shopping cart abandonment

Shopping Cart Abandonment – 7 Causes, 7 Solutions

You do everything that you are supposed to do – design a beautiful ecommerce website on a platform like Shopify or an open-source shopping like BigCommerce, download quality inventory management software, display attractive photos, and write creative product descriptions. You spend time and money on advertising and digital marketing to bring customers to your site. And they come! They browse and read and put items in their shopping cart. Then, sadly, they abandon their shopping cart and click out of your site. You’ve just been a victim of shopping cart abandonment.

Why do customers do this? There is a whole list of reasons that customers abandon their shopping carts after selecting desired items, it’s one of the biggest problems that ecommerce businesses face. In a study done by Baymard Institute, it was discovered that online retailers have a 69% rate of abandoned shopping carts. Imagine if you were able to eliminate cart abandonment on your site, your sales could increase by two-thirds!

There are some things that you can do to help fight shopping cart abandonment. Here is a list of the 7 most common reasons that they leave without buying, and what you can do to combat them:

  1. Complicated checkout – The checkout process needs to be streamlined, easy to navigate and quick. If you require the buyer to complete too many forms or there are too many screens to move through, the customer may get impatient and leave.

Fix: Test different checkout procedures. Some studies show that using a single page checkout process is more effective. However, others have shown that multi-page checkouts work better. See what works for you. If you do use a multi-page checkout, be sure to include a progress bar to show the customer where they are in the process.

  1. Shipping costs are too high – Customers don’t want to pay high shipping costs. They generally shop online to find the best price. High shipping costs cut into their savings and cause them to lose their motivation to buy.

Fix: List the shipping information on the product page. Add a widget that calculates exact shipping cost to the customer’s location. That way they know the shipping amount right away. Another fix for this is to incentivize your customers by making shipping free when they purchase over a certain dollar amount.

  1. Lack of payment options – Customers may abandon their shopping carts when they discover that you don’t accept their preferred method of payment.

Fix: Do some research into payment methods and costs. Integrate as many payment options into your website as possible. Buying should be easy for everyone. It’s your job to sell to your customers in the way that works best for them. If not, you’ll always deal with some form of shopping cart abandonment.

  1. Forced to register – There are still a lot of websites out there that require you to register or create an account in order to make a purchase. Some customers don’t like this, and they will leave your site to find one that doesn’t require registration.

Fix: Offer customers a guest checkout option to overcome this deterrent to buying. You can always make creating an account or registering an option at checkout, or allow customers to register later.

  1. Only browsing or conducting research – Customers may be just browsing to kill time or conducting research for an item that they are not prepared to make until later. Shopping cart abandonment occurs in this case when customers don’t have an extra push to buy.

Fix: This one is more difficult for ecommerce retailers to have control over. You may improve your chances of conversion by sending an automated email to customers reminding them that they left items in their cart. Flash sales also incentivize research customers to buy.

  1. Website technical issues – Your shopping cart abandonment may have nothing to do with your products. Customers are likely to get frustrated and impatient when websites crash or move too slowly. Ecommerce is about convenience. It’s not convenient at all to sit on a slow loading website.

Fix: Often times, you get what you pay for. Be sure that you are hosting your website on a reputable server that can handle varying amounts of traffic. The extra expense may be offset by added sales as a result.

  1. Coupon or promotional code issues – More and more websites are including a field for customers to enter a coupon or promo code. One problem with this happens when a customer sees the field and doesn’t have a code. They may think that they are missing out on a deal and leave the website to search the internet for a code. Once they leave your page, there is always the chance that they won’t go back. Another issue happens when the customer receives the “coupon code failure” message. It creates frustration and may cause the customer to look elsewhere.

Fix: The simple fix for this is to not use coupon and promotional codes. They can be beneficial though, so you may want to use specific targeting by showing the code field for customers who arrive to the site via a link in a promotional email, but not everyone else.

If you are worried about the high rate of shopping cart abandonment for your site, try some of the techniques on the above list to see if your abandoned cart rate goes down and sales increase.
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About the Author


Jami is a blogger for ecomdash. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and addiction recovery, drinks her weight in caffeine every day, and has a deep affection for fine-point pens.

Jami DeLoeShopping Cart Abandonment – 7 Causes, 7 Solutions

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