There is nothing more frustrating to an ecommerce seller than losing a customer just before they were about to buy a product. With Baymard reporting that over two thirds of shopping carts are being abandoned before purchase, it's a problem that many sellers can relate to. Below we will go through some of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment and explain how they can be rectified in order to get that sale.

1. Overcomplicated checkout stage

Make sure your checkout stage is as simple as possible. If customers have to fill out lots of forms before getting to the payment stage it's very likely they will quit out of the process. Buyers want their journey to be as streamlined as possible to save time. Try not to add pop-up offers at this stage either - this is just another inconvenience for the customer to get through before paying.

It is even possible to consider a one-click to buy process, much like Amazon employs. This can expedite the buying process enormously as customers don't even leave the storefront whilst purchasing products. Whilst this process adds convenience for the customer, it can also have a higher potential for mistakes. If this is an option for you, make sure you have a clear returns policy. Allow the customer to cancel their order within 30 minutes of purchase, in case of error.

2. High Shipping Costs

Nothing is more off putting to prospective clients than high shipping costs or processing fees, especially if they are hidden until the last minute. It is essential to be up front about how much your additional costs will be. Even if customers end up looking elsewhere for the product, at least they will find your site more trustworthy for future purchases.

Consider also having deals, such as free shipping when customers spend over a certain amount or if they are first time buyer. You could even try and implement a loyalty scheme where customers pay a certain amount a year to get unlimited free shipping.

3. Inflexible returns policy

One of the downsides of having an ecommerce site is that customers can't physically engage with your products, making it essential to have a coherent and flexible returns policy. If customers get to the checkout stage and see they aren't able to return their item easily, they may not want to risk the purchase. Make sure you have a reasonable policy that includes a fair 'cooling off' period, as it will make customers more likely to return and to recommend your store.

Of course, having limitations on your flexibility is essential. Keep some time constraints to stop customers abusing your returns policy. However, the crucial thing is to make sure people see you as a fair and friendly business.

4. Not enough security

Security concerns have become increasingly important to consumers in recent years, so it is likely they will notice if your site doesn't have the basics. An HTTP URL is absolutely essential to reassure customers their private details are secure. If they think otherwise, they won't use your website to purchase anything.

Essential ways to add extra security are; using a secure checkout provider, showing your SSL certificate symbols in an obvious place and using a live chat feature to allow customers to relay any concerns they have whilst they are checking-out.

5. Forced registration

Getting buyers to register can be beneficial for your ecommerce business. It can help you obtain email addresses for mailing lists and acquire customer data for targeting. However, it can be inconvenient to buyers. As mentioned above, adding extra forms to fill in before getting to payment can be off-putting.

Two ways around this are offering guest checkout and the ability to create an account after purchasing. With guest checkout, buyers will feel less coerced into signing up and you can still highlight the advantages to doing so. These could include easier checkout for repeat purchases, as well as exclusive deals if your website offers them.

6. Distractions

Buyers can become easily distracted when shopping online and it's quite possible that they will end up abandoning their shopping cart because they genuinely forgot about it. A great way to combat this is by sending them a follow-up email with a quick reminder about their unpurchased items. This is best done within an hour of them leaving the site, as they may still be online and able to easily return to the purchase.

Make sure your email also contains details about the items in the cart and a link directly back to it. The simpler the process to get them back to the payment stage, the more likely they are to complete the purchase. You could also add an incentive in the email that might draw them back in, such as free shipping.

7. Limited payment options

There are so many payment options out there that you can't be expected to accept them all, but it is vital you offer the most commonly used ones. Customers are unlikely, or perhaps even unable, to complete their purchase if you don't offer their prefered method of payment. Make sure not to limit the scope of customers you can reach in this way.

These simple solutions offer an effective way of dealing with shopping cart abandonment. Make sure you are constantly reviewing your practices and seeing what is working effectively. You will be able to convert those abandonments into sales in no time.

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