Jet Mail 5/25/23 10:46 AM

What are the Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment?

What are the Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment costs online retailers $18 billion in lost sales revenue each year.  

Ouch, right?

While shopping cart abandonment rates vary by industry, the average cart abandonment rate is around 70%.

How does your shopping cart abandonment rate compare?

Calculating your shopping cart abandonment rate is simple: divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts, subtract from one, then multiply by 100.

If you’re not happy with your current cart abandonment rate, you’re not alone.

This comprehensive guide is designed specifically for seasoned e-commerce business owners looking to move customers through to the finish line. Keep reading to learn:

The #1 Cause of Shopping Cart Abandonment 

Nearly half of all shoppers who abandon their carts do so because of shipping-related issues. Things like unexpected fees, high costs or slow delivery times will send shoppers packing.

Though few shoppers expect next-day or two-day shipping from a smaller e-commerce retailer, they do expect to receive their purchases within a reasonable timeframe. If your delivery timeframe is three or five days longer than the competition, they’ll likely shop with your competitor.

Given how often shopping carts are abandoned because of shipping, we recently shared an in-depth guide on the best shipping solution for e-commerce businesses. This guide provides insights on how to reduce shipping costs and expedite delivery times.

But what about the other half of shoppers who abandon their carts? Why did they leave without making a purchase?

By understanding the reasons behind shopping cart abandonment and implementing effective solutions to decrease abandonment rates, e-commerce businesses can get more customers through to the finish line and boost their bottom line. 

Six Common Causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment and How to Solve Them

If shoppers aren’t abandoning their carts due to shipping-related reasons, it’s likely they left due to one (or several) of these reasons.

Difficult Website Navigation

Customers expect to move easily between product pages and their shopping cart. Once they add an item to the cart, they may want to navigate back to that specific product page or to another shopping page. This should be a seamless experience.

Solution: To understand what may be tripping up your customers, ask friends and family to spend time on your site, shopping and moving through the purchase process. This simple exercise will give you valuable insights into the experience your customers are having. If there are numerous issues, you may want to work with your web developer to update and improve navigation, or switch to an e-commerce website platform that offers templates or built-in apps that streamline the process.

Long Checkout Process

Checkout needs to be quick and simple. Shoppers will lose patience if too many steps are required. Shoppers will also flee your site if they are forced to create an account in order to checkout.  

Solution: Only make necessary information a requirement–such as billing address, shipping address and form of payment. Everything else, including questions like “How did you hear about us?” or “Is this a gift?” should be optional. Also, consider including a progress indicator on the checkout page and thumbnail photos of products in the shopping cart. Both reassure shoppers that checkout will be quick and accurate.

Security Concerns

Given the number of network security attacks that result in the theft of personal and financial information, shoppers are cautious about handing over their credentials to another business. E-commerce sites that have slow load times, crash out of the blue or lack security badges can cause shoppers to think twice about completing a purchase.

Solution: Make sure your website has HTTPS certification and display relevant security badges on your website and through the checkout process. If your site is riddled with glitches or broken links, you may want to invest in a website audit and work with a web development team to ensure an error-free website experience.

Comparison Shopping

Long gone are the days when shoppers would sit down with circulars and ads in the Sunday paper to compare sales. Now they comparison shop online. One common tactic is to add items to a cart and begin the checkout process to understand shipping fees and costs. The comparison shopper will then purchase from whatever retailer offers the best price and fastest shipping.

Solution: When someone abandons their cart at this stage, try offering a 10 to 20% discount to encourage them to complete the transaction.

Few Payment Options

Today’s shoppers expect numerous payment options at checkout. If you don’t offer an option that is most convenient for them, they may abandon their cart.

Solution: This can be fixed by including PayPal, Apple Pay, and buy-now-pay-later options, in addition to the standard credit/debit card option.

Unclear Returns Policy or Refund Policy

Be upfront and transparent about return and refund policies. Shoppers are much more comfortable making a purchase when they know they can easily return it.

Solution: Include policy information throughout your website and at checkout. While the specific details of a return policy are up to you and what’s best for your business, your customers will benefit from incorporating these elements into your returns policy:

  • State upfront which items cannot be returned for legal or hygienic reasons, such as alcohol, swimsuits or beauty products.
  • Be clear about common customer abuses, like wearing clothes and then returning them.  Be clear and state that signs of obvious wear will prevent refunds unless there is a defect with the product.
  • Post clear standard details about returns, including the time window, process, who pays for shipping, if a receipt is required and when refunds will be credited.
  • Consider charging a restocking fee for items that are expensive to process as returns, such as large furniture. This protects your business and discourages frivolous returns.
  • Get ahead of bad reviews by not letting return issues escalate. Don’t shift the blame on the carrier or make the customer track down their merchandise, as stated above. For customers with valid complaints, offer discounts or replacements to keep them happy. 

Shopping Cart Abandonment FAQs

How can I leverage data analytics to understand and reduce shopping cart abandonment?

Data analytics can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and the reasons behind cart abandonment. By analyzing factors such as the point in the process where users abandon their carts, the frequency of abandonment, or the types of products left behind, businesses can identify patterns and strategize on how to address the specific issues causing cart abandonment.

Does the shopping cart design itself play a role in shopping cart abandonment?

Absolutely. A poorly designed or complicated shopping cart can deter customers. It's crucial to have a clear, user-friendly design that includes all the necessary information such as clear product details, total cost, shipping information, and easy navigation to and from the cart. A good shopping cart design can enhance the user experience and reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.

Have a question about shopping cart abandonment that wasn’t covered in this blog?

Jet Mail is here to help!

Since 1993, Jet Mail has delivered customized fulfillment, direct mail and digital printing solutions for businesses across the U.S. While we deliver at jet speed, we always take the time to understand your business and work with you every step of the way as your hands-on, proactive partner.

Contact us today to learn how we can help reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates by creating a customized e-commerce fulfillment solution for your business. 



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