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How to reduce mobile shopping cart abandonment

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Last editedMar 20233 min read

Mobile shopping cart abandonment is hugely frustrating for merchants. A certain level of it is virtually unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to reduce mobile shopping cart abandonment and hence increase sales. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Understanding the reasons for mobile shopping cart abandonment

There are two main reasons for mobile shopping cart abandonment. The first is that customers didn’t actually want to put the items in their cart to begin with. The second is that they had an issue with the checkout process itself. Reducing mobile shopping cart abandonment therefore requires you to deal with both of these issues.

Customers not wanting to put items in their cart

Sometimes customers put items in their carts because they want information that is only made available as part of the checkout process. This may be stock levels, delivery times or return information, but it is most likely to be shipping costs or taxes. 

If these are calculated on a per-shipment basis, it’s preferable to have an on-site calculator to give people a reasonable estimate of shipping costs, delivery times and taxes. This should be both highly visible and completely separate from the checkout system.

Customers having issues with the checkout process

There are several reasons why customers might find themselves having difficulties with the checkout process. Here is a quick guide to the steps you can take to prevent them.

Make sure your checkout form is optimised for mobile

Optimising a checkout form for mobile requires you to do more than just shrink it to size. You need to think about the practicalities of entering data on small screens. You also need to work on the assumption that the user only has one free hand. 

That means you need to minimise the amount of data they need to key in. Instead, try to pre-populate as many fields as you can. For the rest, use drop-down menus, checkboxes and radio buttons as much as possible. Also, try to avoid forcing the user to scroll endlessly. Instead, use short sections and have the user swipe to move on.

Disclose charges early

Ideally, a customer should know what they need to pay before they even reach the checkout. If that is not possible, then disclose all charges as early as possible in the checkout process. The earlier you do this, the more confident you can be that cart abandonment at that point is due to the charges. Likewise, you are probably safe to assume that cart abandonment after that point is for other reasons.

Use social logins

Most people have a Facebook account or a Google account. They may not use them very often. There is still a good chance that they either know their details or have them saved on their device. If they’re using an Android device, the chances of this are particularly good.

Having a user login with Facebook or Google helps to speed them through the checkout process. It vastly reduces the need for data entry and avoids the need for them to create yet another password. Implementing social logins can therefore do much to reduce mobile shopping cart abandonment.

Support guest checkout

Much the same arguments apply to offering guest checkout. You may prefer to have customers create an account. At the end of the day, however, it should be the customer’s preference that matters. 

Customers may not wish to disclose more of their data than they feel is necessary. If they don’t wish this, they certainly won’t want to have it saved, so don’t try to force them. They may feel that their privacy is more important than their purchase.

Offer the right payment methods

For years, payment cards were the standard payment option for ecommerce sales. Now, customers want, and in some cases need, other options. For example, if you’re selling services, it’s a good idea to offer customers the option to pay by direct debit. This is convenient for them and cost-effective for you.

If you’re making higher-value sales, then customers often appreciate the option to pay in instalments. This can be managed in-house. Again, using direct debit is generally the most convenient and cost-effective option. Alternatively, you can partner with a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service such as Klarna.

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