Three out of every four of your visitors who put an item in their cart end up not completing a purchase. Shopping cart abandonment rates hit 75% in 2011, up 5.3% from 2010, according to a study from SeeWhy. That is a staggering amount of revenue lost right at the last mile of the transaction. Those lost visitors represent a massive opportunity for ecommerce companies to grow their revenues without having to grow inbound traffic. Even a slight improvement in cart abandonment can push revenues significantly higher. We’ve analyzed five of the Internet’s best ecommerce experiences to see how they keep abandonment down by creating a positive shopping experience while eliminating the friction in online buying. If you’re looking to increase your revenue, start with a critical review and optimization of your checkout process. And use these ecommerce leaders as inspiration to make your checkout funnel work harder for your business.

Why is reducing cart abandonment so important? You’ll see out-sized revenue gains for every percentage point of conversion you improve. A 10% improvement in shopping cart abandonment can increase your revenue 30%.

Improve ecommerce cart abandonment to drive revenue

Made.com
This UK furniture seller puts the products and savings front and center in a clean, visually stunning interface.

What works:

made's big pictures make product pages stunning

Amazon.com
The grandfather of ecommerce. Amazon is famous for their A/B testing of the shopping cart to find the best converting formula. Their industry-leading abandonment rate is said to be around 65%. Even with their notoriously-cluttered website, Amazon does the important things right, over and over.

What works:

amazon gets the important things right

Groupon
While Groupon’s stock might leave something to be desired, their checkout is a study in simplicity, social proof and instant gratification.

What works:

groupon makes buying easy

Threadless.com
The original crowd sourced design company, Threadless infuses it’s brand and whimsy into a clear and visual checkout experience.

What works:

threadless uses a clean design to make the important stuff stand out

Fab.com
The new design-centric daily deal site brings smart design to the checkout process.

What works:

Fab.com's checkout page


Get with the Best

Cart abandonment kills. Make it your resolution to lose fewer customers this year by improving your checkout experience. Look for areas where you can make improvements by improving the information architecture and UX of your product and checkout pages. Pay attention to consistency from page to page, visual hierarchy of page elements, and reducing the information above the fold to only what matters most to the buyer. Of course, every product and audience is different, so it’s important that you iterate and test your changes to find what works for you. Use an A/B testing platform like Optimizely or Google Website Optimizer to test page variations before committing to an entire overhaul. You’ll have the chance to learn what works without jeopardizing your current revenue.

Have a tip to reduce cart abandonment? Share it with us in the comments!

Resources

Here are a few resources to learn more about reducing cart abandonment through better checkout experiences:

12 tips for designing and excellent checkout process
Shopping cart examples and best practices
The Oatmeal on what not to do with your shopping cart

Comments
  • Very good (and short) analysis, specially the ones on made.com and groupon. A trendy top tip could be “social proof”.

  • jason

    Thanks Alexis! Yep, social proof is on a lot of people’s lips these days. We’re all very curious to see how ecommerce retailers use it in 2012…

  • Tom

    Do these websites have substantially better (lower) cart abandonment rates than other sites? And are the features called out here the main drivers of that? Implications were not super clear.

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