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Abandoned shopping baskets in the web shop - your biggest headache


An online store owner's worst nightmare is to go through the statistics and see how many people have shopped around, put items in the basket, but not completed the purchase. Did you feel the shivers down your spine? Good.

It's not always justified to worry about this, of course. A large part of the visitors to your store just day dream and fill their baskets with things they want and then move on without completing the purchase.

It's not those who kill time in your online store that you should worry about. There are those who really intend to buy something, but are restricted from doing so because something makes them unsafe or that the functions are causing them to lose patience.


Here are eight tips for you to improve your shopping cart function in the online shop to get more clearance:

1. Make sure the customer understands the process. Make it idiot proof. Most online stores have a little silly symbol in the corner where the basket is. Why not highlight it so it can be seen better? Why not have a special page where it says ”How to shop” where you go through all the steps the customers may go through to complete a purchase. It's hard to shop online - especially if you are a new customer. There is always an uncertainty that would send us to a more familiar place where we can do our business. If you can become the shop that makes shopping easy, you will take away a lot of uncertainty among your potential customers.

2. Make sure customers know where they are in the buying process. Call it like Step 1 of 3 etc, so that it becomes easy to ensure a final destination.

3. Link to the product they added to their cart. Many customers want to look at what they ordered right before checking out. If they are uncertain, they might not care to make their purchase.

4. Put pictures next to a product in the cart. It makes customers more confident that they have ordered the right item.

5. Make sure it's easy to make changes in the basket. Some of us order many things and want to remove one or two items when the total price comes up. If it can't be changed easily, the risk is very high that we get bored and just leave.

6. Make the client feel secure and provide various options. If your customer hesitates to press the order button, make sure there is another way to order - a phone number, for example, that he/she can call instead.

7. Don't ask for irrelevant information. Just ask for what is needed for the customer to get his/her order - and that you get paid for it. Don't become a “form Nazi” (yes, that's how it feels when extensive forms pop up).

8. If a customer abandons the shopping cart - make sure the customer is taken to a page with a text: ”Thank you for visiting us. We see that you have started a purchase, but haven't finished it. Help us improve by telling us why you chose not to complete the purchase.  If you spend a few minutes into answering this, you will be included in our monthly prize draw”(offer something attractive).

Imagine that you are going to a shop that provided all of the above for their customers. Wouldn't it feel nice?






About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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