Top 9 Reasons For A High Cart Abandonment Rate

September 28, 2021

Throughout the years in the eCommerce industry, the cart abandonment rate has been steadily increasing. Across all industries, the average cart abandonment rate is already close to 70%. It might even exceed that due to the effects of the pandemic.

Given this alarming rate, eCommerce stores shouldn’t ignore this aspect of their business anymore. Business owners should determine the reasons behind cart abandonment as soon as possible.

This is what we will uncover in this article. We’ll be pointing out why shoppers don’t complete their purchases and the biggest hindrances to having a great shopping experience.

So if you’re ready to get a higher purchase rate and increase your sales, then let’s get right to it.

What Is Cart Abandonment?

cart abandonment rate

Cart abandonment is when a shopper adds items to their shopping cart but never successfully purchased them on the checkout page. Any items added to the cart but not purchased were “abandoned” by the shopper.

If you get a high cart abandonment rate, knowing the reason behind it is a must. Constantly ignoring this issue will eventually hurt your marketing metrics, your bottom line, and the overall state of your business. 

Technically, it’s already affecting your business, but the effect will be more significant if not addressed immediately.

To know how to solve this problem, we need to understand why cart abandonment happens in the first place. We need to determine the factors on what changes their mind. Listed below are statistics and top reasons for cart abandonment.

Top Reasons For Cart Abandonment

People think that their business isn’t converting because of their eCommerce platform of choice. Although it plays a minor role in the macro side of things in the eCommerce space, your platform of choice, whether WooCommerce or its alternatives, has no relation to cart abandonment.

Researching the top reasons for cart abandonment for each business needs a lot of time and effort. A store that sells walkers for seniors could have completely different reasons from a store that sells canes even though both are in the elderly care industry. 

But luckily, we have companies specializing in market and consumer data to aggregate information from different sectors and place their findings in a single picture or article.

In the context of cart abandonment rates, a lot of companies have shared their findings regarding this topic. Let’s first take a look at what Baymard founded in its research:

Baymard cart abandonment rate

Below is from Optin Monster:

Optin monster statistic

Here’s another one from Statista:

Statista cart abandonment rate

Just by looking at this data, you’ll already have a rough idea of the top reasons behind cart abandonment. Let’s now discuss each one of them.

1. Unexpected high additional costs

Checkout page additional costs

Unexpectedly high additional costs are taxes, shipping fees, and other costly variables that show up in a customer’s cart when they are on the checkout page. High costs are the primary reason why most shoppers abandon their carts. 

These unexpected fees are usually a turn-off since sometimes the total of these fees equates to another item in the store. A much worse scenario is when the unexpected costs are much higher than the actual product that the shopper wants.

Solution: If you can afford to cancel out the shipping fees, then make sure to let that vital information be known. Knowing that this is the top reason behind cart abandonment, your free shipping or zero tax can be marketing material for you.

Take a look at how 3Wishes – a lingerie and costume store, made sure to let their website visitors know of their free shipping promo if their cart exceeds a certain amount.

Other ways you can advertise this is through email content, a popup, or a banner on the home page. Letting this vital information shown on your website increases the chance of converting a sale and a lower cart abandonment rate.

2. Account creation requirement

Mixam create an account

Another top reason for a high cart abandonment rate is when a customer is required to create an account before purchasing. 

In this day and age where everything is provided instantly, consumers want to purchase items immediately as well.

Account creation is seen as a hindrance to a successful checkout because consumers nowadays don’t want to go through the whole process of it. They don’t want to provide their email, verify their information, and answer other questions. They want to be in and out of the website as fast as possible.

Solution: A solution to this problem can come in two ways: offer a guest checkout or give out an incentive.

Going for a guest checkout option can quickly solve this problem. If your primary reason for account creation is to collect their email for marketing purposes, you can do this on the post-checkout page. 

You’ll get a more high-quality list by asking it on the stage where they’ve successfully purchased a product.

The second option is giving them an incentive when they create an account. This usually does the trick for shoppers who don’t want to go through the whole process. 

If creating an account gives them a 10% discount on their purchase or a voucher for your next online event, they’ll be more than happy to create an account with you.

Checkout how Key West Aloe incentives its web visitors when they create an account with them:

Key West Aloe incentives

3. Complicated checkout process

A process that takes too long to finish is usually enough for consumers to abandon their cart. As mentioned earlier, consumer behavior now wants everything fast, easy, and smooth. The same thing is expected when they’re buying something online.

Although some businesses don’t have a complicated checkout process, there are still those who bombard their customers with forms and fields.

Remember that every additional step that you include in your checkout process can potentially hurt your customer experience.

Solution: Make the checkout process as simple as possible. Like those online ordering systems, you just press the food you like and be directed to the payment page immediately.

Only ask for information that is relevant and necessary. Other information that you need can be done on the post-checkout stage.

4. Delivery time is too slow

amazon same day delivery

When we’re purchasing something online, it usually excites us to use that product. It makes us want to receive the item as quickly as possible. Some businesses can deliver less than a week like those Amazon FBA businesses, and some take more than seven days.

Having a fast delivery time can be a unique selling proposition in itself. In fact, it’s such a great competitive advantage that the most prominent online retail store boasts of same-day delivery. This edge is one of the many factors that separate Amazon from its competitors.

Shipping fee is not the only thing that consumers take note of; shipping time is also as important. 

Solution: Give them a lot of shipping options: the more choices, the better. Allow the shoppers to pick the delivery date, delivery time, their courier of choice, the way of shipping, etc. 

By having multiple options and letting them customize this process, you’re making the overall experience as close as how they want it to be.

5. Total cost couldn’t be seen upfront

Consumers have a ton of experience when shopping online. They know that there are shipping fees and taxes that they need to account for. 

Some shoppers even add items to their carts just to see how much the hidden fees are. And if this feature is not available until they reach the checkout page, they are quick to abandon their carts and move on to other stores.

Solution: Make sure to give the customers the full pricing details upfront. Don’t wait to let them know on the checkout page. 

Let the total price be known as soon as they add the item to their cart. That’s why most businesses nowadays make the total cost be known immediately to avoid another cart abandonment situation.

6. Concerns on security

Security and privacy are the primary things that concern people when doing transactions online – and it is for good reasons. 

Payment security is one thing that goes through a shopper’s mind when on the checkout page. If they have reason to believe that you are not a trustworthy seller, they’ll abandon that cart in a heartbeat.

Solution: Provide trust badges. These are badges that you place on your website that show you’re legitimate. The badges can come in the form of these images:

trust badges checkout

Another way to show that your business is legitimate is to show your customers where your products have been featured. This gives an impression that your business is legitimate since these big companies featured your products and services. 

Take a look at how Spores shared what news publications covered their business:

Spores featured in news

Lastly, another way to show you’re trustworthy is through customer reviews. The more positive reviews you show on your website, the higher the confidence of the shoppers to do business with you.

You can display those positive reviews on your homepage where your customers easily see them. Take a look at how Mixam showcased their five-star reviews and excellent feedback on their home page:

Mixam Trust Pilot reviews

7. Missing information about the product

Shoppers of today are savvy and very cautious before buying an item. They now watch and read online reviews to see if the product is a good fit for them. 

But the people doing the reviews can only give so much information about the product. The business itself should provide the specifications and other important information. 

When shoppers see that the product lacks the information they need, they won’t hesitate to leave your store.

Short and specific product descriptions have their merits, but providing all the necessary details will clear any confusion and doubt in your consumer’s mind. 

Solution: Provide a “see more” option. This feature gives the consumer the choice of whether they would like to see the full product description or the short version. You don’t bombard them with a wall of text about the product by giving them this option.

8. Bad return policy

return policy page statistic

A return policy can sometimes be a make or break factor for shoppers. Since your consumers can’t physically see and touch the product, they need assurance that they can return or exchange it with ease if the item they receive comes in the wrong size or variation.

If you say that you provide a money-back guarantee or a 30-day return policy, do everything you can to stay true to it. It makes your business more trustworthy and legitimate. 

If a shopper sees one bad review about how hard it was to exchange an item with your business, that alone can be a deal-breaker. That’s a major turn-off for any online shopper.

Solution: Stay true to your word. Do everything in your power to honor that return policy. Make the whole process smooth and easy as well. By doing these things, you’re increasing consumer confidence that they are dealing with a trustworthy business.

9. Website issues

The last thing you want to have is a lot of buyers are on the checkout page, and your website keeps crashing, or some buttons aren’t working.

Having website issues is a very unfortunate scenario. A website with persistent problems could be leaving a lot of money on the table. This experience will also leave a mark on your customers, and you may end up losing some clients. Not to mention

Solution: Hire a web designer to fix all of your issues. Or you can check the website yourself from time to time – check if everything on your website is working. Visit every page to see if nothing crashes. Go through the whole shopping process and observe if everything is functioning.

Strategies To Have A Lower Cart Abandonment Rate

Knowing the top reasons for cart abandonment isn’t enough. You also need to build an efficient strategy to aid your growth hacking plans to expand your business. Below are three strategies to help you with cart abandonment.

I. Cart abandonment marketing campaigns

cart abandonment template

Gone are the days that businesses use sales teams and predictive dialers to follow up on their leads and potential customers. In this era of digital marketing, following up can be done through emails.

In the topic of cart abandonment, businesses can follow up or remind their customers of their cart by using their cart abandonment campaigns. These are campaigns that remind your consumers that they’ve left something in their cart. 

cart abandonment campaign huckberry

The great thing about these campaigns is that it brings the consumer immediately to the checkout page with just a click of a button. It saves them time and effort by not doing the whole process again.

To make this easier, you can download for free CartStack’s Abandoned Cart Email Templates.

II. Use exit intent popups

exit intent popup

An exit-intent popup is the last attempt of a website to stop a user from leaving. Using this strategy can be a gamble; it can either annoy your customer or convince them to stay and complete the checkout process.

To make the outcome be the latter scenario, let your exit-intent popup strategy offer a great deal. As soon as your website detects that the customer is leaving without a successful purchase, make sure your popup provides a deal that’s hard to resist.

Give them a discount, a promo code, a free ebook, or a free task software. Giving out an incentive sometimes does the trick of changing their mind.

III. Aim for a smoother shopping experience

A smoother shopping experience means that the customer doesn’t have to find or click any links and go to different pages to get their transaction done. 

Your business could do this by showing those hidden costs immediately. Don’t let your customers wait on the checkout page to see the overall total of their purchases. Make the total cost visible and easily seen. 

Customers can experience a smoother shopping experience by providing all the necessary product information about your items. Make sure to include every important detail. Don’t be quick to label it with just one sentence. Give the customer’s an option to know more about the product.

Check out how Mannequin Mall displayed all of the necessary information needed for the shopper. They provided a phone number to call, the total cost of the product, how much the customer is saving, their return policy, payment options, and an email to contact them. 

Mannequin Mall smooth customer experience

They have provided all the necessary information in just one place. It makes it easier for the customer to get rid of any questions they have in their minds.


Cart abandonment is a typical problem for every eCommerce store. Although the rate has increased in every industry, there are still different ways to combat it and make your rate as low as possible. There is no reason for you to follow that rate.

Solving cart abandonment starts by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. Put yourself in their perspective and see if the whole buying process is complex. Think about whether you can rework the whole process to make it simpler, fast, and smooth.

By addressing the top cart abandonment reasons with the solutions mentioned above, you’re on your way to lower your cart abandonment rate and improve your business’ customer shopping experience.

Written by Burkhard Berger. Burkhard is the founder of Novum. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.