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Written By Chris Giddins
5 minute read

In today’s digital era, basket abandonment is becoming all too common in the eCommerce world — in fact,  it’s estimated that the average rate is 75.6%. This figure jumps to 85.65% on mobile devices, which is a big problem — after all, over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. 

Consumers are always on the hunt for the best deal so abandoning an online cart they’ve filled is common practice. How can you prevent this from happening? 

If you want to reduce your basket abandonment levels, you need to ask two questions: Why are customers abandoning their baskets and what can we do to address those issues? 


Checkout process

The checkout process can be a cause of basket abandonment, especially if you’re asking consumers to input a lot of personal information. People are more concerned than ever about their online privacy and they’re more cautious about how they share their information. 

Simplifying forms and cutting back on the amount of personal information you ask for can make a big difference. You should also include a guest checkout option that allows them to provide you with less personal information. 

The ease of the checkout process makes a big difference as well. The rise of online shopping is largely down to convenience. It’s easier to order something online and get it delivered than it is to go out and search around a shop for it. But if you do anything to compromise that convenience for the customer, you’re likely to have a problem with basket abandonment. Moreover, if the checkout process is inefficient due to slow loading times, people will give up and go elsewhere. 

The risk of fraud is another thing that consumers think about when shopping online. If they have never used a site before and they can’t guarantee that it’s safe, they may be reluctant to put their credit card details in. That’s why it’s important to offer alternative payment options like Paypal, which protects customers against fraud. 



The checkout process is important, but the biggest cause of cart abandonment is the cost of the product. A lot of people use their online shopping basket as a wish list and add items that they don’t eventually buy. Reducing the cost is the best way to convince customers to purchase those items. 

Making simple changes like cutting back on shipping costs can make a big difference, but the best way to get past that cost barrier is to use promo codes that offer discounts to your customers…  


Unique promo codes 

When you’re using promo codes, there is a big issue that you need to deal with: a lot of companies find that promo codes are shared online and used by a large number of customers in a short space of time. You may succeed in lowering your basket abandonment numbers with promo codes, but you’ll take significant losses if the code is shared online and used by too many people. This will, however, help you generate new customers — so if that’s your goal, share away! But if you’re trying to target specific consumers and reduce shopping basket abandonment, you need to combat promo code misuse by using unique single-use promo codes for each person. 

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The other benefit of unique, personalised promo codes is that they have a sense of exclusivity. When a customer is offered a deal that’s unique to them, it can act as a form of social proof, and the promo code appears to have more value. Limited time offers also give a sense of urgency that encourages people to use the promo code before they miss the opportunity, ensuring they don’t abandon their shopping basket. 

The right software will allow you to automate a lot of the tasks involved with creating unique promo codes, which can be very time-consuming. Many of these tools can also track the use of the promo code and provide you with analytics, allowing you to A/B test and improve your promo code campaigns in the future. This gives you a time and cost-effective way of combating basket abandonment and increasing your revenue! 


Emails and onsite promotions 

The best way to distribute promo codes is through email campaigns or onsite promotions. A staggering 23.8% of all eCommerce revenue comes as a result of abandoned basket emails. They serve as a reminder to customers that may have forgotten about a product page that they were looking at, and the offer of a nice discount is often enough to entice them back. 

Timing is key when sending a cart abandonment email. Statistics show that they’re most effective when sent 30 minutes after basket abandonment. If the customer doesn’t return, try sending another one 24 and 48 hours after that. 

If you are using onsite promotions, you can use pop-ups that give the shopper a promo code when they return to the site. 

Software that generates unique promo codes can integrate with your CRM so it’s easy to automate the process of adding the codes to your emails. This means you can spend less time doing the manual work and more time getting creative with targeting shopping cart abandonment. 


Scarcity marketing 

Abundance is a big contributor to basket abandonment because shoppers have been conditioned to search for the best deal. That means that people are more reluctant to go through the checkout process because they’re worried that they might miss out on a better price somewhere else. 

But promo codes can help you to use that fear of missing out to your advantage. When you offer a consumer a limited time promo code, whether that’s through email marketing or a pop up on your site, you play on their fear of missing out on deals. It encourages them to be decisive and buy the product before the promotion expires, in case they can’t get a deal like that again in the future.

When this is combined with simple personalisation techniques, like using a customer’s first name, it creates the sense that this deal is unique to them, and it’s a one time deal that won’t come along again. This makes them far more likely to take advantage. 

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The danger of creating basket abandonment habits 

Unique promo codes are the best way to reduce basket abandonment, but they can actually make the problem worse if they’re not used in the right way. If you offer customers promo codes too often, it undermines the effectiveness and you lose all of the benefits of scarcity marketing. 

If they get offered the same deal every time they abandon their basket, they’ll notice that a pattern is emerging. This will lead to increased basket abandonment rates because the consumer will simply add an item to their basket and leave the site, then wait for the inevitable email with the promo code so they can get it at a reduced price. 

The best way to avoid this is to refrain from offering discounts every time you send out a basket abandonment email. You should still send the emails to remind people about the items in their basket, but only send promo codes every now and again. This will ensure you’re reducing shopping basket abandonment rates and increasing your revenue by letting customers know they must act now or lose the deals they’re getting. 


Get creative and A/B test

When used correctly, unique promo codes generated using the right software can help to reduce basket abandonment while also avoiding revenue loss caused by promo code misuse. You just need to ensure you’re doing the right thing to entice your customers to follow through with their purchases. 

With the right promo code tools, you can even A/B test the campaigns that work best for different kinds of customers. Vary the methods you’re using and get creative with it, for example with scarcity marketing. Follow these tips and figure out the best way you can reduce shopping basket abandonment. 

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