Simple Steps to Reduce Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

September 18, 2014

shovelingScoop N. Cary sells a lot of snow shovels to his retail customers. In fact his deluxe shovel line has been doing really well, and the Farmer's Almanac is calling for heavy snow this winter. It's December and Scoop is looking forward to the fall selling season. "Maybe this year," thinks ol' Scoop, "I'll finally scrape together enough to finance that stock of lawn mowers."

His daughter Pilot rattles into the shop, disturbing Scoop's reverie. "Pops," she says, "I was looking at our sales data from last year and found something strange."

"Huh?" says Scoop.

"Our sales data, Pops. It looks to me like a lot of shoppers are putting shovels in their online cart and then never following through on actually buying them.

"What?!? Someone stealing our shovels? Can they do that on the computer?

"No Pops. You don't get it. They choose the shovels they want to buy and put them in their online cart but they don't do the last few steps of actually paying for them and having them shipped.

"Whaddya mean? Something wrong with our shovels? I got the best suppliers and manufacturers this side of Beijing! How many of these scoundrels are leaving without paying?"

"Looks like a little over two-thirds.”

"You're telling me that two-thirds of the people who look at our stuff, choose the shovel they want and then just give up and go away?"

"Yup. By my calculations, we could have had almost $60,000 more in sales if we could figure out how to convince those shovelers to complete the sale."

Scoop was wide awake now. He could practically detect the aroma of those brand new lawn mowers waiting for good homes. "Pilot, you know more about ecommerce web design than me. What should we do?"

For the next couple of hours Scoop and Pilot got to work. They learned that they weren't the only ones dealing with "Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment." They put themselves in the boots of an online snow shovel shopper and asked a lot of questions about the buying experience at the Shovel Shop.

Before dinner was ready, they had identified three things they might need to change. The next day, Scoop emailed his Web Development Guy. Here's what they discussed:

Adding more photos of the different products in their catalog. That meant a long day's photographic work for Pilot who missed Christmas caroling practice. She and Scoop built a nice little photo studio with a plain white backdrop and good lighting. They asked Web Development Guy to increase their hosted space to accommodate more high resolution photos.


Adding more payment options. Mastercard and Visa just didn’t cover it anymore, so they expanded to include debit cards, e-checks and Paypal.

Against Scoop's protests, they also agreed on free shipping on orders over $25. In the long run, revenue would increase even with the added cost of providing free shipping. (They did sneak in a slight increase on some deluxe shovels).

A half dozen other ecommerce web design tricks that would radically reduce incomplete transactions. (For more, see United WebWorks' offer: "How to Recover Sales from Cart Abandonment.")

How to Fight Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Ecommerce shopping cart abandonment: the dark side of easy online shopping. It's all too easy for any customer to comparison shop simply by moving their right index finger a fraction of an inch, ditching the loving embrace of your amazing ecommerce website into the waiting arms of your second-rate competitor just to save $5.00 on shipping. 

United WebWorks says it's time to take a look at the shopping cart function of your site. According to the Baymard Institute's research, Scoop's data is commonplace. From 55 to 80 percent of carts languish in checkout, vainly awaiting the return of the shopper who filled them.

Well, since Scoop N. Cary downloaded United WebWorks' e-book "How to Recover Sales from Cart Abandonment," business has never been better. Pilot reports that carts-in-limbo have been greatly reduced. At the Snow Removal Retailers National Convention, he couldn’t stop talking about United WebWorks's 10 solutions to ecommerce shopping cart abandonment.

Now if he could only perfect a snow shovel that mows and a lawn mower that shovels snow!

Topics: Ecommerce