8 UX Fixes To Reduce Abandoned Magento Shopping Carts

You’ve created a beautiful eCommerce website with a brilliant product your visitors fall in love with. You’ve done everything right – your sales copy is well written and convincing, and it encourages visitors to add products to their cart. However, when you look at your stats, you’ve got a high rate of abandoned shopping carts. Why? What went wrong?

If this is your experience, you’re not alone. Thousands of eCommerce websites experience a sharp drop-off during the first step of the checkout process. According to KissMetrics, this drop-off is caused by disconnects in the user experience.

Here’s what you can do to improve your user experience and encourage customers to complete their purchase:

1. Minimize clickable options (like full navigation)

Consistent navigation throughout all your web pages provides a seamless user experience. However, as with sales pages, full navigation becomes a distraction during the checkout process.

Your visitors may not be looking for a way out, but when they notice clickable options, they may want to explore. When a visitor leaves the checkout process to wander around, they’re more likely to abandon your website entirely.

Unfortunately, even when a wandering visitor comes back later to complete their purchase, their exit still registers as an abandoned shopping cart.

The checkout process should support the visitor’s commitment to buy from start to finish. It should keep the visitor engaged in the checkout process.

The process should keep your visitors moving toward entering their payment information without any distractions along the way. Any options to make changes (like adding items or changing quantities) should be made possible within the shopping cart, so there’s no reason to provide full site navigation during the checkout process.

2. Ask for payment information in the right order

If you haven’t provided the customer with shipping options and a grand total, it’s not time to ask for their billing information. Customers want to know their total before entering their billing address and credit card number. You can write copy that informs visitors their card won’t be billed until they finalize their order on the next page, but they’re still going to be nervous about hitting that “next” button.

3. Use a progress indicator

How many steps are in your checkout process? Three? Ten? Even if your process is short, it’s a good idea to add a progress indicator to the top of the page. Visitors like to know where they are in the checkout process, so they know there’s an end in sight.

Your shopping cart theme probably comes with a progress indicator already, but if not, it’s easy to add one. To add a progress indicator, you need a set of graphics that represent each step, with a transparent background. Any graphic designer with basic skills can create these for you. For example, if your checkout process has three steps, you need a set of three images – one for each step.

One thing a progress indicator can’t do is make an exceptionally long checkout process seem shorter. If your checkout process has more than five steps, it’s probably too long.

To shorten the process, see if you can combine steps. For example, if a customer needs to submit their billing address in one step, then submit their credit card information in the next step, see if it’s possible to combine those into one. What the customer inputs won’t change, but the perception of one less step will make them happy.

4. Allow guest checkouts

The checkout process is an opportunity to gather email addresses from your visitors, but don’t force everyone to create an account to complete their purchase. Most people have more accounts than they can even remember. The need to sign up for one more user account can make a visitor bounce and buy from a competitor.

The Baymard Institute discovered 37% of people abandon a shopping cart when the site asks them to create an account. Forcing users to create an account is a barrier that prevents conversions.

If you’re worried about not capturing email addresses, there’s little to be concerned about. Most email marketing systems – especially high-end systems like Infusionsoft – can be integrated to grab email addresses from the checkout process.

5.  Design your shopping cart to match your website

Consistent design between your website and your Magento shopping cart goes a long way to support conversions. Consistency in design tells people they’re in the right place. Some people hire a professional design and development team, so the shopping cart looks exactly like their website.

Thankfully, it’s easy to customize a Magento shopping cart design, even if you can’t hire a professional development team. You can customize some elements yourself by logging into your shopping cart and clicking on “settings.” From there, you want to click the link titled “design setting.” Here, you can change the default colors and images and add a custom background or header graphic.

6.  Present upsells sparingly

An upsell is perceived as a step in the checkout process. If your checkout process is short, upsells will make it appear longer. One upsell screen might be appropriate; however, two will make visitors bounce. Screens asking visitors if they’re “sure” they don’t want the upsell they just rejected are even worse.

7.  Make sure dynamically displayed currency is correct

When you want to display prices dynamically according to the visitor’s geographical location, it’s important to know for certain the currency displayed is correct. Many countries use the US dollar as a standard form of currency, and yet some currency plugins display the country’s old, antiquated form of currency instead.

Visitors will notice this mistake, and if they can’t select their preferred currency, they’ll bounce.

For example, some currency plugins are programmed to display prices in the Cambodian Riel. If you’ve never been to Cambodia, this seems logical. However, the US dollar is Cambodia’s second official currency. ATM machines dispense both currencies, but most residents rely on the US dollar for everyday purchases. They’re not used to seeing small purchases displayed in Riel.

If your currency plugin allows you to assign currencies to particular regions, this is an easy fix.

Remember, the US dollar is the most widely used currency in the world, and people are used to seeing prices in USD. If you’re not certain currencies are correct, it’s better to leave your prices in USD.

8.  Speed up your page load time with LiteMage

Speed is everything. If your website loads slowly, visitors will bounce.

If your eCommerce website is doing well, but your Magento website is loading slowly, you probably need a load balancer. Magento is a wonderful CMS, though it can be demanding of server resources resulting in site performance issues that can cost you conversions.

At Skylands Networks, we use LiteMage to help Magento stores run up to 5x faster, reducing server load and increasing site performance. Contact us today to find out how we can create a custom solution for your eCommerce website.

Why Load Balancing Is Vital With eCommerce Platforms

Launching an eCommerce website requires investing a significant amount of time setting up and managing IT infrastructure. To prevent unnecessary downtime, you need to consider things like disaster recovery, server security, and website security.

Traffic management also plays a vital role in keeping your website online. You need to generate traffic to make sales, but when you’re unprepared, too much traffic can cause your website to go offline.

Heavy traffic can impede your conversions

Each visitor that comes to your website is considered a single connection, but will generate multiple requests per page load. It takes resources to support connections; your website can only handle a finite number of connections at once.

Servers have a finite capacity for resources like memory, processing power, and bandwidth. If the demand for resources is greater than what your servers can handle, your website will either slow down or crash.

Your conversion rates are directly influenced by the amount of time it takes for your pages to load. According to a recent Google study, 53% of mobile users bounce when a page takes more than three seconds to load. You can’t afford to have slow loading pages killing off your profits.

Load balancing helps you handle heavy traffic

Heavy traffic can hit at any time, putting stress on your server’s resources and causing your website to go down. When your website goes down, you lose sales, and your brand perception may suffer.

Holidays, promotional periods, and new product launches can cause a surge in traffic. You need a strategy for managing server resources during these periods of heavy traffic.

The solution is load balancing, and it’s achieved with a special device called a “load balancer.” A load balancer distributes your visitors’ requests across a number of servers.

Load balancing is your best defense against a server crash due to heavy traffic. Load balancing is designed to optimize the use of server resources, minimize response time, and prevent overload on any single resource.

 Load balancing for reliability

 Your website or online service can only generate revenue when it’s actually online. Crashes or slowdowns due to hardware failure or sudden spikes in traffic come with a real cost, both to your income and your reputation.

Load balancing not only distributes traffic evenly across multiple servers, it eliminates any single point of failure. If any single server or load balancer happens to fail the system’s redundancy keeps the site online and running smoothly while the hosting team replaces the failed device.


How Load Balancing Works


There are various algorithms available which can determine how the load balancer distributes traffic. Your hosting provider can advise you on the best configuration for your specific setup.

Why choosing a dedicated hosting solution is ideal

 Shared hosting accounts are cheap – sometimes less than five bucks a month. You can install your own platform like WordPress or Magento in minutes. It sounds like a great deal. However, shared hosting isn’t a good option for eCommerce websites. Dedicated hosted solutions like the ones we offer are ideal because they give you full control over your dedicated resources.

Don’t be lured in by cheap shared hosting – it’s like moving in with unpredictable roommates who use all the hot water and hog the WiFi. Sharing resources puts you at the mercy of their demands all the time.

Your load balancing needs are unique – we can help

Basic load balancers can only do so much by monitoring for HTTP status code or text match. Skylands engineers are trained to create custom scripts to monitor your eCommerce website and balance visitors based on what defines up/down for your particular application.

We also offer LiteMage for Magento so all of your web servers can share a single cache. LiteMage improves warm-up time and reduces server load by eliminating the need to duplicate cache-loading efforts. In fact, our high performance caching serves cached content up to two times faster than other solutions.

If you’re a small business, the time will come when you’ll need to scale your applications beyond one server to improve speed and reliability. You don’t want to be caught off guard when your business takes off. Our flexible load balancing algorithms are activated on-demand and automatically scale to meet your seasonal and temporary traffic spikes.

We offer multiple hosting options for Magento websites, all of which offer load balancing. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your eCommerce needs.