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Top 7 Reasons Shoppers Abandon Their Cart


“Two out of three users still choose to abandon their purchase.”

These days online shopping carts have become a way to help us keep track of items we might be interested in without actually committing to a purchase.

Yet consumers spend so much time filling their online shopping carts but never actually buying the items. Experts have stated that many consumers have come to approach virtual shopping carts as a noncommittal form of window shopping.

This phenomenon is commonly known as ‘Shopping Cart Abandonment.’

According to Optimizely.com, shopping cart abandonment is when a potential customer starts a checkout process of an online order but drops out of the process before ever completing a purchase.

If you have an item that enters the shopping cart but never makes it through the transaction, it is considered “abandoned” by the shopper. This is an important aspect of the online shopping process that eCommerce business owners should pay careful attention to.

High abandonment rates could indicate a signal for poor user experience or a broken sales funnel. Reducing shopping cart abandonment directly leads to more sales and revenue. Therefore, it is important to optimize the checkout flow as a core area of focus for many eCommerce store owners.

Despite its endless capacity to hold an infinite amount of items, the online shopping cart’s downside for potentially changing consumers’ minds before purchasing is actually pretty high.

A study from the Baymard Institute revealed that the global average for online shopping cart abandonment rate is a shocking 69.57%.

In Richard Lam’s words, auditor of Baymard Institute, “After going through the trouble searching for a product and adding it to their cart, two out of three buyers still choose to abandon the purchase.”

A statement released by Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor of market research company NPD, supports the fact that cart abandonment is likely at an all-time high. “From what we hear, consumers are learning on the fly how to navigate and shop online. Also, as inventory levels get tighter, consumers are cross-site shopping more to find better delivery dates. It’s almost more about who can get them the product fastest.”

Considering every eCommerce store is different, many factors affect the possible causes of shopping cart abandonment, making it difficult to resolve if ignored.

‍But what are the common issues usually faced by many sites that result in cart abandonment?

Here Are The Top 7 reasons Why Shoppers Abandon Their Cart:

1. Forcing account creation

Let’s face it; your prospective buyers didn’t come to your site to create an account. They came to purchase your product. In fact, 28% of buyers give up their purchases if the site forces them to create an account.

A great tip for solving this problem is to wait until the end of the checkout process before asking users to create an account. By letting them buy first, this ensures that your customers will be happier and less likely to give up their purchases. So pick your moments and wait until they have finalized their orders. By that point, it would certainly open them up to creating an account.

Make the process of creating accounts as simple as possible. It should require nothing more than picking a password once the buyer has finished checking out a purchase. After all, you’re already done collecting their email, shipping address, and other details.

2. A Slow and Complex checkout process

Nobody likes a slow and complex checkout process; we all prefer something quick and easy. It has been shown that 21% of online shoppers give up on their purchases upon checking out if the checkout process is either slow or too complicated.

With an online shopper’s short attention span, avoid making the checkout process too long and simplify the process.

Before you consider adding multiple fields, make sure you test your decision. Split test a version of your checkout page with and without the extra field. If you don’t have the traffic, try some usability testing and track the time to complete the task.

3. Unexpected shipping costs

Online shoppers extremely dislike being misled especially when it comes to hidden fees. A 2020 survey by the Baymard Institute found that 50% of users abandoned their carts in the checkout process if extra costs are too high. These costs include shipping or tax fees.

Oftentimes, online shoppers presume a site is being manipulative when it hides the delivery costs before checkout as it makes the product appear cheaper than it really is.

Examine a variety of options to resolve this issue. Try offering free shipping or free deliveries by rolling the cost into the price of the item. You can also have a universal shipping or delivery charge to make costs user-friendly.

You can also explore the option of giving your buyers estimated delivery costs next to each item. Even though it won’t be 100% accurate, having this set up on your eCommerce store provides a visible guide to your consumers as to what costs are included in their purchases. Just make sure that whatever approach you take, the key is to clearly emphasize in the display that it is an estimate.

4. Security concerns

Online shoppers aren’t always comfortable providing credit card information online. When it comes to security, we point our fingers at our customers, but more often than not, we’re our own worst enemy.

As a matter of fact, 17% of online shoppers revealed that if they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information, they would more likely abandon their carts. Some shoppers may even have these doubts if they read a bad review, experience credit card fraud, or online scams.

Reassure your customers by building more trust on the checkout page and throughout the site with the use of social proof and building a strong brand. Money-back guarantees and generous return policies can also help relieve customer concerns and improve overall conversions.

5. Boredom browsing

Many times online shoppers who add items to their carts but don’t complete their purchases are simply browsing through the web with little to no buying intent. This is becoming more common in many eCommerce stores as virtual shopping carts become a noncommittal form of window shopping.

According to Carolyn Mair, a professor and behavioural psychologist, “Some people have more time on their hands now as they’re not travelling to work and back. They may like to spend the time looking at what’s available even though they have no intention of buying anything.”

Create incentives for these shoppers to purchase immediately by offering limited-time promos and creating a sense of urgency. Leverage your checkout pages even further by adding engaging elements such as videos and countdown timers or add limited quantities as creating scarcity is also a great way to increase sales and engagement.

6. Lack of payment options

The freedom to choose is a very powerful asset every online shopper has. Buyers typically have strong preferences with their mode of payments and only complete a purchase if their favoured method is presented. Minimize this problem by offering a variety of popular payment methods for your target market, such as cash on delivery payments, Amex, or Paypal.

7. Price Point

Online shoppers often compare prices between eCommerce stores to find the best deals in the market. Consumers in today’s time are usually price-sensitive and look to save as much money as they can.

U.S. consumer insights expert Jon Chang stated, “The pandemic has undeniably changed the way people shop and spend. In general, we are seeing that consumers are looking for more flexible payment options and financial control over their spending during these times.”

Prevent your prospective buyers from jumping ship by offering special discounts and exclusive coupon codes to keep them from being alarmed by high prices and look for better deals elsewhere.

Despite your best efforts to reduce cart abandonment, some percentage of customers will always leave your site upon checking out or before making a purchase.

Aside from improving and optimizing the shopping cart experience, another key strategy for dealing with cart abandonment is shopping cart recovery. This strategy attempts to capture the customer after they’ve already left your eCommerce site.

One form of shopping cart recovery is sending buyers an abandonment email if they either entered their email address during the checkout process or if they identified themselves by logging into their account, depending on if your site allows it. It usually offers a coupon code to motivate them to return to your site and make the purchase.

In scenarios where users could not enter their email address, a powerful tactic you can utilize is ad retargeting. This approach uses ad pixels on your checkout page and retargets users on ad platforms such as Facebook and Google.

It may seem impossible to resolve the complex issue of shopping cart abandonment but by identifying the common reasons why your buyers abandon your site can drastically improve and optimize their shopping cart experience, thus directly impacting your sales and revenue on your eCommerce store.

Still, have questions on cart abandonment? Get in touch, and let’s work together to resolve this complex issue and increase your revenue.