How to Minimise Browse and Basket Abandonment

Posted by Martina Mercer 25 Mar 14



By now you know the statistics behind cart abandonment, (76% of shoppers abandon baskets, the worst day for basket abandonment is Thursday between 1 and 2pm etc.) these are figures that many eSellers try desperately to change using all manner of strategies to bring the shopper back.

In some cases, browsers simply abandon their carts because they had no intention to buy at all, the internet has taken window shopping a step further by allowing customers to throw virtual items into a virtual basket. It’s a hobby that over 44% of shoppers partake in but this doesn’t mean they can’t be persuaded to buy.

Other shoppers that abandon their baskets do so due to a variety of reasons, many of which can be eliminated with some analysis and action from the eSeller. The biggest deterrents include:

  • Inability to checkout as a guest

  • Poor navigation on site

  • Unexpected charges at checkout

  • Indecision over purchase

  • Belief a better deal maybe found elsewhere

  • Lack of information on product

  • Long delivery times

 While some believe that small changes can’t make too much of a difference the facts show otherwise. For example, As Seen on Stars reported a 50% decrease in cart abandonment after they removed the compulsory registration from their checkout process.

Many add the registration process at checkout as they think this is the only way to gather personal information for email campaigns and analysis. However there is now software that delivers a lot of information about a shopper simply with an email address. This is all you need in the beginning to bring a customer back and it could lower your cart abandonments significantly.

Real Time Marketing

There are ways to urge the browser to buy even if they were determined to abandon their baskets. Software now allows you to personalise pages and appeal to first time shoppers. With this in mind you can offer incredible time sensitive discounts for their first shop encouraging them to checkout within the hour.

Other improvements can be made that are proven to be effective in real time such as:

Adding Information

A product without a description is fine on a High Street shelf. Online it may as well be invisible unless it already has a reputation. Once ignored now eSellers are realising the importance of product descriptions as these go a long way to helping customers over the indecision hurdle. They also remove the need for the shopper to research the product elsewhere. If your browser leaves your site to read reviews from others they may never come back. Make sure you’re the influencer not outside forces you can’t control.

Real Time Chat

Real time chat is an invaluable tool that allows you to answer any concerns while the shoppers on site. It’s proven to be effective and can reduce cart abandonment by up to 25% it can increase the average basket spend and it can turn visitors into loyal customers.

The Statistics

Studies confirm that:

  • 90% of shoppers love live chat

  • 63% will return to a website if they know it have live chat

  • 62% will return and buy

  • 38% of people make a purchase due to the chat when they were just asking a question

There’s no denying that live chat can boost sales and decrease basket abandonment, it can also lower call centre overheads, but what if you don’t have the facility?


On site messages that clearly state delivery times, delivery prices and dates can help remove the un-expectancy when getting to the checkout. Some brands report great success by offering free delivery to those who linger, however as with any marketing strategy the results vary and so this must be monitored to ensure it still turns over a profit.


Discount codes and coupons are an ideal way to bring customers back once they’ve left a site but they can actually be a deterrent for the uncommitted buyer. If they don’t have a code they may leave to try and find one on the web or they may believe they can wait until a better offer comes along.

A way to target this is to offer a code to everyone or remove the code facility altogether.

download Ometria's browse abandonment email cheat sheet


The most common way of combatting basket abandonment is retargeting, sending emails to bring the customers back. This is proven to be effective with 18% of emails sent resulting in a sale while a retargeting email generates on average £3.50 per customer.

There is however a strategy to implement and a window of opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored. As a general rule marketers suggest 3 emails.

Email 1:

This should be sent within hours of abandonment. An offer of help with the first email is usually well received. Ask why they abandoned the cart. Offer solutions to common cart abandonment issues (if you left because you didn’t want to register, sign out as a guest now). Apologise for not meeting the customers need, make a genuine promise to put things right and don’t forget a good call to action.

Email 2:

If email 1 is ignored, try another 24-48 hours later. This is a little bolder. It can follow up in a familiar (but not creepy) way as you’ve already made contact once. This one must have an extra incentive, a reward for coming back, something that seems exclusive. This has been proven to increase conversions by 20%.

Email 3:

Email 3 takes all the incentives you offered in the first two emails and adds a ticking clock to the offer. By making it time sensitive you’re giving the customer a specific time in which to act. This can boost sales by up to 30%.

It’s a fact that very few people buy on their first contact with a business, sometimes it takes six or eight interactions before they buy. With this in mind, basket abandonment shouldn’t be seen as a failure but an opportunity to win more customers that could become loyal for a lifetime.

Triggered email for retailers by Ometria - find out more

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