The holiday shopping season is a busy time for e-commerce sites, but it is also a period when cart abandonment issues become even more pronounced. Research from the Baymard Institute calculates the average online cart abandonment rate at 69.57 percent. That means that for every 10 people who start the checkout process, seven will quit before finalizing their purchase.

Needless to say, finding ways to ensure that people actually complete a purchase after adding items to their shopping cart can make a big difference for your profit margins. Here are some key steps site owners should take to reduce cart abandonment rates and recapture lost customers.

1. Simplify the Checkout Process

A complex checkout process is one of the most common barriers that keeps customers from completing their transaction. For example, in an Invesp survey of online shoppers, 14 percent cited the lack of a guest checkout option as their top reason for abandoning their shopping cart. An additional 12 percent said the website asked for too much personal information, while another 11 percent said the site was too slow.

To avoid losing your customers, you need to make the checkout process as simple and straightforward as possible. Reducing the number of steps needed to go from adding an item to a cart and finalizing the purchase will help you lose less customers along the way. Even something as simple as improving site speed can also make a difference.

2. Be Upfront About All Transaction Costs

While streamlining your checkout can make a big difference in cart abandonment rates, there is no denying that online shoppers are always looking for the best deal. As such, surprise shipping and tax costs can be an even bigger deterrent to completing a purchase.

Data from UPS reveals that 62 percent of online shoppers “always choose the cheapest shipping option,” while 38 percent have made a purchase because of a special shipping offer. On the other hand, Kissmetrics research shows that 28 percent of shoppers will abandon their cart because of unexpected shipping costs.

While offering free shipping is the best option for getting more customers, at a minimum, you should be upfront about shipping costs so that the total price of the order doesn’t catch buyers by surprise.

3. Use Remarketing to Recapture Abandoned Carts

Sometimes, a shopper will abandon their cart simply because they aren’t ready to buy or don’t have their credit card handy. This is where remarketing comes into play. Installing a Facebook Pixel on your website or running a Google AdWords campaign will make it easier to target customers who have abandoned their shopping cart with personalized ads.

As with other ad campaigns, these ads should be segmented for factors such as the products left in the cart, the value of the order, and whether the shopper is a first-time or repeat buyer. Adjusting copy with the right incentives and A/B testing different ads will increase their effectiveness at bringing back cart abandoners.

Converting More Customers

No matter how much you do to optimize your checkout process, some level of cart abandonment will always occur. It’s just like the people who visit a brick and mortar store and leave without buying anything. However, as you take these actions to improve online checkout and recapture lost customers, you will be able to reduce your cart abandonment rate and make more sales.