If you are an online retailer, then you are well aware of the time and money it takes to drive high quality visitors to your eCommerce site. Whether it be through social media, SEO, email marketing, AdWords, affiliates, display ads, etc., building steady visitor traffic is costly, and you don’t want to see your efforts wasted.

Your efforts really start looking like they will pay off when you’ve captured the attention of an engaged visitor. Better yet, after browsing a few product pages, your website visitor adds an item to cart when she finds a specific product at an affordable price.

This visitor clearly has the intent of buying, but for some reason changes her mind, leaving your site and abandoning her cart. According to a recent 2014 study by Baymard Institute, 68% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart, costing retailers. You can calculate your cart abandonment rate with this simple formula: Cart Abandonment Rate = 1 – (# orders placed / # shopping carts created).

These abandoned shopping carts account for $18 billion in missed revenue opportunities a year! (Webtrends)

So, why did this happen, and how can you – as an online retailer – reclaim some of the revenue from these abandoned carts?

Here are 5 helpful solutions:

  1. Add Free Shipping. A Comscore study suggests that 61% of consumers are likely to abandon their cart if free shipping is not offered. Can’t afford international free shipping costs? Try segmenting and targeting a free shipping offer by geographic location – an order that won’t be too costly to fulfill (e.g. states close to your warehouse, contiguous U.S., etc.).

  2. Reduce the steps to checkout. Visitors don’t like giving away too much information about themselves, and they don’t like filling out forms. By streamlining your checkout process and eliminating all factors that would present friction to your prospective customers, you will see a considerable lift in conversion rates. Mandating the keying in of a promo code or registering with an email address are a couple of classic examples that are thwarting your sales cycle.

  3. Optimize your web page load times. A recent KissMetrics report found that 47% of online shoppers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% would leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds. Speedy page load times needs to be the case across your entire website: your home page, blog pages, product pages, and especially cart checkout pages.

  4. Make real-time, targeted upsell offers. Based on what visitors have in their shopping cart (product type/SKU and dollar amount), you can target them with a personalized upsell or cross sell. For example, we’ve seen significant cart abandonment reduction across our customers who target at risk shoppers with a “push to close” personalized offer. When we detect hesitation during the checkout process, we can change visitors’ minds by delivering these types of real-time offers. This strategy will not only yield higher average order values, but also higher conversion rates.

  5. Be transparent. Don’t reserve extra taxes, shipping costs, and other miscellaneous fees until the last checkout page. You will scare off a lot of prospective customers, and may lose customer confidence moving forward. If you are going to surprise your audience, do it with an enticing real-time offer that will increase the likelihood of a conversion!


Unlike the traditional brick & mortar store paradigm, when consumers are shopping online they are just a few mouse clicks away from opening a new window to your competitor’s eCommerce site. Statistics show that the best time to make a sale is when visitors are on your site and engaged. Understanding the intent behind your visitors’ behavior, and taking real-time actions based on that data, will make your conversion rate & average order value go up, and your shopping cart abandonment go down.

Written by Fanplayr Account Manager, Zach Feinberg

Email: zach@fanplayr.com

LinkedIn: Zach Feinberg

Twitter: @thefeinberg