5 Reasons Online Shopping Carts Get Abandoned



Consumers are fickle creatures. They fill up their online shopping carts, look like they’re about to buy and then they click away without purchasing. We’re sure you’ve experienced this in your business. According to Coremetrics/IBM, 67% of shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase!

Here are the five reasons why most shopping carts are abandoned and the best tips to prevent this from happening to your business.

Hidden Costs

According to WorldPay, 56% of consumers abandon their shopping carts due to hidden costs. Be upfront about your shipping costs. Make sure to include those costs in the first few pages of checkout or give them a shipping estimate prior to purchase. Take a tip from Best Buy’s shopping cart and add a built-in sales tax calculator to your site.

Whatever you do, don’t surprise consumers with hidden costs right before they’re about to click ‘buy’. Make customers feel confident about purchasing your products by making the total cost explicit.

User Experience

Many shopping carts require the consumer to register before purchasing, but consumers often prefer to check out as a ‘guest’. Frequently, they can’t remember their usernames and passwords and ditch the purchase out of frustration. While registration makes future purchases more convenient for the consumer, you should give the option to create an account after checking out or to check out as a guest.

According to WorldPay, 25% of consumers left their shopping carts because the navigation was too confusing or laborious. Shopping carts necessitate clicking on an average of 5.6 pages between cart and order confirmation. While multiple pages eliminate the confusion of too many options and CTAs on a single page, they also require more effort and clicks on the part of the consumer. And as we all know, the more actions consumers are required to take, the more likely they are to give up on the process. Consolidate your pages to keep clicks to a minimum.

Site Functionality

If your site is slow or confusing, consumers may grow frustrated and abandon their cart. Make sure your site is fast and clear. And remember, simplicity is key.


Many consumers are simply not ready to complete a purchase. They may want to wait on the order for a variety of reasons, such as waiting for payday. A cart abandonment email reminds them of the benefits they’ll receive from potential purchases. It’s helpful to send one in the time frame of 45 minutes to 3 days after they abandon their carts. You can also offer an incentive to encourage them to buy, like a discount, free shipping or a free item with purchase. Post-abandonment emails should include links that quickly take the shoppers back to their carts.

According to MarketingSherpa’s research on shopping cart recovery, triggered emails recapture 29% of abandoned sales. If you want to know how to set up a post-abandonment email with ONTRAPORT, check out this blog post that shows you how.

Many times shoppers also change their mind as a result of price, expensive shipping or simply not wanting your product any more. A cart abandonment email with additional product recommendations can provide new shopping opportunities based on the content of the original shopping cart. Maybe a shopper doesn’t want that particular product but would be open to buying a similar one. As noted above, you can also offer an incentive in the cart abandonment email to tantalize them back into a shopping mood.


According to WorldPay, 17% of consumers leave their carts because a site appears unreliable. Make sure your site demonstrates hallmarks of security (i.e., SSL certificate). The presence of security icons will reassure wary customers of your site’s security.

Reduce shopping cart abandonment, improve customer experience and most importantly, increase conversion rates when you address the most common issues that keep consumers from clicking ‘buy’.



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