Online retail is rapidly expanding and is expected to become a $1.5 trillion industry this year.

Cart abandonment is cutting into profits for retailers, as 68% of carts are left behind before the purchase is complete. 

While retailers can do little about some of the motives, they can ensure that the abandonment rates are kept to a minimum. 

Here’s how… 

Cart abandonment is an all too familiar problem for online retailers worldwide. Shoppers visit their site, look around, add a few products to their cart, and then leave without completing their purchase.

Some 75% of abandoners return and are therefore more likely to complete their transaction. Returning is a good sign because shoppers who have abandoned their carts more than once have a 48% rate of being recovered, compared to 18% of first time abandoners.

There are myriad reasons why 68% of shoppers abandon their carts. Their rationale for leaving might be complex, but the impact is not.

Global retailers are losing $3 trillion in sales each year from cart abandonment alone. If retailers are able to make check out secure, consistent, and appealing, then they can convert warm leads into customers.

Recapturing buyers is essential because once you’ve got them, it’s easier to get them to make future purchases. Existing customers are up to 14 times more likely to make another purchase, when compared to first time buyers.

On average they also spend more than twice what new customers do.

Price sensitivity is common among consumers, so it makes sense that three out of the top five reasons for cart abandonment are price related.

Here are our top strategies for preventing and reducing cart abandonment:

1. Retarget shoppers with timely reminder emails and ads

The first 12 hours after a shopper abandons their cart are crucial because approximately 72% will return to complete their purchase within 12 to 24 hours.

Retailers can successfully get abandoners to come back with reminder emails, and coupons are also a great incentive.

Ads are also effective because by utilizing cookies, retailers can have their ads pop up after the shopper has left the page without completing the transaction.

2. Be transparent about shipping costs and time

No one likes unexpected costs tacked on at the end, nor does anyone like waiting a long time to receive their order.

Online retailers can cut down on abandoners by being upfront about shipping times and costs. Offering free and quick delivery is always a great way to persuade shoppers to convert to customers.

3. Don’t forget about existing customers

Returning customers are up to 14 times more likely to make a purchase and their purchases are generally double the amount compared to first time buyers.

Make them a primary marketing target.

4. Optimize for mobile

Mobile sales are skyrocketing: they increased by 63% in 2013.

Retailers must take the design of their site into consideration because shoppers have high expectations for the mobile shopping experience.

5. Redesign your checkout process

Shoppers don’t want to have to go through eight different steps to make a purchase. They want it to be easy and quick. Simple is always better.

6. Provide ample product information

Product information should be clearly presented to shoppers. They shouldn’t have to dig, because if they have to search for it, it is easy for them to hop on to another site to make the purchase.