Reducing cart abandonment rates is one of the most important things for any ecommerce site to do, and particularly from the perspective of an ecommerce manager.

There is little more frustrating for an online retailer than a customer filling up their basket and abandoning it before - or at - the checkout.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the reasons why customers abandon their baskets, and solutions that you can implement to prevent this from happening.

Establishing social proofing

Social proof is based on the idea of ‘normative social influence’ which states that people will conform to be liked by, similar to, or accepted by the influencer (or society).

This is a tactic that can be easily employed in any ecommerce setting, and particularly in the form of reviews on your site.

So much so, that displaying just five reviews of a product can boost your conversions by 270%.

This is because customers want to see genuine opinions of other real-life customers on products they have purchased, with 84% of customers trusting an online review as much as a personal recommendation. Ultimately, we’re helping them form an opinion based on a collective (hopefully positive) previous experience.

By displaying positive reviews on your site, customers will gain more trust in your brand, making it more likely that they will complete their journey and you will make a sale.

Create urgency

Creating urgency is another key factor in helping customers to complete their purchases.

For example, when a site displays a message regarding availability, such as ‘Only 4 items left in stock!’ - It purposefully creates a sense of urgency, meaning that the customer who is viewing the product is automatically more inclined to add the item to their cart before it’s out of stock.

By creating this sense of FOMO (or fear of missing out), customers realise there is a shortage of the product and can encourage them to complete their purchase so that they do not miss out on the item.

There is evidence that creating a sense of FOMO works: 60% of people make purchases because they have experienced FOMO.

Provide numerous payment methods

Another way in which you can encourage customers to complete their purchases is by offering a generous range of payment options and providers. 

The numbers speak for themselves - 40% of shoppers have more confidence in ecommerce sites that offer more than one payment option.

Offering multiple payment options such as debit card, credit card or payments in instalments such as Klarna, opens up your site to shoppers who may feel more comfortable paying in more than one go, largely due to the flexibility that BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) schemes offer.

Additionally, offering payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay can further help optimise your site for mobile users out of convenience; this leads to more people completing their purchases, regardless of the device they are using, as they do not have to leave their mobile device to purchase on desktop.

Promote free delivery

Free delivery is essential for any ecommerce business.

A staggering 93% of shoppers cite their main reason for shopping online as free delivery.

To encourage customers to add to their carts and complete their shopping journey on your site, free delivery is not an incentive to be taken lightly. 

Further, ensuring that free delivery is advertised throughout the customer journey prevents customers from leaving your site when they notice that there are hidden delivery charges once they reach the checkout.

This also relates to the idea of transparency: by being open and honest about extra charges from the minute the customer lands on site, they know exactly what to expect from you, helping you to build up a relationship with them.

Be transparent in communications

Transparency is also key in ensuring that customers complete their purchases on site, with 98% of shoppers having been dissuaded from completing a purchase due to incomplete - or incorrect - product descriptions.

Making sure that you leave enough time to craft well-written product descriptions helps to build customer loyalty on your site as well as improving the user experience for the customer by ensuring that there are no hidden charges or nasty surprises by the time they reach the end of their journey.

Moreover, transparency is also highly likely to reduce the number of shoppers who leave your site as there are no incorrect descriptions or delivery charges in their way which would naturally encourage them to leave their journey and go to a competitor for a better deal.

Simplify checkout pages

Finally, making sure that your checkout page is straightforward is the final step that can encourage customers to complete their purchases.

Adding the option of a guest checkout simplifies this process even further because it means that visitors to your site do not have to spend time registering all of their details and creating an account.

By encouraging a smooth checkout process, not only are you making the experience more positive for customers, but you are also encouraging impulse purchases for those shoppers who want a quick checkout. 


There are numerous different methods you can employ to reduce cart abandonment rates, from creating a sense of urgency to simplifying the checkout process.

For instance, adding reviews to increase your conversion rate is naturally going to lead to more purchases due to social proofing, while being transparent can help to generate customer loyalty as well as reduce cart abandonment.

All of the aforementioned techniques will help to boost your AOV, increase your conversion rate, and transform visitors into customers.

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