How To Optimize Your E-Commerce Website’s Checkout and Shopping Cart

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As you can see, the optimization process isn’t complicated, but it does involve making significant changes to your checkout and shopping cart pages. You might need to ask for assistance from the development team of your e-commerce platform to make those changes.

Key takeaways

  • Cart abandonment occurs in nearly 70% of all transactions and is a significant hurdle to conversion for e-commerce businesses
  • The lost sales associated with cart abandonment are about $260 billion
  • Most of the reasons for cart abandonment have to do with the failure to provide a smooth user experience, which you can solve by making design and process changes
  • The goal of optimizing the shopping cart and checkout process is to make it easy for customers to pay for their purchases the first time
  • Optimizing the shopping cart and checkout process can improve conversions by up to 35%

Why Optimizing Your Customer’s Shopping Cart Experience Is Important

Why should you even bother optimizing your shopping cart and checkout process? The answer is simple: customer satisfaction.

Most e-commerce site owners invest heavily in design and structure to make their websites accessible to all and attractive to buyers.

They choose the best e-commerce website builders to ensure they give their customers an excellent user experience (UX). Weebly, for instance, specializes in customizable themes to make online stores look unique and designed professionally.

Most website builders offer marketing, SEO, and site analytics tools to improve visibility and performance. They also have integrated checkout and shopping cart features. But that’s the problem. You often see those two at the tail-end of a feature list, which is weird. Treating the shopping cart and checkout pages as by-the-ways is a mistake for e-commerce businesses.

The sales funnel is narrower at the bottom, for sure, meaning it’s easier to nudge customers in the right direction once they’re at that stage. But the shopping cart and checkout stages are critical since this is where conversion happens.

Everything else leads up to those stages. You don’t want to miss sales at the last minute because you stopped making it easy for them to commit, and your visitors abandon their carts.

What Is the Significance of Cart Abandonment?

How bad can it get? Many cart abandonment surveys show it’s pretty bad. Baymard Institute looked at 46 of them and came out with an average of 69.82% cart abandonment rate, and it’s even worse on mobile, which accounted for 40.1% of e-commerce sales in 2021.

That means the seven out of 10 people you managed to entice to your site, after much effort, decided not to buy finally. Think about that sobering fact.

If your monthly sales are $100, you make $333 instead if none of your visitors abandons their carts. Overall, about $260 billion in e-commerce sales are lost in the limbo of abandoned carts.

Why Do Customers Abandon Their Carts?

That’s an excellent question, and you’ll be happy to know that the same study identified 58.6% of shoppers in the United States who abandoned their carts because they were “just browsing.” So, roughly four of the seven carts lost to your e-commerce site are probably not your fault.

But the remaining three carts are on you, or rather, your checkout process. Below is the breakdown of reasons from customers for abandoning a cart even when they were prepared to buy but ultimately chose not to:

You might argue that shipping, tax, and other fees ― being too high as the reason for 48% for cart abandonment ― are the irreducible costs of doing business. But what about the other 52%? Most of the other reasons cited ultimately boil down to a breakdown in the seamlessness of the transaction, leading to poor UX and customer satisfaction.

For example, 17% of customers had a problem with checkout usability, finding it too long or complicated. Most websites ask customers to fill in 23 form fields when the ideal number is seven to eight. Reducing the number of fields can reduce cart abandonment by as much as 35.26%.

Other design and UX issues are at the heart of a significant portion of cart abandonment. If you can double your sales by optimizing the shopping cart and checkout processes, that should be your priority. Let’s get on with it.

How To Optimize Your Website’s Shopping Cart and Checkout Experience

Optimizing your e-commerce website’s checkout and shopping cart is something you can do right now. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Place cart button and icons on all pages
  • Create an overview of the product
  • Add transparency to your checkout page
  • Create a simple and secure payment page
  • Enable guest checkout

Optimizing your checkout process has one goal: make the UX as seamless, transparent, and convenient as possible to minimize cart abandonment. You want to remove all sources of friction that might cause the buyer to give up. Fortunately, you can do that in a few steps.

Place Cart Buttons and Icon on All Pages

Design your product pages so that the customer doesn’t have to look for the “Add to Cart” button. You want them to keep adding products, so make sure they can at any time in the shopping process. Make the button nice and bright, enticing them to click it.

Most website builders add the “Add to Cart” button by default, but the placement might not be ideal. WooCommerce, for instance, places the button under the product description in some cases. You want to move that button to be more visible to the customer.

How To Optimize Your E-Commerce Website’s Checkout and Shopping Cart

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