In a couple of articles, we gave you a few tips how to start a successful email campaign and what content to include on your landing page. This way, you can get more traffic to your site and increase your sales. Getting people interested in your product may not be enough, though. If you notice that they add products to the cart, but for some reason do not complete their order, there may be some problem with the site or with the order flow. It may sound surprising, but almost 70% of customers abandon their orders.

In this article, we will explore what you can do to decrease the shopping cart abandonment on your site by taking a few simple steps. While there may be other factors affecting your customers‘ decision, you should make sure that you have done everything that depends on you to make the order process as smooth as possible.

Offer Multiple Payment Methods

If potential customers see only one payment method and it is not the one they prefer, they may decide to leave your site. For example, if you accept only card payments and a customer prefers to use a PayPal account, they will most certainly not order.

You should try to accept PayPal as the most popular option, and at least one additional card processor so that customers have an alternative. It would be nice, if you can also offer an offline method such as bank wire, money order or Western Union / Moneygram for people that may not have the means to pay online. In some markets, the option to pay the courier are quite popular.

Other payment methods like various digital currencies are also an option, but whether you will offer them or not depends on what you offer and on the clientele you target.

Allow Guest Orders

A client goes to your website, looks through the products you offer, picks one, customizes it and then proceeds to pay, but then – they are required to open an account by completing a long registration form. This may be a major turndown, especially if they have to provide a lot of information. For new customers, this will be an unnecessary extra step they may not want to take. Quite a lot of customers will just go to Amazon or other retailer they already have an account with to make such purchase, and avoid registering at one more website. Since for every order, an email is usually required, you will have many more chances to make this customer a returning one, by sending them emails to the email they used at their order.

Whenever it is possible, you should allow customers to order even if they don’t have an account. If one is required, make things as simple as possible – ask them only for an email address and a password, and add a note that the products they have added to the cart will still be there after they sign up. The opposite would be quite discouraging, so if an account is not really required for the order, add a guest order option during the order process.

List All Costs Clearly

If your potential customers see different prices on the product page, in the shopping cart and on the payment page, they will almost certainly reconsider if they should proceed with their order. Building trust is important and clearly mentioning all costs is a step in this direction. This is especially true for any tax that should be added or for the shipping costs, as they can vary greatly depending on the delivery address. Hiding taxes and delivery costs until the very end, or mentioning them in fine print somewhere on the site, will have a negative impact on your reputation and on your sales.

Optimize The Site Loading Speed

Nobody likes slow websites. If it takes a minute for a page to load or for the shopping cart on your site to be updated, people will probably become impatient and will simply go to one of your competitors. The loading speed often depends on the server and on the connection between the site and its visitors, but you can boost the site performance in different ways:

  • Use server-side caching / CDN. Cached content such as images or dynamically generated content will load faster, reducing the site loading speed significantly. For applications like WordPress or Joomla you can use a caching plugin as well.
We offer one-click server-side caching with all our hosting plans.
  • Combine files when possible. This is valid mostly for JavaScript and CSS files. Unless you need separate files, it is better to have a single CSS file, for example, instead of five or six.
  • Reduce the number of redirects. Every URL redirect requires a new HTTP request and the corresponding server response, which increases the initial loading time. In simple terms, your pages, images, and any other element on the site should have the same prefix to avoid redirections – http/https and www/non-www.
  • Optimize your code. Plugins that you do not use, pop-ups that do not serve any real purpose or code that is present in the files, but is never executed – these are just a few examples of content you can safely remove.
  • Optimize images and videos. If you add images or videos in their original size, they will be resized in the clients’ browsers, but it may take a long time for them to load. This will inevitably slow down your site. This is why, you should use web-friendly formats and sizes.

Technical issues can be frustrating, especially if they are due to lack of resources. Our Managed VPS plans are very powerful, but if you plan a large-scale marketing campaign and you expect a significant increase of the traffic to your site, our senior support team can help you even further with the fine tuning of the machine.

Add Thumbnails During Checkout

Sometimes people may have doubts if they really need a product they are about to order. If they see a thumbnail of that product rather than a simple text description, they may be more inclined to continue. They will see they have selected the right product when they are about to complete their purchase and will feel assured that they can proceed. Different platforms have different ways to do that. Sometimes there may be a clickable option, but sometimes you may have to edit the site code. If you use WordPress and WooCommerce, for example, you can add the following code in the Custom CSS section of your theme:

.woocommerce-cart table.cart img { max-width: 200px; }

Offer Live Chat

Something may come up while people shop on your site – they may have a question or they may have experienced some problem. In such a case, it will be convenient if they can contact you promptly so that they can continue with their order. You will find a phone number and an email address on most websites, and we recommend that you have them on your site as well.

The contact channel that can make a difference, however, is the live chat. It will allow your potential customers to reach you instantly. Unlike phone communication, they will be able to enter product names, order numbers or other information without risking you or another operator to get the information wrong, prolonging the customer’s problem. The latter often happens when talking on the phone.

Add Signs of Trust

Having an SSL certificate to encrypt the exchange of sensitive information is a must for any website these days. Naturally, your website should have one as well. One thing many website owners forget to add, however, is an SSL seal. This is a visual indicator that your website is secure. You can add a standard image or you can use a clickable seal that some SSL vendors offer. The latter will display the certificate issuer and expiration date, your organization name and a note that your website is secure and authentic.

If your website passed a PCI DSS compliance scan successfully, you can add a seal to display that to your potential customers. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of rules and requirements for organizations that handle online payments. Such a seal will increase your customers’ trust significantly as they will know their credit card details and personal information will be handled properly. To pass such a scan, you will need a PCI-compliant server, such as our Managed VPS packages.

Last, but not least, if your business is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, or it is listed on a customer review platform like Trustpilot or Yelp, you can mention this on your website. Some platforms even offer a widget that you can add to the site to embed the customer reviews. Reading about other people’s experience with your products can give potential customers confidence in your business.

To add a Sectigo certificate seal, for example, you can use Select the type of SSL certificate you have and an image that you want to add on your website, verify your ownership and you will get the code that you have to insert into your site.

Add a Good Return and Refund Policy

Sometimes people have doubts if they really need a product, or whether that product will be what they expect. They will be more inclined to give it a try and order if they know that they can return the product if it doesn’t meet their expectations. Link your refund policy clearly on the checkout page and give your customers peace of mind that if there is something wrong with the product or they simply change your mind, they can return the item. Be straightforward and avoid using ambiguous phrases as your customers may think that you are trying to trick them on purpose. A clear return policy and acceptable refund terms and periods can help you to win customers that are otherwise cautious about online purchases.

Add a Promo Code / Discount

Who doesn’t like discounts? If a potential customer is on the checkout page of your website, they are clearly interested in your product. If they hesitate whether they should proceed with the order, you can give them a promo code that they can use right away. If they stay on the page for some time, for example, a pop-up can appear, letting them know that they can use the promo code if they complete their order. This will allow you to win customers that may otherwise just stay on the page for a while and then close it if they are not convinced that they should proceed with the purchase.

Offer a Variety of Delivery Options

Some people prefer a certain delivery company. Others may want to receive their order sooner and are ready to pay more for that. Make sure that you offer different delivery options to meet different requirements. This way, you will avoid a situation where a customer does not complete their order because they don’t see their preferred delivery option or they cannot receive the product as soon as they want.

If possible, you can offer a free delivery option as well, albeit a much slower one. Some customers will order only if they see such an option. Finding the balance between free/cheap and slow delivery on the one hand, and more expensive, but faster delivery on the other, can boost your sales.

Use Analytics Software

Look for patterns to find out what parts of your website people visit the most and when exactly they leave the site. This will help you to identify possible issues with the site structure, the content or the order flow, so you can address them in due time. There may be some problem only on mobile devices, which you do not see on your desktop computer, for example, or people may leave the site on a certain step of the order process. You can use a service like Google Analytics or install a hosted solution like Matomo if you prefer to keep traffic information private and not share it with Google.

Matomo is a powerful analytics platform that is available with all our hosting plans.

If They Leave Nonetheless

Most importantly, do not despair. Sometimes people change their mind or they try to order a product only to check the final price, so no matter what you do, you cannot have a 100% success rate.

If you keep track of the incomplete order attempts on your site, there are a few things you can do to try to make people leaving your site to change their mind.

  • Add a pop-up when the tab is closed. While most web browsers will not allow you to display a standard pop-up when a the visitor wants to close the tab, you can add a confirmation pop-up where you can add a promo code or some other incentive for people to change their mind and go back to the cart.
  • Send a personalized follow-up email. You may have noticed that some companies do that already. If you notice that an order has not been completed for a while, you can send an email to your potential customer, reminding them of the pending order. Depending on why they left your site, you may include different content – alternative payment options in case they could not complete the payment, a promo code they can use to get a discount in case they left because they wanted to find a less expensive product, etc.
  • Use targeted ads. If you run paid ad campaigns, you can target people who have visited your website. They may decide to come back and proceed with their order if they keep seeing the product they were interested in.

In Conclusion

Every customer is important, so you should do your best to keep each and every one of them. While some people may just check out the price they have to pay on your site, others may simply hesitate, so you should do what it takes to help them with their purchase. Investing some time into finding possible issues with the order flow can help you to increase your sales. Convenient payment and delivery options, guest checkout and a good return policy are a few of the factors that can decrease the shopping cart abandonment on your website. In case that people leave the site nonetheless, you should always have a plan B and do your best to recover the abandoned sales.


I started working in the web hosting business in 2004. My other interests are mountain biking, fine woodworking and raising my kids to be good persons.