How to Reduce Cart Abandonment: Proven Techniques for eCommerce Apps

Myroslav Protsan

If you are looking for strategies to recover abandoned carts, you’re not alone. According to Baymard Institute, 70.19% of e-commerce shoppers abandon their carts halfway through the checkout process. And the result? — a nearly $20 billion annual loss in revenue. Without exception, shopping cart abandonment is the biggest headache for every e-commerce business owner.

Keep an eye on industry hot topics, and you’ll find marketing advice at every nook and cranny, with most revolving around consumer behavior, customer engagement, customer journey, user retention, and more. However, getting customers to check out and making that all-important sale is the end game. This sounds fine and dandy in theory, but how exactly do you recover abandoned carts in practice? We’ll unveil our multi-dollar secret strategies for recovering abandoned carts in today’s highly competitive e-commerce world. 

Let’s hit the ground running!

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment or shopping cart abandonment in e-commerce occurs when a user adds up products to their e-cart but leaves before paying and checking out their orders. In other words, any product or item a customer adds to their cart but never pays for is considered to be “abandoned” by the customer.

If you realize from web analytics that your online shoppers are bailing without paying, your first question is — “why are my shoppers abandoning their carts?” 

Why Users Abandon Their Carts: Main Reasons

Different factors can cause cart abandonment — impulsive buying, sales friction, poor customer service, or something else. Let’s look at some reasons why your shoppers are leaving before checking out. 

1. High surcharges

A surcharge in e-commerce is an additional, often unexpected, charge added during checkout to cover the costs of shipping, taxes, and other fees. Depending on the product and company, surcharges can be anywhere between 10% and 33% of the total costs. To the average shopper, a high surcharge is a deal-breaker and a leading cause of cart abandonment. 

2. Poor website or app user experience

It’s a reckless endeavor to have a slow or confusing e-commerce app or website. Research says that mobile users have the attention span of a skittish gnat, so your shoppers don’t have the patience to wait for your laggy app to come around. For what it’s worth, if your page speed and design are not user-friendly, many shoppers will be skeptical about trusting you with their credit card info.

Don’t forget that people ignore designs that ignore people. We recommend testing your e-commerce app on different browsers and devices and getting feedback from customers. Plus, you can get your app or site’s performance report via Google Analytics. 

3. Spammy or complicated checkout

If your e-store’s default checkout process is not primed to capture shoppers, you’ll lose thousands of dollars in missed sales opportunities. Top tips for streamlining checkout include: taking advantage of one-click checkout, allowing guest checkout, utilizing Google auto-address, showing the checkout flow, offering multiple payment and shipping options, and reducing form fields. 

4. Compulsory account creation before checkout 

We get it, you want to grow your customer loyalty base. But, making account creation a compulsory step before checkout causes friction, and customers fall off. One-time purchases and first-time buyers may see no point in sharing their email addresses or credit card information. We recommend allowing guest checkout as a clear case of losing a battle to win the war. 

5. Raised security concerns

As we said earlier, gaining customer trust is a must if you want to recover abandoned carts. Factors that can raise their suspicions and cause them to bounce include unfamiliar payment channels, no SSL certificate, poor website design, and lack of social proof. 

6. Bonus Point 

Other important reasons why your cart abandonment rate is hitting new highs include poor customer satisfaction, delayed delivery, limited shipping options, limited payment options, spammy upselling, and cross-selling tactics, as well as zero rewards for repeat buyers and no money-back guarantee.

Why is Reducing Cart Abandonment so Important? 

Every abandoned cart represents a potential shopper who was interested in your products but kicked against it or faced some issues at checkout. Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate maximizes your e-store foot traffic while improving customer experience. Here are the top three reasons why reducing cart abandonment is essential:

  • Increased sales and revenue. E-commerce stores lose $260 billion to abandoned carts every year. The direct effect of reducing cart abandonment is a reasonable increase in sales and revenue. 
  • Increased brand loyalty. If you offer a seamless product checkout flow, you’ll not only make sales but also increase their chances of coming back for more. 
  • Reduced marketing spending. Reducing cart abandonment will ultimately increase your user retention. This helps you direct your marketing dollars to the right channels. 

How to Calculate a Cart Abandonment Rate?

The formula for calculating a cart abandonment rate is 1 minus the total number of completed checkouts divided by the total number of checkouts initiated, whether completed or not. For example, let's say you had 500 completed orders and 1,000 initiated checkouts.

(1 - (500 ÷ 1,000)) x 100

(1 - 0.5) x 100 = 50

The cart abandonment rate would be 50%.

10 Strategies to Recover Abandoned Carts for eCommerce Apps

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room — cart abandonment strategies for e-commerce apps. In the e-commerce world, your biggest competitor is not the rival brands but your shopper’s inertia in not buying your products. Here are 10 proven strategies to recover abandoned carts for ecommerce apps.

1. Optimize your product pages to show payment and shipping options

It's no secret that e-commerce app cart abandonment is directly related to unexpected shipping fees and other surcharges. Simply put, the cheaper the shipping fees, the less likely shoppers are to leave. 

List the shipping options under each product, offer the best prices for your products, and make sure the total purchase cost is reasonable. You can also put up a shipping calculator on your checkout or product page for shoppers to calculate their shipping costs based on their zip code. Plus, you can offer free shipping to first-time customers, making it easy for them to complete their purchases. 

We also recommend integrating only generally accepted payment options in your market base. Your goal is to make your brand sticky enough that it’s difficult to lose shoppers on a whim, even the so-called impulse buyers. Here's an illustration of Amazon displaying available shipping options on product pages:

2. Launch a targeted omnichannel campaign

It’s common knowledge that most shoppers research across several channels before buying. They don’t shop exclusively from one app and also don’t shop linearly. You’ll lose shoppers before checkout if you don’t surround them via multiple channels. This is where targeted omnichannel campaigns come in. Omnichannel marketing provides an integrated, cohesive, and personalized customer experience across different platforms like in-app messaging, push notifications, email, SMS, website, TikTok, Instagram, and more. 

For example, a shopper leaves your app before checking out some women's clothing they are interested in. You can email abandoned cart reminders with grabber subject lines. Reinforce this within a certain interval with mobile push notifications featuring strong CTAs. Send follow-up SMS and promo discounts to drive your messages home. 

3. Strategically retarget in-app ads

In-app ads are a popular pay-per-click advertising network that allows online retailers to place advertisements on nearly every related app in your niche, YouTube videos, and partner websites. Retargeting ads is an important cart abandonment strategy for e-commerce apps. It helps you stay atop your customer’s minds, re-engage users, and reduce mobile app churn. 

In-app ads offer you a second chance to capture customers that fell off early in their conversion journey. When using ad retargeting for abandoned cart recovery, we recommend adopting user segments — that is, categorizing customers based on their preferences, abandoned cart value, and whether they are first-time or repeat customers. It’ll help you deliver a highly personalized copy that actually converts. 

4. Provide a seamless, mobile-friendly app experience 

It’s necessary for your e-commerce mobile app to be user-friendly. Your shoppers should be able to navigate between the cart and product page in one click. This way, it’s easy to add more items or double-check product specifications before checkout. Let’s take a quick look at Asos’ excellent checkout experience:

5. Reduce cart abandonment by incorporating live chat 

Live chat is an important cart abandonment solution for e-commerce apps. It helps you directly offer personalized answers to customer queries, doubts, and complaints. Remember, the positioning also matters. Make sure your app’s live chat feature is boldly displayed on the product and checkout pages. Here’s a great way live chat can prompt in-app purchases: 

6. Utilize exit-intent popups 

An exit popup is a mobile cart abandonment strategy where an abandoned cart message pops up when users attempt to navigate away from the app. This smart strategy also comes in handy when users try to delete your app entirely. Again, you can customize the message based on the shopper, the product being viewed, and the position in the buyer’s journey. Here is one of our favorite exit-intent popups:

7. Prioritize A/B testing and data-based analytics

Everything in your e-commerce app, right from design, layout, CTA, to the checkout process, should undergo A/B tests. This is one of the most critical stages in your cart abandonment campaigns in the e-commerce niche. We recommend looking at the big picture to see what’s still working and what might need changing. For instance, if an email subject line generates a higher open rate, you can make it the control version and then test improved versions until you find one that outperforms it, and so the cycle continues.

Data-based analytics also gives you an idea of customers worth winning back. Essentially, customers with a low lifetime value or proven difficult in the past are probably best left to your competitors. Analyze your customer data to see what customers are worth re-engaging, and be sure there are no leaks in your conversion funnel

8. Have a solid return and refund policy

Creating a strong money-back guarantee and return policy saves you from bad rap and closes future cart abandonment loopholes due to negative reviews. This helps you gain shoppers’ confidence and brand loyalty. Let’s take a look at how H&M does it:

9. Get consumer feedback and provide real solutions to their pain points

Take an omnichannel approach to consumer feedback. Send a post-cart abandonment survey to know why potential customers changed their minds. Also, ask how they rate your app’s checkout process, as well as areas they feel you should improve on. 

10. Win back trust with social proof and trust signals

Social proof, such as reviews and user ratings, is the most honest form of customer flattery. Before buying, most shoppers check out testimonials from past buyers before making a decision. To effectively recover abandoned shopping carts, we recommend highlighting credible social proof in emails, ads, push notifications, in-app messages, etc. 

Here's a perfect example:

Use Reteno to Reduce Cart Abandonment

While some cart abandonment is inevitable, a high abandoned cart rate can affect your bottom line. There's no one size fits all approach to tackling abandoned carts, and we at Reteno are ready to offer you tailored omnichannel marketing, triggered campaigns, and more. 

If you’re looking for how to reduce cart abandonment, you’re in safe hands. We have a stellar track record of providing cart abandonment recovery strategies that hit the mark. Register today to use our abandoned cart solutions powered by the Reteno team. 

Final Thoughts

Cart abandonment is something every e-commerce brand goes through. Although it isn’t always avoidable, it’s manageable when you instill some of our recommended best practices. As you’ve seen, reducing cart abandonment goes beyond the basics of improving your products and adding value to your customers. If you can cover all the leaks in your checkout process, your average cart abandonment rates will level off, and you can go back to doing what you do best — running and growing your e-commerce brand.

Alex Danchenko


April 20, 2023

Natalya Ustymenko


January 31, 2023

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