Shopping Cart Abandonment: 13 Extensive Causes & How to Overcome Them
Last Updated On July 13, 2022

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

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

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.

If you own an ecommerce business, it’s likely that you’ve experienced shopping cart abandonment rates of 50% or higher. In fact, these rates have been reported to be as high as 70% by some online retailers. If you haven’t been tracking your shopping cart abandonment rates, now is the time to do so, as there are many ways to reduce these high numbers and increase your overall sales volume.

Abandonment rates are the number of times shoppers have left your website or shopping cart before finishing their purchase. You’ll want to keep these rates as low as possible, especially if you’re selling products with higher price tags, since lost revenue can quickly add up. In this article we will look at 10 ways to prevent shopping cart abandonment rates, so you can focus on increasing your bottom line!

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is a term that is used when someone puts an item in their shopping cart on a website, but leaves before completing their purchase. This phenomenon is especially common on e-commerce websites and can be seen as a negative indicator of business health. In many cases, it’s due to confusing pricing or shipping information. In other cases, it’s because of competitors offering promotions or discounts.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Stats

E Commerce is a tough business. If you want to be successful, you have to do everything in your power to keep customers happy and coming back for more. Here are some stats by fundera showing gravity of the problem of shopping cart abandonment:

  • 26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout design.
  • 57% is the average documented eCommerce cart abandonment rate.
  • 6% is the average mobile eCommerce cart abandonment rate.
  • $260 billion are recoverable through checkout improvements.
  • At 87.87%, airline cart abandonment rates are the highest.
  • 55% of online shoppers abandon their cart because extra costs were too high.

Also, after analyzing another shopping cart abandonment report (from Statista), these 14 main reasons came out to be the biggest reasons why online shoppers abandon their carts –

  1. Presented with Unexpected Costs – 56%
  2. I was just browsing – 37%
  3. Found a better price elsewhere – 36%
  4. Overall price too expensive – 32%
  5. Decided against buying – 26%
  6. Website navigation too complicated – 25%
  7. Website crashed – 24%
  8. Process was taking too long – 21%
  9. Excessive Payment security Checks – 18%
  10. Concerns about payment Security – 17%
  11. Delivery options unsuitable – 16%
  12. Website Timeout – 15%
  13. Price presented in a foreign currency – 13%
  14. My payment was declined – 11%

Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

1) Start with your checkout process

The checkout process is a good place to start if you want to see your abandonment rates drop. If you have an e-commerce site, there are a couple of ways you can improve your checkout process.

You could present customers with one clear, simple way of checking out so they’re less likely to go back and change their minds. Another option is showing shoppers how many products they’ve added or putting them on auto-checkout mode, which adds one product at a time—this helps people stay focused on their shopping journey without getting distracted by all sorts of options.

Either way, it means people will be more likely to finish what they started and leave with exactly what they came for—and that saves both time and money!

2) Show shipping costs

Never thought of this, did you? But yes, as many as 70% shoppers abandon their shopping cart just because they found that shipping and delivery charges are way too higher!

One reason shoppers abandon carts is that they don’t see shipping costs until after they fill up their shopping cart and start checking out. Make sure you present shipping and handling costs early in the checkout so your customers can see those costs right away.

Some experts recommend adding those fees to your product prices so shoppers won’t know if they’re spending more than they expect. This way, you can still provide low prices, but also avoid losing customers who might be put off by higher than expected totals.

Whatever you decide, it’s important that customers see your total price upfront; otherwise, you risk them leaving without buying at all.

3) Encourage multiple items per transaction

Although many users are okay with checking out with just one item per transaction, some are less inclined. If you have a shopping cart that allows multiple items, don’t force people into checking out with just one item (unless you want them to) because not everyone feels comfortable purchasing multiple items in a single transaction.

Instead, let them continue shopping until they’re ready to check out, or let them buy all of their items together at once. The main point is that everyone has different preferences; cater your checkout process to each user’s preferences rather than forcing them into something they’re uncomfortable with.

4) Offer free shipping if total amount exceeds a certain value

Free shipping is a great way to get people interested in your product or service, but it’s also one of the easiest ways for potential customers to lose interest. It’s easier than ever before for shoppers to compare prices between sellers, and free shipping offers can make even small differences feel like large sums.

For example, if you were about to purchase an item that cost $40 from a seller who didn’t offer free shipping and a seller who offered free shipping above $25, a few dollars may make all of the difference. When you look at how easy it is for price discrepancies like these could affect your shopping cart abandonment rates, it’s clear why offering free shipping can come with risks.

5) Use product recommendations on the purchase confirmation page

When customers come back to your site after adding products to their shopping cart, they often see a “You May Also Like” section. The next time they return, increase your chances of making a sale by including product recommendations on your purchase confirmation page.

If customers have added items in their carts within 30 days but haven’t made a purchase, you can use their recent activity and buying patterns in order to recommend additional products that are likely related.

By offering product recommendations on your ecommerce site’s purchase confirmation page (especially when it comes to products that are very similar or complementary), you can turn shopping cart abandonment into new sales.

6) Offer discounts on related products

When you give people a discount for something they’re already interested in, their brain will think: Wow! I’m really getting a deal here. I love saving money and there’s plenty of it in my shopping cart already. It’s also related to what I’m buying so it makes perfect sense that it would be part of my purchase.

7) Send reminder if the product is in the cart

If your customers don’t finish their purchase, you can let them know how many other shoppers have left reviews. For example, if only 30% of visitors who added an item to their cart actually purchased it, pop-up a notice that says only X% of shoppers who added X item(s) to their cart actually purchased it.

It also could encourage you customers by showing them how many others are enjoying what they are interested in buying. This can help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates by reminding your customers that there are people just like them who bought and loved what they’re looking at now.

8) Make signing up for an account easy

Visitors want to get through checkout as quickly as possible. When they’re forced to jump through hoops or go through multiple steps, it increases their chances of dropping off before completing their purchase. Making it easy for users to sign up for an account will ensure that they complete their purchases more often than not.

Make sure all users have easy access to your company’s contact information but don’t require customers who are already signed up for an account to enter login information every time they visit.

Instead, take advantage of APIs like Facebook Connect and Google Sign-In; both platforms make it simple for existing customers (who are used to signing in with their credentials) to access your website without re-entering info.

9) Show reviews from other customers on checkout page

One way to keep customers from abandoning their shopping carts is by including reviews from other customers right on your checkout page. This lets people see exactly what others think of your product, its features, and how it compares with competing products.

If you’re not sure where to find these reviews, check out review aggregators like Trustpilot or Yotpo; each aggregates customer feedback from around social media and gives you a centralized place to learn more about your audience and respond accordingly. Review aggregators also help streamline and improve search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as well as bolster those all-important metrics.

You can even use them as an opportunity for future email marketing campaigns—letting users know that there are other shoppers just like them who already made a purchase decision.

10) Give customers time to change their mind at any point during the buying process.

If you’re selling a product online, make sure your customers don’t feel rushed. Give them time to browse and think before they’re committed. Let them leave their shopping cart and return another day if they decide it isn’t for them.

You should also give your customers time to change their minds after they have made a purchase. If they aren’t completely satisfied with their purchase, ask them how you can help fix or resolve any issues so that they are happy with their overall experience.

Then, try offering some sort of incentive for them to go back and complete a review about your business so other consumers can benefit from that feedback as well.

11) Tag products with a competitive price and put a “refund policy” in place for easy returns

Price comparison also being the biggest issue in the minds of online shoppers while buying, 36% carts are abandoned. So, before you put a price tag on your product, look around what your competitors are offering and put a decent price to win the confidence of shoppers. Include call to actions like “Best Deal only for you”, “Get 30% off only on our store”, “Sale on selected items” etc. on your product landing pages to psychologically prompt your customers to complete the purchase. Also, include clear refund policy to further enhance the shopping experience & remove any qualms about purchasing from your site.

12) 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.

13) 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?

14) 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.

15) 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.

16) 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.

17) 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.

18) 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.

19) 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.

20) 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.

21) 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.

22) “Retarget” Lost Customers & “Remarket” to them – Tap all selling points by offering attractive perks to cart abandoners

A Seewhy report says that abandoners spend 55% more when remarketed. Retargeting your customers with attractive perks is a great way to bring back the lost customers. Apart from including common selling points like –  Free Shipping”, Live Technical Support and Easy Returns etc. in your sales strategy, you can retarget them via targeted advertisements based on their interests. To put together an effective remarketing campaign, you can consider using some industry popular Retargeting tools like – Google AdWords Remarketing, Adroll, Retargeter, Rocketfuel, Criteo, Ebay Enterprise (A retargeting platform formerly known as Fetchback), Vizury, Chango and Perfect Audience (For Facebook Retargeting).

23) Send “Recovery Emails” for a winning comeback

Research shows that the revenue generated through email retargeting is significantly higher than other email marketing programs. So, if you keep the “timing” object in mind, you’ll surely win sales at this point. Here are some points and examples to keep you going.

  • Timing – Send your first recovery email within 24 hours when shoppers abandon their cart. You’ll be surprised to know that 7% of Top 500 online retailers are already practicing this to cash on the lost opportunities. If no response comes after your first email, send your second email 23 hours later and a third email after 4 days. For this you can use tools like Salescycle, Vero, Abandonaid and Rejoiner.
  • Content – While designing your remarketing email, don’t forget to include the name and images(thumbnails) of the abandon items along with the final price tag that you wish to offer, “free shipping” and “easy return policy” call to actions, customer care number & live support icon on the top and an eye catchy subject line (e.g – “Did you forget something”, “Come Back and Save 20% Off Your Order”) etc. This will ensure 150% higher open rates and 200% higher conversion rates than standard promotional emails.
  • Price – Sometimes, price is the ultimate concern of shoppers that avoids them from making a purchase. In your recovery email, include amazing collective discounts & offers like – 30% Off on Your Final Cart just for you or Rs 500 off on your final purchase.

24) Offering Loyalty Programs & Welcome Programs can do the trick

Remember buying from brick and mortar stores where you become a Bluecard member and earn points? This is called a loyalty program. Forrester Research says that loyalty members spend an average of 13% more and also increase annual website visits by 20% more. Here, I’ve included this strategy for returning customers (customers who frequently purchase from your online shop). For this, you can use a pop-up to remind about the points earned by your customers once you see that they’re leaving your site without purchasing. It is likely that a cart abandoner after dropping out cart when gets a reminder from your site in the form of a pop-up, he/she will complete the purchase considering that the points will get him an extra off (may be around Rs 300 or Rs 500 or even more than that).

The other way is to introduce customer welcome programs. Just like the loyalty program this trick also plays well with both cart abandoners and your existing customers. This can increase your chance of getting a second sale by 300% more.

25) Support Buyers during their “Consideration cycle”

Supporting your buyers while they’re still considering can dramatically bring back the lost sales. Since Website Timeout is also one thing that pisses off 15% shopping cart abandoners, a huge opportunity to convert leads lies when customers are either lost as their sessions end or problems while checkout. If you capture customers in their “Consideration cycle”, there is 99% chance of closing sales.

26) Draw a “return revenue path” for your customers

Online retailers are now focusing on conversion optimization to optimize the buying cycles and make way for more sales. Yes, you guessed it right; I’m talking about the return revenue path – the process by which you can prompt new and returning visitors to consider purchasing. A typical path can be the one shown below.

Browse –> Abandon –> Consider –> Research –> Ask Friends -> Browse –> Purchase

Conclusion

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.

Every time a customer leaves your website due to an abandoned shopping cart, it is costing you money in lost revenue. I hope the above mentioned tips help you reduce the cart abandonment rate for your eCommerce site. There are also many good eCommerce website development companies in India providing advanced features in online stores that help them reduce the abandoned rate. You can take help from these companies.

By Team TIS

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