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11 Smart Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment and Increase Sales in Dropshipping

Profile picture of Nedina Gjorgjieva
Nedina Gjorgjieva
26th June, 2024
10 minutes

Starting a dropshipping business can be thrilling, yet facing high cart abandonment rates can quickly dampen that excitement. 

It's a common headache: customers browse, add items to their cart, but vanish before completing the purchase. 

Statistics show that the average cart abandonment worldwide has reached up to 70% in 2024. 

Statistic: Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide between 2006 to 2024 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

This phenomenon not only impacts your sales but also signals missed opportunities to connect with potential customers. 

In this article, we’ll dive into practical tips and strategies that can help transform those almost-sales into successful transactions.

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Avoid unexpected hidden costs

One of the quickest ways to see a potential sale evaporate is through the unwelcome surprise of hidden costs. 

We’ve all been there—getting to the checkout only to find out that shipping, taxes, and other fees have bumped up the total cost. 

Not surprisingly, Statista highlights that over 40% of online shoppers bail on their carts when shipping costs spike unexpectedly.

You’ve got a couple of smart options to prevent these cart abandonments. 

First up, transparency is key. Make sure you lay out all additional costs early in the shopping process. When customers know what to expect, they’re less likely to back out at the last minute.

Alternatively, you can weave the cost of shipping into your product prices. This approach lets you flaunt ‘free shipping’—a powerful incentive for online buyers. 

Cut the lengthy checkout process

A lengthy and complex checkout process can be a major inconvenience, especially for those shopping on the move via mobile devices. 

With mobile commerce (mCommerce) expected to make up a whopping 63% of all eCommerce sales in the US, optimizing your checkout process for mobile users isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s crucial.

Here’s how you can optimize your checkout process:

Make it mobile-friendly: Ensure your website design is responsive and mobile-friendly. Make sure buttons are easy to tap, text is readable without zooming in, and navigation is straightforward.

Speed it up: Time is of the essence. Optimize your site’s loading speeds to keep your mobile shoppers happy and reduce bounce rates. Fast loading times are essential for keeping potential buyers engaged during the checkout process.

Simplify the steps: Every additional step in the checkout process increases the chance of abandonment. Evaluate your current process and eliminate any unnecessary steps. Keep it simple—ask only for essential information and minimize the hoops your customers need to jump through.

Visual progress indicators: Add a progress bar or clear visual indicators at each step of the checkout process. This helps customers know exactly how far along they are and how many steps they have left, reducing frustration and giving a sense of achievement as they near completion.

Don’t ask for a mandatory user account

Nothing puts off a potential customer faster than forcing them to create an account just to make a purchase. 

As mentioned above, your customers expect a checkout process that’s quick and hassle-free. Requiring a mandatory user account can significantly bump up your cart abandonment rates.

Here’s a more user-friendly approach:

Offer guest checkout: Allow customers to complete their purchases with a ‘Checkout as Guest’ option. This eliminates the barrier of account creation and speeds up the checkout process, catering to those who are in a hurry or just testing the waters with your brand.

Encourage account creation post-purchase: Instead of forcing account creation upfront, invite customers to create an account after they’ve completed their purchase. This can be a softer sell, especially if you offer them some benefits for doing so, like quicker future checkouts, order tracking, or special discounts.

Autofill for ease: To make the post-purchase account creation even more appealing, use the shipping and billing information they’ve already entered during checkout to autofill the registration form. This small convenience can make the decision to register seem less daunting and more beneficial.

Ensure secure payment options

Although shopping online is becoming an increasing factor in our lives, some people are still reluctant to give their credit card details away when paying in online stores as they perceive it as unsafe. 

In other words, when your potential customers are concerned about the safety of their personal or credit card information for one reason or another, it tends to have a dramatic effect on their trust in your store and brand. 

In fact, according to a survey, the reason for 40% of cart abandonments is that the payment method they prefer wasn’t offered on the website.

To ease these fears and secure your customer’s trust, here’s how you can make your payment process watertight and trustworthy:

Highlight secure payment standards: Emphasize secure payment practices: Begin by securing each transaction on your website with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. This security measure encrypts information transmitted between your customer’s browser and your site, protecting sensitive data such as credit card numbers from unauthorized access.

Promote PCI Compliance: Use a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant payment gateway. This standard is mandatory for all entities that store, process, or transmit payment card information.

Implement 3D secure authentication: Incorporate 3D Secure (Three Domain Secure) technology. This is an additional authentication step for online payments that involves three parties: the merchant, the bank that issued the card, and the payment processor. This system adds an extra layer of security by requiring the customer to verify their identity with their card issuer through a code sent to their phone or email.

Offer various payment options: Providing multiple payment options can cater to the preferences of different customers, thus reducing the chances of them abandoning their cart due to their preferred payment method not being available.

Allow more shipping options

Customers often need different shipping methods to align with their timelines, particularly as they navigate last-minute purchases.

Research indicates that 22% of potential buyers abandon their shopping carts if the delivery times are too long.

While many customers balk at the cost of standard shipping, you’d be surprised how many are open to paying a premium for faster delivery.

To be specific, according to Business Wire, up to 65% of shoppers are willing to pay extra for express shipping which ensures their items arrive more quickly.

To cater to all customer preferences, your store should always include multiple shipping methods, from cost-effective standard options to quicker, premium express services. 

This flexibility can dramatically decrease cart abandonment rates by accommodating the diverse needs and last-minute demands of your customers.

Offer a clear and straightforward return policy

Having a clear and easily accessible returns is crucial in reassuring customers and encouraging purchases. 

Over 80% of shoppers (Emarketer) check the return policy before finalizing a purchase, especially since shopping online where they can’t physically inspect the items. 

Ensure your return policy is easy to find, such as in your website’s footer or prominently featured on the checkout page. This transparency helps alleviate any apprehensions customers might have about the commitment of their purchase.

Your return policy should also be consistent with that of your dropshipping supplier to avoid conflicts and confusion. If your supplier offers a 14-day return window, mirror this timeframe in your store’s policy. 

reduce abandonment cart

Improve website performance

Optimizing your website’s performance is crucial for keeping potential customers from bouncing before they complete their purchases. A slow-loading page can frustrate shoppers and significantly increase cart abandonment rates. 

Here’s how you can boost your site’s performance:

  • Optimize images and videos: Large media files can drag down your site’s speed. Ensure all images and videos are compressed without sacrificing quality.
  • Minimize HTTP requests: Reduce the number of elements on your page to decrease the load time. Simplify your design by merging files like scripts and CSS.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN): CDNs distribute the load, saving bandwidth and speeding up access for users far from the server.
  • Check web hosting: Sometimes the solution is as simple as upgrading your hosting plan. More resources mean more speed, especially during high-traffic times.

Create a better shopping experience

Creating a shopping experience that customers enjoy can significantly decrease the likelihood of them leaving without completing their purchase.

  • Intuitive navigation: Ensure that your store is easy to browse. Clear categories, a search bar with auto-complete, and a well-structured layout can help customers find what they need quickly.
  • Quality product descriptions: Provide detailed descriptions and high-quality images. Include information like dimensions, materials, care instructions, and user reviews to help buyers make informed decisions.
  • Mobile optimization: With a significant amount of shopping done via mobile devices, ensure your site is fully optimized for mobile. This means large buttons, accessible menus, and responsive design.
  • Live chat support: Implement live chat so customers can get immediate answers to their questions. This can resolve doubts quickly, preventing cart abandonment.

Work on retargeting customers

Retargeting is a powerful tool to bring back customers who didn’t complete their purchase. 

  • Email retargeting: Send friendly reminders to customers who have items in their cart. Customize these emails with details of the products they’ve abandoned, and perhaps offer a small discount or free shipping to sweeten the deal.
  • Display retargeting: Use display ads to retarget visitors on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Showcase the products they viewed or added to their cart with a compelling call to action.
  • Personalized offers: Analyze the customer’s browsing and shopping history to create personalized offers that are hard to refuse. If they were looking at a specific product range, offer them a discount related to their interests.
  • Urgency and scarcity: Implement tactics such as showing a limited stock for the items they are interested in or time-limited discount codes to create urgency.

Implement exit-intent offers

Exit-intent offers can be a game-changer in reducing cart abandonment rates by catching customers just as they’re about to leave your site. 

This technology triggers a last-minute offer or message when the system detects the user’s intent to exit, providing an incentive to stay and complete the purchase. 

This could include presenting a pop-up with a last-minute deal. For example, offer a discount code that applies directly to their cart. This tactic not only adds value but also addresses the common hesitation related to final costs.

Offer ‘Save for later’ option

Online shoppers often take their time to compare prices and products across various platforms before making a purchase. 

This detailed research is facilitated by the wealth of information available online but can lead to a high rate of cart abandonment.

They might be comparing your prices and products with those on other sites, or simply contemplating the necessity of the purchase.

By integrating a ‘Save for Later’ feature, you empower customers to store their favorite items without commitment, enhancing user experience by accommodating their need to shop around. 

This feature acts as a gentle nudge to customers, reminding them of items they considered but weren’t ready to buy immediately.

reduce abandonment cart

Final thoughts

As you can see, there can be many reasons why dropshipping cart abandonment can occur in your dropshipping store. 

By implementing the strategies discussed—from simplifying the checkout process and offering flexible payment options to engaging customers with exit-intent offers—you set the stage for a more seamless shopping experience. 

With these tips, you’re well on your way to transforming potential sales losses into successful conversions and long-term customer relationships. 


Cart abandonment happens when customers place products in their online shopping cart but leave the site without finalizing the purchase.

Common reasons for cart abandonment include unexpected shipping costs, a complex checkout process, mandatory account creation, and concerns about payment security.

To reduce cart abandonment:

    • streamline the checkout process

    • Improve site speed

    • offer multiple payment and shipping options

    • implement exit-intent offers

    • optimize the mobile shopping experience.

To find your cart abandonment rate, divide the total number of completed purchases by the total number of shopping carts initiated, then multiply this number by 100 to convert it into a percentage.

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