An ePublication from Ecommerce Partners

Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment by Giving the Customer What They Want

By | June 24, 2016 4:41 pm

Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

Did you know that over the past decade, the overall shopping cart abandonment rate has increased every year on average? The current 2016 average is over 68%, according to the Baymard Institute.*

If you’re involved in ecommerce, this number probably doesn’t surprise you.  Nonetheless, it’s still somewhat shocking when you think about it.

For every 100 potential customers, 68 or more will leave your site without making a purchase.

You can’t help but think about how much your revenue would increase if you were capturing sales rather than sending them away.

Why Do Visitors Abandon The Shopping Cart?

Before we dig into the tactics you can use to capture more sales, it may help to first understand why such a large portion of customers are leaving.
According to several studies,* a large portion of abandonments are due to two core things:

1. Lack of transparency regarding product and shipping costs. This is the single largest source of abandonment.
Customers want to know what their order is going to cost.  The earlier in the funnel that you can provide that information to them, the better. Don’t play games with hidden prices, fees added at the end of the checkout process, etc. These are proven conversion killers.

2. Complicated or confusing checkout process
From having way too many clicks, forms and pages to go through, to having a process that raises doubts and questions, checkout pages are often the opposite of simple and helpful, resulting in high checkout abandonment.Customers want it to be easy and fast.  If it’s not, they will leave.

shopping cart abandonment study
*Results from VWO study

There are of course, other reasons for abandonment as well.  But these are big ones.  And fortunately, these are things you can improve.

How Do You Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment?

To explain how you can reduce shopping cart abandonment and get more sales, I’m going to share a series of updates we’ve been working on for

Ordering gifts for clients and associates can be a very complicated process.  Orders may need approval, orders can be very large, and there may be multiple recipients with different shipping addresses, etc. is addressing these challenges head-on.  They are making user interface improvements to the customer’s buying experience which are great examples of the kinds of enhancements we can all make to our ecommerce sites.

So let’s dig in, shall we…

Use Tooltips To Improve User Experience

A tooltip is a common helpful element found on many websites.  These are the little hints that pop up when a user hovers over some icon or other element on a page.  They are great, but often under-utilized.

They can go a long way toward reducing your customers’ anxieties and confusion, making them more likely to continue on to the next step in the checkout process.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways incorporates them.

On the checkout shipping page:


The tooltip next to the email address lets the user know that if they already have an account, they’ll be able to easily log in.

Shipping Checkout Save Address Tooltip

Here we see a tooltip next to “Save this address for later”.  The tip eliminates any doubt as to the purpose of this checkbox.  And as a bonus, it informs the customer about a really helpful feature.

The Checkout – Review & Payment Page
Review and Payment Checkout Tooltip
Notice how they not only provide a tooltip for alternate payment methods like PayPal, they also have a very clear tip about another option that is again unique to  They explain very simply how the customer can forward this payment to someone else for approval and payment.

Again, reducing any doubts the customer may have, and providing them with an additional option by which to place the order.

And if the customer does choose that option, they are presented with even more helpful hints to guide them along the way.  See the form below with 3 tooltips, as well as helpful example in-field text in the three fields that the customer might have questions about.  Eliminating doubt.  Keeping the customer moving forward with their purchase.  This is exactly what you want to be doing.


As you can see, tooltips can go a long way toward reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Be Transparent About Pricing 

On the Shopping Cart Page:

Shopping Cart Zip Code Lookup

A zip code lookup is provided, which allows the customer to get an estimate on shipping charges.

On the Checkout Pages:
Checkout Page Price Transparency
All throughout the checkout process, the customer can see their pricing breakdown.  There is no question as to how much this order is going to cost, and this is one reason less for the customer to leave.


As ecommerce specialists, we know how critical it is to reduce cart abandonment as much as possible.  And while the percentages are high, that also means there is a lot of room for improvement.

Starting with simplified checkout processes and pricing transparency will get you a long way towards improving conversion rate for your business.

So, all that is left now is for you to take the examples we’ve shared today, and implement similar features in your site.  You’ll be seeing more sales in no time!

*Sources: Baymard Institute, VWO Ecommerce Survey 2014, Statista

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Founded in 1998, ECommerce Partners is a full-service, ecommerce and interactive agency headquartered in New York City. Best known for our unique process methodology, we combine Internet expertise, creative talent, and business know-how to help clients across a variety of industries achieve rapid, measurable online marketing results.

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