
How to Avoid Abandoned Cart Syndrome

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Tons of traffic to your site won’t do much for your conversion rates if users abandon the shopping cart before making a purchase. Abandoned cart syndrome happens at any point during the buyer’s journey. Some people add an item they like but get distracted. Others might dislike the shipping costs or how long it takes an item to arrive. 

Your site’s user experience (UX) can improve conversion rates by 400% and reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. Knowing what to fix takes a bit of focus and an understanding of why people bounce away in the first place.

You have the burden of figuring out what makes people place an item in the shopping cart and not complete the sale. If you’re lucky, you may have an abandoned cart email to market to them and remind them of things they left behind, but you won’t always have that luxury. 

Abandoned cart syndrome is not a rare occurrence. According to statistics, 7 out of 10 online shoppers leave their carts without completing a purchase, a common trend across all industries.  That’s the number that many e-commerce store owners find concerning. Solving the puzzle of this behavior is not only intriguing but also essential for online businesses aiming to offer a seamless shopping experience. 

In this article, we’ll explain abandoned cart syndrome and lazy cart syndrome, understand issues, and most importantly identify strategies to bridge the gap between intention and completion in online shopping. 

We will explore the following topics:

  • Understanding Abandoned Cart Syndrome (Lazy Cart Syndrome)
  • Solving shopping cart headaches: Common Issues and Fixes

Understanding Abandoned Cart Syndrome (Lazy Cart Syndrome)

In the ecommerce industry, lazy cart syndrome and abandoned cart syndrome describe the same problem where customers add products to their shopping carts but abandon the page before making a purchase. The terms “lazy cart syndrome” and “abandoned cart syndrome” are used interchangeably across different platforms and articles to describe the phenomenon of cart abandonment in online shopping. 

Many factors contribute to the cause of the problem, including hidden costs, website glitches, complicated checkout processes, or unexpected shipping costs that discourage buyers from completing their purchases. 

Both terms highlight the phenomenon that occurs frequently to online retailers: potential customers putting items into their carts but then abandoning them before completing the transaction. 

Addressing Lazy Cart or Abandoned Cart Syndrome involves implementing strategies like simplifying the checkout process, reducing unexpected costs, offering guest checkout options, retargeting, and enhancing customer service to improve the overall shopping experience and minimize cart abandonment rates. Overcoming this issue can significantly boost conversions and thereby increase revenue for e-commerce businesses.

Here are the most common issues with shopping carts and how you can fix them.

Solving shopping cart headaches: Common Issues and Fixes

Shopping carts play an important role in the success of your ecommerce business, but several common issues might hurt your business, leading to cart abandonment or unsatisfactory user experiences. Here’s how you can avoid abandoned cart or lazy cart syndrome:

1. Reduce the Number of Clicks


A long checkout process, often due to asking for too many details can be a reason why the users bounce. Your potential customers are more likely to look for alternatives with quicker checkout processes. Go through the process of adding items to the cart and complete the purchase. How many different steps must you go through? Can any be eliminated? By addressing these issues, you can significantly improve the user experience and boost sales conversion rates.

Look for clicks to eliminate. For example, can you add autofill for the contact information to save several steps? Do you really need a summary page and a checkout page? If one can serve two purposes, go for the single rather than double. 

2. Initiate Cross-Platform Capability


Business intelligence allows you to utilize information across different platforms. For example, if your customer orders something from your website, you should collect data and pull it from the database for an in-store order. You’ll also reduce the risk of errors in shipping addresses and payment information. 

Think about the many different ways consumers interact with your brand. Perhaps you offer shopping via your Facebook page. Is the process similar to what it is on your site? Make everything as quick and simple as possible.

3. Use Third-Party Platforms or Social Login

Have you ever visited an e-commerce store and used your Google or Facebook information to quickly fill in shipping details? Integrating third-party platforms saves users time and is especially helpful to those who use mobile devices to shop. The sign-up process doesn't have to be a lengthy and dreary process.

Imagine you’re the shopper and using a small screen to try and order a new product. Typing in all your details is time-consuming, and users are likely to bounce away before completing the process. People want instant access when using mobile devices. Thanks to social login, you simplify the user's login process.

For example, if you let them click a single button to use Facebook information and complete the form, you’ve just saved them numerous steps. They are much more likely to complete the sale rather than abandon the shopping cart. 

4. Cross-Sell Related Items


The power of cross-sells can increase revenue by as much as 30%. Creating these opportunities is simple. If someone adds a pink blouse to their shopping cart, you might suggest a matching scarf or jacket. Base your recommendations on what others buy with the item or on the user’s purchase history.

You can even offer complete looks for clothing, home decor, and more. Show a photo highlighting how items look together. Make adding related products as easy as a single click to add the entire list. 

Amazon is a stellar example to study for figuring out how to cross-sell. When you land on a product page, just under the photos and basic description, you’ll often see a box titled “Buy It With.” Inside the box, the site lists things matching the original item. 

You can add everything to the cart or use the checkboxes to select only one or two items. The design is intuitive and easy.

Suggested reading: 8 Effective Upselling Techniques to Boost Your Revenue

5. Offer Transparency

Users have no reason to trust you. It would be best if you allowed them to see you are authentic. Include reviews, testimonials, and clear contact information. According to statistics, 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. For example, Growave enables the generation of reviews and user-generated content (UGC) for your Shopify store, helping build strong social proof. You can display these reviews on a dedicated page, product pages, and even in Google search results. This feature not only helps other customers make informed purchasing decisions but also complete the purchase.

Suggested reading: Why is Content Moderation Important for User-Generated Campaigns?

List any professional organizations or consumer groups you belong to, such as the Better Business Bureau

It would help if you also offered detailed descriptions and upfront pricing. Don’t make the user guess how much the item might cost. One significant reason for shopping cart abandonment is when people see high shipping costs, taxes, and other fees. They may bounce away and decide to buy from their local store rather than pay those costs. 

You may be legally obligated to collect taxes, but you can reduce other expenses for the user. 

6. Speed up Your Site


Google shared some research on site speed, indicating a mere one-second delay in page load time increases bounce rates by 32%. A five-second delay shoots the number to a 90% bounce rate. 

Numerous things speed up your website. Start by paying for the fastest hosting you can afford. Optimize images, reduce the number of scripts, and eliminate clutter. Watch out for cookies that might slow the process down.

Run a speed analysis on your site through services such as Pingdom and pay attention to the areas where you don’t get a passing grade. Fix any issues you can and work on speeding up image loading through the use of a content delivery network and caching. 

7. Improve Customer Service

Online buying is different from in-person shopping. When customers enter a brick-and-mortar store, they can ask the sales clerk questions about a product. If you don’t offer excellent customer service before the sale, the shopper can’t trust you’ll fix any issues they might have.

Make sure you have a frequently-asked-questions page covering topics such as shipping, returns, and damaged products. How do you handle these situations?

Consider adding live chat to your site. People can ask their questions rather than bouncing away. Ideally, you’ll feature the button on every page of your website. You should offer easy access to your checkout pages. It’s far better to invest in a live agent to answer a few questions than losing the sale. 

Suggested reading: 5 Key Pillars of Ecommerce Customer Service

8. Diversify Payment Options

Limited payment options can significantly impact an online store, leading to higher cart abandonment rates. Your customers love flexibility and ease during the checkout process. When they don’t find their preferred payment they may abandon their carts and search for other options. This issue may discourage your global customers who depend on region-specific payment platforms. 

That’s why it’s so important to include a variety of payment methods such as credit/debit cards, PayPal, digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, and region-specific options. 

Consider integrating cryptocurrency payment getaways for tech-savvy customers. Make sure to clearly display all available payment options. 

Curing Abandoned Cart Syndrome

Some of the reasons for abandoned shopping carts are obvious. Others may be much more subtle and take detective work to figure out. Hire mystery shoppers to go through your process and report back about issues they experienced. Survey your regular customers and ask how you can improve their shopping experience

You should also pay attention to where consumers abandon the cart. If they leave on the shipping page, your costs may be too high. Is there anything you can do to reduce them and speed up delivery? You’ll never completely eliminate shopping cart abandonment, but you can improve your numbers and revenue.

Author's Bio

Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.

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