Cart abandonment is a relatively modern phenomenon. When brick and mortar shopping was the way customers purchased goods, taking an item to the counter, only to back out of the sale before handing over the cash was not something retailers had to deal with.

Now, customers place items in their cart, only to close the window before proceeding to the payment gateway. The average online retailer has a cart abandonment rate of 70%. If even a fraction of these potential sales could be converted into real sales, profits would soar. These are six ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate and get your online store converting well.

1. Understand how shoppers behave

The Baymard Institute estimates that around 58% of shoppers add an item to their cart with no intention of purchasing the item. These shoppers use their shopping cart as a wish list. They may return at a later date to complete the purchase, or they may leave and never return.

These people are basically expressing an interest in the item. A targeted marketing campaign focusing on the individual customer and the individual product might be sufficient to draw them back in at a later date to complete the purchase.

2. Reduce unnecessary information

As a general rule, the fewer items of information a customer has to enter at checkout, the more likely they are to complete the purchase. If you are asking for unnecessary information or getting customers to register an account, join a mailing list, or complete a survey before the checkout, this could be putting off potential customers and reducing conversions.

3. Be upfront about costs

Around half of all cart abandonments take place because the customer discovered an additional hidden fee they were not willing to pay. In some cases, this could be that they underestimated the cost of shipping, or failed to add on tax to the purchase; however, online retailers can reduce unpleasant surprises and reduce their cart abandonment rate by being upfront about the shipping costs, or even factoring the costs into the price and offering free shipping.

4. Fix poor navigation

Customers in the digital age have very short attention spans. If it isn’t immediately obvious where they need to go and what they need to click to complete a purchase, they will give up. If your cart abandonment rate is unusually high, it may be worth reworking the navigation to avoid confusion.

5. Instil trust

Cybersecurity is a growing concern among digital shoppers. If your website doesn’t ooze legitimacy, people will feel uncomfortable entering their payment details into your website.

Trust seals, like those used by PayPal, Norton, and McAfee can help improve user confidence; however, for many, a well-designed website that appears trustworthy is all they need.

6. Accept more forms of payment

We live in an exciting time for digital payments. New players are jostling for a slice of the market, competing with incumbents and financial institutions for users. While this is great for customers, it can pose challenges for online retailers who are making decisions regarding what payment solutions to offer on their platforms.

If you are struggling to convert, it could be because you aren’t offering the payment solutions your users want to use. Consider expanding the payment options to convert more of your traffic into conversions.