Shopping Cart Abandonment: 13 Extensive Causes & How to Overcome Them
03 January 2017

Shopping Cart Abandonment: 13 Extensive Causes & How to Overcome Them

shopping cart abandonment causes and methods

Are you getting enough traffic on your e-commerce stores but are still not able to convert your leads into probable customers? Well, did you track your customers’ behavior? You’ll only be surprised to find out the number of shopping carts that get abandoned for one reason or the other. More than 68 percent of digital shopping carts were abandoned between 2006 and 2016. That undoubtedly is a huge number!

Finding out the shopping cart abandonment reasons and working on the identified loopholes is the only solution to minimize the shopping cart abandonment. We tell you how!

1) High Price

Let’s face it, 71% of the shoppers shop online because they believe they will get a better deal online. And if they are not able to locate a perfect deal on your website or if the product is priced way too high, it is only obvious that they will abandon their shopping cart.

There could be various other reasons behind cart abandonment. Users also tend to leave the shopping carts if the price of the products is not listed in their local currency. As a result of which, shoppers are expected to deal with currency conversions on their own. This might upset a few customers.

Further, various e-commerce stores add tax and vat at the time of checkout. And since a user was not prepared to pay an additional amount as tax and vat, they might simply leave the website.


It is highly recommended to lure customers, especially if you are a start-up company. We are not suggesting you to cut down your own profits in the mad race of offering the best prices to customers, but to play it smart! How about offering them discount coupons to convince them to shop from you? Keeping a track of their behavior once they are on your website also helps.

You might choose to drop them a recovery mail every time they leave your website without checking out. A simple mail like ‘Your products are waiting for you in the shopping cart’ goes a long way in winning a lost customer. You might also choose to collect their feedback once they abandon the shopping cart asking reasons if they found a better deal elsewhere.

2) Expensive Shipping

Never thought of this, did you? But yes, as many as 74% shoppers abandon their shopping cart just because they found that shipping and delivery charges are way too higher!

Further, a report by ComScore states that around 60% of the consumers are likely to cancel their purchase if they are made to pay for shipping charges too!


While free shipping on all orders might undoubtedly hurt your bottom line, but rewarding shoppers with free shipping if they pay upfront, or providing free delivery above a certain amount of price can help you win hearts of your customers.

Further, it is always a good practice to make your customers know about the shipping charges involved beforehand rather than at the checkout page.

3) Just Browsing

Admit that, we all tend to browse e-commerce stores in our free time even when we don’t need anything. So, you cannot rule out the possibility that your customer left his shopping cart just because he was never at your site with the intention of buying. He was just there to roam and browse around, have a look at the prices and that’s it.


It is always better to point out exits to your customers even if they were just there for a random stroll. Drop them a random email and this will make them feel comfortable. This will speak well of your company and brand and would make them happy. It goes without saying, that happy customers are the best customers, and what else do you want?

4) Minimize Your Checkout Flow

Analyze your checkout process and calculate the times it takes for an average customer to complete the checkout process. Multiple processes from cart to checkout can be frustrating for some, and this perhaps could be one of the reasons why more and more customers are abandoning their shopping cart online in between.


Aim to make the whole checkout process swift and fast, ideally within 4 seconds. Make sure that there are minimum clicks required between adding the items to the shopping cart and finally making the purchase. You should also avoid the unnecessary display of multiple pages with a return policy and so, onto the final checkout page.

However, we would highly recommend conducting a proper A/B testing to achieve on an ideal checkout process. Keeping the checkout process too much precise can confuse your customers if they have provided the correct address or quantity or size, while, a long process can irritate frequent shoppers.

5) Bugging-Up Customers With A Compulsory Sign Up

Undoubtedly, capturing email addresses of every customer can help you in an effective marketing campaign, but gathering their contact information forcibly is not appreciable.


You should never trap the customer to make him provide his contact details. They will eventually provide all the info that you need once they place an order. But care should be taken that you also have a guest checkout system at a place to facilitate quick checkouts for people in a hurry.

6) No Clear CTA Buttons

Keep yourself in your visitors’ shoes and analyze one thing – How easy the navigation is on your website?

This is where various e-commerce stores lose the game. The site at times is so shabby and confusing with no clear navigation and CTAs, that it becomes difficult for a user to make a purchase through it.


Keep the structure and layout of your website as simple as possible. Have proper placement of ‘add to cart’, ‘add to wish list’, ‘continue shopping’, ‘back to previous category’ and other buttons. Further, make sure that the website is easy to navigate by displaying related products under each category, clear CTA buttons, proper menu, and the likes.

7) Lack of Payment Options

How many payment options does your website provide? Assuming that net banking as a payment gateway is enough or thinking that the ability to pay via credit cards or via cash on delivery would suffice, is a purely hypothetical statement.

There are cases when a particular user is not able to pay simply because his credit/debit card might be faulty or due to the misplacement of banking credentials from his part. These are perhaps the kind of situations when an array of payment options come to his rescue.


Make sure that you include all popular debit and credit card options on your website. If you are targeting shoppers from around the globe, make sure you include international payment gateways like PayPal as well. Don’t forget to add popular local payment options like RuPay for India, AliPay for China, iDEAL for the Netherlands and so on.

8) Lack of Customer Support

The biggest advantage of shopping offline is that customers can consult the shop owner or the sales representatives right away in the store in case of any issue. However, this is not the case when you are shopping online.

You don’t have a salesman with you to explain the details of the products. In such cases, a shopper has to only rely on the information provided by the website. And if an e-commerce store fails to explain what the product is all about, what are its dimensions and other details, this is when a customer struggles to achieve satisfaction and might abandon the shopping utility cart on the go.


Well, having robust customer support is the solution. Better, if you could implement a live chat on your website to help users with their queries in real-time. A recent survey by LivePerson has revealed that as many as 93% of customers admit that having live chat support at a website facilitates easy shopping experience.

9) Lack of Brand Trust

Your e-commerce store should convey proper trustworthiness to your customers, until and unless you are a big brand like ‘Amazon’ which already has its brand value on the market. But if you are a lesser-known brand, what are the parameters you are expecting your customers to trust you on?


Ensuring your customers about the provided security and that the whole transaction would be safe and secure is the only way to win their trust. Further, switching your domain address from HTTP to HTTPS is an additional step you can adopt, including security icons in green color, speak of the security.

Further, also highlight the contact details of the company including the customer care number, the company’s address, and the Facebook page and so on to show the goodwill of the company. This will help customers build their trust over you.

10) Website crash

Okay, so your customer spent a considerable amount of time on your website. They actively chose the product of their likings and finally made it to the checkout process, but then all of a sudden, your website crashed. In such situations, what do you expect your customers to behave like? It is only likely that they will abandon their shopping carts and won’t think of shopping again from your website.


Have a robust system at your place with dedicated servers which are capable of handling the load. Keep your website’s coding up-to-date to avoid any crashes.

Further, if you are going to host some mega event or a sale or have a marketing campaign going on and you’re expecting huge traffic at your website, it is better to prepare for it by installing additional servers which can match up with your expected traffic.

Analyze the load which your website would be able to handle, and talk to your service provider beforehand for any additions, if required, rather than to serve poor experience.

11) Not Offering Coupon Codes and Promotional Offers

A consumer is less likely to make a purchase from a website less-known unless he/she is in grave need of a certain product or if he can find the same product on other online stores which he trusts more.


The best way to achieve an edge over your competitors is by offering your customers promo offers and coupon codes which would motivate them to shop from you. And when they shop for the first time, make sure that you provide them a flawless shopping experience such that they shop from you more often!

12) Lack of Product Information

Suppose a customer of yours likes a certain product from the way it looks and decides to purchase it. The second moment, he wants to know more about the product that he is so willing to purchase, but in vain! There is no such information available. The result – he will surely abandon the product that he has in his cart.


Display all the product related information along with every product. Give proper insights about the material of the product, its dimensions, guarantee if any, pricing details, size guide, and other details. As an additional luring factor, you can also help your customers by providing an additional styling tip. Simple statements like ‘Pair this dress with high-toed heels’ can help your customers make a smart decision.

13) Confusion in Filling Out Mandatory Fields

It goes without saying that your website’s layout and forms should be simple enough to understand and comprehend. Needless to say, your e-commerce store would be visited by both first-time shoppers and regular online shoppers alike.

While the things are easy for people who are in habit of shopping online, but first-time shoppers might find a few things tough to browse and manage. There have been cases when people discarded their shopping carts just because the shipping detail form wasn’t clear enough for them to understand.


Keep the things as simple and precise as possible. While asking for info from the users in the forms, it is highly recommended to mention every minute detail, no matter, how obvious it is. Have a proper display of error messages if any wrong input is done by the user, and distinctly highlight the field in which the user has missed out on. Also, have a feedback mailing system in place wherein the shop owners can ask the users if they are facing any difficulty in placing the orders.

Wrapping Up

Every industry has its own issues and challenges, and the e-commerce industry is no exception. However, e-commerce problems and solutions can be easily identified and handled through proper analysis and strategic implementation.

Perhaps this is how brand names like ‘Amazon’ and ‘eBay’ were made. If shopping cart abandonment is the issue you are being challenged with, just go ahead and recognize the appropriate customer retention tactics and solutions that are a fit for you and accordingly work in the right direction.

What are your views on this? How far do you think the solutions suggested above are meaningful? Do let us know in the comments!

By Amit Kothiyal

Google Analytics & E-Commerce Analytics certified, Amit Kothiyal has 9+ years of experience in digital marketing. Currently, he is working in a stellar digital marketing company TIS India Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. He has helped numerous brands establish their online niche with his out-of-the-box internet marketing strategies and lead generation capabilities. He is proactive on LinkedIn and Twitter to share his experiences with similar kind of professionals across the globe.

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