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Reducing Cart Abandonment by Building Trust

Posted on 7.20.2014

By Will Devlin, ShopVisible


Shopping cart abandonment has caused many a sleepless night for e-commerce managers. For good reason, nearly seven out of 10 shoppers abandon their carts with products in them. Why? Your online shopper has spent time browsing your site, clicking through your products, selecting specifics, and made the all-important click that says, “I want to buy this product!” So what gives them cold feet at the last minute? 

It’s simple --- they are still not quite sure about you. Even if you have a well-known brand, many people are still suspicious about shopping online. Online shoppers want to know their data is safe, that they are not being ripped off, and that all their questions are answered. Remember, a large number of your visitors will be first-time shoppers, and there are others from a generation who did not grow up shopping on the Internet. For them the Internet can be scary, dangerous, and full of risks. 

How do you gain their trust? The following three tips can help your customers overcome these doubts and feel more confident in buying from you. 

1. Display the true total and expected delivery.

Describe shipping costs up front. The longer you wait to share shipping costs the more damaging the potential surprise. 

Allow users to calculate tax, shipping, and discounts right in the cart so that there are no surprises at checkout.

Shoppers should be able to edit their cart easily, updating quantity, size, color and/or removing items altogether to avoid frustration.

Shipping times should also be displayed along with the rates – it’s important shoppers know how long their order will take.

2. Demonstrate security and enlist trust.

Display security icons, return/privacy policies, and contact information. Even for major retailers, letting people know their information will be secure is a must.

Clearly state return and shipping policies, price-match guidelines, and privacy policies. Make these links more visible in the cart than on other areas of the site.

Give shoppers peace of mind by letting them know how to contact you should they have any questions or concerns. Most won’t take you up on it, but knowing you’ll be there if they need you puts them more at ease. 

Include phone number, email address, contact form link, and/or live chat button.

3. Clearly display product information – again.

This is a final checkpoint before someone enters checkout, so they’ll want to make sure their order is correct.

Items in the cart should be clearly displayed, along with any customization or option-level information, like size and color, plus the quantity being ordered, at the right price.

A thumbnail of the item they’re ordering should also be present. It’s especially helpful if the image matches the style of product that’s in the cart (so a T-Shirt in red should display a picture of that T-Shirt in red, not the default image for that T-Shirt, which may be another color).

While some customers may decide not to buy the product based on the price or some other factor, following this advice will give them a good shopping experience and a reason to return to your site in the future.  Who knows, they may even give you a glowing testimonial which can help others overcome the same fears.


As senior marketing manager, Will Devlin is responsible for the creation, execution and follow-through of marketing programs that support the growth goals and objectives. He is responsible for conceiving and executing strategy, marketing plans, and operational best practices for ShopVisible clients, helping them use the ecommerce platform to grow their business.

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