5 most common reasons for abandoned carts (and how to fix them)

by Leah Baker

5 most common reasons for abandoned carts (and how to fix them)

Comparison shopping, unexpected added costs, time-consuming checkout processes; there are plenty of reasons why your customers might be abandoning their shopping carts before converting. In fact, in March 2020, just over 88% of online shopping carts were filled then abandoned. 

It’s impossible to know the reason for each abandoned cart, but the good news is there are a few things you can do to help get more of your customers over the hurdle and converting. 

Here are the five most common reasons for cart abandonment and what you can do about them. 

 

High or unexpected shipping prices

Arguably one of the biggest culprits of abandoned shopping carts is high or unexpected shipping costs. 

Imagine this: your customer has just spent precious time filling their cart with goodies. They’re ready to buy, so they start to go through the checkout process only to find the cost of their order has nearly doubled because of shipping and duties. More than likely, that shopper is annoyed and leaving your store right then and there. 

Be transparent

Make sure your online store clearly states your shipping costs somewhere that is easily found. Being transparent not only allows shoppers to make informed decisions, but it also goes a long way in helping your brand seem trustworthy. 

Rework your shipping costs

If high shipping costs are preventing your customers from converting, you need to do some research and see if there’s a more cost-effective way to get your products to your customers. It’s worth the effort to find the best deal for your customers, we promise. 

If it’s just not possible to bring down your shipping costs, consider absorbing some of those costs into the prices of your products. Research shows that people are actually willing to pay more for the same goods if it means they do not have to pay a separate shipping fee. 

 

Comparison shopping

Today’s online shopper is savvy and likes to do their research before buying. This means they will often fill their shopping cart and begin the checkout process to see what the final cost of their order will be, after shipping and additional fees are applied. They will then do the same at similar stores and compare prices before deciding where to purchase from. 

Popups to keep their attention

Grabbing the attention of these window shoppers with an extra incentive to make a purchase is a great way to secure a conversion. An exit-intent popup with a small discount, free shipping offer, or gift with purchase that activates when the shopper goes to navigate away from the checkout page will help you stand apart from your competition.  

 

Security concerns

Online shoppers need to trust the store they’re ordering from to actually make a purchase. Making your customers feel secure that their personal and payment information is safe with you is absolutely key. 

Feature security badges 

Clearly displaying SSL certificates or trust seals near your checkout’s payment forms is a great way to visually show your customers that your store is trustworthy. SSL certificates prove a store’s domain is verified and that the data being shared is encrypted. 

 

Confusing or time-consuming checkout

If your customers can’t figure out how to submit an order, or if they have to put in extra effort or jump through hoops to make a purchase, they probably won’t convert. 

Test your checkout process by completing a purchase yourself to see where there might be friction. Use a critical eye, and maybe even have a friend do the same with fresh eyes. The journey from cart to submitting an order should be as smooth and fast as possible.

Yes to CTAs, no to log-ins

Your call to action, or CTA, during the checkout process is the checkout button itself. It needs to be instantly recognizable and impossible for your customers to miss. If your checkout button is not alluring, try making it larger and a contrasting colour. 

The checkout process should involve as few steps as possible. This means your customers do not want to create an account or sign up for a mailing list before being able to complete their purchase. If your checkout process has hurdles like this, consider moving these CTAs to elsewhere on your website or offering a guest checkout option to make it easier for shoppers to convert. 

 

Not enough payment options

Not all of your customers will use the same preferred payment method. Offering just one, such as PayPal, will alienate shoppers who don’t use or trust that service. Instead, offer a combination of credit cards, Interact, and PayPal. You might even consider offering a Buy Now Pay Later option to help boost conversions by taking the sting out of large purchases. 

 

Put it to use

The great thing about these solutions is that you can try one or all of them, and you’re sure to see some improvement in your cart abandonment rates. Remember to view your store and its checkout process from the perspective of your customers and make their journey to conversion smooth sailing. 

Leah Baker
Leah Baker