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Why Consumers Are Abandoning Their Carts

Cart abandonment is one of the many things keeping e-commerce business owners up at night. Why are consumers so indecisive? More times than not, it has nothing to do with available products. Cart abandonment is a big issue for all e-sellers. If a client has already made it to the cart and added items they like, then the products are not the issue. Here are the most common reasons consumers abandon their carts.


Hidden Shipping Costs

According to Forbes, 56% of shoppers abandon their carts due to hidden costs, making it the number one reason for cart abandonment. Shipping costs alone account for 28% of these abandoned carts. The best way to tackle this issue is by being upfront about your shipping costs. For instance, offering free shipping can significantly reduce cart abandonment. Ensure you have an easy-to-follow shipping policy and continually update it to adapt to shipping changes with the carriers you use.

Bad Shipping

Shipping has a huge impact on consumer decision-making. If there's a bad delivery, that impacts your brand. 72.5% of poor deliveries will result in a customer stopping recommending the retailer. How do you combat bad shipping? DesktopShipper. Using a shipping solution helps reduce costs and errors within the shipping process. Mitigate shipping errors using scan verification and address verification, ensuring the right thing is going to the right place. This, in turn, will also reduce the cost of shipping because we all know, that printing labels is expensive and resending a product to fix a shipping error is expensive.

Unexpected Costs

Although most consumers understand some unforeseen costs, additional incidental charges such as service fees, credit card fees, shipping insurance, and taxes are a HUGE deterrent that causes consumers to abandon their carts. Companies generally have these costs automatically added to the cart balance, making it difficult for customers to figure out why the final balance is. It is essential to itemize all added expenses at the beginning of the checkout process instead of adding them in at the end. It is best to be transparent about including these extra fees in your shipping policy. The key focus should be removing the "unexpected."


Bad Checkout Process

22% of consumers have abandoned their shopping in the past quarter due to a too-long and tedious checkout process. When the checkout process is too long, it gives consumers more time to second-guess the purchase they are making. Make the checkout process straightforward, getting rid of distractions to optimize the checkout experience.


Payment Security Concerns 

With the massive influx of online shopping, consumers are more comfortable sharing their credit card information online, even though identity theft is still a big issue. Consumers who don't trust the website or the checkout process often will abandon their cart with fears of information leakage and scamming. Build trust with current and future customers by spending money to partner with a company to secure your checkout process legitimately.


Lack of Payment Options

Think back to the last time you abandoned a cart because you were too cozy in bed to grab your credit card. (Look, we've all been there!) Don't lose a customer because they only have one way to pay for their items. Allowing multiple options for payment is an excellent way to keep customers. Not everyone has Apple Pay, Paypal, or Amazon Pay, but the likelihood that a consumer will have at least one of these options is high.


Customers Have to Create User Accounts

It is common knowledge that there are benefits to having user accounts, but sometimes the costs outweigh the benefits. You want your ideal consumer to check out using a user account, but think back to those one-off buyers who aren't your target market, and when they make an account to check out, it brings zero value to your company. Give consumers the ability to choose to sign in, but ensure they do not HAVE to check out with a user account.


Bad Customer Service

Customer service involves way more than just a number or check line to connect. (This is a big one!) Customer service also means having the best possible description of your items, reviews from past customers, how-to guides, etc. Customer service can be a lot, but at the end of the day, having lousy customer service means that the consumer will not trust your company. No trust means no purchases.


Technical Issues

When the shopping experience is seamless, then you are sure to have a lower cart abandonment percentage. Sometimes, we cannot control every technical issue, but putting this problem at the top of your list. Companies like Benchmark Hero help audit your site looking for technical hiccups throughout the site. Invest the time and money to ensure you've done all you can to make the checkout process free of bugs.


Bad Return Policy

69% of shoppers are put off by having to pay for return shipping. On the other hand, 96% of shoppers will shop at a store again if they experience or are aware of a comfortable return experience with a brand. Consumers experienced in online shopping will check the return policy before adding things to the cart. Ensuring that you have an acceptable return policy and a good return reputation will help increase conversion rates.


Pricing is Too High

Consumers will research whether you are selling on a large marketplace or in a niche market. They are more likely to go with a seller with a lower price if it's a significant difference. If the price difference isn't much different, but you offer free shipping, an easy checkout process, and other motivating factors to purchase with you, then the price increase isn't a huge turnoff. Remember, consumers care about free shipping and returns, so you will get the sale if you offer those things but charge $1 more than a competitor that does not provide those things. Make the offering attractive if you are going to cost more than competitors.



56%-58% of consumers will abandon their carts because they are simply just browsing. Consumers generally know that they aren't planning on purchasing before they even land on your site. Just because a consumer isn't looking to buy, make sure that you treat them equally. There are ways to close a sale with lookie-loos by targeting your online advertisements and offering discounts if they sign up for emails. When you get a consumer to sign up for an email, you can set up a marketing funnel to convert browsers into buyers.



Consumers virtually abandon their carts for a variety of reasons. The best way to understand cart abandonment in your industry is to browse and add to cart on various websites. Use yourself as a representative of what a consumer wants. You are similar to other e-commerce shoppers and know what you like or don't like. Ensure that your company allows for a seamless and customer-centric shopping experience, and your conversion rates will increase.


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