Last Updated on
April 3, 2024

11 Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment on Ecommerce Sites

Published in
Key takeaways:
  • The most common reasons for abandoned carts are generally due to usability issues, a lack of trust, or lack of intent.
  • Users may not feel comfortable completing their purchase, or they may simply not be ready to buy just yet.
  • To reduce abandoned carts, clean up usability issues on your site, reduce unnecessary friction, and follow up with abandoned cart notifications.

You can burn yourself out trying to understand why your shoppers leave without completing their purchase, leaving their cart abandoned. You ask yourself, is there something wrong with my product? Do visitors feel like they can’t trust my brand? Or does my website have a problem?

You’re not alone in this battle. Data shows that for all ecommerce businesses, the shopping cart abandonment rate is around 70.19%. This means that only 3 out of 10 visitors will convert!

To help you with that, in this article, I’ll go over the most common reasons for cart abandonment on ecommerce stores, giving you the knowledge you need to optimize your checkout and increase conversions and revenue.

The 11 Most Common Top Cart Abandonment Reasons

Lowering the cart abandonment rate on your site is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost revenue. These people are already on your site, they’re showing a clear interest in your products, yet something is holding them back from becoming paying customers.

To fix this, we need to understand why these shoppers are leaving without checking out. Luckily there’s a wealth of data and experience we can take and learn from.

Here are ten common cart abandonment reasons, and some insights on what you can do to avoid them.

1. Unexpected Additional Costs

Unexpected costs, like taxes, shipping, and other fees, are some of the top reasons for cart abandonment because they make the customer rethink their purchase. No one likes getting to the end of a checkout flow only to find a higher total amount than expected.

In ecommerce, price is an important factor for buyers. Especially when you consider that comparing prices among competitors is very easy. You can simply screenshot a product image and search for it using a Google Image search.

There, you will see all the stores and retailers that offer the same product, each with its own pricing range.

Nowadays, customers like to compare options and costs, until they come to a final decision. So any additional costs they didn’t consider beforehand will disappoint or irritate them. The biggest downside to that isn’t only losing sales, but leaving visitors with a negative opinion of your business.

2. Limited Shipping Options

Delivery is a crucial part of the ecommerce experience. Customers expect convenient shipping options that suit their needs and offer on-time delivery. Letting them personalize delivery details and choose between shipping providers can reduce shopping cart abandonment and improve your website’s user experience.

Important purchases for dates like anniversaries and birthdays are often time-constrained, and if your store is unable to deliver the goods on time, customers will be forced to cancel their order.

And to make it worse, customers are often willing to spend more for quicker deliveries. So make sure to give customers a variety of shipping options—even if you need to charge more for it.

3. Website Performance Issues

It’s not news that a poor user experience will lead to high abandonment rates. Technical issues frustrate visitors, and in the worst-case scenario, these issues can erode their trust in your business and put them off ever trying again.

Issues like slow load speeds, missing content, photos that don’t load correctly, and bugs will drive away customers. And if you don’t identify the UX issue that is causing cart abandonment, you could be losing sales for days, weeks, or even months.

Oftentimes, changes on a website can have the craziest consequences for other parts of the store. So test and analyze the performance of your checkout regularly to make sure there aren’t any weak points.

4. Your Website is Poorly Optimized for Mobile

Taking into consideration that more than 38% of ecommerce sales are mobile in the US, a poor mobile design is definitely one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. And it’s more common than you may think.

Many stores fail to consider that the shopping and checkout experience can look very different on mobile than on desktop. It’s important to see the user experience from their point of view and understand how user behavior changes by device to reduce cart abandonment.

There are many tools today that can help you with that, like heat maps and session recordings. With them, you can identify the places on the customers’ journey where users tend to struggle and optimize them to create a user-friendly interface across platforms. 

5. Overcomplicated, Time-Consuming Checkout Flow

A long, complex checkout process can easily result in abandoned carts. Ecommerce is built for convenience, and if there are too many hoops to jump through in order to complete a purchase, many customers will simply give up.

Try to minimize form elements and data entry to make your payment process streamlined and straightforward. It’s tempting to gather contact info to add to your database for remarketing purposes, but it’s not worth losing sales.

Instead, you should ask only for the necessary information, and always try to justify yourself to your customers. For example, you can say you need the email to send out the payment data later or ask for their birth date for security reasons.

Any extra data you’d like to collect you can ask for after the purchase is complete—you just need to make sure to offer an interesting deal for customers to be willing to share it with you.

6. Forcing Customers to Create an Account

Following the previous line of thought, forcing users to create an account or register to add items to their virtual cart is generally going to reduce conversions. It adds extra friction, and the more friction involved in your checkout flow, the more likely it is that customers will drop off.

To increase conversions, you can offer guest checkout, speeding up the process, and auto-save options so they can have their personal information completed automatically even without an account.

7. Lack of Trust

Buying from an unfamiliar ecommerce brand is scary, especially when it comes time to type in your credit card details.

Customers will only provide their credit card details after you've earned their trust. And it goes beyond financial data: today, personal information protection is a growing concern among users.

There are many signals your visitors will look for to decipher if you’re trustworthy: a well-known brand, SSL certificates, clear return policies, user reviews, and other signs that you’re a brand that they can trust.

Want to know one of the most underrated trust and authority signals for ecommerce stores? A mobile app.

Those “Available on the App Store” badges instantly add credibility to your website and can increase conversions all on their own.

Click here to learn how you can turn your store into a mobile app and enter the app stores for a minimal investment, in as little as two weeks.

8. Lack of Social Proof

Poor social proof is another of the top reasons for cart abandonment. Especially when it comes to unique goods or ones that have a higher price range.

In these cases, customers need a last push to be convinced that your product is worth it. Reviews, star ratings, and a clear description of the product's unique value can make visitors go beyond the ‘adding to cart’.

Another popular resource today is adding User Generated Content. Besides being proof that others have bought your product and benefited from it, UGC allows visitors to see it in action and understand how it differentiates from the competition.

9. Lack of Payment Options

Most people have a preferred way to pay when shopping online, beyond the standard Visa/Mastercard.

This includes payment methods like PayPal, mobile shopping wallets (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay), and Buy Now Pay Later services.

The more options you offer, the less likely it is that you’ll lose a sale because you don’t offer someone’s preferred method of payment.

Make sure you consider your ideal customer profile, and think about how that kind of person is likely to pay for things online.

For example, NewEgg, a leading ecommerce store for computer parts, lets its customers pay with cryptocurrency.

10. Visitors Are Just Browsing

Keep in mind that many of your site visitors don’t actually have the intention of making a purchase.

It’s free to look around. These people may even add products to their cart and peek at the checkout to see what the final price will be, what shipping options are available, etc.

You can see this as an opportunity to turn some of these visitors into repeat customers.

For instance, you can set up a wish list or ‘save for later’ option to prevent people from adding items to their cart when they’re just browsing. This will also give you interesting insights into your audience, which you can build up and use as part of your remarketing efforts.

11. Waiting for a Discount Email

Abandoned cart emails are common practice today, and there will be crafty shoppers who know that if they leave without checking out, the store is likely to contact them with a sweetener to help them complete their purchase.

Are these people trying to game the system? Perhaps, but it also shows how effective abandoned cart follow-ups are.

Consider this as part of your customer acquisition cost - if you can fit it into your margins, a follow-up with an additional discount will convert a lot of would-be abandoned carts into purchases.

How to Help Abandoned Carts Find Their Way Home

So we have a better understanding of why people leave their carts abandoned. But what can you do about it?

Start by ensuring you provide a smooth, user-friendly shopping experience, optimized for mobile, with as little unnecessary friction as possible in the checkout process.

Make sure your site looks trustworthy, with social proof and UGC to back it up.

But most abandoned carts aren’t because of usability or trust issues. They’re simply people who forgot to check out, got distracted, or got cold feet.

You can re-engage a lot of these shoppers and get them to follow through with a simple follow-up message.

Abandoned cart emails are one easy and effective way to follow up. But abandoned cart push notifications are even better.

Push notifications are cheap, personal and direct. If you follow up with every abandoned cart with a push notification reminding them that their cart is still there, ready to be paid for, you’ll almost certainly recapture some of those lost sales.

For push notifications to work, you need a mobile app. An app lets you send native mobile push notifications on all operating systems, and gives you extensive options for customization and building personalized push workflows.

MobiLoud makes it easy for you to create an app for your site. You can go live in as little as two weeks, for a minimal cost, with no coding or technical knowledge required.

Ecommerce apps built with MobiLoud

We do everything for you, simply converting your existing website into high-quality mobile apps. It’s as risk-free as it gets.

If you want to hear more about how some of our clients deal with the top reasons for cart abandonment, take a look at some of our case studies -  a small collection of the 2,000+ businesses who used MobiLoud to convert their website to mobile apps.

Launch Your Own App and Reduce Abandoned Carts Today

Following up with abandoned carts via push notifications and emails will easily help you recapture lost revenue.

An app gives you the best way to do this, as well as providing a more optimized mobile shopping experience, free from the distractions of other browser tabs, which will help boost conversion rate too.

You can boost average order value, increase abandoned cart recovery, and boost revenue in a number of ways. With the low cost and overhead that comes when you build an app with MobiLoud, it’s hard to see a scenario where you don’t get a positive ROI.

For a free, personalized demo to learn more about the process, get in touch with us now, and learn how you can elevate your store to new heights by building a mobile app today.

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