Why do customers abandon shopping carts?

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Everyone of us has abandoned a shopping cart at least once in our lives. It is normal, but quite a big problem for e-commerce shop owners. The difficulty is not just with expensive products but also with cheap easy-to-get goods. Statistics show that around 70% of all carts are abandoned and it is not a local trend or depending on the business niche, it is everywhere. 

The first step of understanding why customers do it and how to deal with this is reading the user mind.

The first step is to pretend you are the shopper and start your e-commerce journey. You like a few items and add them to your cart. Now is the time for finishing the check-out process and actually buying them. Let’s see the most frequent problems customers face while checking out and some ideas on how to prevent them:


Too long checkout process:

The first step before paying for chosen goods is by writing down your information. One of the most frequent reasons, for customers leaving a store, is asking them to make an account. Almost 37% of customers leave their carts full because of that.

Solution: Give your customers the ability to shop as guests from your e-commerce store. After the first purchase, you, as the owner, can use their e-mail to send newsletters or encouraging e-mails, giving information on why it is better to have an account. Also, having a special loyal program for loyal clients or a discount on the first shopping with an account can bring back some guest shoppers.

Shipping and extra costs:

Imagine the following situation. “Ooo, what a great laptop. It has a Core i7, so it should suit my needs. It has 16GB of RAM, and it has a 256GB SDD. It’s listed at $800, but what about the shipping, what about the taxes? Hmm, I don’t find them in the description, maybe let’s go to checking out’ menu. Another $100 for international delivery, you are telling me this now. I won’t buy it.”

You are smiling, right! This situation is well-known to anybody. Over 60% of people wouldn’t buy a product if there are extra taxes that they find out over the process.

Solution: Add extra cookies to your website to track users’ location and add the taxes before the check-out process started. Don’t forget, to ask every customer for permission, to trace their location, before using it.

Lack of wish section:

Let’s talk about the laptop you liked in the previous example. It is perfect for your needs, however, it seems overpriced, and you want to check other online stores too. You want to save the laptop for later and look for “Wish button”. There is none. This is how your possible future purchase ends in an abandoned cart.

Solution: Add wish section in your online stores. Let the customers decide, whether they want to add a product in the cart or the wish, save for later, section. Otherwise, they use the shopping cart as a wish list, that increases the number of abandoned carts, and harms your online store.

Wish section is a good tool which helps customers save the products they like for later. By doing this they have time to think, check other shops, and hopefully find out your offer is the best.

Declined credit card:

If the online store is not working properly or bank card authentication seems unreliable, you, the customer, will leave the cart full and exit the store. This is good neither for you nor the user.

There are several reasons why a website declined a credit card. The most common ones are:

  • The credit limit was exceeded
  • The account is delinquent
  • A suspicious charge was made
  • A hold is on the account
  • An international purchase was made
  • The card information was incorrect
  • The card has expired

All reasons can stop a shopper from buying the desired items and leave. The problem is so complex that it’s actually a topic for a new article.

Solution: Online retailers can’t cure a customer’s credit issues, but they can provide alternatives to help a customer complete a purchase. Most of the time, declined credit card issues are beyond the abilities of the retailers. Having verified payment options, for security reasons, and diverse payment options will assure that the users won’t abandon their shopping carts.

Not enough shipping and payment methods:

It is frustrating when you, the customer, are at the checkout, but the online store provides only one shipping option or worse – only one payment method. There is just one courier you use and only address delivery options. Most people have standard working hours and lack of shipping options can stop them from buying from such stores and look for other options online. Imagine having just one shipping option and one payment option – worst of the worst.

Solution: Integrate different shipping and payment methods to attract most of the customers. Be sure to have at least 2 courier providers and payment both by cart and by cash.

Not satisfactory return policy:

Buying online can be risky too.

There is always a risk of not receiving the right product or order the wrong size. The customers should always look at what the return policy of an online store is, to minimize the risk of online shopping mistakes.

Solution: When it comes to buying products online, the customer wants to have as close as real experience with the product, to see it as it is in front of him. Make sure it is the same with returning policy too. Minimize the risk of customers not buying from you just because of the poor return policy.

As we see, the reasons why shoppers leave their carts are not one or two. The problem with cart abandonment is one of the most serious in the e-commerce sector and several online pricing strategies exist to prevent it from happening. Just changing the price is not the right decision. Too low or too high prices have the same impact on customers. They also lead to leaving a cart full.

Grind advice: Step in your customer’s shoes and make your online stores as you are going shopping.

There are millions of reasons why customers abandon their shopping carts. We saw the most frequent ones and how to prevent them before happening. Now it’s time to see how to recover abandoned carts if the customer left the website. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible. There are several techniques on how to turn abandoned carts into buyers in your online store.

Use retargeting:

It is the best time in the history of online advertising. Almost all brands use some kind of online presence and especially in online stores, targeting and retargeting ads campaigns are preferred. You can use retargeting campaigns to recover abandoned carts. With these kinds of campaigns, shoppers will see ads for the exact same products they added in their shopping carts and then abandoned. All of this, thanks to a small piece of code, such as a Facebook pixel, or Google remarketing tag, that you embed in your website’s code.

Use push notifications:

Push notifications are small messages that pop up on your mobile device. Users receive them on their mobile desktop and don’t need an app, or even to use the device, to get pushed up notifications. Push up messages catch the eye of the customers who abandoned their carts. Choose a plugin, like OneSignal for WordPress and Firepush for Shopify, set the time, after 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even day after the user has abandoned a shopping cart, and start it.

Send emails:

Emails are a widely used tool in cart abandonment problem-solving. However, they have some pros and cons. Most of the people’s subscriptions don’t go in their main inbox, which makes customers flooded with emails. Spam inbox, or subscription inbox, is rarely read which makes email campaigns a struggle.

The best way to stand out is to write an eye-catching subject title. Moreover, consider giving a discount or a voucher to engage your customers and hopefully recover your abandoned cart. Some ideas are – first purchase 10% off discount or free delivery if they finish purchase in the next 30 minutes. For best results, use tools like Mailchimp or SendGrid.

Send social media messages:

Emails are not the only option. Every one of us has at least one social media account. Retails and online stores also use social media to fulfill their brand experience. Complete your recovery strategy by adding messages in your social media accounts who have abandoned their shopping carts.

The process is almost the same as in email campaigns. Identify which media channels work the best for your business and don’t miss the chance to use it for the recovery of left cards.

Encourage sync accounts:

A lot of people abandon their carts during switching devices. Prevent carts from being left behind, by synchronizing your client’s profiles between are devices. With an app like Consistent Cart or Persistent Cart, your customers can save items in their cart and access them from different devices.

Personal outreach:

Why not consider some old solutions different than apps and plugins – the beloved phone calls. Even if push up notifications, emails and social media messages are great for big retailers, the small ones can consider personal outreach as an option. There is nothing wrong in calling and asking for feedback and even helping in making the right choice for the future customer. 

Retargeting customers is a great way for recovering abandoned carts. Save more left carts and increase revenue at the same time, sounds perfect. Now, as you can read the mind of the customer and know how to improve your online store, go online and make your strategy.