Avoid Surprises and Reduce Cart Abandonment

Reduce Cart Abandonment With No Surprises

When we bought our house a couple of years ago, we inherited a pond and a bunch of goldfish. They kind of look like koi fish but they are essentially giant goldfish.

The prior owners had a parrot, fish, and all sorts of garden gnomes and wind chimes.  When we bought the house we never really discussed the animals. So when we closed, we weren’t sure what was being left behind.

Cart Abandonment Shopping Ecommerce

I’m not a bird guy and suddenly I got nervous that I was possibly going to be a parrot owner. I wasn’t even sure how I would get rid of a parrot if I didn’t want one.

Luckily the bird went with them and the goldfish and pond stayed with me.  I love the pond.  I always wanted one growing up.

I remember watching those G I Joe commercials and seeing the figurines in these creeks and water settings.


I always wished I had a pond or creek when I was young. Growing up in Miami it’s not common place.

Ponds are considered mosquito pits and creeks just don’t happen here. My daughters aren’t impressed with our pond now so it’s become my responsibility.

The Abandoned Cart Setup

The other day I was out feeding the fish.  I noticed the water was extremely low.   This happens in summer as it gets incredibly hot and the water evaporates quickly.  I had just filled it a couple of days earlier though.  I figured I would check the filter in the back.

Abandoning Cart Shopping Online

Turns out, it was shooting water out the back of the pond. The seal was old and I needed a new ring for the pump.

I took down the model number and popped it in to google to find the replacement somewhere online.

The Internet is amazing.

The fact that I can find the replacement ring using my phone before I had even walked back inside is awesome.

I found it on a pond supply store and the.  The best part was, it was only $6.00.


A cheap fix.

Finally some good luck around the house.

I added it to the cart and proceeded to checkout. I filled out all the standard billing and shipping info and WHAM.

There it was. The dreaded hidden shipping cost.

 $13   WTF

The O-ring costs $6 and the shipping was $13.

Come on.

And just like that I left the site.

Abandoned cart.

They blew it. This was just dumb.

Either they were trying to “bait and switch” me or more likely it’s just poor disclosure.

 You can’t surprises people at the most crucial point of their shopping experience.  

Surprise = Cart Abandonment

They Lost The Sale

I ended up buying from another site but I can’t stress this enough.

I look at the traffic on my wife’s site quite often. I like to see where people are coming from but more importantly what they are doing.

This is how I was able to see that her about page was a great place to collect more emails

 More importantly, I could see that a ton of people were looking at her returns policy and shipping pages.  This makes sense.

Disclose And Avoid Abandoned Carts

People don’t like surprises when they are shopping online. I told my wife that I thought she needed to add the information in some more prominent places.

After looking around online we decided the best bet would be to add it to all product pages. It’s not overwhelming but now on every product page under the “add to cart” button there it is.


We added two simple sentences that I felt answered people’s basic questions.

All purchases can be returned within 15 days and all shipping for items over 100 ship for free in the U.S.  Under that ship for $6.

Simple and to the point. Both sentences have links to the full pages to get more details.

Within 2 weeks of being up in the site, it was clear it was working.

Her conversion rate increased by 2 tenths of a percent.  While this seems like a small amount, it’s all a numbers game.

With the 7500 or so visitors she gets a month at this point, this equates to another 15 sales.

We’ll take it.

Don’t Ignore The Facts

The numbers didn’t lie.  It was there in my face.

People had concerns and once we started addressing them up front, it reduced the amount of abandoned carts.

On every product page she had addressed peoples concerns up front.  In return, she increased sales.

Now her concerns are not necessarily your shoppers concerns.  Maybe people want to know about the product.  You know your product best.

What kind of questions are you asked from buyers?  If they are asking by email you can bet twice if not more online want to know but are not asking.

Address concerns and disclosure up front and avoid cart abandonment.

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