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    6 min read

    Online Shopping Cart Abandonment: Reasons and Solutions

    By Kay Swift

    You’re not alone if you notice that your customers aren’t checking out their online shopping carts. Believe it or not, online shopping cart abandonment happens even to the biggest names in the business, and at a rate higher than you may expect. Why is shopping cart abandonment a problem for retailers? For starters, they showcase sales that could have taken place but did not.


    To ensure that more customers go through with their intended purchases, you need to start by understanding what shopping cart abandonment is and why people abandon their shopping carts. Only then should you move to looking at shopping cart abandonment solutions.


    shopping cart abandonment tools

    What Is Online Shopping Cart Abandonment?

    An online shopping cart is a virtual cart where customers add products /services they want to buy from an eCommerce website or app. The meaning of shopping cart abandonment is a customer adding products/services to a cart but not completing the checkout process.


    Online Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics

    According to numbers crunched by the Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate stood at 70.19% as of May 2024. It lists the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment as:

    • High additional costs (48%)
    • Need to create an account with the website/app (26%)
    • Don’t trust the platform enough to provide credit card information (25%)
    • Slow delivery (23%)
    • Complicated/elongated checkout (22%)


    Some of the other common shopping cart abandonment reasons include not being able to see the total cost of an order upfront, unsatisfactory return policies, problems with websites, not enough payment methods, and declined payments.


    Given the significant number of online shoppers who abandon their carts, you may see why shopping cart abandonment is a problem for retailers; it leads to a considerable loss of revenue.


    Top Shopping Cart Abandonment Reasons

    Digital shopping cart abandonment may have a detrimental effect on a business’s bottom line. However, implementing strategies to increase abandoned shopping cart pick-ups may have a positive effect.


    Here are the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment along with relevant solutions that you may implement to produce desired results.

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    1. The Necessity and Cost of Your Goods

    While the average shopping cart abandonment rate stands at around 70%, statistics vary across industries. This, in part, is because of the changes in shopping habits brought about owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.


    According to Statista, in 2022, digital shopping cart abandonment for expensive or non-essential purchases such as automobiles, flight tickets, cruises, and luxury items was more common at 85% to 98%. In contrast, essentials such as groceries and electronics featured a lower shopping cart abandonment rate of around 50%, and pharmaceuticals of around 70%.


    Other less essential but affordable purchases such as cosmetics, car rentals, hotel stays, and sporting goods featured a median shopping cart abandonment rate of 70% to 85%.



    While having a user-friendly online shop is important, without products, it’s just an empty store. Ensure that your eCommerce platform offers a wide range of goods or services including low-cost and premium as well as essential and non-essential. By diversifying your range, you may also improve sales, particularly if a customer picks up everything from your store instead of shopping at multiple stores.


    2. Forgetting to Check-Out

    Sure, shopping online is convenient. However, it’s easy for customers to let work, kids, or something else distract them through the process. This is one reason why customers may abandon carts. Luckily, an abandoned shopping cart pick-up reminder may help. Shopping cart abandonment retargeting is vital for online businesses to recoup potential revenue.



    Speak with an internet marketing company about setting up abandoned shopping cart emails and reminders for your website or app. The team will implement industry-specific best practices to ensure the highest possible abandoned shopping cart pick-up rate.


    3. Market Research

    People may add items to their shopping carts only to compare your pricing, promotions, shipping, delivery slots, and times with competitors. Why do customers abandon online shopping carts? This form of market research is among the top reasons. However, it’s crucial that you don’t take this type of cart abandonment for granted. While such customers might not be keen on buying from you, they are, in all likelihood, ready to make a purchase.



    In this instance, it’s worthwhile to engage in shopping cart abandonment retargeting, and email marketing is the way to go.

    • Send the customer a notification or an email with a reminder after he/she abandons a shopping cart.
    • Including a discount code or voucher can help you build a loyal customer base. In the case of digital cart abandonment, it may also improve the likelihood of the customer buying from you.


    shopping cart abandonment survey

    4. Unexpected Fees and Shipping Costs

    You know the drill; you’ve carefully selected products and headed to the checkout. Out of nowhere, your total cart value suddenly jumps by a third or more. Not surprisingly, hidden fees and exorbitant shipping rates are among the top shopping cart abandonment reasons.


    Besides feeling disheartened, customers may simply be unable to afford the extra fees or costs. However, this is not the only ramification. If you’re not transparent, customers might feel your pricing is deceptive and intentionally misleading.



    Try to be as upfront about additional fees, taxes, and shipping charges as possible prior to a sale. Including shipping costs into your online pricing, so you may offer free shipping, is also a great way to improve sales. Alternatively, use flat-rate shipping for all regions and countries based on your overall annual shipping fees.


    5. A Slow or Problematic Website

    Optimizing an eCommerce website’s speed and functionality to ensure a smooth shopping and checkout process is a must. A slow or problematic website or app may discourage customers, leading them to abandon their shopping carts. They may also drop their intention to buy from you in the future.


    Customers may worry that if there are issues with your website, there may also be issues with payment and delivery. Discount codes or sale pricing promoted on your products but not applied to the shopping cart may also lose you a sale.



    If your website is old, slow, or not working correctly, focus on fixing these issues. Ideally, you should partner with a professional eCommerce website development company to redesign, fix, or optimize it as soon as possible.


    6. Lack of Consumer Trust

    Paying via credit card is one of the most convenient ways to shop online. However, it’s not the safest. Besides, not all customers may possess or qualify for a credit card. This is why accepting payments only via credit cards on your website or app may result in digital shopping cart abandonment.



    Give customers multiple payment options such as EFT, debit card, and wire transfer, as well as trusted third-party payment services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, PayPal, Stripe, and WePay. Bear in mind that refund and buyer protection apply to some of these third-party services.

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    7. Delivery Takes Too Long

    The convenience of shopping online is undeniable, but what isn’t convenient is waiting for goods to arrive for a prolonged period or even indefinitely. If customers shop at a brick-and-mortar store, they may take anything they buy to their homes on the same day. However, delivery is rarely the same or even the next day with most eCommerce platforms.


    If your delivery times are too far out, you risk online shopping cart abandonment. Another factor that comes into play is stock in hand. Keeping limited stock or only ordering from your supplier when a customer orders may further lengthen your delivery times.



    Streamline your delivery process to ensure the quickest delivery times. Ensuring you have enough stock to ship out on hand and staying on top of stock control is vital. If you have limited delivery drivers, partnering with a third-party delivery service may help to improve availability.


    8. Your Returns Policy Is Unsatisfactory or Non-Existent

    Buyer reluctance is one of the many challenging aspects of eCommerce and also a reason for shopping cart abandonment. Customers may be hesitant to check out; not because your products aren’t enticing, but because of a lack of trust. Offering a money-back guarantee or a generous returns/exchange policy may improve rapport and trust.


    If you offer no such assurances or don’t display them clearly, customers will be more hesitant to buy from you. This is even the case if your company is reputable and your products perfectly fit their needs and price point.



    Outline returns, exchange, and money-back policies that you think will work for you and your online customers. Train all your staff on the details to ensure they can relay this information to inquiring customers. Be sure to advertise your policies on your website and app clearly.


    shopping cart abandonment solutions

    9. Payment Issues

    Another top shopping cart abandonment reason is declined payments. If customers cannot pay for your goods or services, they will abandon their shopping carts. The good news is that they are likely to come back if their own lack of finances is at fault.


    Be sure to have those abandoned shopping cart emails and notifications set up to remind them. However, if your website or the payment gateway is experiencing technical issues, this is more serious. In this instance, you are much more likely to lose the sale and your customer for good.



    There is not much you may do if a customer has insufficient credit or balance to make the required payment. This is also the case if the bank or payment provider experiences temporary technical difficulties. Regardless, it’s important to contact a website development company to maintain and test your payment integration regularly. Otherwise, you could be losing out on sales and return customers.


    10. The Undefined

    Digital marketers still don’t know all the specific determinants for consumers’ online shopping cart abandonment. Who picks up abandoned shopping carts and why they abandoned them in the first place is unique to each website. One can only share the statistics surrounding the main reasons.


    As such, it’s important that you try to determine why your own customers are abandoning their shopping carts. Luckily, you may use various shopping cart abandonment tools to do so. For instance, you may track shopping cart abandonment using Google Analytics. Alternatively, you may get your customers to report online shopping cart abandonment reasons and issues to you.



    Work with a digital marketing agency to implement effective online shopping cart abandonment solutions for your website, store, or app. You may expect it to devise a multi-level strategy to recoup lost revenue, including sending shopping cart abandonment surveys and reminders.

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    How Can Online Retailers Reduce or Avoid Cart Abandonment?

    If you’re wondering how to avoid shopping cart abandonment, know that the process might vary depending on the specifics of your particular industry and website, app, or online store. Here are a few basic steps every online business may take to decrease its shopping cart abandonment.


    1. Send Abandoned Shopping Cart Email Reminders

    Abandoned shopping cart email reminders may help you reduce your cart abandonment rate, and thereby, improve revenue and sales. However, following abandoned shopping cart email best practices is also crucial.

    • Send abandoned shopping cart email reminders at the right time. While this is typically around one hour after abandonment, it may vary as per product and industry.
    • Use discount and gift vouchers wisely. Offering large discounts to every customer who abandons a cart may set a precedent that cuts into your profit.
    • Include images. Don’t just send a list of the cart items; send visuals to remind customers what they’re missing out on.
    • Add calls to action. Encourage customers to finish shopping, checking out, and taking a look at other items they may like.
    • Use data. Track customers’ orders, cart contents, and browsing habits in order to upsell relevant items.
    • Try different abandoned shopping cart email templates. Play around and collect data to see what works and what doesn’t for your business.
    • Prioritize aesthetics to improve engagement and sales. Your abandoned shopping cart email reminder should fit the look of your brand and online store.
    • Include additional information. This can come in the form of customer reviews, sale pricing, alternative colors, and remaining stock.


    2. Get Your Website UX-Optimized

    User experience (UX) plays an important role in online shopping cart abandonment. As a result, it’s advisable to hire a professional web design agency to optimize your website, app, or eCommerce store.


    3. Monitor Shopping Cart Abandonment Using Online Tools

    If you don’t know why customers abandon their shopping carts, it may be difficult to fix the issue. What helps is you can find out by using the right tools. One excellent resource comes in the form of shopping cart abandonment tools from Google Analytics. You can access these if you set up Enhanced eCommerce reports.


    There are other ways to analyze why customers abandon shopping carts and who picks up abandoned shopping carts too. For example, you may send out a shopping cart abandonment survey to your customers. Alternatively, you may set up ways to easily report shopping cart abandonment issues.



    You may find yourself better prepared now that you are aware of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment and have knowledge of implementable shopping cart abandonment solutions. If you feel you don’t have the time or resources to implement a suitable strategy, consider using the services of a full-service digital marketing company. This way, you can be sure that it addresses all possible roadblocks from branding to web design to user experience.

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