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Top 15 Cart Abandonment Reasons And The Best Tips To Solve Them

Did you know that, according to Statista, almost 70% of online shopping carts get abandoned by customers without completing the purchase? This can be considered an alarming percentage.

The continuous rise in this percentage represents a big problem for all eCommerce businesses because when potential customers abandon their shopping cart, it directly affects your conversion rates, decreases your sales and revenues, and drives your customers to the competitors. 

This is a problem that cannot be ignored. However, before finding solutions to this issue, you must first understand what exactly causes it. So let us, in this article, tell you the main reasons why your customers might be abandoning their shopping carts.

What do we mean by Cart Abandonment? And what is Cart Abandonment Rate?

Cart Abandonment Reasons


Cart abandonment refers to when a potential customer adds items from your eCommerce store items to their shopping cart but gives up on the process and abandons the cart before completing the purchase.

In other words, the term “abandoned”  here refers to items that were added by customers to shopping carts but were never actually purchased. 

Cart abandonment rate shows the percentage of website visitors interested enough to go through your online products and add items to their shopping cart but leave before actually buying anything. 

The easiest way to calculate your cart abandonment rate is to first calculate your cart conversion rate, and then subtract from 1. It is calculated as follows:

Cart Abandonment Rate

  1. Cart Conversion Rate = (Number of completed purchases / Number of shopping carts opened) x 100%
  2. Cart Abandonment Rate = 1 - Cart Conversion Rate

Cart Abandonment formula

Cart Abandonment formula

Top 15 Reasons Behind Cart Abandonment And How To Solve Them

  1. Unexpected fees
  2. Mandatory account creation
  3. Lack of trust
  4. Unavailability of discounts or promo codes
  5. A website that is difficult to navigate and not mobile optimized
  6. Limited payment options
  7. Better pricing from competitors
  8. Unsatisfactory return policy
  9. Out-of-stock products
  10.  Inconvenient delivery time and shipping options
  11.  Lack of customer support
  12.  Lack of customer reviews
  13.  Customers with no real intention to buy
  14.  Going overboard with upselling
  15.  Using shopping carts as a wishing list

Understanding the exact reasons behind shopping cart abandonment and exerting the effort to avoid them is as challenging as it sounds. However, the following points are going to deepen your understanding of these reasons and recommend solutions for them. 

1- Unexpected fees

Unexpected fees Cart Abandonment Reasons


According to Baymard Institution, 48% of customers abandon their shopping carts because they find unexpectedly high additional fees after they add items to the cart. 

This makes it the number one reason behind shopping cart abandonment. These unexpected fees could include high taxes, high delivery or shipping costs, or even unexpected transaction costs. All these additional costs most probably lead to a final total that customers should have expected.

Recommended solutions:

  • Do not surprise your customers! Make sure they are aware of the shipping costs, taxes, and any additional transaction costs before they reach the checkout step.
  • Offer free shipping whenever you can.
  • Incorporate shipping costs into your pricing. In other words, you can always increase your products’ prices to cover lowering your shipping costs.

2- Forcing customers to create an account

Research done by Baymard Institution shows that forcing customers to create an account comes in second place for reasons why customers abandon shopping carts, and causes 24% of total cart abandonments. 

Customers usually want to complete the purchasing process as easily and as quickly as possible. Arriving at the checkout point only to find you delaying them by requiring the creation of an account will not win you any points. On the contrary, this might seem very inconvenient for some customers, especially first-time customers. 

Recommended solutions:

  • Choose the right moment to ask your customers to create an account. A more suitable moment would be after they make the purchase.
  • Simplify the process of creating a new account as much as you can.
  • Instead of forcing new customers to create an account, provide them with incentives that encourage them to do so, such as offering them a special discount for registering at your eCommerce website. 
  • If you need their emails to retarget them, you do not have to make them create an account for this. You can simply ask for the email address during the checkout. 

3- Lack of trust

Don’t worry, this does not necessarily mean that you are not trustworthy. However, with the increase of fraudulent transactions all around, it is becoming harder for customers to trust eCommerce websites. 

Research shows that 18% of customers who abandon their carts say they did not trust the eCommerce website enough to share their payment information.

Recommended solutions:

  • Make sure you add social proofs, such as testimonials, endorsements, reviews, and other user-generated content. 
  • Add all the information of your customer services team.
  • Make sure to include a padlock in the address bar to make your customers feel that your website is secure. 
  • Add the names, bios, and contact information of your team to prove to your customers that they are dealing with real people. 
  • Create a money-back guarantee policy. 

4- Unavailability of discounts or promo codes

Unavailability of discounts or promo codes Cart Abandonment Reasons


The eCommerce sector is flooded with discounts and promo codes to encourage conversions. Therefore, your customers come to your eCommerce store probably expecting to find a discount or to be able to use a coupon code when they reach checkout. 

When customers reach the checkout without finding a discount code, they start hesitating about the purchase when they see the discount code bar next to the checkout because it makes them feel like they are missing out on something. Therefore, they might abandon their cart and either wait for promo codes to be available at your eCommerce store or go look for discounts at your competitors’ stores. 

Recommended solution: Remove the coupon code bar from the checkout page and apply auto-coupon instead. This way, your customers will enjoy your discounts when they are available and will not feel like they’re missing out on anything when they’re not. 

5- A website that is difficult to navigate and not mobile-optimized

Another reason your eCommerce website may be losing customers is by being hard to navigate and having a complicated and lengthy checkout process. 

Moreover, Mobile commerce accounts for 73% of total eCommerce (Zippia, 2022). This is why if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, many of your customers will resort to abandoning their shopping cart. 

Recommended solutions:

  • Make sure that your website is not hard to navigate, that it loads quickly, and that your customers can easily go from one page to another. 
  • Design your eCommerce website to be mobile-friendly. You can even create a mobile app for your eCommerce store. 
  • Make sure your website pages are optimized for different screen sizes.
  • Make sure you create an omnichannel experience across all your different channels.
  • Simplify the checkout process and reduce the number of steps required as much as possible.

6- Limited payment options

Every customer has a preferred payment option. According to Baymard Institution, 9% of customers say they abandon shopping carts because not enough payment options are available.

In other words, customers add items to their carts expecting to go to checkout and pay using the method that is convenient to them. Therefore, when they do not find it, they get frustrated and do not complete the transaction.

Recommended solution: Offer your customers as many payment options as you can. We know that adding payment options could be costly. However, it is an investment that you would not regret doing. For example, diversify your payment options between MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Payoneer, and others.

Limited payment options Cart Abandonment Reasons


7- Better pricing from competitors

Another critical reason that can push your potential customers to abandon shopping carts at your eCommerce store is when they find your competitors offering the same or similar products at lower prices. This happens because customers are always looking for better deals.

Recommended solutions: 

  • Always keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing and the prices they offer. 
  • Make sure you always have a competitive advantage by offering something that your competitors don’t. 
  • If you lose customers for a better deal elsewhere, make sure you stay in touch with them to keep them informed of your upcoming deals.

8- A return policy that does not satisfy customers

return policy Cart Abandonment Reasons

Even if customers are not planning on returning the products they purchase, they like to know they have the option. It makes them feel more secure during the checkout. If your return policy is not convenient enough for your customers, you may unintentionally push them toward competitors who have better return policies.

Research shows that 12% of customers who abandon their carts say the return policy was unsatisfactory. 

Recommended solution: 

  • Always conduct research to know what types of return policy appeal more to your customers.
  • Make sure all the terms of your return policy are clear before customers reach checkout.

9- Discovering that products are out of stock

Cart Abandonment Reasons out of stock

Don’t you think it is frustrating when someone gets excited about an item and adds it to the shopping cart only to discover at the checkout that it is out of stock?

This is, of course, one of the reasons why customers abandon their carts.

Also, it is very unlikely that customers will go back to your products list and pick other available items instead because they might see this as a waste of time for them.

Recommended solution: Simply make sure that you clearly label products that are out of stock so that customers do not waste their time. 

10- Long delivery time and not enough shipping options

One of the things customers care about when they do online shopping is when they will receive their ordered products and how. Slow delivery and limited shipping options may drive your customers away. 

Recommended solutions: 

  • Try to offer the fastest delivery possible because the faster your delivery is, the less your customers will abandon their carts.
  • Give your customers the ability to choose the delivery times and shipping providers that are most convenient for them. 
  • You can offer rushed or expedited shipping for an extra cost.

11- Customers do not find the support they need while shopping

Many online customers might need customer support before checking out. Therefore, the lack of such support may lead to the loss of these customers.

Recommended solution: Offer live chats to help your customers throughout all the different steps of the buying process. 

12- Your website doesn’t have enough customer reviews

Product reviews from old customers inspire confidence in your eCommerce brand. Sometimes customers abandon their carts at eCommerce stores that do not show product reviews because this deprives them of the opportunity to hear about other customers’ experience with the product and to picture the product in real life.

Recommended solution: Start by simplifying the process of writing a review of a product on your website, and then make sure that all these reviews are available for new customers to see. 

13- Customers are just browsing and do not have the intent to buy

Not every customer who adds items to the shopping cart comes to your eCommerce store to actually buy. Some customers come to just casually browse your products before they go browse the products of other competitors. Moreover, some customers may be adding items to the cart while intending to buy them from your brick-and-mortar store.

Recommended solution: Offer exclusive discounts and promotions when customers buy online instead of in-store.

14- Going overboard with upselling

Upselling might be an effective marketing strategy. However, going overboard with upselling and excessively using it might annoy your customers and discourage them from completing the purchase. 

Recommended solutions:

  • Be cautious when upselling, and choose the right moment to do it.
  • Focus more on adding value to your customers than on just getting them to buy the more expensive product.

15- Some customers use shopping carts as a wishing list

Sometimes all the previously discussed reasons may not exist, and you still find some customers abandoning their carts. This may be because these customers are using the shopping cart as a “wishlist”, in which they add items that they like and consider buying one day. 

Recommended solution: Create a button for a “wishlist” and make it accessible on all your website pages. 


Final Thoughts:

We have established that cart abandonment is a dangerous issue for eCommerce, and we presented the main reasons behind it. However, fortunately, it is an issue that can be solved or managed with the right strategies and tools. In addition to the solutions that were recommended throughout the article, Abandonment Cart Emails are proven to be very effective in lowering cart abandonment rates. 

For those who want to get the most out of what abandonment cart emails have to offer, offers you an automation tool that will help you create personalized emails for your customers to get them to reclaim their abandoned shopping carts. 

Book your Demo now to see this marketing automation system in action.