It’s now more important than ever to optimize your conversion funnels, since shopping cart abandonment is on the rise. Even the most optimized processes are seeing increases in bounces according to Forrester. Online shoppers will continue to make educated decisions to find the best value. Tools such as comparison features and rating systems are a great customer experience, but they are also leading to increase shopping cart abandonment in search for the “best price”.

Forrester’s recent study, “Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment”, found 88% of consumers have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing the transaction.

Top 5 reasons consumers leave their shopping cart?

  • Cost of shipping (44%)
  • Unprepared to purchase (41%)
  • Price-checking (27%)
  • Price too high (25%)
  • Wanted to save products for later (24%)

What this research indicates is that these reasons are behavioral, and tuning the website to make the checkout process smoother is only part of the answer.

The other area to look at is what you can do to recover abandoned shopping carts. Following up on abandoned shopping carts enables you to tackle the bigger behavioral issues. These consumers are your best prospects, because they are very targeted and they have almost purchased.

You can see some dramatic results by reactivating consumers that have just left your shopping cart in the following ways:

  • Triggered Email Campaigns – Abandonment triggered emails consistently produce high results. The content of this email ideally should be tested to optimize the timing and cost to win-back the customer. Incentives such as coupons, discounts and free shipping are often used, but don’t neglect to test a customer service message to help with the check-out process.
  • Behavioral Targeting –  Targeting website content is a subtle way to use customer behavior as an insight to push targeted content to them on your website. is the master of this technique, and often creates a better user experience for their audience.
  • Re-marketing Adword Campaigns – Google is helping marketers with this task through re-marketing AdWords within the Google Content Network. For example, if you’re a search advertiser, you can use re-marketing to create an integrated campaign strategy. After driving traffic to your site with search ads, you can then re-market to those users who reach your site by showing them tailored ads on sites throughout the Google Content Network.

The above list is not inclusive, it is a good place to start. It is also helpful to utilize proven best practices for good user interface design throughout the shopping cart experience. A heuristic evaluation, also known as an expert review, is one of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to improve the shopping cart experience.

Most importantly, do not forget to measure your success!