5 Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment on Shopify

5 Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment on Shopify
Ivan Kreimer Ivan Kreimer Mar 18, 2024 —  8 min read

Do you see customers abandoning shopping carts in your Shopify store? The good news is, you’re not alone.

According to the Baymard Institute, which compared dozens of recent studies on the topic, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70.19%. If we look at different industries the numbers can vary significantly, as Oberlo reports:

Cart abandonment rate by industry, data by Oberlo

Even small decreases in your cart abandonment rate can lead to considerable spikes in your revenue and profit margins without spending a dime on marketing and logistics.

Whatever the reason your visitors abandon their carts, one thing is certain: you can lower your shopping cart abandonment on Shopify with the following five tips:

  1. Use exit-intent popups
  2. Make shipping costs crystal clear
  3. Simplify the checkout experience
  4. Use trust badges and authority signals
  5. Run an abandoned cart email campaign

Ready to learn more about each tactic? Let’s dive right in.

Use exit-intent popups

At Getsitecontrol, we love popups. So much so we built an app to help Shopify entrepreneurs like yourself use them to grow an email list, promote special deals, and, obviously, lower cart abandonment.

As passionate as we are about popups, we could spend thousands of words to show you how you can use them to get more buyers to finish their checkout process.

One particularly effective method is to use exit-intent popups. These are like regular popups that activate when a visitor shows a behavior associated with exiting a page.

Our technology uses several patterns to identify these user behaviors, such as when a mouse pointer drifts to the top of the page, implying the user will either click away or close the tab.

A high-level illustration of how the exit-intent technology works

Here’s how you can use exit-intent popups in your crusade against cart abandonment on Shopify.

First, install a popup app like Getsitecontrol. I know I’m biased, but we are backed up by hundreds of six and seven-figure stores that have used our tool to lower their cart abandonment rates. Better yet, Getsitecontrol has a 14-day free trial, so you have nothing to lose by testing it.

The installation process will only take a few minutes as it requires no coding experience. After installing it, check out our gallery of exit-intent popups and pick a template you like.

Exit-intent popup templates for Shopify, powered by Getsitecontrol

Once you have done that, you will need to personalize the copy and design of the popup.

Since the ultimate goal of an exit-intent popup is to deter a visitor from clicking away from the cart or checkout pages, the first suggestion for you is to incentivize a purchase. That could mean using a discount or coupon, especially for first-time or loyal customers.

Typically, stores will position their discounts using:

  • A percentage-based discount — e.g., “Buy now and get a 10% off your purchase”
  • A dollar-based discount — e.g., “Finish your purchase and get $15 off”
  • Free shipping

Before you add any of these incentives, analyze their financial impact to find the right discount for your margins and average order value.

Another option is to educate them. This is useful when your discounts haven’t worked as well (and have hunted your margins unnecessarily), when you sell complex products that come with a steep learning curve, when you want to remind customers about your USP or alleviate a common concern.

You can also offer help. Your popup could offer the visitor to have a conversation with your customer support team so that the latter erases any doubts and questions.

Learn More: Exit Popups: 5 Ideas to Prevent Page Abandonment

Before publishing the popup on your website, you will need to set up its targeting. One suggestion is to use the following conditions in the Targeting tab of the Getsitecontrol dashboard:

  1. Include field: leave the default value (which is all pages of your store)
  2. Display widget if: Cart items count greater than 0
  3. Start displaying widget: When the user is leaving the website (Exit-intent)

Example of targeting settings for a cart-abandonment popup

This way, you’ll display your exit-intent popup to every visitor who is abandoning your website while having at least one item in their shopping cart.

With all these tips, you will be ready to start using exit-intent popups to lower cart abandonment in your Shopify store in no time.

Make shipping costs crystal clear

Unless you ask your customers directly, you may never know exactly why they leave your store without buying.

But guess what? Thanks to the yearly report by the Baymard Institute, we know why the average online buyer abandons a cart.

Baymard Institute’s yearly report on reasons for cart abandonment

Almost half of the 2,219 respondents said that the main reason why they abandon a cart is due to high unexpected costs. That includes shipping and return fees, taxes, and any other fee associated with a purchase.

The solution? Make any purchase-associated cost crystal clear before they visit the checkout page.

The three largest costs you need to mention on your product page and anywhere else on your site before a visitor ends up on the checkout page are:

  • Shipping costs
  • Return costs
  • Taxes and fees

Casper, the mattress company, adds a clear message below the Add to Cart button about their free shipping and return. What’s more, they add all their cross- and upsells above the button so as not to pressure the customer on the checkout page:

Casper makes their shipping costs and upsell offers crystal clear before a customer starts the checkout process

As I explained in a previous article about the causes of shopping cart abandonment, you want to think about your fees and costs in the following way:

If you decide to buy a t-shirt for $9.99 and you eventually find you have to pay $14.99 due to taxes and shipping fees, you’ll likely be disappointed and leave. Regardless of your desire to buy the t-shirt, your mind had decided that the “fair” price was the initial one. Psychologists call this “price anchoring,” a cognitive bias that makes humans take the initial price presented as the most relevant one. — Ivan Kreimer

(Note: For US companies, the VAT will become a surprise during the checkout, as it varies by state. However, we can assume that’s not an issue for most customers as they are likely used to this fact.)

Simplify the checkout experience

If I had to give you a TL;DR explanation for what a checkout experience is, I’d say it’s “the steps a buyer goes through from the moment they add a product to the cart until they finish purchasing it.”

It’s a simple concept, right?

Unfortunately, some ecommerce stores have decided to add extra steps to this crucial yet basic idea. The most common example is when an online retailer forces buyers to create an account before buying:

Etsy makes it difficult to start the checkout process by forcing customers to create an accountSource: Baymard

The reasons for forcing a potential buyer to create an account are noble, such as:

  • Learning more about their customers
  • Fostering customer loyalty
  • Providing a better shopping experience (or maybe not 🤔)

However, unless a business has run enough tests and developed a strong financial model that justifies forcing account creation, it’s not worth doing so.

The Baymard Institute found it to be the second reason for cart abandonment (“The site wanted me to create an account”). Similarly, the fifth reason is a “Too long / complicated checkout process.”

Here’s a simple checkout process a buyer should take:

  1. Adds a product to the cart and goes to the checkout page
  2. Adds their shipping and payment information, hopefully on the same page
  3. Reviews the previous information and confirms the purchase

After the last step, they should be redirected to a “Thank you” page and receive a confirmation email.

So, here’s your action plan for simplifying your checkout process:

  • If you limit purchases to registered buyers, try removing the restriction for testing purposes
  • Alternatively, give them the option to register and/or log in, but don’t force them
  • If you have more than one page for adding the shipping and payment information, test having both steps on the same page.

Use trust badges and authority signals

With online payment fraud rising across the globe, consumers have many reasons not to trust a website with their credit card information.

According to the Baymard Institute’s survey, 19% of respondents indicated they didn’t finish their purchase because they didn’t trust the store.

From all of the tips in this article, this one is probably the easiest to fix because Shopify offers essential yet crucial security measures like:

  • A safe hosting environment
  • An HTTPS protocol with an SSL certificate
  • Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) accreditation

These solutions are only the beginning. You can make your store even more trustworthy by using trust badges. These are seals that foster trust in your customers by reassuring them about your store’s safety measures.

According to a study done by CXL, the most trusted seals when paying online are Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Norton, and Google.

Trusted seals and badges may help to reduce cart abandonment in your Shopify store

Third-party endorsements from the Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and Google Customer Review badges are also crucial. Considering that these programs require an application and review process, they ratify your business' good standing.

BBB and Google Customer Review badges increase the trust factor for online stores

Last but not least, to reduce cart abandonment on Shopify, you can offer guarantees, such as the popular “money-back” guarantee. These reduce the perceived risk of buying and align your customers’ interests with yours.

Even standard guarantees provided for customers may reduce product page and cart abandonment on Shopify

As a shortcut to this tip, you can install the Free Trust Badge Shopify app to start adding some of these authority seals right away.

Run an abandoned cart email campaign

Let’s imagine you’ve followed all the advice in this article and still the worst-case scenario happens: the visitor leaves your store.

With some of your customers, it will happen inevitably whether or not you’ve implemented the tactics featured above. So, what do you do?

Here’s the last tip: run an email campaign that reminds those visitors who have already created an account with you — or given you their email address before or during the checkout process — to finish the purchase.

Abandoned cart email campaigns are a proven way to recover abandoned carts on Shopify or any other platform

As Charlene Boutin explains in our article about writing epic abandoned cart emails:

The abandonment cart email is a friendly reminder for your customers that you are still holding their item for them in your cart. Those who were just browsing and weren’t ready to buy will often forget about the purchase entirely, so a quick reminder is sometimes enough to get them over the fence. – Charlene Boutin

Cart abandonment email campaigns work, according to Moosend:

  • More than 40% of abandoned cart emails get opened by the recipients
  • 21% of opened cart abandonment emails get click-throughs
  • 50% of clicks generate purchases.

Your cart abandonment email campaign should include at least one email. However, it’s even better if you develop a campaign that includes several emails sent over seven days.

In each email, use different angles as the campaign progresses:

  • Simplicity: Gently remind them of the product they left in the cart
  • Urgency: Highlight scarcity of stock and/or price
  • Incentive: Give them a discount or coupon


With all of the cart abandonment stats we shared in this article, we wanted to make it clear that this issue is a fact for any online retailer. The question is not how you can avoid it altogether but how you can lower it to the minimum.

So, let’s do a quick recap. Here are the tactics that will help you reduce cart abandonment in your Shopify store:

  • Leverage exit-intent popups
  • Mention all your shipping and return costs before the checkout page and, if possible, clarify any potential extra cost as well
  • Make your checkout experience minimalistic
  • Add trust badges and any other authority signal you can to your product and checkout pages
  • Use a cart abandonment email campaign

Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.

You're reading Getsitecontrol blog where marketing experts share proven tactics to grow your online business. This article is a part of Ecommerce marketing section.

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