Even though online shopping has become second nature for many consumers, closing sales online isn’t always easy. In the digital world, customers have complete control and can’t be pressured by a salesperson to make the purchase. Understanding why shoppers decide to leave their carts full of items can be tricky, especially when your ‘Checkout’ button couldn’t possibly be clearer.

It’s impossible to prevent shopping cart abandonment from occurring completely, but there are certain steps you can take to encourage customers to see their purchase through. Customer behaviour can be difficult to predict, but by using data analysis along with retargeting and remarketing strategies, you have a good chance of increasing your sales.

In this guide, we cover five different stages of combatting shopping cart abandonment, which includes ways to discourage users from leaving their baskets behind to methods of pinpointing why it happens. Reduce abandonment and you will get a higher ROAS from your Google shopping campaigns.

1. Exit-Intent Pop-Up

One of the best ways to target shopping cart abandonment is to stop it from happening in the first place. Exit-intent pop-ups can encourage customers to stay on your website and complete their transaction. You can track exit intent by looking at where their cursor moves on the page, whether they change tabs, and how long they’ve been idle on the checkout page. All of these could suggest they are about to abandon their cart or leave your site.
When one of these factors are triggered, an exit-intent pop-up can encourage customers to stay or save their cart for later by giving you their e-mail address.

How to Craft an Effective Pop-Up

There are lots of ways you can encourage a customer to stay on your site, but before you apply any of these techniques you need to make sure you’re grabbing their attention. This can include using a heading that says something like ‘Before you go…’ or ‘Leaving so soon?’ Underneath, businesses can offer the customer different things, such as discount codes or freebies, downloadable products, surveys, and newsletter sign-up options. Sometimes the pop-up displays the items they have in their basket to remind them what they’re leaving behind.

Remember, while it might seem like a good idea to make closing your pop-up difficult, this will only make customers frustrated and may cause them to leave your site more quickly. Make sure you have a clearly identifiable ‘X’ to allow customers to opt-out if they want to.

2. Retargeting

If your customer has exited your website and left their basket full of products, you’ll want to do everything you can to remind them of what they’re missing out on. This is where retargeting strategies come in. Retargeting is different from the marketing you do to reach new customers, so you’ll need to create new, specific adverts to promote conversions.
This involves targeting them with adverts that show the products they’ve left behind, which encourages them to come back as they visit other sites. Some businesses will include a call to action like ‘Buy Now’, or create a sense of urgency by saying a particular sale will be ending in just a few hours.


If your customer is signed into their account on your website, you can tempt them back using e-mail remarketing. Remarketing e-mails work in a similar way to retargeting adverts and may ask customers if they forgot something on their last visit before displaying the contents of their cart. You’ll be able to send multiple e-mails to this customer if they still haven’t returned to their cart after a longer period of time, but because you have more information about this customer, it’s easier to use their past shopping habits to invite them back to your site.

3. User Behaviour Analysis

Shopping cart abandonment could be a sign that there’s a leak in your conversion funnel. Conducting user behaviour analysis can help you figure out what the biggest barriers are between your customers and making a purchase. Here are two common reasons your customers may be exiting your site before checking out.

Unexpected Shipping Fees

If you notice that shopping cart abandonment typically happens on the shipping section of your checkout process, then it might be that customers are being put off by unexpected costs. You can combat this by making your shipping fees clear on other parts of your website, or having a noticeable banner offering free delivery over a certain amount. This way customers will be aware of shipping costs ahead of time, allowing them to factor them into their buying decisions.

Knowing that shipping costs are the cause of your shopping cart abandonment problems can also help you with retargeting. Offering these customers discounted shipping in adverts or an e-mail could prompt them to return, but it may not help users who left at a different stage for other reasons.

Registering for an Account

Shopping cart abandonment can also occur when you force users to sign up for an account to make a purchase. Some customers may not want to commit to a sign-up process or link their Facebook or Google profiles to your website. If shoppers seem to leave their baskets at this stage in the process, then you may want to consider offering a guest checkout option.

4. Customer Feedback

Sometimes behaviour analysis just isn’t detailed enough. If there’s no clear pattern emerging or users are dropping off on a page you can’t see any problems with, it might be time to reach out to the customers themselves for some feedback. This is often particularly effective at revealing pain points, but it can be difficult to encourage customers to fill out a survey or respond to questions.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Surveys

The key to an effective survey is making it as easy as possible for the customer to fill out. Use your existing data to come up with possible reasons the shopper may have left their basket full of products and present them as a multiple-choice questionnaire. To get more detailed answers, you should also include long-form boxes where the customer can specify what exactly went wrong, but it’s best to make these optional. A big reason why customers abandon their carts is an overly long checkout process, so if your survey is too long there’s a good chance they won’t complete that either.
Offering customers an incentive to fill out a survey can give you more results as well. This could be a discount code for a future purchase or the chance to win a prize. Only a small number of customers will give up their time to provide you with feedback, so even a little reward could go a long way.

5. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing can not only help you to figure out why your customers are abandoning their shopping carts, but it can also provide you with information on the effectiveness of your solutions. For example, if your customers seem to be closing their shopping window on the payment page, you might want to change how your instructions are worded to make things clearer. A/B testing allows you to see if this new wording decreases the number of abandoned carts on your site.

How Does A/B Testing Work

To perform an A/B test, you’ll need to make a copy of the page you’re looking to test and make a single change based on the data you’ve collected. It’s important that if you are focussing on your instructions, you only change these and leave the images and layout alone. Your web team will be able to direct some of your customers to this new page while others will continue to use the existing page. Over time, you’ll be able to compare instances of shopping cart abandonment across the two pages to see if your changes made a difference.

6 – A bonus tip courtesy of a good industry friend! (Russell O’Sullivan)

Clever tech is critical to streamlining your online checkout and boosting the user experience. Any tool that can reduce the time needed to complete the checkout process will mean a reduction in abandoned carts. The pain point for many sites is the filling in of details such as addresses. That pain can be multiplied when looking at purchases via mobile due to small screens and fiddly form boxes.

Fetchify have developed a fast, accurate Address Auto-Complete tool which looks up addresses in real-time as your customer types. This means they can add their address up 80% quicker than typing in the whole address themselves. Plus, as the addresses are verified by postal services in over 240 countries, you are guaranteed a deliverable address formatted correctly for the country it is in. Customers report up to 40% increase in conversions, making this a cost-effective way to enhance your sales potential.

Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment Today

These five ways to tackle shoppers abandoning their carts work best when used together as part of an overarching conversion strategy. However, getting started with just one or two could still make a difference and help you to lock in more sales. Whether you choose to add a pop-up to your checkout process or dive right in with data analysis, these tips will help you to keep your customers engaged.