UX

7 Ways to Optimize Your Shopping Cart (And Improve Conversion Rate)

Cart abandonment is costing online stores thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year. Here are 7 ways to stop the madness and rest easier.


Cart abandonment. It's an issue that should be at the top of every brand’s priority list.

A simple Google search for ‘cart abandonment rates’ yields a myriad of results. While some sources estimate rates of around 65%, others argue it’s higher—around 85%. Most industry experts go with Baymard Institute’s study which found the average abandonment rate was 69.82%. Roughly translated, seven out of ten shoppers abandon their cart—even after adding products.

Regardless of the percentage, it’s a known fact that shopping cart abandonment is costing ecommerce stores thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year. Most brands lose an astounding $18 billion in yearly sales revenue and it’s predicted that $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be left abandoned in digital carts in the upcoming year.

The good news for retailers is that by following best practices and creating a clear checkout optimization strategy can decrease lost revenue and increase conversion rates by 35.62%. What it all boils down to is understanding where customers are abandoning their carts, why, and making a concentrated effort to remedy the issues.

Below, we’ll dive into why shopping cart optimization is so important, the benefits it brings, examples of companies getting it right, and how you can start optimizing the shopping cart for your store.

hand choosing shopping cart symbol from media icons on blue

Why You Need To Optimize Your Shopping Cart

So why is shopping cart optimization so important? The answer is simple: customer satisfaction. Think about it: how many times have you left a store because the lines were too long or the cashier was going too slow? Chances are at least a few.

And you’ve probably done the same thing online too—whether the checkout process was too complicated or the extra costs were too high. In each of those situations, you likely took your business to another store, probably one that offered a better experience.

Remember, today’s shoppers are all about speed, security, and accessibility. The easier it is for customers to get in, find what they need, and check out, the more likely are to make a purchase.

Think of it this way: your shopping cart represents a big part of the checkout process and can make or break the customer experience. It’s crucial that your cart provides a seamless experience for every shopper. If it doesn't, you risk losing customers.

The Silver Lining Of Cart Abandonment

Believe it or not, there’s actually an upside to cart abandonment—it highlights customer behavior and why they’re abandoning their carts. Whether it be slow load times, no guest checkout option, or poor mobile design, your cart abandonment rates show exactly where friction is occurring.

These insights allow you to quickly resolve friction points, optimize the checkout experience, and boost customer satisfaction rates.

A seamless checkout experience enables you to reduce the amount of cart abandonments, allowing you to reclaim some of that 70% of lost revenue. And you already know your conversion rates can increase up to 35%.

What Does An Optimized Shopping Cart Look Like?

Here are a few examples to aspire to when upgrading your shopping cart.

Let’s start with...

Magic Spoon

Their shopping cart is simple and 100% on brand, from the color scheme down to the fonts and button style. All calls to action are clear and easy to use.

magic spoon cartThe 'subscribe and save' button drives major revenue for this popular brand, and reminds shoppers that a significant discount (25%) is available only to subscribers.

The cart itself is packed with smart product add-ons (all of which display star ratings when available), and the 'continue shopping' button replaces the typical 'X' that closes the cart. The language 'more for your bowl' is a nice touch and fits the brand perfectly. They even offer an option to 'Get $5 Off' which can help convert those who are on the fence.

Every Man Jack

The cart for Every Man Jack is exceptional for a few reasons. The free shipping bar at the top of the cart gives shoppers an incentive to fill their cart with more products. 

Every bit of real estate is used to showcase product recommendations, and every recommendation is amplified with social proof via star ratings. 

While not a feature of the shopping cart, EMJ offers an option to change accessibility options for the whole website (text size, fonts, spacing, etc.) which goes above and beyond your typical online store.

every man jack cartEMJ swings for the fences (and achieves next-level optimization) by giving shoppers the option to choose a variant for every product. As you can see below, this shopper is offered the Body Wash and has selected the Activated Charcoal / Standard product variant. Giving your customer the option to choose product variants directly from the cart minimizes cart abandonment and improves cart UX in a big way.

The cart is minimalist, clean, and well-organized, with a reminder to shoppers that a tree is planted with every order placed. Nice touch!

Alleyoop

The shopping cart for Alleyoop is easy on the eye. The color scheme fits the brand perfectly. 

The cross-sells are enhanced with star ratings and stand out with a uniquely shaded background. Want an extra Multi-Tasker? It's easy to add with the quantity selector.

And how about those color swatches? Alleyoop shoppers can select the color variant of any recommendation and add it to the cart with two clicks. Boom, boom!

alleyoop cartLike Every Man Jack, this cart features a free shipping bar, but with a heart icon to indicate you've hit the free shipping threshold. (Would you believe the heart turns red when you hit free shipping?)

Alleyoop tops things off with reminders about their free shipping threshold and their return policy. 

Overall, the cart is perfectly branded with great UX and gives shoppers the options they need to fill their cart and be on their way. Sharp! 

7 Ways to Optimize Your Shopping Cart

Now that you understand the importance and benefits of shopping cart optimization, and have seen a few examples, let's talk about optimizing your cart.

1. Include an Order Summary

Give your shoppers full transparency over their order by clearly showing what’s in their cart. Provide them with details such as:

  • Name and photo of each item
  • Color, size, and price of the item
  • Total cost, including a breakdown of shipping, fees, taxes, discounts, etc.
  • Payment options
  • Estimated delivery time

2. Clear Calls-to-Action

Baymard Institute found that 17% of shoppers abandon their carts due a long or complicated checkout process. Including clear CTAs like ‘Proceed to Checkout’, ‘Continue Shopping’, or ‘Contact Support’ help to eliminate confusion and seamlessly guide users through the checkout process to order completion.

3. Include Multiple Payment Options

In today’s ultra-competitive ecommerce space, users expect to have various payment options. Offering multiple options ensures users their favorite methods are available and increases the chance of them actually making a purchase. One source found that 42% of shoppers abandon their purchase if their preferred payment method isn’t available. (To add payment options to your Rebuy Smart Cart™, click here.)

4. Offer Support

One of the primary factors for winning customer trust is providing clear, easy-to-find options for support. Offering live chat support or displaying customer service contact information is an easy way to build trust, increase conversions, and boost your brand identity.

5. Remember Mobile Shoppers

Shopping cart abandonment is significantly higher on mobile devices with an 85.65% abandonment rate. All of the carts in the examples above are optimized for mobile because ecommerce stores that don’t offer a mobile-friendly checkout are missing out on valuable sales and risk losing customers.

6. Ensure Fast Loading Times

If people have to wait around for your site to load, they’re 75% more likely to abandon their cart. For most, if a site doesn’t load within three seconds, they’ll most likely head somewhere else. If you’re looking to boost conversions, make sure your site’s loading speed is up-to-date and error-free.

7. Offer Complimentary Products

Upselling is a powerful initiative for ecommerce stores and the shopping cart is the perfect place to utilize it. Not only can offering personalized product recommendations in the shopping cart increase your average order value (AOV), but it can also increase your conversion rate.

Optimize Your Cart with Rebuy

Even with all the strategies we’ve mentioned above, you may still feel a bit lost in getting started with shopping cart optimization. In that case, we recommend upgrading your existing cart to the Rebuy Smart Cart.

From boosting AOV to converting more user traffic, our platform allows you to build personalized shopping experiences with each and every customer. And because our platform leverages industry best practices, you’ll have a robust and future-proof intelligent shopping cart that will increase your AOV, boost conversion rate, and leave your customers wanting to shop, shop, and shop some more.

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