Why Do Online Customers Abandon Shopping Carts? Learn the Strategies to Improve Conversions

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for eCommerce. The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. Some industries experience average cart abandonment as high as 83.6%.

What is ‘Shopping Cart Abandonment’?

Shopping Cart Abandonment is when a user adds items to cart and then leaves without purchasing. This happens to all businesses no matter what service or items they are selling.

Learn why customers abandon shopping carts. 

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Additional Costs (shipping fee, taxes, etc.)

To build good customer relationship, be transparent. Include on the product page the possible additional fees such as shipping fee, tax, service fee, etc. Some customers add items on cart just to check the final cost then rethinks and leave when they see the high price.

A good strategy is to have a shipping calculator on the product page so customers can input the zip code and get the estimated final cost.

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2. No ‘Guest Checkout’ 

Never force sign-ups or account creation. Every additional step towards purchase gives a reason for customers to turn away.

For businesses who want to get contact info (email address, phone number, etc.), try collecting these information after the purchase is complete. Entice customers with a reward, perhaps a coupon, on the next purchase in exchange of these.

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3. Long Checkout Process/Form

A long, complicated checkout process is one of the leading reasons why customers leave. 

Try limiting the checkout process in 1-2 web pages only. Show payment process alongside with the added item. Also, an auto-fill form is a good idea for when customers go back to the cart and decides to checkout.

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4. Limited Shipping Option

Before and after paying, most customers check on the estimated delivery date. They want to receive it as soon as possible and seeing long delivery time discourages them. This is why big eCommerce sites such as Amazon have offered ‘One-day Delivery’.

Propose delivery options based on urgency, customers’ budget, and preferred courier. Another option is to have store pick-up.

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5. Website Issues

Slow-loading web pages and errors make customers leave. Usually, this happen after filling-up a long form and then the website crashes or doesn’t accept certain cards. Minor performance problems are less likely to scare customers off, but will still impact their experience and should be prevented.

To resolve this, do a monthly health check-up of the website to identify errors, weak points, and improve the performance of shopping cart for customers.

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6. Unclear Returns Policy

Everyone have had a mistake when purchasing online especially with the sizes. An unclear return policy will cause customers to leave and seek a better place to buy the product.

Promote a good return policy, and a simple customer service system to help facilitate this. Briefly discuss the return policy on the product page and link it to the detailed page.

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7. Too Much Pop-Ups (Upselling and Cross Selling)

Yes, upselling and cross-selling increases sales. However, for the customers’ shopping experience, it can be overwhelming that can distracts them from the original purchase.

Businesses should be cautious with the pop-ups. Set upsell and cross-sell pop-ups depending on customers’ shopping behavior.

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8. Limited Information (product description, reviews)

Nowadays, customers base their buying decision on reviews and browse though on product description. In some cases where they don’t see any review, it gives them doubt on pushing through with the conversion.

Make sure to write enough product information and initiate reviews to build trust.

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9. Waiting for Sale

Let’s be honest, most customers add to cart and wait for the items to be on sale before purchasing. With this, businesses can offer coupons, vouchers, promotions to entice customers.

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10. Not Mobile-Friendly

Mobile is the no. 1 device where people browse eCommerce sites and bad mobile design fails to satisfy customers.

Mobile first – create a responsive design that is compatible with both mobile and desktop. Standardize shopping cart and checkout design across device types so users have a familiar experience buying across devices.

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The abovementioned are some strategies to help businesses encourage purchase of the abandoned items. What do you think are the top 3 most effective?


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