Shopping Cart Abandonment: What Are its Causes and How Can You Fix It

Abandoned shopping cartShopping Cart Abandonment is one of the key reasons why many e-commerce sites lose out on customers. When an individual fills up their online shopping cart on your store but doesn’t check out and complete the order before leaving, that’s called shopping cart abandonment. Average shopping cart abandonment rates have reached as high as 87%, a very high statistic that was preceded by 75% prior June of 2019. This problem is worsened if a site, or its check-out process, makes completing the order a hassle by complicating the user experience.

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A survey carried out by Forrester found that up to 88% of the participants/customers browse and add items to shopping carts, but don’t complete the order by checking out. Businesses must understand that customers are not only fascinated by their final product alone – they need to be engaged and interested in the purchasing process. A complex and intricate check-out process would deter even the most likely buyers, thus contributing to the problem of shopping cart abandonment.

In this article, we will take a look at this huge problem in detail. We will first try to understand what causes the problem of shopping cart abandonment, and then we’ll take a look at how each of those causes can be fixed in 7 steps. Let us get started:

Common Reasons Why Customers Abandon Shopping Carts

One of the most significant ways of improving a site is understanding how it affects the customer. By paying attention to constant feedback, and keeping communication channels open, you can easily understand why your potential customers are abandoning their shopping carts. We’ve worked with several e-commerce businesses, and from that experience, we can tell you that the reasons given below are the most common mistakes that businesses make to increase their cart abandonment rate unknowingly:

  • Expensive shipping fees.
  • Creation of an account to purchase.
  • Complex checkout process.
  • Feeling of insecurity
  • Slow loading time and multiple crashes/errors.
  • Few payment alternatives.
  • Redundant web-designs.

These are some of the most common reasons why customers are deterred from purchasing online. Now let us look at what can be done to fix each of these reasons, so your cart abandonment rate doesn’t shoot through the roof.

7 Tips for Reducing Your Cart Abandonment Rate

Reducing your cart abandonment rate is not difficult if you follow the right steps to fix each of the above-explained reasons behind this issue. Let us take a look at each of those steps now so you can maximize your sales:

#1. Reduce Page Load Time

First, the loading speed of your webpages matters a lot. A general survey showed that any page speed over 3-seconds long is enough to deter the customer from making a purchase. Read the two following examples to get an idea of the effect your page load time can have on sales:

  1. AliExpress shared that by reducing the loading time of their pages by 36% resulted in a 10.5 per cent growth in orders and a 27 per cent jump in conversion rates for new customers.
  2. Ancestry.com, on the other hand, improved load time by 64%, page weight by 46%, render time by 68% in 2016, due to which its sales conversions experienced a 7% increase.

The examples mentioned are only a small sample to illustrate the importance of page loading speed. Therefore, you should scrutinize your product pages through Google PageSpeed Insights tool and take the steps suggested by it to reduce your page load time.

#2. Integrate multiple payment methods

The more alternatives there are to payment, the higher the chances a customer will purchase the product. If your business accepts payments through a single payment gateway, and that gateway runs into any technical problem, the customers will not be able to buy anything from you. Therefore, you should integrate multiple payment gateways as well as PayPal and other payment methods with your e-commerce site. Learn from companies like Amazon, which have not only integrated multiple payment options but also made life easier for their customers by offering one-step check-out, which streamlines the whole payment process.

#3. Include Guest check-out functionality

A statistic which is pertinent to mention is that 35% of online transactions are dropped primarily because a customer will need to make an account to purchase. While for a business this is an excellent method of retaining customers and having a direct link with them, for the customer it’s more of an effort to purchase as opposed to merely buying something on the spot. So, while you should include the functionality of creating an account to use various features (i.e. wishlists, order tracking, etc.) of your site, you should also allow Guest Checkout to boost your sales.

#4. Make them feel secure

A lot of times, people don’t purchase anything from a site because they don’t feel safe while shopping online. It can happen due to a lot of reasons. Some users are afraid to shop online from anyone in general, and some others who shop may not feel safe while dealing with your site if it lacks basic security features like an SSL certificate and Trust seals. If your site is lacking an SSL certificate, it’ll be marked as “Not Secure” by web browsers, which is a significant turn off for any online shopper. Trust seals are also known for increasing user trust in online businesses, and if they’re not present on your site, then again people will feel as if some secure elements are missing. So you should protect your site with a wildcard SSL certificate while also adding some popular Trust Seals to your site at the same time to make your customers feel secure.

#5. Avoid shipping fees and hidden charges

Exorbitant shipping costs or hidden costs play a vital role in deterring a customer from purchasing something online. In fact, 25% customers have specifically given the feedback that shipping costs drive them away. To remedy this, you can assimilate the product’s costs into the selling cost of the product. That way you can create the illusion that there are no additional costs. This is a method of reducing shopping cart abandonment and increasing AOV (Average Order Value) and conversions. Also, avoid showing any other unexpected charges on the checkout page.

#6. Simplify your checkout process

Decrease the number of details to-be-filled in during the checkout. The lesser the number of details a customer has to fill in, the easier it will be for them to purchase their desired product. You already need necessary information like payment-method, address, name and contact details to deliver an order, which is enough. Don’t request anything more than that. And as we said above in point #3, don’t try to force customers into creating an account, as it will make the process of purchasing more time-consuming. You can also include a progress indicator in the checkout process to let your buyers know how quickly they’re about to complete the order.

#7. Pay attention to your page design and content

It’s also very important to pay attention to the design and content of your product pages. If your pages lack detailed product descriptions, clear images and other necessary product information, or if the design of your checkout page is so messed up that it doesn’t load properly in all screen sizes, that too can become a major reason behind cart abandonment. So ensure that your checkout page opens correctly in all screen sizes and devices, and also ensure that all your product pages are having enough information about the products. If your customers are having unanswered questions about any product, try to answer them on the product page itself.

#8. Include responsive customer support

Finally, include live support and chat functionality in your site. A study conducted by LivePerson found that over 83 per cent of online shoppers want help when purchasing something online. Moreover, 51% of them have claimed customer service options like LiveChat would increase the probability of them purchasing a product. When customers are told how to purchase the products, efficiency and sales conversion increases, making the site profitable. If adding a simple live chat feature can increase your conversion rate in double digits, it’s worth doing it.

Final Thoughts

Shopping cart abandonment is indicative of the number of lost potential customers. To avoid losing those potential customers, it’s important to follow a customer-centric approach and ensure a smooth experience in your online store. When online, it is harder to convince a customer to buy a product than when face-to-face. That’s why everything must cater to customers in a manner which intrigues them to purchase. We’re hopeful that following the steps outlined above will help you achieve that. To further improve it and take things to the next level, keep listening to the feedback of your customers and improve your site with brutal honesty based on that feedback.


Jason Parms is a customer service manager at SSL2BUY. He is responsible for administering the customer service division and ensuring the organisation provides the maximum level of customer service. He has achieved his target very quickly through diversified SSL security products and incomparable support. Nowadays, SSL2BUY secures thousand of websites and have lots of smiles of happy customers.

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