With just a few weeks to the end of the year, businesses online need to identify and plug any leaks that could cause serious shopping cart abandonment by prospective buyers and customers. As you well know, shopping cart abandonment means you have lost out on income from somebody who was already sold.

Studies by comScore indicate that around 67% of all shopping carts online are abandoned before any purchase is made. This translates into about $18 billion in lost revenue for many stores.

The good news is that if you can identify the major reasons why people leave your store and abandon your shopping cart for another store, then you can to fix the problems and get more people to click through to the purchase.

Lack or Little Display of Security Items

Do you know those trust badges from companies like VeriSign, McAfee, eTrust, MasterCard, BBB? They may not look like much, but they could be the difference between people clicking that buy button or clicking to another site. E-commerce stores without security displays lose a ton of buyers because of this.

Not Offering Additional Suggestions

Many niche e-commerce store owners feel that offering additional suggestions of things to buy could “tip the cart” and chase their clientele away. Not true. Multiple studies have shown that if people find many associated products and add them to their cart, chances are that they would go through with the purchase if all the other essential elements are available.

Little or No Reinforcement Proofs

Like it or not, having testimonials boldly or subtly placed on each progress page can contribute to customers going through with the purchase. Test each of your pages with subtly or strategically placed testimonials and see if the number of purchases increase.

No Clear Call to Actions and Difficult Checkout Processes

E-commerce stores with unclear call to actions can be pretty confusing for consumers who are not tech savvy. The truth is most prospects just want a smooth transition from picking their product to clicking the buy button.

Make your transitions as effortless as possible. Tell them what to do and where to go. Be as clear and as concise as possible. If you need some templates to work with, study Amazon, eBay, and Zappos’ checkout processes and replicate them. Alternatively, you can outsource your checkout process through resources like Fastspring.com.

Not Ready to Purchase

Sometimes, people just abandon carts for reasons best known to them. The most common reason however is that they just aren’t ready. Some people just like “window shopping” online. Sometimes, it is to check out what they want and save them for later or just want to shop around and compare prices. If this happens, there’s nothing you can do except to hope they come back some other time.

Requirement to Have an Account

This one turns off as many as 11% of all shoppers. Most people do not want to have an account with your e-commerce store. They just want to buy and get out of there. So, if you do not bring up the account requirement until they click the Buy button, most just leave because they do not want to jump through one more hoop. It may not seem like much to you, but that 11% could mean millions lost per year.

Expensive Shipping Costs

About 44% of those who abandon your shopping cart do so because of expensive shipping charges. No one wants to pay excessively for shipping, particularly when they can get it for a cheaper rate or free from other shops online. So, find a way to minimize those shipping costs and you’ll find that many more would purchase from you.

The writer, Oscar King, is an aspiring ecommerce entrepreneur who is learning all the necessary tricks to becoming successful on the internet. If you wish to learn more about Oscar you can visit on Google+.