Nothing is more disappointing than logging into your store’s dashboard and seeing hundreds or thousands of visitors leaving the site and abandoning their cart in the process. Sure, there are tactics you can employ to try to get those users to finish the checkout process. A lot of companies offer incentives to try to win those customers back. However, incentives mean the loss of potential income just to get somebody to complete their purchase. Ultimately, that is just another marketing expense. Your real concern should be getting more people to not leave in the first place. Doing this will help decrease the cost of acquiring a sale.

So, how can this be done?

To understand how to fix the problem of people leaving, we need to look at the reasons why they’re leaving.

1. Shipping Cost

Consumers hate nothing more than getting to the final page of the checkout process and seeing they’ve racked on another $10-$20 in shipping charges. Furthermore, recently many online consumers have come to expect free shipping. Big online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart already offer free shipping with a minimum order, and many small businesses have already followed suit. If a lot of companies in your industry are offering free shipping and you are not, you might want to revise your pricing strategy. Actually, many stores already include the cost of shipping in the price of the item. This allows them to offer free shipping while still maintaining their profit.

Amazon is a great example of a company providing free shipping options on any order:

Free Shipping Example - Amazon

2. Required Registration

Many e-commerce sites require new users to register for an account. By doing so, these businesses are losing a ton of customers. As a business owner, you should do everything you can to make it easier for your customer to complete their purchase. Creating an account is an obstacle, so avoid requiring this if possible. If you are concerned about building loyalty from your customers, you can always send them a follow-up email after their purchase to complete setting up their account with you. First get them to complete the purchase. Then focus on building loyalty. is a great example of a company providing a “checkout as guest” button and not requiring a user to sign-in or create an account: Required Registration Example

3. Shopping Cart Button

Many sales are lost to customers who are just casually browsing your store. They add a couple items to their cart, and then they get distracted by something else and leave. They may have simply forgotten to complete their checkout before starting on something else. A noticeable, attention-grabbing shopping cart button can help solve this problem. One tactic is to enable a shopping cart button that displays a drop-down cart or animates every time an item is added to the cart. The key here is to remind your visitor they are still shopping and shouldn’t leave before completing their order.

Wal-Mart is a great example of this. They have a cart pop-up every time the user adds an item to the cart as a reminder to the user to complete the order:

Walmart Shopping Cart Button Example

4. Slow Checkout

One of the biggest conversion killers is a slow checkout experience. Unless you have the most patient target audience in the world, few customers will wait for their cart to refresh after every item has been added or a coupon has been redeemed. Using a dynamic shopping cart can prevent the page from reloading, allowing your customers to finish their checkout quickly. A dynamic shopping cart updates item count, shipping fees, and coupon codes in real time, without your customers having to wait for the page to reload.


Getting your customer to add items to their cart is already a difficult process, but making sure they complete their order is just as important for your bottom line. Your goal should be to optimize your shopping cart and make it as easy as possible for your customer to complete a purchase. Free shipping, optional account registration, a highly visible shopping cart button, and a fast, dynamic checkout can help you decrease the number of visitors abandoning their carts and turn them into customers.

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