Eliminate these distractions to reduce cart abandonment


Cart abandonment rates remain high. I’ve seen estimates in 2021 ranging from 50% to 80%, depending on the product and the industry. A common culprit is sticker shock due to excessive shipping and handling charges. Another is that of distractions: unnecessary or confusing payment fields.

In this article, I’ll cover the steps to streamline payments in order to save the sale.

Lower cart abandonments

Drop the coupon code field. This important field asks for feedback, often sending buyers to search engines or coupon sites to find a discount code. But interruptions do occur, including finding the same product elsewhere for a lower price or better shipping.

Alternative coupon redemption methods include website popovers, navigation links, and product page fields. These tactics automatically add a coupon to the order; the customer never enters a code at checkout.

For example, Amazon promotes the availability of coupons on categories and search results and uses a simple product page checkbox to apply the appropriate discounts.

Incorporating coupon inserts on product pages means you can ditch the field at checkout. Source: Amazon.

Many shopping carts support plugins and apps that allow variable placement of coupon code fields and one-click additions to the cart. Then at checkout the discounts are displayed regardless of any additional discount fields. As an added bonus, persistent carts can show the actual total, with discounts, as people buy.

Use drop-down links for the gift card, cashback, and store credit fields. Rather than cluttering checkout pages with unnecessary fields, consider simple links that reveal entries when clicked. Brevite (pronounced “brévité”) has an airy, mobile first checkout that only displays essential fields and hides others behind a link. Since there is no box asking the buyer to enter something, more people go directly to the “Pay Now” button.

Abbreviated payment page with a text link for gift cards

Expandable fields put more emphasis on the main action call. Source: Brevite.

Upsells and add-ons belong to product pages and publish add to cart functions. It was once common to insert a page between cart and checkout to increase the order total. The page contained one to three relevant offers, available for a limited time. Many store owners measured page performance based on the number of people who accepted the offer rather than the impact on cart abandonment.

The best time to gift accessories and related items is in conjunction with adding a product to the cart.

Show them what they’re ordering. In an effort to streamline the process, some stores have either skipped the cart page or miniaturized the cart contents at checkout. But buyers want to see what they’re ordering. Viewing cart contents helps customers spot errors, such as forgetting to add another item. Don’t skimp on the sizes of the product photos, as they are just as important as the name and price.

And list the selected options, such as size and color. Ideally, the images of the products in the cart should match all of the options selected. If not, pay more attention to the details.

Cart page showing product photos and details

Don’t let buyers assume what they’re buying. Source: Cutting edge design.

Record non-critical messages after the call to action. Donating trees with every purchase is great. However, do not interrupt the payment process to discuss it. Address causes you support below the final purchase button, or provide information on invoices or confirmation emails.

Get out of here

There will never be an acceptable abandonment rate because the goal is always to close every sale. But traders can opt out when buyers finalize their purchases.

Always track how changes to checkout affect three main components: conversion rates, total revenue, and unfinished cart sessions. This is the only way to determine the overall impact.


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