Actionable tips, community conversations, and marketing inspiration.

How to Combat Abandoned Carts on Shopify

Nicholas Bennett

Lifecycle Marketing Associate @ AdRoll

Topics Covered:

Anyone can launch a Shopify store to find products, market, and sell online. This simple solution is excellent for any sized business looking for a streamlined platform to grow its e-commerce store. However, while many consumers enjoy supporting small businesses rather than big retailers and well-known brands, shoppers tend to have high abandoned cart rates when shopping at less-familiar sites. With an average of seven out of ten of your customers abandoning their shopping carts, it's vital to do everything you can to combat abandoned carts by leveraging the right tools to engage your customers.

In this piece, we'll look at some of the primary reasons for abandoned carts and best practices to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your site. 

Streamline the Checkout Process of Your Shopify Store

Your checkout flow is the first thing to look at when you have a high cart abandonment rate. Identifying where your shoppers drop off during the checkout process and what causes them to abandon their carts should be your first task. While the issue of cart abandonment is unique to each site, here are some tips to help you diagnose and streamline your checkout flow.

Make your site secured and regulation-compliant

First, make sure your entire site is secured with a valid SSL certificate and compliant with applicable privacy regulations. As security and privacy are top concerns from online shoppers, it's a vital step to build trust with your potential customers. With Shopify offering a free SSL certificate and all major browsers warning users against unsecured websites, a valid SSL is a must-have for every page on your site. 

If you sell to European Union customers, your site must be GDPR compliant. If you sell to customers in the state of California, your site needs to be CCPA compliant. Shopify provides guidelines and tools to help implement the related requirements. Other consent management solutions are also available.  

Provide a guest checkout option

A common cause of cart abandonment is an account login requirement. While you certainly want to encourage your shoppers to set up a customer account, you still want to provide a guest checkout option for shoppers who don't want to go through creating an account. Shopify offers three settings for customer accounts — "required," "optional," and "disabled." The "optional" setting is likely the best choice for most stores.  

Be transparent with your shipping cost

No one likes surprises and hidden fees, particularly when it comes to online shopping. In fact, it's one of the main reasons shoppers abandon their shopping carts. If you can afford to offer free shipping, it's the best option, even with a minimum purchase requirement. Otherwise, a flat shipping rate is the second-best choice. If you do need to provide a variable shipping rate, be clear about it upfront. Shopify has a robust shipping rate calculator based on carrier, shipment weight, and destination location. Once it's set up, the shipping cost will be calculated at checkout.

Make sure that you have a clear shipping policy on your website. If you navigate to the setting section in your Shopify app, Shopify offers free templates to use in the legal section. Be sure to clean them up and review them. If you want to be extra safe, have a lawyer review it.

Place a test order

To further diagnose any potential issue in your checkout flow, the best way is to go through the entire checkout process yourself and place a test order. Even better, you can also ask another colleague, a friend, or a family member, to go through the checkout process. This way, you can get valuable feedback from people who may not be as familiar with your site and your checkout process as you are. 

To find more ideas to optimize your checkout flow further, check out this post

Use Shopify's Abandoned Checkouts Feature

Shopify has an abandoned checkout recovery feature built into its platform. It allows you to examine each abandoned checkout and send out emails to the shoppers.

Manually send a checkout recovery email

Shopify allows you to manually send out a checkout recovery email to a specific shopper. While it may sound silly to consider manually sending out emails to shoppers one by one, it's a great way to test the function before deploying it automatically. The email includes a link to the shopper's abandoned cart, allowing the shopper to continue and complete the purchase if he or she decides to. You can add a simple message in the email. In addition to testing, this manual function also provides your team with an easy way to direct a particular shopper back to the shopping cart when they assist the shopper on a checkout problem.

Automatically trigger the checkout recovery email

After testing the email manually, you may want to have the checkout recovery email triggered automatically. You can choose to send the email to everyone who abandoned checkout or only to those who subscribed to your emails. You can also decide when to trigger the email based on the number of hours after the checkout was abandoned. Shopify provides four options for the timing.

  • 1 hour after

  • 6 hours after

  • 10 hours after (default)

  • 24 hours after

Add a discount code to the checkout recovery email

Providing a discount code to entice your shoppers to come back is a common tactic for a checkout recovery email. While Shopify gives you a way to do just that, there are some limitations with this built-in checkout recovery feature. To add a discount code to the checkout recovery email, you need to master Shopify's templating language called Liquid. There is no WYSIWYG editor to customize the email, and there is no drag-and-drop function for you to add a discount code to the email. Everything is done by scripts. The discount code is also a one-size-fits-all choice. You can either provide the discount code to everyone or no one, as there is no way to customize your discount code for different types of shoppers.  

Use a Retargeting App

Shopify's checkout recovery feature provides an easy way to send an email to shoppers after they have abandoned their shopping carts. However, in today's highly competitive e-commerce space, an effective cart recovery campaign can no longer rely on email alone. It needs to incorporate retargeting ads and onsite personalization to create a personalized and consistent shopping experience across multiple channels. Shopify's limited functionality can't meet the demand from today's marketers. 

For the unacquainted, retargeting involves placing cookies on shoppers’ browsers after they visit your site or click on an ad. With the cookie in place, you can then use retargeting ads and emails to offer cart abandoners a small discount code, re-engage existing customers with new deals, or showcase relevant products to browse abandoners. 

If it sounds complicated, don’t worry — there are many retargeting apps in Shopify's app store to provide additional functionalities to help you launch retargeting ads and emails. One of the most popular ones? AdRoll!

AdRoll stands out from other apps thanks to its beginner-friendly capability to unify activities, channels, and analytics. For example, while some apps are good at exit intent pop-ups to capture shoppers' email addresses before they leave your site, and others are good at creating stunning email campaigns, AdRoll's solution provides everything you need to launch your retargeting efforts across the web, email, and social networks under a single platform. In fact, a recent study shows that AdRoll helps e-commerce brands lift their conversion rate by 23% — say hello to better ROI and a ton of timed save! 

To see what AdRoll's solution for Shopify can do for you, check out our Shopify demo store.    

You Can Effectively Combat Abandoned Carts

As a small business or company with many competitors, you must take every step possible to decrease your Shopify abandoned cart rate. 

Each aspect of your website, products, policies, and checkout process provides you with an opportunity to build trust with your customers and ensure your reliability and customer satisfaction. The more you connect with your customers, especially those who have never purchased from you before, the more they will come to know you, like you, and trust you.

With the features available on the Shopify platform, and other digital marketing solutions, such as AdRoll, you have the tools you need to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate and increase your Shopify sales. 

Explore Next

Topics Covered: