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6 Ways E-commerce Businesses Can Increase Shopping Cart Conversion Rates

6 Ways E-commerce Businesses can Increase Shopping Cart Conversion Rate

Isn’t it a bummer when shoppers visit your e-commerce website, add products to their cart but then drop out without completing their purchase? 

Cart abandonment remains the biggest problem faced by e-commerce businesses. In fact, the average online store loses 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. And a higher cart abandonment rate indicates friction in checkout process or experience – hence a low shopping cart conversion rate.

As both of these metrics are closely tied to your store’s bottom line, in order to drive cart conversion rates and revenues, companies need to elevate their strategy. Before we discuss how to tackle this adversary here’s an introduction to the said KPIs. 

Shopping cart conversion rate & cart abandonment rate

Cart conversion determines the percentage of customers who complete an order after adding something to the shopping cart.

It’s crucial to know your e-commerce shopping cart conversion rate because it measures how effective your checkout process is at converting customers into buyers.

Cart abandonment, on the other hand, is the percentage of shoppers who added products to the cart but then left without initiating the checkout process. 

Shopping cart conversion rate vs. checkout conversion rate

These KPIs are ofttimes confused and interchangeably used. The shopping cart conversion rate metric helps determine the number of complete orders in comparison to the total number of shopping carts started by potential customers.

Whereas checkout conversion rate is a KPI that helps measure the percentage of total visitors who started the checkout process, and then go on to complete their orders.

Once you figure out the percentage of shoppers abandoning your cart and the number that completed the order, you can come up with a strategy to remove the blockers and optimize your cart conversion rate.

6 Ways e-commerce businesses can increase shopping cart conversion rate

The truth is you’ll never be able to put an end to cart abandonment entirely. But understanding what’s causing shoppers to leave mid-sale and being proactive about optimizing trouble spots will help increase your cart conversion rate. Here are a few foolproof ways to help you game up your cart conversion rates.

1. Give customers extra motivation with enticing offers

A stagnant or, worse, a lower conversion rate signals a serious issue and one of the foolproof ways to fix this problem is to pre-empt potential dropouts with an enticing offer. 

A good discount or coupon always hits the sweet spot. Which is why, many online stores try to win over potential customers with first-time offers even before products are added to cart. Here’s an example from Candle Delirium.  

Ordering something for the first time at full price without any past experience with the product or peer reviews to cling to can be daunting for most shoppers. Discounts, reward points, first-time offers all have a subconscious effect on your customers. With a discount in their proverbial pockets, they feel ready to complete a purchase at your e-commerce store.

In fact, a recent survey from RetailMeNot found that 80% of shoppers are more inclined to make a first-time purchase with a brand that offered a discount.

2. Simplify & streamline the checkout process 

A complicated checkout process is one of the topmost reasons why online shoppers abandon carts. Oftentimes, customers drop out after initiating the checkout process, which piles up on abandonment stack.

Remember that 70% of shoppers will not complete an online form with too many fields. Similarly, with each extra step your prospective customers will drop off in the conversion funnel. 

Here are a few good pointers:

  • Add fewer but relevant form fields 
  • Offer guest checkout (people will often get annoyed if they are forced to create an account)
  • Keep your CTAs simple (fancy doesn’t always work)

Moreover, if you do upsell and cross-sell, make absolutely sure they don’t interfere with or hinder the customer’s ability to check out fast.

PS: Remember to account for both desktop and smartphone users to ensure that your checkout process is as simple and seamless as possible irrespective of the devices your customers use.

Health-Ade’s checkout process is pretty neat – simple and streamlined.

3. Offer fast & free shipping

Free and fast shipping is every shopper’s wildest dream. In fact, 80% of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping, while 61% want their packages delivered even faster — within 1-3 hours of placing an order.

Meanwhile, 63% of shoppers surveyed said they had abandoned shopping carts due to high shipping costs.

It’s abundantly clear why e-commerce stores need to hop on this ‘fast and free’ trend if they don’t want to lose any potential customers. Offering free shipping, despite the small cost to your online store, can provide a massive boost to your cart conversion rates. By leveraging free shipping, Amazon experienced a significant increase in customer orders throughout several marketplaces.

There are degrees of “fast” delivery, too. ROI data from Ohi shows repeat purchase rates associated with Ohi’s 2-hour delivery were even higher: up to 24% higher than same-day delivery and 61% higher than standard UPS/FedEx.

Order minimums are fine, too…

…because what works for one e-commerce business may not always work for another. In fact, many brands are unable to provide free shipping without eroding their e-commerce margins, especially when average order quantity is only one product.

Offering free shipping for a minimum order threshold can be an effective way for these brands to minimize cart abandonment while shoring up their margins. This also has the added benefit of assisting in increasing the average order value (AOV).

4. Reel the dropouts back in with retargeting

Abandoned cart retargeting is another strategy that can help you persuade abandoners to return and complete their purchase. Email remains an effective way to entice cart abandoners. Here are a few instances from Olipop.

You can also use ads to better target people who have visited your site and added products to the cart but did not complete their order. It keeps you top of mind for those prospective consumers as they browse the web.

5. Offer multiple payment options

How you manage and process payments impacts not only your customers’ buying journey but also the overall success of your business.

After all, customers are more likely to abandon carts if their preferred form of payment option isn’t available. By providing your site with a payment gateway that accepts a variety of payment options, you are helping boost sales opportunities. You can offer key payment methods such as credit cards, pay later solutions, and mobile wallets including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal, etc.

In addition to different payment methods, Ovira also guarantees a safe checkout.

Once you have added the right payment mix, you need to ensure that the payment completion is quick and easy and doesn’t get in the way of a shopper completing the order.  

6. Optimize page load speeds 

No one likes a slow-loading site. And an annoyed and angry shopper wondering if their order was even successful is the last thing you want. To be honest these shoppers may not even make it to the checkout if your e-commerce website loads slowly. 

To top up sales and reduce cart abandonment rate, every page – starting from transaction to landing page to order confirmation page – needs to be fast. 

First thing’s first, make sure you’re using a fast and reliable hosting service. Here are a few more ways you can speed up load-times for higher cart conversions:

  • Compress images 
  • Reduce the number of page redirects & broken links
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Get rid of plug-ins with high resource usage (they hog most of your server’s CPU and RAM
  • Use lite embeds instead of standard embed code for videos from YouTube (they bloat your site) 
  • Opt for code minification – a process that removes badly coded HTML, JavaScript, or CSS that slows your site down
  • Create a seamless and fast shopping experience with a progressive web app

A little optimization & consideration goes a long way

Jeff Eisenberg, an American businessman, once said, “it’s easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate rather than by doubling your traffic.”

As important as it is to double down on the traffic, converting the visitors into customers and retaining them is just as imperative. Optimizing your strategy, with the aforementioned, to increase your shopping cart conversion rate will pay off in the long haul. And once your cart conversion rate goes up, you’ll realize it’s worth the effort, time, and money.  


At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

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