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9 reasons for abandoning the shopping cart and how to avoid them

by  David Dwyer on  17/08/2018

Have you ever filled an online basket, only to leave it “pending” or close the page before putting the payment details in?  

Well you’re not alone as, according to Shopping Cart Abandonment Stats, the global average for abandoning your shopping cart online is 75.6%.  

Whilst those sorry stats make it look it’s ‘inevitable’ your website won’t deliver you a decent return, there are actions you as an e-Commerce owner can take to avoid this. 

The first step is understanding why your cart has been abandoned.  

  1. Hidden costs and shipping fees: there is a growing expectation and competition for free services. Customers can be put off by hidden additional costs, such as shipping or taxes, which are only revealed once the customers arrive at the payment section. Remember, Amazon are often cited as a great example of a business who took their conversion rates to a whole new level by offering free delivery to their Prime Members. 


  1. Imbalanced Comparison: you’ve seen the advertised comparison sites, but people also make their own comparisons before they commit to a purchase. It’s not uncommon to have users price check at the final checkout between competing retail websites for high-cost items.  

                Those companies they trust will get repeat business, but only for a time till they find that item cheaper elsewhere (this is common where the product can be considered a commodity and easily replaceable with the                    same or one with similar features).  


                 Ultimately though you’re competing with a huge marketplace and need to differentiate your way to earn the lifetime value customer.  

  1. Option Overkill: it can be really overwhelming working out the best price, quality and shipping option for the product you’re looking for online when there are so many options readily available to you. Linking back to the previous point about comparison, eliminating the competition might be impossible but there are strategies to help an e-Commerce site get an edge.  

  1. Stunted User Experience: pop up ads aren’t the only obstacles which can hinder a customer from engaging with your site.  
    Something as simple as requesting a user account sign up can put off potential customers, especially if it comes just at the payment process.  
    There needs to be an incentive for the action, and often the opportunity to “buy as a guest shopper” will allow for a better user experience and therefore return business.  

  1. Payment Preferences: some sites cannot support offering a variety of payment options, creating another stunted/poor experience.  
    You need to be able to give your customers a choice which doesn’t interfere with their purchasing. And if you’re neglecting a particular payment opportunity because your website is too slow or the software is too old, chances are your competitors are not.  

  1. Customer Service: customer service is second nature to high street retailers and the same should be the case for e-Commerce sites as well.  
    Studies have shown that a simple live-chat box can increase the likely hood of a sale by 51%, and it’s a fantastic way to interact with customers and avoid previously mentioned issues like stunted user experiences, and hidden information.  

  1. Software Vulnerabilities: it takes more than a few icons to make a buyer trust the security of your company.  
    Websites which are slow or on old software can leave customers vulnerable to having their information stolen.  
    They want a guarantee that, if they share their banking information with your e-Commerce site for payment, it’s protected.  

  1. Mobile Compatibility: at least half of all e-Commerce is conducted through mobile devices (and that is only going to grow), but tired software and old websites cannot adapt to suit the mobile interface.  
    If a customer can’t see your ADD TO CART button without having to pinch and pull your website, they’re already having a restricted experience and they’re likely to click off before they even get to the product they’re searching for.  

  1. Updated or Outdated Software: Magento has recently made big changes to improve their e-Commerce site software, but it means that their old Magento 1.7-1.9.x software is leaving people out in the cold (ED: in June 2020 there will be no more Updates or Patches for versions below Magento 2.0).  
    You need to make sure you’re working with current software and programs so that customers have an optimal experience in using your site.  


If you’re worried about your cart abandonment rate, or any of the issues we’ve highlighted here then don’t hesitate to contact us. It’ll take us very little time to review and give our expert opinion on getting your e-Commerce site back on track.  

e-commerce, Online Stores, Web Design, Website Management, Website Support
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