You Won’t Believe the 13 Reasons Why Shoppers Abandon Cart and How to Fix It.

Every time you lose a customer it means money out of your pocket, and as online retailers, we face the challenge of keeping them buying and putting them down as returning customers. There are many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to fix these issues if you want to improve your sales. Here are 13 reasons why people abandon carts and what you can do about it!

Why Shoppers Abandon Cart

Shopping Cart Abandonment – An Incomplete Purchase Cycle

If you ever work in eCommerce, there is no doubt that you’re familiar with the term shopping cart abandonment. This refers to when a customer adds items into their shopping cart, but then leaves your website without completing their purchase. According to Baymard Institute, it’s estimated that two-thirds of online shoppers will abandon their carts before they complete checkout. The reasons for these abandoned carts are numerous, but most often include perceived pricing issues, shipping costs or delivery timing concerns.

Reason #1 Unexpected Shipping Costs

Shipping costs for online shoppers have been a top complaint for many years. In fact, it is estimated that shoppers who discover unexpected shipping costs abandon their carts at a rate of 10%. This means 1 out of every 10 people who intended to make a purchase on your site will walk away without doing so because they discovered you charge more than expected. One way around this problem is to clearly disclose your shipping charges before a shopper enters any personal information.

Reason #2 Long And Confusing Checkout Process

Many online store owners have learned that when they shorten their checkout process or try to simplify it in any way, their customers are less likely to abandon their carts. Apparently, too much information makes shoppers feel confused. If you want your customers to stick around during checkout, then keep things simple by offering them a three-step process instead of an eight-step one.

Reason #3 Having to create a new account – No Guest Checkout Option

Customers hate having to create an account on checkout because they do not want an account, they just want to make a purchase. Guest checkout options are great because there is no registration required. If you offer guest checkout – provide instructions on how to use it! There are very few things more frustrating than trying something for 5 minutes, failing at it, then finally finding out that if you had read further down in Terms & Conditions that there was a secret option that would have saved you all of that time.

Reason #4 Concerns about payment security

Not everyone uses credit cards for online transactions. Some are wary of entering personal financial information or sending it over an internet connection, so they use debit cards instead. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to accept these forms of payment if you want to grow your business. To encourage hesitant shoppers to give your eCommerce site a try, look into adding tools that will offer more security.

Reason #5 Long and Confusing Checkout

If customers encounter a long or confusing checkout process they will most likely abandon your store. Shopify has put together an extremely helpful Shopify Academy course that gives you all of their best practices for optimizing your store’s checkout flow. The course can be found here. Here are two additional ways to optimize your checkout process: Offer multiple checkout options: Accepting credit cards isn’t just about accepting Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover; it’s also about how quickly you can turn around sales.

Reason #6 Poor Site Performance – Website is slow

Speed is one of those things that can either make or break a great shopping experience. If your site isn’t loading fast enough, it’s going to ruin your user’s experience and could potentially even cause them to bounce from your page altogether. So, as soon as you see slow load times, take action immediately. You should also look into using tools like PageSpeed Insights which give you detailed suggestions on how you can optimize your page for better performance.

Reason #7 Couldn’t find a coupon code

Make sure that your store is equipped with a coupon code feature. Many shoppers like using coupons and it’s a great way for them to save money on products they may not be able to afford otherwise. Customers want deals, so make sure you offer them an incentive. You could also provide printable coupons for people who like clipping things from newspapers or magazines.

Reason #8 No express shipping or Delayed in Shipping

The last thing you want is for your customers to not be able to receive their purchase right away. If you’re selling goods, make sure that you include express shipping, if available. If it’s not available, or if there are delays in shipping, then tell customers that by listing out potential delays (shipping times + estimated arrival date). This will reassure them that they will receive their item(s) in a timely manner.

Reason #9 Unclear Return And Refund Policy

One of main reasons why shoppers abandon carts is because they don’t know if their product will be eligible for return, or they don’t know how it works. For example, some products may be eligible for return but only in a year, while others can only be returned with a receipt. Having clear policies is crucial when it comes to managing expectations. #9 Reason To Avoid: Lack of Clear Return And Refund Policy

Reason #10 Poor Customer Support

No matter how great your product is, you will have customers who need support. If they do not receive it, they will abandon the cart. Make sure that you have a 24/7 online chat option available for your website so your customers can easily get in touch with the customer service team. Better yet set up a live chat window on each of your web pages. This way when shoppers are browsing through products, if they have questions or require help, you are only one click away from helping them.

Reason #11 Credit Card Was Declined

This reason tops nearly every list of reasons why shoppers abandon cart. If you accept credit cards for payment, even if your shopping cart is secure and you don’t post customers’ credit card information on your site, never assume that a customer has paid because their card was declined. Instead, ask them to try again or offer other payment options such as PayPal or offline check processing. To improve sales completion rate, educate your customers about how their cards may be declined due to insufficient funds or other reasons.

Reason #12 The website is untrustworthy

According to research by the Baymard Institute of 59,000 online shoppers, 79% felt that a lack of trust in a website was what drove them away from purchasing on an e-commerce site. Just about any website can be made trustworthy with your customers if you show people they can trust you. Use pictures and videos of your team (not stock images) and prominently display information like Company Address: Make sure it is on every page like on the About Us Page

Reason #13 Call to action missing

80% of shoppers said they left their cart because there was no clear call to action to move forward. You can use a Check-Out button, an Add To Cart button or simply text that tells customers what to do next. No matter what you choose, make sure your CTA is big enough for your customers to click on.


The unfortunate truth is that shopping cart abandonment rates are at an all-time high (or as we marketers like to say: as high as our blood pressure). We hate it, you hate it, everybody hates it. Whether or not you’re already solving these issues, you need to know about them—and how to solve them—if you’re going to stop losing sales. So here’s a list of reasons why shoppers abandon carts and some quick fixes so that your store doesn’t lose any more sales.


You Won’t Believe the 13 Reasons Why Shoppers Abandon Cart and How to Fix It.

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