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6 ways to help reduce abandoned carts when selling online

One of the biggest problems in online selling is abandoned shopping carts: when buyers fail to complete the purchases they start. Research firm Baymard Institute estimates that the customer cart abandonment rate is 68 percent.1 That’s a pretty high percentage, and it might make you wonder how you can lower the number of those lonely virtual carts. As a PayPal customer, using the tools we’ve put at your disposal is the perfect place to start.

Simple ways to leverage the PayPal advantage

If you’ve chosen us as your provider, here’s some good news: Research firm Nielsen notes that PayPal transactions have a 70 percent higher checkout conversion than non-PayPal transactions.2

Take advantage of this PayPal effect by leveraging our brand to reduce cart abandonment with the following tips. (For more general checkout guidelines, download our free whitepaper.)

  1. Include an easy-to-spot acceptance mark. Emphasizing that PayPal is accepted gives shoppers confidence in making their purchases. PayPal is a trusted brand, and just seeing that mark can help instill confidence and allay customers’ security concerns before they even start shopping.

    Often, shoppers navigate to a site through a Web search, so they may land on an interior page first. To make sure they’ll see the mark no matter how they get to your site, place it in a static area, such as the footer.

  2. Streamline the checkout process. A checkout that’s too complicated can lead to user drop-off, in the order of 18 percent, according to one study.1 By using PayPal Express Checkout, you can put customers on the fast track to purchasing, which helps drive up sales and lower cart abandonment rates. Putting the Check Out with PayPal button at the top of your payment page lets customers skip typing in shipping and billing information – a helpful shortcut that gets them through checkout faster.
  3. Offer PayPal Credit3 as a payment option. This simple, flexible credit line is built into a customer's PayPal account and provides an additional funding method. Let them know it's available by placing banner ads on pages where customers make a purchase decision. This practice can drive up to an 18 percent increase in online sales, according to a study by Forrester Consulting.4
  4. Offer multiple payment options. In a recent study, 24 percent of online shoppers abandoned their transactions because the retailer didn't offer the customers’ preferred payment choices.5 Customers today demand more choices than ever – they expect a wide range of products, services, and features. That expectation extends to payment options, so when you meet their needs, you'll likely see higher checkout rates as a result.
  5. Don't forget mobile. Considering that 84 percent of tablet and smartphone owners are using their mobile devices for shopping,6 it's imperative for online sellers to optimize their sites for mobile sales. Make sites mobile-friendly by: delivering a streamlined checkout experience, minimizing data entry, and using larger fonts and buttons. For more tips on making your site mobile-friendly, see our article on mobile optimization.

    On top of that, adding a Check Out with PayPal button, which makes checkout easier, has been shown to increase mobile conversion by up to 34 percent.7

  6. Add your logo to the PayPal checkout page. When customers check out with PayPal, they pay on PayPal.com before returning to your site. Provide a consistent, cohesive experience by customizing this PayPal checkout page with your logo.
    1. To see all of these best practices in action, check out the PayPal Demo Portal. You’ll also be able to download the code for making these changes on your desktop site, mobile site, or app.

Customers first

As you sell products online and implement the recommendations above, always keep the customer’s experience in mind. Customers want a smooth, streamlined process that’s free of unnecessary requests and is easy to navigate.

Lowering cart abandonment rates should be an aim for any online retailer, large or small. Fortunately, it's an achievable goal. As your partner, we can help you maximize conversion and build a better customer experience.

These are just some of the ways you can improve your checkout process. Download “Six best practices to improve your online checkout” for more tips.