Key Reasons Users Abandon their Carts and How to Prevent this Behavior

Here are a few reasons users tend to abandon their carts when shopping online and ways that you can prevent this behavior.
It’s not uncommon for a customer to abandon their shopping cart before checkout. The shopping cart abandonment rate across all industries was nearly 70% last year. So, for every ten customers that place an item in their digital shopping cart, only three of them follow through and complete the purchase. This is a problem. 

Why do so many customers take the time to put products in their cart, only to back out at the last moment? There are a variety of reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Let’s look at some of the most common and consider how we can help prevent these carts from being abandoned. 

Unexpected Extra Costs

When customers are shopping, they are typically doing so with a set budget in mind. This means they will naturally be looking at products that are right at the price they’ve decided they are willing and able to pay.  

So, when they add an item to their cart and attempt to check out, they may be caught off guard when the total price is significantly higher than the price of the product itself. This is most common when there are additional shipping and handling fees added on during checkout that are not presented on the product page. If these extra expenses push the cost higher than the customer’s budget, it’s a perfect recipe for an abandoned cart. 

To avoid this, you can do one of two things: 

  1. Explicitly state the shipping and handling cost on the product page. 
  2. Offer free shipping by incorporating a flat shipping cost right into the product's price. 

The key is to ensure that the price displayed on the product page is the same price the customer will be paying. Of course, sales tax will present an additional increase at checkout, but this increase will be minimal and more understandable for the customer. 

Forced Account Creation

It’s very common for potential customers to add a product to their cart, only to retreat if the checkout process forces them to create an account.  

As a business, you want your customers to sign up for an account on your website or in your app. This is helpful with market research and it allows you to develop a better relationship with your customers. But not everyone wants to sign up for an account with every website they purchase a product from. This is understandable as consumers are becoming more aware of online privacy. 

The best course of action to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates is to make account creation voluntary. By providing the option of either creating an account or checking out as a guest, you’ll still capture customer accounts from those who are willing to sign up. You just won’t push away those who are unwilling to create an account. 

Payment Security Concerns

Shopping online is convenient, but it does come with risks. Customers know this and are often nervous about providing their financial information to websites. Many shopping carts are abandoned due to customers not fully trusting the security of a website. Well-known brands like Amazon or Walmart have a reputation consumers know they can trust with eCommerce transactions. Lesser-known websites need to provide additional assurance. 

To provide customers with confidence that their payment information is safe, the bare minimum is to ensure you’re using hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) on your website. Additionally, you may also want to display your trust badge on the checkout page so consumers know that you’ve put the necessary security systems in place. 

Lack of Payment Options

Not all customers like to pay the same way. It’s not uncommon for a customer to exit the checkout process when they discover that you don’t accept their preferred payment method. This often comes back to customers who are concerned about providing online debit or credit card information. They may trust payment methods through a trusted third party to handle transactions. 

To convert more shopping carts to successful checkouts, consider offering a wider array of payment options. The major ones to consider are: 

  • PayPal 
  • Apple Pay 
  • Google Pay 

When you offer more payment options, you’re enhancing the user experience of your website which will result in more conversions.

The Bottom Line: Tear Down the Barriers to Payment

Customers are becoming very savvy with online shopping. If they’re thinking about making an online purchase from your business, they’ve certainly shopped online with the major players before. So, they know what a seamless, secure, and convenient checkout experience looks like. You need to think about what concerns your customers may have, and modify your checkout to address these concerns. 

If you need assistance, the professional design and development team at Camber Creative can help. With many years of experience building eCommerce sites and apps, Camber can help put your customers at ease.


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