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10 Common Reasons for Your Shopping Cart Abandonment

You have meticulously planned each stage of your sales funnel, investing time and resources in driving conversions at every stage. You are carefully guiding your leads from the top of the funnel towards the bottom. However, they suddenly drop off at the checkout phase.

Frustrating? Definitely. But you’re not alone. Cart abandonment is a pain point for many eCommerce businesses. Let’s look at some cart abandonment statistics to learn why shopping cart abandonment is a problem for retailers.

  • Average cart abandonment rate across all sectors is 69.57%.
  • Abandonment rate with mobile users is 85.65%.
  • Lost eCommerce revenues due to cart abandonment total around $18 billion.
  • Improving the checkout process can raise conversions by 35.62%.

Cart abandonment rate by industry ranges from nearly 53% to almost 75%.

Many marketers believe that customers who have reached the final stage of the sales funnel are more likely to purchase than those at the beginning of their buying journey.

But is this always the case? Why does a shopper leave the checkout process? Is it the merchant’s fault, or are external factors at play? Once you know the answers, you’ll be closer to working out how to improve the cart abandonment rate in your webstore.
To address these questions, let’s explore the reasons for online shopping cart abandonment and the marketing techniques to combat it.

Why Do Shoppers Abandon Their Carts?

Many abandoned carts are simply a consequence of users’ typical browsing behaviour on eCommerce sites. Visitors enjoy looking through the site, comparing prices and saving products for later. These reasons for cart abandonment during the checkout process are mostly unavoidable.

Up to 59% of US users abandoned their carts in 2022 because they were not ready to buy. It isn’t worth trying to influence this segment with retargeting activities. Instead, let’s focus on shopping cart abandonment statistics for the potential shoppers whose end-journey you have more control over.

These reasons, and more, explain why potential customers drop off at the final purchasing stage. Let’s zoom in on ten typical causes of eCommerce cart abandonment.

10 Common Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Insufficient delivery options and a lengthy delivery process

Delivery is a crucial constituent of the purchasing experience. Clients expect a choice of shipping options and prompt delivery.

If the checkout phase reveals their preferred shipping option isn’t available and the shipping will take longer than expected, this could become one of the main reasons for abandoning the shopping cart.

Timely, accessible information about delivery options will help avoid customer frustration.

2. Absence of preferred payment option

Shoppers may prefer payment options other than a credit card, such as digital wallet or PayPal. For large purchases, consumers may also look for a post-purchase payment or installments.

By diversifying payment options and plans, you will cater to a broader range of customer demands and improve your conversion rate.

3. Confusing checkout procedure

If the checkout process is complex and tedious, customers may get frustrated and leave without completing their purchase.

Studies have found the optimal checkout flow has as few as five steps, with about eight form fields to fill out. However, it’s common to see checkouts with 12–16 form fields, which seriously impedes customer experience.

The checkout procedure can be further improved by removing annoying or confusing elements, like extra links and icons, and visually distinguishing CTAs from other content (for example, by making purchase buttons a highly contrasting colour to the background).

4. Unclear return policy and a lack of customer support

Customers may hesitate to purchase if they’re unsure about your return options. If the checkout stage reveals an unsatisfactory returns policy, customers are likely to turn to competitor sites.

Equally disappointing could be the inability to contact the seller in a preferred way, for instance, when the seller’s phone number is missing.

A transparent return policy and multichannel customer service system would address this issue.

5. Security concerns

If your website’s look and feel does not evoke trust or lacks security measures, customers may doubt the safety of their personal information and abandon their cart.

As a retailer, you can provide direct and indirect proof of your reliability. Offering a deferred payment option, when they only pay once they have received the goods, is an excellent way to remove customer fears.

Some indirect proofs include:

  • Professional website design
  • Testimonials from satisfied users
  • Certificates of compliance with international standards

6. Absence of guest checkout option

While you can encourage visitors to register or subscribe, forcing them to do so may be counterproductive. Consider a guest checkout option as part of your cart abandonment strategy.

Offering the chance to check out as a guest and return later may streamline a purchase and inspire a user to revisit your website.

7. Unexpected extra costs

High shipping fees, taxes, or additional charges that were not transparent throughout the browsing phase can cause cart abandonment.

If the total fees the customer faces at the final stage of their buying process exceed their expectations, it can discourage a purchase. Therefore, clearly communicate all payments at the earlier stages of the buying journey.

8. Website issues

Glitches, slow loading times, or website errors can impede user experience, sending customers to the more user-friendly sites of your competitors. Fast loading times and smooth website functioning are part of the seamless user experience that can reduce cart abandonment rates.

9. Excessive upselling

Upselling and cross-selling can drive up your average order value and increase revenue. However, abundant cross-promos may divert customers’ attention and even become annoying. Therefore, don’t overwhelm shoppers with additional offers.

You can conduct A/B testing for various cross-promotions and study analytics to understand the optimal path.

10. No discounts available

If promo offers are suggested at the right time, they can improve customer experience and increase conversions. Shoppers are used to seeing discount codes, coupons, and other offers all the time so may seek such promos in your store.

Consider adding a discount option with a promo code or some other offer to entice customers to complete the purchase process.

Cart Abandonment Recovery: Top Marketing Techniques

You can reduce shopping cart abandonment by optimizing your user experience. If you meet visitors’ expectations with a straightforward checkout process, robust security measures, rich delivery options and other elements, they’re more likely to buy from your store.

There are also plenty of marketing tools that can prevent your customers’ outflow and help you reach the visitors that have dropped off.

These methods reduce cart abandonment rates by providing additional incentives to shoppers who might still be considering a purchase.

1. Abandoned cart emails

Set up automated email sequences to send personalized reminders for cart recovery. Include incentives like discounts or limited-time offers to inspire customers to return to their carts.

This research shows you have just a few hours to make the most of your cart recovery email.

Sephora, a renowned beauty brand, approaches abandoned cart emails by:

  • Offering solid reasons to shop
  • Providing star ratings and links to customer reviews
  • Including vivid product images
  • Performing delicate upselling

2. Exit intent pop-ups

Exit intent pop-ups capture users’ attention when they are about to leave the website. This is an opportunity to offer shoppers a special discount or other triggers to make revisiting their cart enticing. The key to an effective exit pop-up lies in bringing additional value without annoying a customer.

For instance, WordStream provides educational materials, such as “Beginner’s Guide to PPC”, on their exit pop-up window.

Exit intent pop-ups personalize the content a user receives based on the page they are browsing. Using this technique, companies can gather contact information and encourage longer browsing sessions.

3. Social proof

Social proof shows potential customers that others have good things to say about your products. Display customer reviews and testimonials close to the checkout area to build trust and confidence in your products. This can help alleviate concerns that may lead to cart abandonment.

People tend to trust testimonials, making them a powerful form of social proof.

Amazon encourages detailed reviews on each product page, including a rating of one to five stars. Other users can join the reviewing process by giving thumbs up to the feedback they find valuable.

4. Limited-time offers and discounts

Create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time discounts or promotions for items left in the cart. This can prompt a fear of missing out and urge customers to complete their purchase.

Free shipping can also serve as a solid nudge for a customer to push the ‘Confirm Order’ button. Walker Sands found that 88% of online shoppers are likely to buy when offered free shipping.

The health-food brand Keto uses a combination of a discount and a limited-time offer when users leave their carts. Such an incentive is an efficient decision driver if offered at the right time.

5. Personalized recommendations

Use customer data and browsing history to offer personalized product recommendations relevant to the items in the cart. Showing relevant suggestions can pique users’ interest and prompt them to revisit their carts.

Just look at this tempting example by Jimmy Choo. Not only is this a tool for cart abandonment prevention but also a perfect upselling opportunity.

6. Live chat support

Offer live chat support to assist customers who may have questions or concerns during the checkout process. Prompt, helpful responses can help overcome buyer hesitation and increase conversions.

The health food and supplement store Herbal Goodness has implemented a live chat that offers assistance and encourages subscriptions. This ensures that store visitors receive support and are also enticed with promos.

7. Follow-ups

Engage with customers after they make a purchase by sending follow-up emails. This can include order confirmation, shipping updates, and cross-selling or upselling initiatives.

For example, the ticket service Trainline delivers an email with valuable information about the weather at the traveler’s destination and the stations en route.

8. Articulate calls to action

As soon as your customers add items to their cart, make their next steps easy. Primarily, the website must clearly show that they have successfully added an item to the cart. Although this may seem obvious, some sites are ambiguous about this. Next, guide your customer through the purchasing steps with clear, consistent calls to action.

Reebok clearly confirms a shopper has added a product to their cart and suggests subsequent actions. A customer can either view their bag or proceed straight to checkout. The interface is clear and concise, offering guidance and links.

Final Thoughts

Shopping cart abandonment is a frustrating yet preventable occurrence. Although there are some scenarios you cannot influence, there are several improvements you can make to encourage customers to complete their purchase. Explore your audience’s preferences, needs and pain points to select the right techniques for abandoned cart recovery.

One of the significant ways to reduce cart abandonment is by harnessing a trustworthy eCommerce platform. It is not only at the checkout phase that you can recoup your lost revenue. The customer’s overall experience with your online shop determines whether they will finish their order. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in a top-notch eCommerce framework.

Top comments (1)

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