Lower Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Immediately with These 9 Tips

February 8, 2021

If you saw your online shopping cart abandonment rate increase over the past 12-months, you weren’t alone.

The sharp rise in eCommerce orders, coupled with online shoppers’ growing confidence, saw abandonment rates rocket – leading many sellers to research how to lower your cart abandonment rate and increase conversions. 

And while we always recommend a long-term customer recovery strategy that addresses the root problem of abandonment (to reduce and then recover effectively), sometimes you want to kick things off with some immediately actionable and effective online shopping cart abandonment tips. 

So, here are ours. 

Before We Begin: The Difference Between Lowering your Cart Abandonment and Increasing Customer Recovery

Let’s get to grips with some basics first. 

Lowering your online shopping cart abandonment rate means stopping cart abandonment from happening to increase conversions. You can achieve this using a variety of on-site tactics, including the ones we’re discussing below. 

Increasing customer recovery means boosting the number of abandoning customers you later convert – you still increase conversions, albeit over a longer period. You can achieve this using an abandoned cart SMS, push notification, or email campaign to generate the four Rs:

  • Remind the customer about their visit
  • Re-engage their interest in your products
  • Return them to your website
  • Recover their lost sale. 

In this guide, we’re focusing on quick and actionable tips for lowering your cart abandonment rate to increase conversions. If you want to learn more about increasing customer recovery, check out these guides:

9 Tips for Immediately Lowering Your Online Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

So, what you’re searching for – nine easy, quick, and cost-effective ways to reduce online shopping cart abandonment on your eCommerce store:

1. Narrow down your top reasons for abandonment

The quickest way to lower online shopping cart abandonment rates is by removing the common reasons behind abandonment. 

Use a session replay tool to watch abandonment in action and identify the top reasons on your eCommerce website. Use this insight to remove barriers to purchase, therefore reducing abandonment to increase conversions. 

Some simple examples of this tactic in action include:

  • Abandonment at the order total page = add a real-time slider checkout. 
  • Abandonment at the credit card stage = add more payment options.
  • Abandonment at the account creation stage = allow guest checkouts. 

2. Offer free and fast shipping

Shipping costs are the top reason for cart abandonment; therefore, a quick win in reducing abandonment is offering free and fast shipping options. 

The simple fact is that Amazon offers free 2-day, next-day, and same-day deliveries. If you don’t provide the same or similar, Prime customers will abandon your website to see if they can buy the same product on Amazon. 

Offering free and fast shipping provides shoppers with the convenience of buying from Amazon and the personal service of buying direct – increasing conversions on your store and lowering them on Amazon’s. 

Relevant reading: How to drive direct sales this season

3. Simplify your checkout process

The quicker someone sails through your checkout process, the less time they have to get distracted, doubt their purchase, or think about abandonment. 

Some quick ways to make your checkout process even quicker include:

  • Form auto-fill: using information from a shopper’s previous visit to repopulate the checkout page with relevant information, increasing checkout speeds by up to 30%. 
  • Customer accounts: allowing customers to create an account that stores their contact information, payment details, and shipping addresses for future purchases. 
  • Guest checkout: allowing customers to convert without creating a customer account, so they don’t have to go through the email verification or account set-up process. 

You can see how Bulletproof simplifies the checkout process by offering both account and express checkout options to increase conversions:

simplified checkout process

4. Update your payment options

Once upon a time, a quick way to reduce online shopping cart abandonment was adding PayPal as an alternative payment option. 

Today, payment options have advanced significantly. Customers expect a choice of payment methods, and if you don’t offer their favorite, they’ll abandon you for someone that does. 

You can see, for example, sports retailer GymShark has four different payment options for customers:

multiple payment options - decrease abandoned carts

Try adding the following payment options to your existing credit card and PayPal methods to increase conversions:

  • eWallets: digital payment methods such as GooglePay and ApplePay enable shoppers to pay for purchases using their phone. They’re also projected to account for 50% of global eCommerce sales by 2022
  • Installments: installment payment partners (like Sezzle) enable customers to spread the cost of a product over a set amount of months – allowing them to convert immediately without waiting for their next paycheck. 
  • Subscriptions: automated repeat payments drive sales of subscription boxes, allowing customers to continue receiving their item without logging in to pay every week, month, or quarter. 

5. Improve your returns policy

Online shopping might not be the most dangerous sport, but it’s still risky. 

Customers can’t touch, feel, hold, size-up, or try on your products; therefore, they’re gambling that the product in their mind is the one that turns up on their doorstep. This gamble causes doubt, hesitation, second-guessing, and abandonment. 

Free and easy returns are the answer. A customer-friendly returns policy reduces the risk of buying online because shoppers know they can return the product if it doesn’t meet expectations. 

This is especially important for expensive products. For example, Casper reduces risk by offering customers free delivery, 100-night risk-free trial, and a 10-year limited warranty – reducing abandonment to increase conversions:

lower cart abandonment rate - return policy

6. Incentivize first-time shoppers

Sticking to risk, it’s even more of a gamble when you buy from an online store for the first time. Shoppers are handing over their personal information, payment details, and hard-earned money to a brand they don’t know and might have never heard of before. And again, this can cause abandonment. 

Give first time shoppers a reason to shop with you for the first time by incentivizing them with an offer that distracts them from risk or outweighs it. This could be a coupon, offer of free shipping, referral code, money-back guarantee…whatever resonates best with your audience. 

Top tip: use a conversion nudge that incentivizes shoppers without the need to enter their personal information. New shoppers are often reluctant to share their email address straight away, and you don’t want to encourage shoppers to abandon your website to retrieve an email coupon. 

See how Bobbi Brown gives shoppers the coupon code in their website header:

lower cart abandonment rate - incentives

7. Disrupt potential exits

Few people make a snap decision to abandon their cart, especially if their cart has something in it. 

Shoppers usually dither when thinking about abandonment, sending you signals they’re about to leave. 

Use these signals to disrupt a potential exit and save shoppers from the brink of abandonment, with tools such as:

  • Exit-intent offers: an offer that appears as a shopper’s mouse heads towards the exit button, presenting information or offers encouraging them to stay. 
  • Abandoned tab notification: an automatic change to your website tab’s favicon and headline, alongside an audio chime, that alerts customers when they open a new tab on their browser. 

8. Do a website audit

The reason behind abandonment could be as simple as your website making it difficult to convert. 

Do a quick website audit to check for and improve:

  • Speed – are pages and search results loading quickly enough to keep visitors engaged?
  • Copy – are your product descriptions informative, relevant, and interesting?
  • Compatibility – does your website work on mobiles, tablets, and desktops?

9. Use Back-In-Stock notifications

One of our new favorite ways to reduce online shopping cart abandonment is allowing customers to buy out of stock products by enabling in-stock notifications. 

Add an in-stock notification option to your out of stock product pages where customers enter their email address and/or telephone number and receive an alert when the product is back in stock. 

This is a great way to engage customers who would have otherwise abandoned, and use their details to help them later convert. 


Just because online shopping cart abandonment has been a long-term problem for your store doesn’t mean you can’t fix the problem with some quick wins and increase conversions. 

We hope these nine tips get your abandonment rates down quickly and help them stay down. And, for the customers who slip through the net and still abandon their cart, don’t worry. We’ve got a suite of tools to help with that, too. 
Find out more with a free 14-day trial.