authenticstyle-What are the reasons for Cart Abandonment?
Make sure your shopping cart isn’t as sad and lonely as this one.

Cart abandonment is at an all-time high, with an average of 69% of shopping carts being abandoned at the end of 2016. With such a high statistic it’s more important than ever to focus on improving user experience not only on site but during the checkout process too. Even the most simple of errors can prove costly, driving away customers and stealing revenue without you even realising the cause. While it’s not possible to stop cart abandonment completely, there are steps you can take to reduce it. The first step is to understand what’s causing digital shoppers to abandon their carts. Let’s explore the reasons below. Below are the results of a larger study conducted by Statistia with 3,000 respondents. reasons for cart abandoment graph 2 1

Shipping Costs

A whopping 85% of users abandon their cart because of high or unexpected shipping costs. According to a survey by ‘Compete Online Shopper’ high shipping costs were rated as the number one reason why consumers were not satisfied with their online shopping experience. Ninety-three percent of shoppers also indicated that free shipping on orders would encourage them to purchase more products online. Our tips:

  • Consider offering free shipping,
  • Or a standard flat rate shipping fee
  • Include details on product pages
  • Have a page on your website dedicated to shipping information
  • Incentivise higher spending by throwing in free shipping on orders over a certain amount

Order Total

36% of shoppers abandon their carts because the cost of their order became too expensive. While some might not consider trying to tackle this statistic at all. There are a couple of tactics you could try implementing to cut this figure:

  • Offering a small discount on orders over a certain amount,
  • Or making shipping free on orders over a certain amount
  • You may even consider offering a discount coupon to first-time customers


26% of shoppers abandon their carts because of fears over security Security is a big thing online. Shoppers want to be sure their details are safe when making a purchase, and it’s no surprise why! So, how can you go about making your cart safer and conveying the security of your checkout process to customers?

  • Make sure you have a SSL certificate
  • Choose a secure shopping cart software, we recommend Shopify
  • Display credit card logos
  • Reflect Security with Seals and Icons
  • Display Secure checkout badges, like PayPal and and,
  • Logos for vendor partners and affiliates
  • Require advanced authentication steps, for example asking for credit card verification numbers
  • Have a contact button/telephone number handy, to show your willingness to assist customers

Payment Options

21% of shoppers abandon their carts because of lack of payment options

  • Make sure your shopping cart supports all the major credit cards
  • Offer payments with Paypal

Not mobile friendly

14% of shoppers abandon their carts because the shopping process doesn’t work well on mobile or tablets Making sure your whole site is mobile friendly is of critical importance, otherwise, the shopping experience is hindered. In 2014 Shopify reported that one-third of e-commerce orders came from a mobile device rather than a computer. If your website isn’t responsive in 2017 you are without a doubt losing out on sales.


An estimated 14% of shoppers abandon their carts because the website is too slow

Lengthy Checkout

An estimated 13% of shoppers abandon their carts because the checkout process takes too long to complete Streamlining your cart is a sure fire way to reduce abandonment. It’s not necessarily about making your checkout one step, as the user will just have to squint more. “If shoppers have committed to buying a product, your job is to get them through checkout as swiftly as possible. To do so, ask as little of them as possible.”

  • Reduce the number of unnecessary steps
  • Display which step the customer is in the checkout process
  • Show a login prompt to returning customers, suggesting use of stored addresses and such
  • Enable users to checkout as guests if they don’t want to register
  • Consider only asking for the customers their postcode, and using a lookup database to return possible addresses
  • Only ask for each piece of required information once


An estimated 11% of shoppers abandon their carts because of the returns policy This is a simple one to fix. Make it easier for your customers to make returns, or even better make it free.

Cart Abandonment Recovery

While you’ll always lose a percentage of customers in your checkout, you can recover a good number if you’ve got an effect recovery strategy in place. It’s a great idea to prompt (but not force) visitors to sign up as a part of the checkout process, this means that you can send automated emails to them.

  • Send an email immediately after the customer abandons their cart
  • Send another email a few hours after, and then up to two days after
  • Be sure to display the items in their cart
  • Entice them to finish checking out by giving them a voucher code

Alternatively, you might consider following up manually, communicating with the customer directly, you might discover an issue you never considered before.

Further reading

For more information on cart abandonment, check out these great articles:


So there you have it, the top reasons for cart abandonment and steps to help you optimise your cart to cut it down. As with everything, the best way to make changed is to test them so you can see how different aspects of your website affects sales, and continue to optimise your site with little tweaks. If you are an ecommerce website owner you may find our archive of ecommerce posts helpful.

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