Abandoned carts are a headache for eCommerce merchants. But they don’t have to be. With the right strategies in place you can encourage more customers to convert. Learn how to use reviews and UGC to reduce cart abandonment and maximize revenue.
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When a potential customer adds a product to their cart - but never converts - that cart is seen as abandoned. It’s a frustrating practice, and it happens a lot.

In fact the Baymard Institute puts the average cart abandonment rate at an eye watering 70.19%.

When we look at how these rates affect a business, we tend to think of a single transactional loss. But each one is far more costly.

To break it down, an abandoned cart costs you:

  • Lost revenue from the abandoned purchase itself.
  • The money spent on acquisition.
  • The lifetime value of the lost customer
  • A competitor winning the sale and gaining market share.

Your business takes a big hit from this. So how do you keep shoppers engaged and encourage them to convert?

Reviews and UGC have a key role to play here. They help build trust and guide customers towards confident purchase decisions.

5 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates with Reviews and UGC

1. Boost Purchase Intent Through Visual Storytelling

Customers abandon their carts for a lot of reasons. We typically hear about unexpected costs and complicated checkout processes here.

Dig into the data though, and 48% of shoppers give ‘just browsing/not ready to buy’ as their reason for cart abandonment. This puts a lack of purchase intent at the top of the list. 

To address this, ask yourself how a customer might feel about the products they’ve selected: 

  • Are they excited by them? 
  • Do they buy into the benefits? 
  • Can they picture how their lives will improve if they complete their purchase? 

Visual UGC galleries can help here. 

Visual UGC from Instagram & other social channels

When you publish photo and video reviews, you give customers a story to relate to. You showcase products in the real world and highlight their value in a tangible way.

This prompts an emotional response in the customer. They become more invested in the product, reducing the chance of an abandoned cart. 

2. Increase Purchase Confidence with Review Attributes

Another way to address the purchase intent barrier is to give customers confidence in their choices. This means addressing any questions or concerns they may have.

Review attributes are an effective way to do this. To collect these, include specific questions in your review requests. These can relate to the product, the customer or both.

For example, with activewear, customers could rate fit, comfort and performance. They could also list personal attributes like height, body type and preferred activity. 

This gives the browsing customer more information than they'll find in a product description. Which means they can better assess how well a product meets their own needs and expectations. 

When you provide this level of detail, you reduce hesitancy. As a result, you also reduce cart abandonment rates. 

Additional questions are customizable, so you can make review attributes work for your brand, whatever you sell. 

3. Display Review Content in the Checkout Flow

At this point the customer has invested, and initiated the checkout process. There’s still room for doubt though, so keep sending those trust signals. 

Use product thumbnails throughout the checkout flow, including aggregated review scores. 

There's two benefits to this. Images drive engagement, while star ratings promote a positive product experience. 

Displaying your review provider’s trust badge will also help. It lets the customer know the reviews they’re seeing are from verified sources.

4. Use Social Proof for Abandoned Cart Recovery

So far we’ve looked at winning the customer over. Abandoned cart recovery, however, is about winning the customer back. 

Discounts are a common tactic here, but these eat into profit margins. What's more, they affect the perceived value of your products.

Instead, use social proof to re-engage and encourage customers to complete their purchase. 

An effective way to do this is to display review content in exit-intent pop-ups. Include a summary of the products in the customer’s cart, along with stars and snippets of positive reviews. 

If pop-ups aren't your thing, leverage social proof in abandoned cart emails flows

The REVIEWS.io Klaviyo integration works well here. It gives you a range of code free options for adding review content to email campaigns. This includes dynamic UGC galleries and product review blocks. 

When you use social proof in this way, you encourage customers to reconsider and return to complete the transaction.

5. Learn from Review Data to Improve the Checkout Experience

Finally, listen and act on what your feedback is telling you.

After all, reviews aren’t just useful for the customer. They also offer insights on how you can improve your business

With tools like AI Assistant you can analyze review data at speed and identify recurring issues in the checkout process. 

Use our AI Assistant to help analyze your customers' reviews

For example, you might find unexpected charges are a common pain point. Other customers might mention lengthy forms or difficulties with payment processing.

Whatever you find, use this information to enhance the checkout experience and remove barriers to completion.  

Best Practices to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates

Reviews and UGC are just one piece of the puzzle. With that in mind, you should also follow these best practices to reduce cart abandonment rates:

Simplified checkout: cut the number of steps, reduce form fields and offer guest checkout.

Transparent pricing: display all costs upfront including shipping fees and taxes.

Mobile optimization: remember that most transactions take place on tablets and smartphones.

Trust signals: display SSL certificates and trust badges from recognized payment gateways. 

Payment options: offer payment via credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and solutions like Apple Pay.

Live chat support: provide real-time assistance for questions or issues encountered during checkout. 

How to Calculate Cart Abandonment Rates

Calculating cart abandonment rates is straightforward.

First, decide on the time frame you want to use. Monthly and quarterly windows are common.

Next, collect data on the number of abandoned carts relative to the number of initiated carts.

Once you have this, use the following formula:

Cart Abandonment Rate = (Number of Abandoned Carts / Number of Initiated Carts) x 100

For example, say you record 500 initiated carts within a month, with 150 abandoned. The 

calculation for this would be:

Cart Abandonment Rate = (150 abandoned carts / 500 initiated carts) x 100 = 30%

Remember the average is 70.19%. Anything below this and your efforts are paying off! 

Ready to Reduce Cart Abandonment and Maximize Revenue?

When you reduce cart abandonment rates you don't just retain potential sales. You improve customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and boost your bottom line.

It’s well worth the effort. And REVIEWS.io has plenty of tools to help. 

Check out our key features guide or book a demo with our friendly sales team today. 

Cart Abandonment FAQs

Why am I getting so many abandoned carts?

The main reason for abandoned carts is a lack of purchase intent - i.e. customers are browsing and not ready to buy.

Other drivers include complicated checkout, hidden costs and a lack of purchase confidence.

How can I reduce my cart abandonment rate?

Reduce cart abandonment rates by building trust and selling the product experience. 

Encourage conversions with social proof and offer a seamless checkout process.

What is a good cart abandonment rate?

The average cart abandonment rate is around 70%. 

If you can reduce your rates below this benchmark you’re doing well. 

How do I convert abandoned carts to sales?

To convert abandoned carts to sales, use abandoned cart recovery tactics. These include exit-intent pop-ups and abandoned cart email flows. 

Make these personalized, include clear CTAs, and use social proof to win back the customer.

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