All You Need to Know About Cart Abandonment

All You Need to Know About Cart Abandonment

Sandra Wróbel-Konior

Content Marketing Specialist at SecurionPay

Content Marketing Specialist with a tech-savvy personality, experience in writing and passion for reading. Staying up to date with the latest social media trends, in love with GIFs.

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All You Need to Know About Cart Abandonment

09.06.2016 12:15 pm

You’re putting so much effort into keeping users on your site and growing the base of loyal customers. But they still come and go or abandon their cart in the last step of the purchasing process. So what are the main reasons for cart abandonment, and what you can do to keep customers on your site?

For most visitors it’s easy to leave the site because of anonymity. They can change their mind any time they want, but most of them wouldn’t even think of doing the same in a brick-and-mortar store.

The travel sector has one of the highest abandonment rates (81%), this is generally because consumers are not yet ready to book and they just want to do some research (see more in SaleCycle’s infographic). According to Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.63% which means that for every 100 potential customers, 67 of them leave without buying anything. That’s too much, don’t you think?

Why Shoppers Abandon Their Cart?

There are many reasons why shoppers leave without paying, and the most common (according to Statisa’s metrics) were ‘Decided I didn’t need it’ and ‘Wanted to do more research’, but also ‘Found it cheaper elsewhere’. It shows how online buyers act when they visit an ecommerce store and it’s a chance for you to display a better offer, or incentives to convince customers they need your product.

Why online buyers abandon their carts?
Why online buyers abandon their carts? Source:


Here in Canada, shopping carts are most often abandoned due to shipping costs. Low flat-rate shipping or free shipping addresses the issue, but most small retailers have to offset the cost through increased product pricing.

Melody McKinnon (@melodymckinnon),

Take a closer look at the reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and see what you can do to decrease the risk.

1. Complicated checkout

Many customers don’t have time to spend hours shopping online. When visiting your online store, they probably already know what they are looking for, so they want to buy it fast and without any distractions. A complicated process with too many steps will frustrate them and may result in an abandoned cart and lost revenue.

What you can do

Give customers a simple buying path with a step-indicator so they can see the progress and know how many more steps there are to complete the purchasing process.

2. Forced account creation

Some people who just want to buy one thing (and want to do it quickly), are not satisfied when you force them to sign up. It Works’s researchshows that the need to create an account before buying anything is an obstacle for 23% of customers.

What you can do

No one likes to stand in a long queue, so reduce the processing time and make it easier for your customers to pay. One of the best ways is to provide a “guest checkout” option. Collecting customer data via registration helps you manage the communication with them, but not allowing purchases for guests has a direct impact on the number of abandoned carts. To increase the number of registrations, you can highlight a special offer for users who complete the registration process. Don’t forget to make registration quick and simple.

3. Unexpected extra costs

Unexpected surprises are great, as long as they are good ones. But, when it comes with an extra cost you can be sure that most users will put off the purchase.

What you can do

If there are any extra charges, show them on the product page and don’t try to hide anything. Keep shipping costs visible on your checkout page, and let customers see that before the payment process. Also, display a preview of the shopping cart with the final price, including the shipping and tax costs, during the checkout to avoid disappointment.

One of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment is to reduce undue friction caused by hidden costs. Even if you’re unable to provide free shipping, make sure you’re transparent about shipping and handling charges upfront. Add a shipping calculator to product pages and use clear micro copy filling customers in about shipping costs as soon as they start the checkout process. Don’t surprise them at the end.

Jen Havice (@jenhavice),

4. Too high shipping cost

Even if a customer is determined to buy something he may resign and abandon his shopping cart if the shipping cost is too high. That’s another reason to display all shipping costs on one page before the checkout process.

What you can do

If it’s possible, offer free shipping. It can increase orders even by 90%! If you can’t offer it all of the time, try to provide free shipping week during peak season. This will create a sense of urgency, and bring new customers to your site. Ask Your Target Market’s survey shows that 84% of online shoppers are more likely to buy something when a brand offers free shipping, and almost half of the respondents said that they would be at least somewhat likely to pay a bit more for their overall order if it came with free shipping.

5. Coupon Code Is Hard to Find

When customers see the Coupon Code box, they assume there is a special offer and start to search for it. They might even leave your site to search for the code and there is a big risk that they won’t return. Invalid codes also cause this problem.

What you can do

If you rarely offer coupon codes, you should hide the box. Instead of displaying it for everyone, you could just show the coupon box to your targeted audience. E.g. when they come to your site via promotional email or landing page.

I could talk about how shipping costs and delivery times affect cart abandonment rates, but we already know that. The fact is, any time a customer feels unsure, he’s apt to either ditch the purchase or look elsewhere. Knowing that, it’s crucial to keep the checkout clutter free by eliminating distractions like expanded navigation and even ads for related products that may interrupt the process. And don’t shine a spotlight on those coupon fields. Once they leave the site to find a coupon, there is no guarantee they will return.

Pamela Hazelton (@pamelahazelton),

6. It’s too expensive

According to Statista, the reason why 36% of consumers abandon their cart is because they find a better price somewhere else. Online shoppers look for the lowest prices. So if your prices aren’t competitive they’ll go buy somewhere else, and probably won’t come back to your shop.

What you can do

I’m not trying to tell you to reduce all of your prices, but you need to consider the competition. Study the market and find out what other retailers offer. If you can’t offer the lowest prices, try a loyalty program with a points system or special discounts.

7. There’s no price protection guarantee

Customers want to be sure that they are getting the best deal out there. So imagine their frustration when they find the same product with a lower price on another website.

What you can do

A price protection guarantee sign on your website is a great customer catcher. It protects them from price drops, and when the price goes down within a certain period, they get a refund.

8. Price showed in a foreign currency

If you’re accepting international orders, you should provide payment options in the customer’s local currency or make it possible to choose their currency from a list. Shoppers from other countries shouldn’t have to wonder what the exchange rate is and how much they will pay. This saves them time.

What you can do

Choose a payment gateway and payment methods that let you sell with the most used currencies.

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