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Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is a real issue. According to Baymard Institute, 69.57% of online shopping carts are abandoned (source).

If you look online you’ll find a whole range of solutions to fix cart abandonment issue.

Spoiler: none of these suggestions will give you the impact you are looking for.

But before I share my suggestion I’d like to list the suggestions people give:

— Capture the email address so you can send an abandoned cart discount code.

— Make the coupon code section on cart 🛒 page more visible.

— Add assurance messaging on the cart page. Things like: “30-day returns” “5,600 happy customers”, etc.

— Simplify checkout design.

The Truth About Shopping Cart Abandonment

People add to their shopping carts because they can. Clicking Add to Cart button on the product isn’t expensive, it’s free, so most click it even when they weren’t going to buy.

Shopper Motivation

The motivation level of a shopper who clicks Add to Cart button is pretty low. So why do we assume showing them a coupon code on the cart page will magically make them buy? Why do we assume simplifying the layout of the checkout will drive more completed sales? They won’t.

We don’t buy when our motivation level isn’t high enough.

Shopping Cart Abandonment and Motivation Levels

Think of shopper motivation as a scale from 0 to 10.

0 is no motivation. 10 is complete motivation.

People who enter your site will likely have a motivation of 3– interested but not totally sold.

If they meet a relatively good product page sales pitch it will raise their motivation to 5.

5 is the minimum level needed to generate an Add to Cart button click.


Add to Cart button takes this visitor to your cart page. So far so good.

But to get them to pull out their credit card 💳 we need motivation level 8.

You could increase their motivation level on the cart page by giving an extra discount, true, but at what cost? Cost explained in the section below👇

Bribing With Discounts

It’s true, getting the cart page shopper to enter their email ID and then sending an email with a discount code is a one way to improve conversion rates.

But how likely is this discount-obsessed shopper to buy a second time without another discount bribe?

Probably not a lot.

There Is a Better Way to Solve the Shopping Cart Abandonment

Let’s get back to the core idea— increasing the motivation level of the shopper. In our theoretical model, we know the motivation of 5 is good enough to get the shopper to the cart page but not enough to generate a sale.

So here’s a better idea: rewrite your product page description so it raises the motivation level to 8. Do that and we don’t have to rely on any discounting gimmick.

We’ve written an article that talks about how to write your product page description so it appeals to the psychology of your shopper. It’s a must-read. Here it is Conversion Copywriting: Strategies That Will Make You $$$.

About Us (Frictionless Commerce)

We deliver an unfair advantage to technical product DTC brands (for example, Dyson) by improving advertising effectiveness by 20% in 90 days. This is achieved using a buyer psychology conversion copywriting framework. All paid traffic eventually reaches the product page and this is where we strike. Our process.

If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.

If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.


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