Start optimizing your checkout to reduce cart abandonment

May 18 2022 | PayPal Editorial Staff

With 80% of online shoppers abandoning their cart before or during the checkout process1, providing a seamless payment experience is essential to convert a sale. Keep on reading to discover how you can optimize your conversion rate at checkout.

It’s understandable there are certain factors beyond your control that could lead to cart abandonment. However, removing friction from your checkout process is one you can control. As a matter of fact, the average eCommerce site has 39 potential areas for checkout improvement, so even small tweaks would help in building a frictionless experience and boost conversions by as much as 35%2.

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You’re not alone as cart abandonment is a global challenge for businesses. In fact, APAC, US, and EMEA clocked cart abandonment rates at 73%, 72%, and 66% respectively3. To set you up for success, we’ll be covering some best practices to optimize your conversion rate at checkout so you can start turning cart abandonment into cart conversion.

1. Cut to the chase at checkout
With digital adoption on the rise and large online marketplaces setting benchmarks for checkout experience, it’s time to smooth out friction for your checkout by reducing the number of clicks required. A fast and seamless checkout is not just a nice-to-have anymore, it’s a necessity.

  • Why is this important?
    As fintech and eCommerce continue to grow, so are customers’ expectations for a frictionless checkout. In fact, 21% of site abandonments3 are caused by disorganized and complex checkout processes.

  • What can I do?
    Start by speeding up transactions, reducing clicks, and smoothing out friction. An example that you can apply to your checkout process is removing forced sign-ups and account creation.


2. Make customers feel safe at checkout
Protecting your customers’ sensitive data is a salient aspect of the checkout process. When it comes to eCommerce, losing trust means losing customers.

  • Why is this important?
    Reliable security is a hallmark of good eCommerce as it builds credibility and in turn, trust. When it comes to drop-off, 17% of customers attribute it to a lack of trust and fear of credit card theft3.

  • What can I do?
    Get started by highlighting your security shields at checkout—signaling to your customers that you have taken measures to allay their main concerns. Alternatively, adopt a holistic approach by integrating a trusted payment solution.


3. Be transparent with your customers
Not all surprises are good. Some can be an inconvenience such as unexpected fees and unknown shipping timelines.

  • Why is this important?
    Before making a purchase, customers are now expecting businesses to provide everything associated with costs and delivery timelines. With more than 85% of customers wanting full visibility into shipping timelines before making any online purchase4, it pays to be transparent.

  • What can I do?
    To reduce cart abandonment, begin by eliminating any surprises at checkout. One of the aspects you should be upfront about from the get-go is showing your customers all costs associated with their order—including fees and taxes.


4. Give them more ways to pay
With customers growing savvier and their rising adoption of seamless payment options, it’s crucial to offer a range of payment methods at checkout to drive conversions and reduce cart abandonment.

  • Why is this important?
    The growth of fintech has also empowered customers to pay how they deem best. In the same vein, 1 out of 5 shoppers will abandon their carts if they can’t use their preferred payment method5.

  • What can I do?
    Start by understanding your audience to pinpoint a range of payment methods that would best resonate with their needs as different age groups and demographics have different preferences. For example, millennial shoppers prefer a full range of card options, PayPal, and other mobile–based payments6.


5. Leave no customers behind with retargeting
Just because a customer has left your site the first time, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost them forever. There are ways to stay on their mind and change their purchasing decisions, and you can do that with retargeting.

  • Why is this important?
    Retargeting is a powerful tool and it’s been found to increase conversion rates by up to 150%, reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%7, and boost online sales by nearly 20%8.

  • What can I do?
    To boost conversion rates and customer loyalty, reaching out to customers via email to remind them about the abandoned items in their cart have resulted in 11% of customers repeating their purchase9. Meanwhile, using retargeted ads can increase conversions by up to 76%10 whereas offering incentives—like free shipping and returns—to high-intent shoppers is a straightforward solution without any upfront cost to you.


As the final and one of the most important touchpoints, the checkout process plays a key role in delivering a seamless shopping experience. With the shift of customers’ behaviors and their growing expectations for eCommerce experience, an optimized checkout process can tip the scale in your favor—by turning casual browsers into loyal buyers.

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