Conversion Optimization

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Why are shoppers abandoning carts? It's a question often asked by eCommerce business owners. And no, the answer is not always 'high shipping costs'. Here are 30 other reasons you have a higher rate of cart abandonment.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Studies have shown that the average cart abandonment across eCommerce stores ranges from anywhere between 55% to 80%. And while high shipping costs make up the biggest reasons why shoppers abandon carts, several other factors contribute to the problem as well. 

In this article, we’ll be exploring 30 more reasons for cart abandonment and how you can increase the checkout rate of your eCommerce store.

1. When They Have To Create A New Account

Over 20% of the visitors don’t complete their checkout because they have to create a new account on the checkout page. 

When potential customers are forced to go the extra mile, they get frustrated and drop off. But this doesn’t impact the visitors' buying experience as much as others on this list. 

The easiest way to solve this problem is to have a guest checkout process or an option to log in through Google or Facebook. Something like this:

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

2) Making Customers Do The Research 

Not every reason for cart abandonment has something to do with you or your website and brand. Many visitors like to look around and find the best option that suits their budget and wants. 

A simple and obvious way to avoid this - have a product comparison chart to provide the benefits of your products over other options. 

Here is a simple example of the same: 

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)example of product comparison chart

3) Your Store Crashes Mid Way 

Website errors and loading issues seem very trivial - every store experiences it at some point. 

But these bottlenecks can tarnish the visitors' buyer’s experience and cause them to lose trust in your site, especially if they’re visiting for the first time. 

To solve this problem - run a full site audit using free tools like Screaming Frog to identify Multiple redirect loops + responsiveness + HTML tags - anything in the code that needs fixing. 

In case you want to improve your complete on-site experience, run a CRO audit.

5) Your Return Policy Isn’t A Fan Favorite 

New visitors tend to look at this before buying from any brand. If you don’t have a very favorable return or refund policy - chances are that they’ll find it hard to trust your brand. 

So, at least when you are starting out - avoid keeping a cap on your return and refund policy. This makes the buying decision easier for the customer and paints a good picture of your customer service. 

You can also offer free samples or trials to first-time customers who might be hesitant to buy.

6) You Are Not Assuring Customers 

A pretty obvious reason, if someone is worried that they will lose their money - they won’t go ahead with the purchase. 

This feeling is influenced by either a bad experience on the site previously or by other elements such as design flaws, outdated layouts, missing images, missing SSL certificates and lack of multiple payment options. 

Ensure that your trust seals and logos are recognizable. A majority of consumers are likely to abandon their shopping carts, either because the trust logos were missing or because they did not recognize them.

SSL Badge - 30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Ensure that the logos are recognizable. A majority of consumers are likely to abandon their shopping carts, either because the trust logos were missing or because they did not recognize them.

Just by getting a few elements right, you can reap the benefits of improving sales and retaining customers. These elements can go a long way in combating cart abandonment and bettering revenue.

7) Your Cart And Checkout Pages Are Not Optimized For Mobile

More than half of eCommerce sales come through mobile commerce. However, 67% of customers still complain about how inconvenient it is to purchase from mobile websites/apps. 

Why? The cart and checkout pages are not optimized for different screens. Sometimes, the CTAs on the checkout page are too small to tap on. 

Think about it, how many times would you want to zoom in and out before you purchase an item? 

This is why many customers get frustrated and research alternatives after abandoning their carts. 

Optimize for mobile by;

  • Work on a faster load time
  • Design websites to fit different screen sizes 

8) Your Customers Cannot Find Help At The Checkout Stage

Your customers have a 50% chance of dropping off on the cart and checkout page. 

In such instances, 90% of customers expect to find a portal for customer service. 

A customer service channel will help in offering reassurance or assistance, showing brand authenticity, and getting resolutions on order issues. Also, customer service can help customers get clarification or additional details about a product. 

Your customers should be able to easily contact a brand before they complete an order. Optimize by:

  • Provide a Livechat option
  • Offer a ‘contact us’ section at the footer of your cart and checkout page

9) Your Cart Page Copy Does Not Provide Assurance

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

You might think that your eCommerce copy is doing a great job of nudging customers to checkout. But have you optimized it for trust? 

Most shoppers will only skim through a webpage. This means they might not find the right information because of product page copy. On the cart page, they don’t need to see what the product description is again or the size guide or materials used to create the product. 

Too much information and you’ll overwhelm customers. And if you offer too little information, it doesn’t establish trust.  

On the cart page, your copy should reflect;

  • the details of their order
  • a nudge if it’s low on stock
  • the details of the pricing and costs.
  • You can also add a delivery date or window amongst other trust symbols. 

10) There Are Too Many Distractions On Your Cart And Checkout Page.

Pop-ups are great for promotional campaigns. 

However, when you have more than one pop-up and several notifications, the webpage just looks crowded.   

This is justified because if you provide notifications after a user adds an item to cart, it sends a signal that you want them to prioritize that over checking out.

So you have customers who end up abandoning their carts to explore other areas of your website. In our example below, you can see a discount offer for another product. This can cause customers to abandon their cart in a bid to find other eligible discounts that can cover their order. Or even to find the products eligible for this discount.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Another distraction on your cart page is your sticky header and footer. Having both leaves very limited space on the screen for a checkout nudge. Also since these screens have so many anchor links, they can be quite distracting. To avoid distractions;

  • Take out the numerous pop-ups, discounts, and smart notifications on your cart and checkout page
  • Ditch the sticky navigation bar and footer

11) Your Customers Struggle To Find The CTA 

Don’t make your customers hunt for the CTA. 

Some websites try to push everything on the one page that’s supposed to encourage you to checkout. This is where you’d see a ‘Buy Now’ CTA, an ‘apply coupon’, ‘Return’ or back CTA and it goes on. 

Every CTA takes up a significant amount of vertical space on your cart page. So providing many CTAs means you're overwhelming your customers with too many options and pushing the checkout button further away. 

In our example below, it's hard to tell what the primary CTA is because all four actions are in the same color and size. So a customer cannot tell in one glance what the checkout CTA is without reading the associated texts.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

It’s also self-sabotaging because you’re indirectly suggesting that all CTAs there are equally important. So ensure you make your primary action obvious by;

  • Greying out other CTAs
  • Using bold colors like Green and Blue to push for clicks

12) You’re Being Too Aggressive With Your Upsells

Offering product recommendations is a great way to increase your customer’s order value. 

However, a lot of eCommerce stores get too aggressive with their recommendations on the cart and checkout page. 

You’d have cases where a store is trying to upsell a completely unrelated product. This only makes you look like a desperate salesperson who nobody wants around. 

Since they are where they need to take the final action, it can lead to cart abandonment. For example, there’s no way I’d want to buy an expensive iPad along with a new computer on this page. Rather, I’d want to explore the features of each recommendation below;

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

13) Your Payment Interface Looks Too Complicated

Many other stores provide an easy mobile checkout process.

So your customers are ready to finalize their order by making a payment but it's confusing. Imagine how sketchy that must look. You have long forms that ask for irrelevant or intrusive information. 

It gets worse when you use payment gateways nobody has ever heard of and instead of offering options, you’re insisting they use this particular gateway. 27% of US consumers prefer to use popular online gateways like Amazon Pay and PayPal.

Another big issue is when your payment page on the checkout is entirely different from what your website looks like. With lots of horror stories out there, it can make a customer pause and retreat from completing their order. 

To increase the number of payments you’d typically get;

  • Eliminate the irrelevant questions you have on your payment forms
  • Use popular payment gateways
  • Ensure your checkout payment page design is consistent with the rest of your eCommerce store.

14) There’s No Chance To Review Their Order

After adding items to cart, some websites take you directly to the checkout page. So there’s no way to review or modify your orders. This can get frustrating for your customers because what happens when they need to keep shopping or when they change their minds? How do they make changes to their orders? 

It will no doubt lead to cart abandonment because they have to abandon that same checkout page to make these changes. Instead of skipping directly to the checkout page, provide a separate cart page where your customers can review or edit their order.

15) Your Calculator Isn’t Intuitive

While this might seem like a given, a lot of eCommerce stores do not auto-calculate prices when there are changes to an order. If a customer deletes a product, the pricing on the review page doesn’t automatically reflect that change. And so, all other changes to their order show a very different price from what it should be. 

You also have cases of low-cost products having a bump in price on the checkout page. For example, look at the discount price for this product below

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

When they get to the checkout page, your customers get surprised because the prices on the review page are different from what they currently see. At the checkout page, the item in our example surprisingly had an extra dollar charge which was excluding shipping and taxes.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

 48% of customers abandon carts because of surprise costs. 

Avoid cases like this by;

  • Getting an intuitive calculator
  • Cross-referencing prices on the search page with prices on checkout

16) There Are Too Many Shipping Restrictions

A first red flag is when there are no multiple shipping options. But then some customers might choose to overlook this. However, when you cannot give clear delivery dates, it’s just a call for cart abandonment. 83% of American online shoppers are expecting to have regular communication regarding their purchases.

This is because people need reassurance. And telling them there are COVID restrictions or warehouse issues that’ll affect their orders will not make them confident in your brand. So rather than risk their money on an order that isn’t guaranteed, they’d rather just go elsewhere. To avoid cart abandons due to this;

  • Offer a pickup option
  • Give a delivery window instead of just leaving it blank

17) You Never Give A Discount Or Incentive To Checkout

A ton of online stores usually give discounts for first-time customers when they try to make a purchase. However, when a customer goes through all the processes of placing an order and then even on the cart page, there’s no shopping cart discount, it can be a turn-off.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

In cases where there’s no discount, customers look out for free shipping or other incentives. 75% of shoppers expect free shipping even on orders under $50. It’s worse when you offer these incentives on the product pages and when they get to the checkout page, there’s no indication of it. 

This can cause customers to abandon the cart in hopes of revisiting it when there’s a discount or to just find another website that offers one.

  • Ensure you give some form of incentive at the checkout
  • Let your checkout pages reflect the discounts you’ve advertised

18) You Go Overboard With Your Design And Offers

When you try to do it all on your cart and checkout page, it just makes your prospective customers abandon their cart. This is not the time to show off your offers, loyalty programs, and how many elements you can cram into one page.

Some even go as far as showing product ads on the same page. When you shove so many products in your customer’s face at the checkout page, it can be overwhelming. It triggers choice paralysis because now, they have to choose between their order and one of the many other offers you’re showing them. 

An online retail store saw a 31% increase in checkouts when they reduced recommendations from 24 to 6. If your customers are confused, they won’t spend time trying to figure out stuff on your checkout page, they’ll just abandon their cart.

Eliminate all forms of product ads on your checkout page.

19) You Don’t Allow Them Save For Later

Not everyone wants to buy immediately. Some are just window shopping ahead of when they are ready to commit to their orders. When you don’t offer them a way to save an item for later, they resort to using their carts as a way to save their interests. 

That’s why when they keep these items in their cart, they abandon them afterward. See how there’s no alternative to save an item on this page

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

And while some will return to your store to purchase these items, others may completely forget about them. So consider;

  • Creating a save for later option on your eCommerce product page
  • Allow customers to leave their items in a cart only for a limited time - that way they are forced to use the save for later option whenever they aren’t ready to buy

20) It’s Hard For Your Customers To Revisit Their Cart

So when shoppers add products to their cart, some stores have a pop-up that shows them the cart page. However,  after shopping, it becomes a wild goose chase to find their carts if they’ve dismissed this pop-up. No nudge or pointers are taking them back to their cart. So in this case, they are left to find where the cart page is.

While you might think that all eCommerce stores have a basket icon that redirects customers back to the cart page, it's not the case. This will lead to high cart abandonment because it's frustrating to find how to checkout.

  • Spend time creating smart nudges that redirect users to their carts
  • Make the cart page visible on your navigation panel

21) You Ask For Too Much Information

Checkout fields and forms with too many fields are exhausting enough. Picture having to answer irrelevant questions to get by. Your checkout page only requires billing information and payment details. 

So when you start asking for too much information, your customers are likely to abandon their carts. For example, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of forms on this page below;

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Some might want to revisit it. But then, they never get the chance to come back to your store. Removing as little as one form field can boost checkouts by as much as 26%. Optimize your checkout page by:

  • Introducing auto-fill for your existing forms
  • Reducing the number of form fields by asking only relevant questions

22) It’s Never Clear When A Discount Code Is Expired

One of the worst user experiences you can offer a customer is giving them an expired discount code. As you know, a discount code is an incentive to check out faster. So picture a prospective customer getting to the checkout page and finding out that the code you offered is invalid.

This will not only dampen their spirits but even trigger them to entirely abandon the cart. You’ve also messed with their budget. So before you continue offering pop-ups and emails containing discount codes;

  • Clearly state when the code will expire
  • Cross-reference your codes on the checkout page

23) What Happens After A Declined Credit Card

While this might not entirely be your fault, it’s still a reason why your shoppers abandon their carts. 55% of US consumers used a credit card for online payments in the past year. 

So, once a card gets declined on the checkout page, many customers will immediately go back to their bank accounts or statements to confirm if they do have enough. Distractions and other series of events can then take them even further away from your eCommerce store.

To prevent this from further happening;

  • Investigate if there are other reasons why a card gets declined on the checkout page
  • Offer alternative payment options directly on the checkout page

24) Navigating To Successfully Checkout Is Confusing 

Ever stopped to think about how your checkout might be? How many clicks or buttons do your prospective customers have to pass through from the cart to checkout? Also using a multi-step checkout can have an adverse effect when there’s no roadmap showing how many steps are left. In the example below, there’s no clear way to check out after adding an item to cart.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Your prospective customers can get frustrated. If there’s no breadcrumb, nudge, or pointers, they will abandon their carts to find a better experience. 17% of customers abandon their carts if the checkout seems complicated. So to reduce your cart abandonment rates; 

  • Minimize the number of clicks required to checkout
  • Offer directional cues or nudges to help them easily navigate their cart page

25) Your Cart Page Experience Is Banal

If a customer visits your store over time, is the experience the same? People love challenges and so when an experience becomes boring, they tend to go where the excitement is. 

So take some time to check - Is the checkout experience for the first-time customer the same as your loyal customers? And what about repeat cart abandoners. Is it the same with first-time cart abandoners? Are they always seeing the same recommendations, ads and asked to take the same action?  

  • Prompt different actions for different customers on the cart and checkout page
  • Offer personalized recommendations so the customer experience is evergreen

26) Your Checkout Page Doesn’t Adapt To Browsers

It’s great if your checkout page works just fine on Chrome. But then only 64% of the population use Google Chrome. Does this mean that there are hundreds of customers who probably use other web browsers like Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Brave? 

When your checkout page isn’t optimized for these other browsers, your customers will end up having a poor user experience. This will lead to cart abandonment because they won’t stop to think that your store might just work well elsewhere.

Here’s an example of how greyed out the Etsy product page looks on Microsoft Edge. We couldn’t proceed to the checkout page from here.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

 So to minimize drop-offs because of this;

  • Optimize your checkout pages for other browsers
  • While working on this optimization, let your customers know they can switch browsers for an even better experience.

27) Your Customers Always Have To Go Back

Yes, your checkout and cart page shouldn’t have overwhelming information. However, whenever your customers need to review the product description for reassurance, they have to click back or go to the product page. In the example below, there’s no way to edit the order on this cart page or even view details of the product.

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

68% of sites send users backward in the checkout flow if they want to edit information at the review step. This will cause cart abandonment because they’ll get lost in browsing for other items they may never buy. Instead;

  • Offer product descriptions on the cart page by using truncated content in vertical dropdowns

28) There Are Limits To Your Inventory

This might be when you don’t allow shoppers to purchase more than a limited number of products at a time. So you have limits on bulk buying which can be a turn off especially when you have wholesalers on your page. On this page, the highest quantity a shopper can purchase is six items;

30 Reasons Your Shoppers Abandon Carts (+ How To Fix It Now)

Another issue with your inventory is when an item is available on the search page and then it shows out of stock on the cart page. This inconsistency can be quite frustrating and just cause a shopper to leave your store. 

  • Allow bulk buying or clearly show how many of those items you have left in stock
  • Put an out of stock badge on out of stock items on the search page

29) You’re Not Looking At The Competition 

Your cart and checkout page might be just fine but then your prices are not competitive. And so, your customers go to find similar products at a lower price on other stores. Even when they are in physical stores, 39.8% of customers spend time comparing the prices of items online.

It might also be other things. Their design, personalization, customer support amongst other things. So spend some time reviewing the competition and matching up to their offers. 

30) You Are Not Testing Different Elements On The Cart Page

Ever since you designed your cart page and launched the first version have you run user tests? Have you gone through each element to see how they work for the average customer? Asides from general issues, your cart page might have its peculiar issues.

  • Review customer interactions with your cart and checkout page for insights
  • Test these elements with your user experience and quality assurance team

Post-Exit From Website/App: Why Your Customers Don’t Come Back

Have you been trying to get back the shoppers who have abandoned their cart recently? Here are a few reasons why they are not coming back to checkout;

1. They were just window shopping: Not everyone has a high intent to purchase when they add items to cart. So some of your customers were just researching, browsing, or comparing prices.

2. You send only cart abandonment emails: yes we are talking about cart abandonment in this article. But have you thought about whether your customers already bought the product in the cart elsewhere? Instead of prioritizing cart abandonment, you can try experimenting with search, browse, and category abandonment emails.

3. You don’t have a targeted remarketing strategy: Don’t just run remarketing strategies based on templates you’ve worked with before. Win back cart abandoners by remarketing based on their interactions with your sites. So let your ads, emails, and notifications reflect their browsing interests. That way, they’d easily revisit your store to complete their purchase.

4. You don’t understand WHY your customers abandon cart: The reasons for cart abandonment are different for several industries and stores. So why your customers are abandoning their cart might be entirely different from why they are abandoning carts elsewhere. Spend time watching user sessions and running usability tests to find out why your customers are abandoning their carts.


Your cart abandonments might be a result of any of the reasons above. However, to be on top of your eCommerce store, optimize for conversions by evaluating your website with Convertcart today.

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