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🛒Reduce abandoned carts by half

reduce abandoned carts

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Is this a glorious Wednesday? Best believe! I know you’re licking your chops for the Feature Story with two fast fixes for all those abandoned carts that rip sales away from your business. That’s coming up right now, then we’ve got the following sections for you: 

  • The Knowledge Base 
  • Self Help 
  • Facts & Stats (a 35% conversion rate lift) 
  • Get Hacking (issuing a challenge) 

Let’s get to that Feature Story – I’ve eggs to beat, scramble, then reminisce about.

Abandoned Carts Cost Online Businesses Money 

No joke! Around 71% of online carts get abandoned, according to the latest stats this marketing archaeologist could dig up (exactly 70.19% says Baymard).

There are a ton of reasons people start to purchase from your website then… STOP the checkout process and abandon their cart. We’ll cover several reasons in detail.

First, here are the fastest two ways to start cutting your abandoned cart rate in half.

Reduce Abandoned Carts by Half

#1 Increase trust and clarity at checkout 

#2 Offer a guest checkout instead of forcing users to sign up for an account

Fix those issues, and you’re giving 51% of shoppers what they need to complete the checkout. 

25% of those surveyed said they abandon their cart when they don’t trust the website with their payment information. 26% said they leave their items unpurchased in a cold cart because they do not want to sign up for an account. (26 + 25 is 51. I called MIT to confirm).

So if your abandoned cart rate is 71% and you reduce that by 51%… crunching numbers… your newly reduced rate of lost sales via cart abandonment is about 35%, cut in half💥.

But you can reduce it further, as we’ll see after I unload ways to accomplish #1 and #2.

Add Trust & Clarity to Reduce Abandoned Carts

Start with your item description pages. Customers love seeing features and benefits, but if there are no security badges on your website, shoppers may look for the item on Amazon or Walmart since they KNOW they can trust those e-giants with their credit card info. Sad, but true. 

After those description pages/sections, move over to your checkout pages to see where you can add trust symbols such as payment method certifications and industry certifications. Same goes for testimonials and reviews. Make sure they are scannable and highlight trust. 

One no-no is automated Google Reviews on your site through a plug-in. You risk having negative reviews show up on your homepage or checkout page where reviews are auto-inserted.

A video review is super-impactful. Not too polished because that may reduce trust (depends on industry).

As for clarity, don’t use jargon or long sentences in content or in… well, don’t use it anywhere! I’ll sleep better. Yes, privacy policies are long legalese but your paraphrased, easy-to-understand link to the policy shouldn’t be (i.e., “We’re not Google. We don’t sell your data, soul, or first-born’s data.”).

Now for the “hard” one…

Add Guest Checkout

Take notes.

Add a guest checkout to your website. Find a nerd on your payroll and ask them nicely to do this. They’ll figure it out. Seriously, this is easy to implement on any e-commerce platform.

Main thing is to ensure the guest checkout option is OBVIOUS.

Reduce Abandoned Carts

Now that we’ve slashed your abandoned cart rate to something you can brag on, let’s slash it some more.

Slow Shipping Causes 23% of Shoppers to Stop Checking Out

Not much you can do about shipping services you don’t control. But you can offer incentives for waiting. Another option is stating how long shipping takes at other online stores, if you have this info. It can keep the shopper from clicking off your checkout page to find out for themselves.

Another way to reduce this problematic percentage is to frame the shipping time in a positive light. If you know you can’t compete with Amazon on shipping times for a product, make it about the environment (i.e., you only ship two days a week to reduce energy burning or compare your business’s carbon footprint to Amazon’s. Advantage you.)

Faster Checkout Reduces Abandoned Carts

22% of folks don’t have time to wait at checkout. 

This could mean the checkout process takes too long or is complicated. 

Remember, what’s easy to you or your generation may not be easy to other generations when it comes to entering payment info.

As for slow-loading pages, people don’t have half a second to spare these days. Be sure your load times are better than your competitors. 

3 More Quick Fixes that Reduce Abandoned Carts

1️⃣ 18% didn’t like the return policy. A portion of that percentage is good news since some in that segment could be the worst customers ever. Scam returns are rising, according to the WSJ, with people keeping products and returning boxed-up garbage to get their money back! 

2️⃣ 21% abandoned their carts because they could not see total costs upfront. 21% is significant, but I imagine this could swing up or down depending on your industry. A “no-brainer” package price could help reduce this number if you’re committed to holding the final price until the last step of checkout.

3️⃣ Another easy fix to reel in 9% of abandoned sales. Customers who have their card declined online don’t just cost you one sale, maybe the customer’s lost forever. And it may not be a legit decline. False declines happen pretty often. One way to avoid those is to choose a solid payment processor (lots of sketchy choices). Another way to cut down on this cart abandonment problem is to implement 3D Secure (3DS) authentication. Mastercard reports 3DS can lower false decline rates by up to 70%.

Start Reducing Abandoned Carts Today

Those tactics don’t take a ton of effort, and they pay off. No easier way to increase sales than to stop losing sales that are oh-so close!

Now, there’s not much you can do about people who use shopping carts as “bookmarks” as they price check the entire internet. But you can take action on the issues we laid out. 

As for the 48% of people who leave checkout without paying due to shipping fees, taxes, or fee-fees, that’s a challenge for another day. Just know that it’s tough to beat free shipping and the convenience that comes with say Walmart+ orders. But even WallyWorld has to show you the added tax cost right before you pay. So perhaps, do some test shopping to see how other brands handle showing fees that no shopper likes.

The Knowledge Base is updated below…


The Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power, so is gum

How to handle local online reviews 

Deep dive on Google algorithm updates

How to increase sales on your Facebook Biz Page

Opportunities in post-purchase financing? 

Chase Bank, a “super-app”?

Dining pinch? (consumers looking for savings)

Why short videos work (psychology)

Abandoned carts are not the only sales stopper. Abandoned browse means lost shoppers too, but there’s hope…


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Self Help

Protect ya neck! Not just Wu-Tang advice. Rideshare advice.

One out of three rideshare drivers report being involved in a crash while on the job.

In case it’s unclear, one out of three is technically – a helluva lot!

So if your driver shows up looking sleepy, high as a kite, or has that whackado-look, wave them on by.

*Extra self help: Talk to your young’uns about money. Only six states require high school classes in personal finance. ~Professor Scott Galloway

Inbox Hackers Shout-out:

📢John at Boston Art

📣April at Choggiung (Alaska village corporation)


Facts and Stats

  • Number of U.S. restaurants offering 24-hour service fell 18% from 2020 to 2024 & 3,000+ British night-time venues have shut down since 2020 (CNN)

  • Online shopping for insurance up from 22% to 27% between (2022 – 2023), while those turning to agents fell from 42% to 35% (TransUnion)

  • Dollar General & Five Below shifting from self-checkout toward employee-assisted checkout to reduce theft (PYMNTS)

Bonus: Easiest way to boost conversion rate by 35% no matter what you sell or to who?  Answer: One-click checkouts.


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Questions? Book a Free Demo.

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Get Hacking

Deeper insights come from deeper reading. Audiobooks count as reading (some podcasts, too) in my book, but not when I’m doing other activities. So I’m joining you on this new hack. 

I’ll be setting aside one hour a week to listen to books / podcasts as a solo activity – so I can take notes and hopefully gain deeper insights. I’ll post my results in a future edition of Inbox Hacking.


Share Inbox Hacking with your marketing friends – or former friends, it could repair the friendship. Thanks

Finally… Overhyped AI Headlines of the Week:

Real headlines with outlandish claims about AI 

#1 “Automate your hiring process” (come on)

#2 “AI after-death avatars” (creepy at best)

#3 “Millions could be working four-day week by 2033 thanks to AI” (heard this since the 1980s – don’t quit your 5-day job)


Thanks for reading, 

Shane McLendon, Copy Kingpin😉 – Inbox Hacking