Cart Abandonment and WooCommerce

Introduction to Cart Abandonment

Imagine you are in a shopping center. You fill your shopping cart up with stuff; shampoo, a couple of birthday cards, a book. But then something happens—perhaps you are called away to an emergency—and you decide to abandon your shopping cart in the middle of the store.

While most people would only abandon their shopping cart in a physical store for a serious reason, in eCommerce, cart abandonment is quite common. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate for 2015 is 68%, according to the Baymard Institute.

Many factors are thought to cause cart abandonment. This post will focus on three of the things you can do to minimise the friction in your checkout process, as a WooCommerce store owner.

Factors That Create Friction for Customers During Checkout

Overly Complicated Checkouts

One of the most significant causes of cart abandonment is overly complicated checkouts. In fact, 25% of online shoppers leave without purchasing because website navigation is too complicated.

One of the best ways to ensure your website navigation is more usable is to implement a linear checkout process. Each step in the checkout process should be sequential. The customer should not be taken sideways and then redirected back into the checkout funnel.

non linear checkout


Image Source: Baymard Institute


Distracting your customers can also cause cart abandonment. There are enough distractions outside your control—a ringing phone, a needy pet—without creating new ones.

For example, if you direct customers away from the checkout process so that they can read your terms and conditions, you may just lose the sale.

No Guest Checkout

Not everyone who comes to your store wants to become a member or register an account. Perhaps they really are just a one-time buyer. Or maybe they are overwhelmed with the number of passwords they already have to remember.

Either way, don’t force the issue. While it’s ideal for the customer to register, it’s not essential for making the sale. Enabling guest checkout will help you lower your cart abandonment rate.

WooCommerce Extensions That Can Help You Streamline Checkout

Store owners who are using WooCommerce have a range of options and extensions they can consider for simplifying their checkout process and reducing cart abandonment in their store.

Guest Checkout and Social Login

Allowing for guest checkout is easy with WooCommerce, it’s a functionality that is built into the core product. All you need to do is enable guest checkout in your settings, as explained by this WooThemes documentation.

Enable guest checkout setting in WooCommerce

Another way to reduce friction is to allow customers to login using their social media accounts, which you can do with SkyVerge’s WooCommerce Social Login extension. Customers will be able to log into your site using Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, PayPal or Instagram.

Social Login is a great alternative. It means that you might gain a regular customer out of someone who is reluctant to register an additional account, but is happy to shop more than once at your store.

Terms and Conditions Popup

As mentioned above, you want to minimise the distractions for the customer as they are checking out.

Patrick Rauland has created the WooCommerce Terms and Conditions Popup extension, which allows you to display your terms and conditions to the customer in a pop up window, rather than directing the customer away from the checkout funnel.

This extension will help you avoid two causes of cart abandonment: distraction; and non-linear checkout process.

One Page Checkout

One of the easiest ways to force yourself to simplify your checkout is to implement a single page checkout process.

WooCommerce One Page Checkout (built by Prospress) allows you to implement a one-page checkout process on any page in your store. You can use this extension to allow customers to complete their purchase directly from a special landing page you have created for a particular promotion or product.

It’s very difficult to have a non-linear checkout process when the whole thing happens on a single page.

Three Problems, Three Solutions

While there are a many other causes for cart abandonment, the three outlined above are things that you can easily do something about.

There is no need lose genuine customers through unusable checkout design, unnecessary distractions, or by making them do things they don’t want to do.


Featured Image Source: r nail bradshaw, flickr (resized)


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3 responses to Cart Abandonment and WooCommerce

  1. Richard

    Great article,very helpful. I think we are all guilty of cart abandonment, I know I am, hopefully sites that are selling things online will get the messsge.

  2. Weekly Roundup: March 20, 2015 – Sell with WP

    […] for eCommerce stores, and represents lost revenue that many stores try to save. Prospress has an overview of cart abandonment causes, as well as some WooCommerce extensions that can help to mitigate […]

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