The 3 Reasons for eCommerce Cart Abandonment—And How To Stop It

Businesses of all sizes and industries are getting into eCommerce, and for good reason. More than half of all millennials shop online regularly. With this many people flocking to digital shopping spaces, retail businesses are keeping the pace.

Customers want to shop quickly and efficiently, no matter their device. As an eCommerce business, it’s your job to create a seamless shopping experience for all shoppers.

However, because trends are so fickle, it’s important to stay abreast of eCommerce best practices. For example, cart abandonment is a real problem for eCommerce. More often than not, it’s a retailer’s choices, not consumers or competitors, that lead to abandoned carts.

The Basics of eCommerce Abandonment


Cart abandonment happens when a user adds an item to their cart and then leaves your site. This maddening problem happens during 80% of all eCommerce checkouts, which is astounding.

Cart abandonment costs retailers millions in lost revenue each year. But cart abandonment doesn’t happen on its own. Customers usually have a very good reason for abandoning their cart.

3 Reasons for Cart Abandonment


Most abandoned carts happen as a result of retailer practices. Although every site is different, most users abandon their purchases for three reasons.

1. Mandatory Login or Long Forms

Over a quarter of all abandoned carts happen on a mandatory login page. Why? Because users don’t want to create a login for your site!

Account creation not only sacrifices a user’s privacy and information, but also their time. In an age of impatience, this kills your potential to make a sale.

Of course, it’s tempting to require a login. After all, it’s much easier to send cart abandonment reminder emails if you have the user’s information.

However, the login requirement is a much bigger problem. This hurts your conversions by increasing the barrier to purchase.

At the end of the day, it should be incredibly easy and fast for users to buy from your site. Don’t give them dozens of hoops to jump through.

2. Sneaky Shipping

Your customers want to trust you. But when you suddenly tack on a $10 shipping charge to their order, that’s enough cause for them to leave.

Sneaky shipping fees make customers feel taken advantage of. Worst of all, they’re unlikely to return when they don’t trust your checkout practices.

Customers have an expectation of cost when they add an item to their cart. Nobody wants the nasty surprise of a shipping charge when it’s time to check out.

Two Businessmen shake hands while one has his fingers crossed behind his back

3. Untrustworthy Retailer

We live in a risky, digital reality. Data breaches are incredibly common, and that’s why today’s customers are very wary about where they enter their information.

Your site needs to include security features that ensure customers feel comfortable. Features like HTTPS, trusted payment processors, and security seals help customers feel more at ease.

Preventing Cart Abandonment


Unfortunately, many factors play into a users decision to leave your site. Look at your analytics to determine the cause first. You can even deploy heatmaps or screen recording tools to find points of friction for your shoppers.

Users often abandon their carts because they feel inconvenienced. Boost conversion rates with better practices that prevent cart abandonment in the first place. Learn how you can adjust your site to sell for you 24/7.

1. Speed

Speed matters online, especially when you’re targeting impatient, fast-paced buyers.

First, make sure your site speed is up to scratch. Use a clean web design with a responsive layout and optimized images. You can check your site speed with a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Second, make it as easy as possible for customers to find their cart. Make sure customers can access the cart without additional menus. It should also be a breeze for them to find other products on your site, so eliminate pages and menus where possible.

Third, prioritize speedy customer service. Your eCommerce shoppers don’t want to wait 48 hours for a response; they want to hear from you right now.

But it can be daunting to stay on top of customer outreach. The easiest way to give customers speedy replies is through an AI-powered chatbot.

Chatbots can easily handle simple questions about tracking or shipping. For more complex questions, most chatbot services forward users to a human employee.

2. Security

Customers have to trust your business when they buy from you. If they don’t believe your site is legitimate, or that you won’t guard their information, they’ll buy from a competitor instead.

The first concern with security is giving a high-quality experience. If you have outdated design, poorly written copy, and blurry images, customers won’t buy from you. Invest in quality to build a trustworthy online reputation.

The second concern with security is payment processing. You don’t want to expose your customers’ data to thieves. That’s why it’s incredibly important to use HTTPS certificates on your website. You can easily add HTTPS to your site by contacting your web host. Consider using third-party payment options, like PayPal or Venmo, where customers have already set up their accounts.

3. Breezy checkout

Checkout problems are the main reason customers abandon their carts. Overhaul your checkout system to be as simple and fast as possible.

Always enable guest checkout. You can ask users to create an account if they want, but don’t make a login mandatory.

Use as few fields as possible during the checkout process. Again, partnering with third-party payment processors will save time during checkout.

You should also check to see how many pages a customer visits between their cart and final payment. You want as few pages as possible to minimize load times and customer frustration. Consider adding a progress bar to the checkout screen so users know what to expect while checking out.

Be transparent about your shipping. It obviously costs your business money to ship goods to the customer. However, consider building shipping into your costs. Customers love getting free shipping since it’s one less cost they have to think about.

The Bottom Line


eCommerce sites have a lot of moving parts. When you sell online, you dedicate an immense amount of time and budget dollars to your store. Recapture as many abandoned carts as possible by improving the customer experience.

Help people get the most out of your website by improving speed, the checkout process, and how you follow up with customers. Convert those abandoned carts into satisfied customers with just a few easy adjustments.

You don’t have to improve your eCommerce site alone. The Ocean Agency is an experienced firm that can help you improve cart conversion rates. Chat with us now to brainstorm your eCommerce overhaul.

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