Conversion Optimization

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off My Checkout Flow?

eCommerce store owners often ask - Why are shoppers dropping off from my checkout flow? Here's a list of 51 reasons why shoppers abandon carts and never return.

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off My Checkout Flow?

Reports show that $18 billion in sales are lost annually to cart abandonment. 

If you’re reading this, then it’s possible your shoppers are dropping off from the checkout flow to never return again. 

But why?

Here we’ve collected 51 possible reasons why shoppers drop off from checkout flows.

Read through and see what tweaks can help you make a sale. 

1. You don't have a shopper-friendly returns policy 

12% of US shoppers have stated that the eCommerce returns policy often frustrates them. 

2. You show  “Delivery Speed” instead of “Delivery Date”

36% of sites use “Delivery Speed” instead of “Delivery Date” and 22% of shoppers said online store deliveries are too slow. 

Instead of stating ‘3-5 business days’, specify delivery dates to reassure customers. 

3. You don’t offer multiple delivery options

“Offer multiple delivery choices such as standard (free), express (for a certain amount), premium delivery dates (for special occasions such as Mother’s Day), and in-store pick-ups (with special discounts).” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart
Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

4. You don't let shoppers edit during checkout

80% of eCommerce stores don’t let shoppers edit directly at the order review step

While some eCommerce stores have “Edit” links, the action causes shoppers to go to the previous step in the checkout flow. 

This causes a great deal of confusion and frustration both when moving backward and forwards after corrections have been made.

Instead, users should be allowed to edit data at the review step via inline form fields or page overlays.

5. You reveal ‘extra costs’ in step 2

63% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to expensive shipping costs.

Before a customer reaches the final checkout page, give them a summary of what shipping costs and other additional fees will amount to. 

It is wise to offer free shipping with multiple free shipping thresholds.

6. Your don't offer free shipping

Alex Birkett of Omniscient Digital suggests, “If you have a free shipping threshold, create a dynamic banner that shows how close they are to unlocking free shipping. I’ve tested this and it’s usually either null or positive on conversions, but tends to increase AOV and revenue.”

7. Your shoppers don't trust the payment security

“Our customers' experience is the most important thing to us. They need to trust our checkout as much as they trust our products–and recognize the path to purchase as easily as they recognize our brand.” - Kyla Robinson, Vice President, Digital Product, Spanx

Almost 1.4 million people in the US reported being a victim of identity theft. 

That’s why so many shoppers are hesitant to add sensitive information—like credit card numbers and home addresses— to unfamiliar online stores. 

Display credible trust symbols and badges and update your privacy policy to reassure shoppers. 

8. You haven't enabled Luhn validation

48% of sites don’t use Luhn validation to see if the card number entered by a user is plausible.

Typing the typically 15–16-digit credit card number string without errors can be difficult for users.

During testing, typos were common, and thus validation errors were as well — which can result in abandonments.

Thus any help users can be given to type their credit card numbers correctly should be provided.

Pro Tip: Autoformat spaces in the “credit card number” field to avoid the possibility of errors. 

9. You don’t offer social logins 

While 43% of customers prefer to use guest checkout, social logins can make the checkout process faster as well as help stores gather customer information. 

You'd love to read: How Do I Increase My Website’s Checkout Rate? (25 Proven Ideas)

10. You’re not using a progress bar 

If customers don’t know how far along they are at any given stage of the checkout process, they might abandon shopping carts without realizing their purchases are nearly complete. 

Include progress bars on all checkout pages to help the shopper know how much more time they need to spend to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

11. You don’t let shoppers ‘save the cart’ 

Through ‘save the cart’, eCommerce stores can generate leads and boost your email sign-ups. 

"Once the shopper has saved their cart, add them to your automated abandoned cart campaign from tip one.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart

13. Your website loads slowly

According to , 50% of Americans say they are less likely to purchase something online if the checkout process takes longer than half a minute i.e. 30 seconds.

An average customer will wait just 10 seconds for their credit card to be verified, and 1 in 3 customers on average clicked out of purchasing items when asked to re-enter their credit card info.

14. You haven’t optimized the checkout process for mobile devices 

“At Shopify, we have more engineers working just on making checkout high-converting and performant, than some other companies have working on their entire commerce solution.” - Shopify 

A report shows that the abandonment cart rate is different for different devices: for mobile, it is 85.65%, for tablets, it is 80.74%, and for desktop, it is only 69.75%.

15. You don’t offer multiple payment modes

7% of people abandoned their shopping carts because the retailer didn’t offer enough payment methods.

Amongst some of the most popular payment methods are:

  • Shopping apps (Shop Pay and PayPal)
  • Digital wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay)
  • Buy now, pay later (Shop Pay Installments, Klarna, Four, and AfterPay)

16. You're not using one-click checkout

Shopify merchants can use Shop Pay to accelerate checkout time, leading to faster order fulfillment. 

With this feature, customers don’t have to enter credit card details and shipping information every time they make a purchase. 

Shopify found that the order-to-checkout rate is 1.7 times higher when using this solution compared to the regular checkout experience.

17. You're not auto-detecting a shopper’s location

28% of stores don’t auto-detect the “City” and “State” form fields when a shopper enters a postal code. 

18. You're not offering gifting options

“When customers are shopping for others or for a special occasion, offering a gift-wrapping option can make it convenient.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart

19. You’re not personalizing the checkout experience 

70% of all Shopify Inbox conversations are with shoppers making a purchase.

Enable live chat options on the checkout page to solve any questions regarding returns and other store policies. 

20. Your discount code field is too prominent 

9 in 10 shoppers use discount codes when buying online. But if they’re initiating a purchase and showing a discount field, they might exit the checkout flow to find one.

Consider hiding the discount code field behind a dropdown. 

That way, customers who have a promo code to redeem, but are not off-putting to potential customers purchasing without a coupon.

21. You’re not incentivizing larger carts

“Just encourage shoppers to add more with relevant product recommendations. And when they do add more to their cart, provide attractive incentives. For instance, offer discounts (such as 20% off orders over $100), free shipping, or gifts (receive 3 free samples with orders over $200).” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart

22. You haven't enabled auto-filling features

The more time someone spends in the checkout flow, the longer they have to rethink their decision.

“Speed things up with Google Autocomplete. It prefills a customer’s billing and shipping address when they start typing it, which is proven to save time by 20% and reduce mobile errors.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart

23. You're not combining multiple discounts on one order

“During high sales season like holiday promotions, choose different discount combinations that allow customers to benefit from the best possible discount based on their cart.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart

24. You haven't displayed reviews on the checkout page

Social proof is a powerful convincing tool. 

79% of shoppers say that social proof, like user-generated content (UGC), highly impacts their purchasing decisions, so add reviews on the checkout page to overcome any hesitations.  

25. You're not driving urgency on the checkout page

You can use urgency about the danger of missing out or scarcity. These are great with limited edition deals, Selling Out Fast tags, and Sold Out in X Days reminders right on the checkout page.

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

You can also build on FOMO by displaying real-time sales activity such as ‘X brought this 10 mins ago’. 

26. You don't show product thumbnails

“From a UX standpoint, thumbnail versions of high-quality images are ideal to let shoppers validate what they are about to spend on and not hit the back button again.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart  

27. You're not saving customer information for later

Ask shoppers to consent to save their information for future purchases. 

Save information such as name, contact info, shipping and delivery addresses, and payment modes and details.    

28. Your back button isn't intuitive

If shoppers have moved ahead in the checkout flow and need to edit something in the previous steps, then it’s essential the back button doesn’t take them out of the checkout flow. 

On mobile, it’s easy to press the back button by accident and land on a different webpage

Considering these scenarios, it’s important to enable a prominent back button that shoppers can press and go to the relevant webpage in the checkout process. 

29. You're not showing a summary of the product information

A short product description in bullet points or drop downs can help shoppers validate what they selected. 

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

This way, shoppers don’t have to go out of the checkout flow to the product pages and start the journey all over again. 

30. Your CTA button is not personalized

A report suggests that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than default versions.  

On the checkout pages, instead of just ‘Buy now’, use copy such as ‘Buy now and get 15% off’.    

31. You're not using “microcopy” to help shoppers checkout faster

Microcopy like prompting a country code with a sample contact number will help shoppers to add the right details.  

32. You don't have visual cues on the checkout page

Use the usual arrows, asterisks, and color contrast as cues to gain a shopper’s attention. 

33. You don't experiment with checkout designs

“A single or a multi-page checkout? The jury’s out on this one. For some businesses, a single-page checkout proves better. For others, the multi-step checkout seems the way to go.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart 

The benefits of single-page checkout for customers are:

  • Enjoy a faster shopping experience
  • Review their orders & information all at the same time, saving them the trouble of checking again and again.
Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

34. Your checkout flow is unintuitive

An average large-sized eCommerce business can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout design.

An estimated $260 billion worth of lost orders is recoverable solely through a better checkout flow and design.

35. You don't conduct A/B tests on the checkout process

Test different layouts, cues, copies, or images on the checkout page to see which one leads to more sales, sign-ups, or other desired actions.

A/B testing can help stores to gather significant results and improve their sales funnel. 

36. You haven't asked for feedback regarding the checkout flow

“Collect feedback from shoppers when they abandon checkout to get an idea of why they leave, and to develop strategies for improvement.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart
Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

Apply exit-intent popups on the checkout page to get feedback from customers on why they’re abandoning checkout. 

From the responses, eCommerce stores can learn where to add customer support, what design changes to make, and how to adjust form fields to optimize checkout.

37. You don't offer easy access to the FAQ section

“Choose to showcase a FAQ content block section in the footer or offer them through the live chat option.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart 

38. You haven't displayed the loyalty program to increase CLV

Feature possible advantages by showing how many points or what kind of rewards shoppers can earn on the checkout page. 

39. You're not recommending relevant products

Many eCommerce stores display frequently bought together products during checkout. 

But if it’s not relevant to the products already in the cart, then shoppers might be put off by the experience and opt to bounce.

Offer recommendations relevant to the products in the cart, and if possible bundle products and feature a discount as well.

You'll love to read: 27 Practical Ways To Reduce eCommerce Bounce Rate

40. You don't offer samples

Sometimes, shoppers are hesitant to purchase products, especially beauty products or high-ticket items. 

Samples can let customers use the product for a short period of time and if they are satisfied come back to buy the product.

41. You haven't thought about replicating the ‘in-store experience’

While size guides and FAQs can help shoppers to make a decision, sometimes potential customers might get confused while shopping with international brands or if brands have unique USPs. 

For instance, if you’re selling athleisure wear, the sizes might be different from what’s considered standard in retail.

Let shoppers opt for assisted shopping with ‘book an appointment’ or ‘talk to a salesperson’ at their convenience and make the right purchase.  

42. You aren't recommending products in the shopper's preferred price points

If the product recommendations on your checkout page carry price points that are beyond the customer’s spending habits and behavior, then something’s amiss. 

“You’ll need to look into scenarios where the product recommendations carry prices that are beyond 10%-50% of the customer’s budget.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart
Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

43. You don't show prices in local currencies to international shoppers

If customers have to stop and calculate the quoted price in their own currency, then you’ll have to change it. 

Most eCommerce platforms allow you to make changes either to the API or the dashboard to create multi-currency preferences.

“Enable auto-translate features on checkout pages by detecting the shopper’s location. For the best experience, make sure to test it with locals from particular countries to understand any pain points.” - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart  

44. You don't have simplified forms

Ask yourself what information is necessary for customers to complete the checkout.

Keep those form fields mandatory. Leave the rest to the customer’s discretion.

“Also, if you need a customer's name during the shipping details and payment process, rather than asking them twice, use the auto-fill option on Chrome and Safari that fills the details by itself.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart

45. You aren't offering product subscriptions 

If you sell products that are used frequently, consider increasing AOV through a subscription that comes with a slight discount.

Why Are Shoppers Dropping Off From My Checkout Flow?

46. You don't have social media sharing

Enable social media plugins to help shoppers explore UGC content for reassurance and then come back to make a purchase.  

You can also enable social media sharing plugins where shoppers can share a product on their social media and ask for feedback from customers. 

47. You don't have cart sharing options 

Share-a-cart is a feature where shoppers can share their cart with friends and family through a sharing link. 

This way shoppers receive greater autonomy when making a purchase, and the store acquires an opportunity for greater sales.

48. You don't use every opportunity to generate leads

As you can see, there might be many reasons why shoppers are dropping off from the checkout flow. 

For instance, shoppers have added products to carts. However, they might not be making a purchase since there’s no available discount code. 

In this case, they would be willing to sign up for promotional emails to make a purchase in the future.    

49. You don't have a Whatsapp channel

“As shoppers get many promotional emails every day, they might be more inclined to sign up for Whatsapp or text message alerts.” - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart

50. You don't compliment a shopper’s taste

When a shopper adds products to the cart, it’s usual for them to second guess their choices.

eCommerce stores can display copy such as ‘You’ve got great taste’ to reassure shoppers of their purchase. 

51. You forget to say ‘thank you’ post purchase 

Keep the customer engagement going with a thank you message after a purchase is done.

Offer confirmation of the products, further ways to continue contact, and let customers give consent to promotional or loyalty programs.       

Now that you know all the possible reasons why, it might seem grim that shoppers are dropping off from the checkout flow

But, don’t lose hope.

31% of shoppers have purchased from the same website at a later date and 8% purchased it from a physical store.”

If your store is hosted on Shopify, then there’s more good news. 

As Shopify’s President, Harley Finkelstein states, 

Shopify's overall conversion rate outpaces the competition by up to 36% and by an average of 15%.

Furthermore, Shop Pay, Shopify’s accelerated checkout offering can increase conversion by as much as 50% compared to guest checkout, outpacing other accelerated checkouts by at least 10%. 

Just the presence of Shop Pay can increase lower funnel conversion by 5%

How can we help you 👇

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything. 

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors. 

And this is the problem ConvertCart solves. 

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions. 

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions. 

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