How many times have you been browsing online and filled up your basket with all the items you want, only to change your mind at the last minute, and click away from the website? We have all been there. Whether it be a simple change of heart or being sensible and deciding to wait until payday - that’s basket abandonment.   

Online customers are more likely to abandon their baskets compared to in-store shoppers with a physical basket of goods. Not only that, just as they would in a traditional bricks-and-mortar store, they want to inspect what they plan to buy before they part with their hard-earned cash.  This is evidenced further in the Future UK shopping trends report 2022 which shows a 40% increase in consumers searching online for products by adding in the key phrase ‘review’.  


upside down shopping trolley


So, why are customers abandoning their basket?  

There is no doubt that online stores have thrived since the pandemic, with 40% of consumers believing that browsing for products online is better than in store.  However, basket abandonment still exists. According to Shopify, nearly 88% of cart abandonments happen before the consumer completes a purchase.  It can exist for a number of reasons such as: pricing too high when it comes to calculated delivery fees, technical problems checking out, and also lengthy registration processes. 8% of consumers will abandon if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, so it is imperative that you check your site load speeds across all devices.  

Although basket abandonment is unavoidable, there are key steps you can take to optimise the checkout process, improve the customer purchase journey, and boost your conversion rate. 

Here are 5 key ways that can help you give basket abandonment the boot! 

Allow users to save items in their basket for later 

Don’t send your shoppers all the way back to square 1 if they do leave your website and their basket. Instead, offer the option to store their items in the basket or save them for later on a Wishlist. This will enable them to easily review their basket at a later date and continue with their purchase process. Many consumers will add products to basket as a way of saving what they are browsing, similar to products they would pick up and put back in a traditional store. By making it easier to pick up where they left off, the user could return at any time to complete the purchase and be reminded of what they came to look for in the first place.  

Remind users about their items with automated emails

Automated emails are an easy way to remind customers about their basket and create a sense of urgency about buying products they may otherwise miss out on. For example, if you add something to basket and don’t checkout, you’ll get an email saying ‘Oops, it looks like you forgot something’ or ‘items in your Wishlist are selling fast’.  

Why did the customer not go through with the purchase? It could be they simply got distracted, or perhaps they realised the product they added was not included in an offer they were trying to take advantage of. This is where you could take the opportunity to send customers a time-sensitive ‘free delivery’ or ‘10% off’ code to help drive them to purchase before the offer runs out.   

Automated emails to web visitors can be set up using something called Google Tag Manager in the back end of your website. It fires a particular email when triggered by customers taking particular actions. However, it is important to be savvy with the number of offers you share as consumers are becoming aware of the tactics brands are using to increase conversions.  

Understand your users’ browsing and buying behaviour

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system could help you to understand your customers and how they interact with you. This information could provide you with insights into how visitors have previously behaved. This not only allows you to differentiate between new and existing customers, but also allows you to tailor to the consumer. For example, you may have loyal customers who purchase from you every payday, until they miss one payday for whatever reason. This is where you could send a personalised offer to get them back to your website with more chance of a completed purchase, rather than an empty or abandoned basket.  

Another angle to look at it from is do they only convert on mobile or desktop? Do they only convert with vouchers or at certain times of day? A better understanding of your customers will enable you to respond and tailor your payment process appropriately to encourage conversion. 

Find out more on our free E-Commerce webinar

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Be upfront with your payment and delivery methods

Remove friction from the purchase process by clearly stating the different payment and delivery methods you offer.  While some customers might be happy to enter their card details, others won’t and may prefer to use something like PayPal rather than a credit card. Avoid making your customers  fill in endless details at checkout by implementing PayPal express checkout or something similar. By offering a number of different payment options, shoppers can tailor their purchase experience to meet their needs.  

Similarly, it is essential that you provide your customers with clear delivery costs and timescales. Ensure customers have the option for standard shipping or express delivery with all costs and estimated timescales stated. Omitting this information is likely to irritate customers and drive them to abandon their order or choose a competitor instead. For example, they may be using an offer which entitles them to 15% off, but if they find delivery costs don’t amount to an overall saving, you risk abandonment. Also factor in mind displaying the various currency options if you are a global site and make it clear whether you deliver outside of the UK.  

Fitness entrepreneurs V3 Apparel found they were losing American customers on their ecommerce site due to the simple fact that those potential buyers were being asked to pay in pounds rather than dollars.  

“We introduced a local Shopify site for the US and increased our sales by 22 per cent.” Read more about how Superfast supported V3 with their e-commerce

Shout about your payment security 

Provide your customers with easily accessible information about the payment security you offer in order to create confidence in shopping with your business. By positioning your business as conscientious and reliable, you will give customers the assurance they may need to proceed with their purchase. This could be as simple as including security certificates, including a middleman like PayPal, or offering buyer protection guarantees.  


To find out how to grow your business, register onto the free Superfast Business Wales service.

See how Superfast Business Wales can support your business

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