Growth Tactics

Top Reasons For Cart Abandonment And What To Do

Ten reasons why carts are abandoned and what to do

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Global rate of cart abandonment sits around 70% according to the Baymard Institute.  It is a very common problem  that plagues eCommerce businesses around the world. That is a lot of traffic which could have been paying customers. Therefore it is important to understand where and why potential customers dropped off so that you can fix the problem and not only improve their experience but also of future visitors who come to your website.

This article is based on research done by the Baymard's Institute. They studied and combined data from over 37 different studies to come up with most common reasons a cart is abandoned. Here I will focus on 10 reasons mentioned in the chart below and offer some solutions to combat the problem.

baymard cart abandonment reasons

Image Credit- Baymard Institute

Added cost too high

added costs

Problem

Solution

Customer had decided to purchase but during check out they were scared off by added fees like, shipping, tax, processing fees.

Best way to handle this would be to build these costs into your product price so that the customer is not turned off by the increase in price at checkout.

Mandatory account creation

Problem

Solution

In order to check out, you make the customer create an account with your store. People don't like to be boxed in. They already have a lot of other passwords and usernames to remember, they don't want to add to that list. Plus they risk forgetting their details next time they use your store and then having to go through the hassle of contacting you to reset the account.

Simply just let them make the purchase as a guest with the option of creating an account. Have confidence in your product and service to bring the customer back. If they end up spending more at your store, they can choose to create an account.  You  can also offer social sign in to make it easier to create an account.

Long and complicated checkout

long complicated checkout

problem

Solution

Checkout process that continues on to more than one page, doesn't indicate how much more information your customer needs to fill out, requires customers to fill in unnecessary information.

Keep your checkout simple. Ask only for information that you need. Keep everything on one page with either tabs or progress bar indicating which step your customer is at and how many more there are left. Have a check box to copy shipping address into billing address if they are the same. 

Total cost not upfront

hidden cost

Reason

Solution

Your customer is having a tough time being able to see what is the total amount they are paying before they checkout.  It scares of the customer because they are afraid of accidentally paying more than they intended or expected to.

This overlaps with the added cost too high problem. 

Have a running summary of the total basket cost always visible. In addition have a detailed summary on your shopping cart/payment section.

Website errors and crashes

website crash and errors

Problem

Solution

Links not directing to correct pages, broken links, missing images or plain and simple website crashes every time your customer tries to do something. This is going to waste your customers time and frustrate them.

Run tests on your website regularly. You should have this scheduled into your operations to make sure nothing is broken or missing.  It is not a set and forget it scenario so keep a diligent eye.

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Also if you are adding new things like apps, make sure they are compatible. Try your website out on different browsers, operating systems and devices.  Sometimes the error does not show on particular browser or device and your customers are coming from everywhere.

Site looked untrustworthy

untrustworthy website

Reason

Solution

People are more aware of fraud and scams that are out there on the internet so you have make sure they know they can trust your website. If your website as mentioned above has errors or crashes, you don't have your policies outlined clearly, you have dodgy writing, customer costs are not clear, your customers could be scared off. 

Make sure your website is running smooth and that you are transparent with your customer as possible so that they don't feel like they are walking into the dark and have no idea what's going on. You should also invest in a SSL certificate and other certifications that give your customer the confidence that not only can they trust you with their money but also with any financial information they input into your website.

Slow delivery

slow delivery

Reason

Solution

This is pretty straight forward. You don't offer delivery at a speed your customer needs it.

Customers nowadays are used to same day or next day delivery options. If you don't offer options to your customer, you will likely lose out on sales. 


This is not an impossible task to achieve, you can offer multiple  shipping options with added cost. You can even negotiate the price with your shipping provider so that you can pass on the savings to your customers for shopping with you.

Unhappy with returns policy

bad return policy

Reason

Solution

Online shopping is different than brick and mortar shopping, where people can try and touch things. It is not unlikely that people may buy something that wasn't what they were expecting, is the wrong size, arrived damaged or with missing parts.  Yes sometimes you may also get people who make fraudulent returns.


If you have too many rules and regulations about when and how someone can return something, the customer may be afraid to make a commitment

Make the returns policy and process pain free and simple. Use everyday language so it doesn't seem that you are trying trick your customer or hide information in words.  


Give them enough time to receive the item and try it.  Display it in a prompt spot on your website so customers can read it prior to buying or when they need to make a return. It will build trust.


Credit card declined

credit card decline ecommerce

Reason

Solution

For whatever reason, your customer's credit card didn't work

Although there is not much you can do from your side if a credit card is declined. What you can do is offer multiple payment options so that if one does not work out for the customer they have other options to try.

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