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Turning Cart Abandonment Into Conversions: 6 Pro Tips

Turning Cart Abandonment Into Conversions: 6 Pro Tips

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Have you ever been at the grocery store and realized you forgot to grab something from another section? So, rather than push your cart back to the produce section for a single onion, you briskly walk there and back.

Now imagine that halfway there, you got an email that said, “Hey! You forgot about your cart!”

This message might not be what convinces you to buy your groceries. After all, you kinda need them. However, marketers frequently use cart abandonment strategies like these—and they work.

It’s a good thing, too, because abandoned carts are a real issue in ecommerce. The average cart abandonment rate is just over 70%.

The great news is that you can combat abandonment. Aside from those cart recovery emails—which we’ll cover—there are several strategies you can use to turn shopping cart abandonment into conversions.

Table of Contents

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when a shopper adds products to their cart and then leaves without checking out.

There’s nothing wrong with online window shopping. Some people just need to fulfill the urge to click “Add to Cart.”

But potential customers using an online cart for a shortlist of their purchasing options doesn’t pay your bills or improve your KPIs. As an ecommerce business owner, you need your shoppers to follow through and check out.

Why Shoppers Leave 

So, why don’t they? Why do almost three out of four ecommerce carts end up stalled one click from conversion?

According to the Baymard Institute’s research, consumers abandon their carts for the following reasons:

  • Cost – Some 48% of cart abandonments happen because the extra costs are too high. Your customers will leave if they see unexpected costs from taxes, shipping or other fees. Shoppers also leave when they can’t calculate the total of their order upfront.
  • Website problems – Other issues that turn customers away include overcomplicated checkout processes, security concerns and errors. A lack of payment methods will also impact your sales, as will a requirement to create an account.
  • Changes of heart – The fact is that 92% of shoppers who visit your site aren’t ready to buy. Some of these people may put something in their cart, then think twice about it and say, “I’ll come back later.”

You can’t address all of these issues with marketing strategies and cart recovery emails—after all, minds change. However, you can overcome some setbacks with ingenuity.

Practical Ways to Tackle Cart Abandonment Issues

Your first line of defense is to keep your customers from leaving in the first place. For that, you can lean on psychology.

Time and time again, marketers have found that three tactics encourage shoppers to check out:

  • Urgency – FOMO (fear of missing out) is real—so why not capitalize on it? Offers like limited-time deals and exclusive, one-of-a-kind products can push people toward clicking “Purchase.”
  • Scarcity – Similarly, scarcity tactics encourage consumers to act now. Ecommerce sites have long tapped into the phenomenon of scarcity by showing low stock levels or displaying “Last chance!” messages.
  • Social proof – if you can’t convince your customers, maybe their fellow shoppers can. Reviews, ratings and other types of social proof can help show consumers that others have been there first.

These strategies can be used to positively influence decisions at checkout. However, they’re far from your only options.

Web Optimization Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment 

If you’re not keen on the psychological tactics, you can take a few different approaches. The ideal ecommerce strategy combines some or all of the following abandonment prevention methods.

1. Streamline and Test the Checkout Process 

As mentioned, the efficiency of your checkout process can make or break a sale; 22% of shoppers leave when things get long or complicated. By eliminating distractions and unnecessary steps, you can streamline your process and easily get customers from point A (intent) to point B (purchasing).

Here are some ideas for smoothing out the process:

  • Include a guest checkout option
  • Use autofill features (e.g. “Is billing the same as shipping?”)
  • Add progress indicators
  • Have a one-page checkout

And your work doesn’t end when you implement these tips. Some may work better for you than others, so don’t forget to A/B test every step.

2. Transparent Pricing and Policies 

Pricing is the number one cause of cart abandonment, so it’s worth being as transparent as possible. That means including taxes and shipping costs early in the process and avoiding any surprise fees.

While you’re being transparent, remember to extend that to your policies. If your shipping or return policies are unclear, customers will hesitate. And that’s what you don’t want. Consider including links to—or summaries of—your most relevant policies at the checkout stage.

3. Trust Signals and Security 

To please the average person and the security-conscious shopper, make sure your site looks official. A sophisticated design goes a long way, but so do trust signals and security features. We recommend displaying:

  • SSL certificates
  • Trust badges and seals
  • Product reviews
  • Secure payment options (PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.)

4. Offer Multiple Payment Options 

Speaking of payment methods, more is always better when it comes to reducing cart abandonment. When you give your customers the freedom to choose, they’re more likely to choose you.

Ideally, your customers should be able to check out using:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services like Afterpay or Klarna can also convince shoppers that they don’t need to wait—they can buy today.

5. Optimize for Mobile 

With 76% of US adults shopping on their smartphones, mobile optimization has never been more crucial. If your website is slow to load, hard to navigate or not formatted correctly, shoppers will head elsewhere.

Mobile-friendly changes might include touchscreen features, smaller content (for faster load times) or improvements to product pages that increase conversions.

6. Use Exit-Intent Pop-Ups 

Wait, don’t go!

See, for a second, you weren’t even thinking about leaving.

Exit-intent pop-ups with that kind of wording allow you to grab a shopper’s attention and shoot for a conversion one last time.

This kind of pop-up technology tracks a user’s behavior and identifies when they’re about to leave your web page. As they go to exit, a pop-up asks them not to. It may have a discount offer, a chance to sign up for a mailing list or simply a farewell message.

Whatever you choose to say, make sure it’s enough to reel consumers back in.

Crafting Effective Cart Recovery Emails 

If a shopper still decides to leave despite your other pre-checkout efforts, you may be able to recapture their interest with a cart recovery email. It’s that imaginary message from the grocery store: Hey! You forgot about your cart!

Cart recovery emails are a simple, direct-to-inbox strategy that can increase your conversion rates by 10%. Still, there are a few factors to consider when sending cart recovery emails.


How soon is too soon to send an email? It’s hard to say. The trick is to find that Goldilocks sweet spot—somewhere between an hour and a day after the abandonment.

There’s also the question of “how often?” Email frequency can be tricky to nail, but, in general, you may want to keep your recovery emails to one or two. You wouldn’t want to seem too desperate.


Cart recovery emails should also be personalized—think “Hey Carly” instead of “Hey you.”

If a customer provided their email address, they probably included their name as well, so use that to your advantage. A personalized message is likely to yield better results.


Last but not least, there’s the content of your email. A strong plea to return starts with a strong subject line. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • Forgetting Something?
  • Quick! Complete Your Purchase.
  • You’re One Step Away From Your New [Product]
  • Your Stuff is Waiting For You…

You’ll want to follow up your subject line with some compelling copy and a clear call to action (CTA) that points the customer back to your store. Discounts can also sweeten the deal.

You can start with an email template and customize it from there, and don’t forget to do some email A/B testing to see what works best.

Capture and Convert With Human

Cart abandonment is bound to happen, but you can fight it. Between tactics for halting abandonment in its tracks and our tips for converting cart abandoners, you can turn brand leavers into brand lovers in no time.

Looking for a little extra help in that department? Human has you covered. With our ecommerce marketing services, you’ll have customers checking out left, right and center.

Topics: Ecommerce Marketing