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“Add to Cart”: Why your Favorite CTA isn’t Enough

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Your eCommerce website endures its fair share of ups and downs. Just when you think a user is about to complete a high-value order – right when your heart is racing and your hopes are high – they walk away.

Their products were right there in the bag and you thought that sale was in the bag, too. So, why is your shopping cart abandonment rate so high? Try not to give up on your eCommerce dreams just yet.

There are things you can do to improve your cart abandonment rate, so you’re not feeling so let-down so often.


Did you know that the estimated rate of users closing their shopping cart before completing a purchase is as high as 78%?!

They browse, they fall in love, they almost commit – and then they put your products right back on their virtual shelf.

I know how frustrated you are. Maybe you’ve accepted that the “add to cart” button doesn’t always equal a sale. Maybe you’re scratching your head for ways to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate.

Hopefully you fall into the second category and you’re ready to solve the mystery, because it’s time to analyze your eCommerce website and work out where you’re going wrong. While not everything is under your control (you can’t help it if a customer decides they no longer need your product), there are some actionable ways to increase the conversion rate of actual sales.

add to cart
Make your “Add to Cart” CTA more likely to lead to a sale

Boost your eCommerce Website Speed

Online shopping sites are only as good as the speed they run. Potential buyers are almost definitely going to abandon their cart if they can’t complete their desired action fast enough. Shoppers have limited time and limited patience, so they’re not about to stick around if your site speed isn’t up to scratch.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get an analysis on your speed performance, so you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure you’re moving at the rapid pace of the eCommerce industry. (FYI: the majority of people only wait 3 seconds for a page to load before they leave.)

In the same line of thought, regularly test your website to make sure it’s working properly. Any error codes, missing fields or confusing pop-ups will mean saying goodbye to a large portion of your customers.

Don’t Ask Too Many Questions

Try to limit the number of fields that you ask your customer to fill out before they can make their final purchase. No one likes excessive data entry, so consider your forms carefully before uploading them to your site, and you could see your conversion rate increase.

You don’t need to spend an extra dollar on your eCommerce marketing with this tip, but you could see a simple change make a big difference. You should aim for the entire check-out process to be able to be complete within 3-5 steps, but the shorter, the better, as a general rule.

Try giving the customer progress indicators so they know they haven’t got a long process ahead of them. Amazon even offers one-click shopping, so take a leaf out of their book and make it even easier for people to buy from you.

Simplify your Checkout

Offer a streamlined process to make that final hurdle before a sale easier to cross. You should give your customers the opportunity to create an account, where they can store their address, payment details and other information on your server.

This way, customers can pay in just one step and are more likely to return to you for repeat purchases, rather than head to another site where they’ll have to register their details again. That said, don’t make it compulsory for visitors to create an account as this can act as a barrier for some people – just make it an option.


Offer an Incentive

Give your window shoppers a good reason to place an order. Incentives should be instant and tangible, like money off their order or free shipping. Don’t give them the chance to mull over this for too long, though – ensure that your offer is only on the table for a limited time to encourage them to hurry up and complete a sale!

You could also consider a loyalty scheme to keep people coming back, or a one-off payment that gets users free express shipping for an entire year. In short, make your eCommerce website more irresistible than your competitors’.

Give your customers an offer they can’t refuse but encourage them to make a quick purchase. Site: prettylittlething.com.au

Feel free to place a customer testimonial in the sidebar of your checkout page to keep motivation to buy high and minimize shopping cart abandonment.


Users are becoming more aware about the security of the websites they’re using, especially where their bank details are involved. This means that you absolutely have to make shoppers feel comfortable, or they will leave your site without question. Google penalizes any site without an HTTPS encryption, so be prepared so you don’t scare your visitors away.

Your online shopping site should display HTTPS, rather than HTTP, or your users will see a “not secure” warning. The good news is, this is easy enough to rectify and just requires that you have an SSL certificate.


Have you ever gone to make a purchase, only to realize you don’t know enough about the product? An image isn’t enough, and neither is a good eCommerce marketing strategy that contains all the right keywords.

Secure that all-important final click on your “Place Order” CTA by telling a user everything they might need to know. This should include information about the material of their product, your returns policy, privacy policy and a size guide. This information will vary depending on your industry.

Don’t leave any questions unanswered when it comes to product information. Site: asos.com

WorldPay found that the number 1 reason for shopping cart abandonment is extra costs, coming in at 56% of all results. Make sure you’re transparent from the start about shipping costs, taxes and any other fees so that customers don’t discover them at the shopping bag stage, and then leave.

Offer Options for Payment

Keep online payments simple and consider your options to ensure your customers can select their preferred payment method. Though the majority of people will pay by card, give them options like AfterPay, PayPal and other third-party transaction methods.

Give the power to your customer and offer more flexibility to positively influence their decision to buy and reduce shopping cart abandonment. Don’t forget: trust is the most important factor when it comes to asking for someone’s bank account details.

You could even give users the opportunity to “save for later”. This may seem counterintuitive, but it allows customers to use their shopping cart as a wish list and makes it easier to funnel them into a sale further down the line.

Remarket Like a Pro

There are many reasons a potential customer might abandon their cart. (Perhaps they were browsing online shopping sites at work and their boss happened to walk by…) Don’t let them forget about their purchase by using smart remarketing techniques.

This is a major part of eCommerce marketing that many online retailers get wrong. Send friendly reminders or even a follow-up email to let them know that the items in their cart are still waiting for them. You could see an Impress!ve™ return with this strategy, so we highly recommend giving it a go.

Make sure you send any emails within a few hours, to reel a customer back in. According to Conversion, 65% of customers that receive a reminder within 12 hours are likely to return to make a purchase. Take this golden window of opportunity and run with it.


No one likes filling out forms, so make the process as enjoyable as possible for your customers. Make your brand more personal by including conversational factors as your customer works through the payment process. You can do this with text like “Great! Where shall we send your order?” to make the experience a little more enjoyable.

Give some thought to the links and CTAs used in the cart, too. Use prominent calls-to-action so it’s clear what the user should do next and avoid placing too many links that take the user away from their cart. This commonly happens when online retailers suggest related products, which often just ends up diverting their customers’ attention.

Offering customer support in the form of an online chat can be a good way to retain those customers that may have otherwise left due to confusion or questions about their order.

Don’t be afraid to stand out and make regular form-filling more enjoyable. Site: threadless.com

Don’t let shopping cart abandonment get you down. Implement these simple changes and watch that “Add to cart” CTA become more than just a hope of a sale – watch it lead to the final, all-important “Place order” click and watch your eCommerce site grow with it.

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