Remove these distractions to reduce cart abandonment

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

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

Lowering cart abandonments

Abandon the promo code field. This prominent field asks for information, often sending shoppers to search engines or coupon sites to find a discount code. But disruptions do happen, 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 checkbox on the product page to apply 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 for variable placement of coupon code fields and one-click additions to cart. Then, at checkout, the discounts are displayed, regardless of the additional discount fields. As a bonus, persistent carts can display the actual total, with discounts, as people shop.

Use drop-down links for gift card, discount, and store credit fields. Rather than cluttering checkout pages with unnecessary fields, consider simple links that reveal entries when clicked. Brevite (pronounced “brevity”) has an easy, mobile checkout that displays only essential fields and hides the rest behind a link. Since there is no box asking the shopper to enter something, more people head straight for the “Pay Now” button.

Brevite payment page with a text link for gift cards

Expandable fields place more emphasis on the main call-to-action. Source: Brevite.

Upsells and add-ons belong to product pages and post add-to-cart features. It used to be common to insert a page between shopping 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 by the number of people who accepted the offer rather than the impact on cart abandonment.

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

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

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

Cart page showing product photos and details

Don’t let buyers assume what they are buying. Source: Peak Design.

Save non-critical messages after the call to action. Giving away trees for every purchase is great. However, do not interrupt the payment process to discuss it. The address helps you under the final purchase button or provides the information on invoices or confirmation emails.

Get out of here

There will never be an acceptable dropout rate because the goal is always to close every sale. But merchants can fade away when shoppers complete their purchases.

Always track the impact of payment changes on three main components: conversion rates, total revenue, and uncompleted cart sessions. This is the only way to determine the overall impact.