Marketers and business owners know that they won’t convert every customer that lands on their website. Most people will add items to their virtual shopping cart but leave before completing their purchase. This action is called cart abandonment, and it’s far more common than you think. 

On average, businesses see a cart abandonment rate of 68%. That means that over half of all the people that make it to your checkout page will leave before clicking the submit button on your payment form. At first, that might sound alarming. But here’s some good news; there are a ton of ways to optimize your eCommerce checkout process. 

If your abandonment rate is far above the average, there’s even more room for you to improve by fine-tuning your checkout page. Today, we will reveal six simple strategies you can use to reduce abandonment and increase sales. 

Let’s dive in! 

1. Avoid payment page distractions

Research suggests that removing navigation links can result in twice as many conversions. When people are not distracted by unnecessary links and promotions they can stay focused on placing their order. 

If you want people to stick around and complete their order, you should first consider removing distractions from your payment page. When businesses want users to focus on important parts of their website, like landing pages and payment forms, they remove links that are available on other parts of the website. 

For instance, some business owners include recently published blog posts on their website’s sidebar. This strategy is an effective way to get more people to engage with your content and increase dwell time, but it can decrease conversions if included on the checkout page. 

Imagine someone is getting ready to complete their order but sees a blog post they want to read; there’s a good chance they will click away from the payment page and forget about their order. You want to keep users on track, so removing extras is a must. 

2. Remove unexpected costs

Unexpected costs are the number one reason consumers abandon their virtual shopping cart. You can increase sales if you are consistent with your pricing from the moment a customer looks at a product through the checkout process. 

Additional costs can come in several forms. First, there are extra taxes that appear after the items are added to the cart. You can mitigate this problem by encouraging users to sign up for an account so you can include their local taxes in the price before they add the item. 

Shipping costs are also a contributing factor to cart abandonment. One of the best workarounds for this issue is either offering free shipping for all orders or based on what the customer spends. Make sure you let users know on every product page your shipping policy.

Believe it or not, 46.5% of small to medium-sized business owners report that offering free shipping led to significantly more sales. 

3. Simplify your form

Next, let’s talk about simplifying your payment form. A confusing or complicated form will result in users leaving in frustration, which means they likely won’t come back and complete their order. 

There are a couple of ways to solve this problem. You’ll first want to go through and make sure you make specific fields on your forms optional. Think carefully about what information is necessary for the order and make those fields mandatory. 

For example, if you’re selling a SaaS product, you may not need to know your customer’s home address, but this information is crucial for eCommerce businesses since they will likely be shipping a product for delivery. 

We also recommend including a progress bar on your payment form. Consumers are likely to back out if your payment section has more than one page and no progress bar. However, if users can see exactly how close they are to the end of the process, they are more likely to stick around and finalize their order. 

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4. Use FOMO marketing

Fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is something that many of us have experienced in our lives. Have you ever bought something because you received an email or spotted an on-site offer that was only going on for a limited time? If so, your quick purchase was a result of your fear of missing out. 

You can use this marketing strategy to get more visitors to become customers. The most effective way to use FOMO marketing is to include a banner at the top of your website that promotes a limited-time offer.

Some businesses choose to hold holiday promotions, while others like hosting flash sales. In this case, the choice is yours. The thing you have to get right is the sense of urgency. 

Include a countdown timer that shows users exactly how long they have to act on your offer. The time limit can cause FOMO, which will result in customers making purchases when they otherwise may have left your site. 

If you sell physical goods, you can inspire FOMO by showing a live inventory feed on items that are running low. Amazon does an excellent job using this strategy by showing in red writing how many products are left when the number drops below a certain amount. Showing a limited supply is a major FOMO trigger and can result in more conversions. 

5. Show trust signals 

If you want people to complete their order, you have to make sure they trust your company. When consumers are getting ready to check out, they often look for trust signals that help them feel like they are making the right choice. 

The best way to show social proof and encourage more customers to take action is by showing trust signals directly on your payment page. You have several options when it comes to how you display these signs on your website. 

You could add a trust badge to your payment form. Trust badges are given out to businesses that are scanned and safe from companies like Norton Antivirus and McAfee. Consumers trust these brands and are therefore more likely to go through with their purchase if they see a reputable security company’s approval. 

Another way to show trust signals on your payment page is with testimonials. People like seeing what other paying customers have to say about their experience with your company. Look for honest, glowing reviews and include them on your payment page. When a user is thinking about whether or not your product is worth it, they will have evidence from another real customer right in front of them. 

6. Create a cart abandonment email campaign

Finally, let’s talk about what you can do to boost sales after a user leaves without completing their order. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies you have at your disposal. On average, business owners see a whopping 4,400% return on investment when using email to keep in touch with prospects and existing customers. 

We recommend creating an email campaign that you send to users who subscribe to your email list and add items to their cart but don’t complete their order. 

On average, we send three emails to users after they meet the above criteria. Our first email goes out immediately after the customer abandons their cart. The purpose of this message is to help them get back to their order without navigating through the site again. 

If there’s no response, we send another email 48 hours later. This email includes an exclusive discount that the user can redeem to save on their order. The typical promotion we use is 25% off their entire purchase or select items. 

The last email we send goes out a week later. This message is considered our “last call.” If the user doesn’t come back at this point, we don’t keep pushing. 

There are a ton of reasons why someone might abandon their shopping cart. Creating an email campaign designed to bring a percentage of those users back to your website can help you dramatically increase checkout conversions. 

Keep optimizing your checkout experience

As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to optimizing your checkout page and sales process in general. Feel free to use the tips offered here today and measure your progress over time. You can experiment with different techniques and track the results to find the perfect checkout page strategy that works for your business. 

AvatarSyed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.