The Infinite Whys of Shopping Cart Abandonment

The Infinite Whys of Shopping Cart Abandonment

An estimated $18 billion in annual lost shopping carts is a problem for eCommerce merchants. Around 75% of all online sales are abandoned in cart.

Many lost sales can be attributed to shopper fickleness, but a lot of them are due to poor customer service. Customer neglect is the root cause of many shopping cart abandonment problems.

Sometimes, abandonment of digital shopping carts is a sign that there are larger eCommerce issues. Poor online store design is a major cause of many eCommerce problems. You can avoid this problem by making sure your eCommerce website design is easy to use. Our recommendation is to create your online store using a designer-made eCommerce template which takes customer experience into account. Understanding your customers is the first step to recovering abandoned carts. We will explore the many reasons why your customers might be abandoning your checkout process and what you can do about it.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

An online shopping cart abandonment occurs when a customer, new or old, begins to checkout for a purchase but does not complete the order. If the customer returns to your eCommerce store, items in their cart will be considered abandoned.

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The eCommerce industry’s biggest problem is shopping cart abandonment. Baymard Institute has reported that the global shopping cart abandonment rate is below 70%. You might see abandonment rates much higher than that. It is important to understand why shopping cart abandonment happens so you can reduce abandonment and close more sales.

How can you calculate the abandonment rate of shopping carts?

The following formula can be used by retailers to calculate the rate at which shopping carts are abandoned:

  1. Divide the total number completed transactions by the total number unfinished transactions (unfinished transaction = at least one item added in the shopping cart, but no purchase completion).
  2. Add the quotient to the number 1.
  3. Multiply the result by 100

This is how your formula should look:

1 – (# of transactions completed / # of initiated transactions) x 100 = abandonment rates (%)

13 persistent problems that lead to abandoned shopping carts

Customers abandoning items in digital shopping carts for a variety of reasons.

This phenomenon can be caused by many factors. The list of checkout problems grows with each passing day, from the flow of checkout to the lack of fulfillment or payment options.

We discuss 13 reasons why shoppers might abandon their purchase. Then, we provide specific solutions for your online store.

01. Shipping costs covered

Half of all shopping cart abandonments are due to hidden or covert shipping charges. These include handling fees, higher than expected shipping costs and taxes, as well as duty fees (for international shipping). Remote or extended-area surcharges may also be applicable to some pickup locations. Throughout the checkout process, it is important to clearly list all shipping and handling fees.

02. There are many technical issues

Shoppers won’t make a purchase if there are technical issues with the website’s performance or with the shopping cart’s flow and function. Shoppers may abandon their order if a webpage fails to load or has issues with online identification verification. They might also be unable to add or modify cart items.

03. Checkout process too complex

20% of shoppers abandon carts due to the complicated checkout process. Online checkout should be just as simple as offline. Online checkout is similar to bricks-and mortar. Shoppers bring their basket or cart to the checkout, scan their items, and then leave with their receipt and purchase receipt. These are just four steps that have been proven to work from start to finish. This process can be done online with an additional step: order review.

04. Forcible account creation

It is impossible to kill a customer’s good intentions than enforcing unwritten rules. A third eCommerce shoppers will abandon their shopping carts due to forced account creation. People sometimes just want to get on with their lives without creating an account. This behavior can be described as virtual impulse shopping. Make it as easy as possible.

05. Checkout: No product images

Digital shopping is not as tactile as in-store purchases. It’s crucial that shoppers can clearly see the items they have added to their cart, including product size and color. It is important that cart items are clearly visible and easily editable. Customers can be reassured by linking to the product page for the item they have added to their cart.

06. Shipping charges are not included

The most common reason shoppers abandon shopping carts is the lack of shipping costs or free shipping. Although this is not the same as hidden shipping costs, it falls under the category of excessive or too high shipping costs. According to Statista the #1 reason U.S. shoppers abandon their orders is because they are receiving insufficient shipping costs. A combination of free shipping and a minimum order value (e.g. $50 or more) can give you more flexibility in shipping costs.

07. You have very few fulfillment options

Order fulfillment options should be available to customers from all points of view. They can choose from 2-day shipping or overnight shipping. Or hybrid approaches such as Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS). Merchants that offer fewer fulfillment options are at greater risk of cart abandonment.

08. There are no preferred payment methods

People want choices. This is true for both payment methods and shipping and fulfillment options. Statista data shows that the number one reason U.S. shoppers abandon their virtual carts is not enough payment options. We are creatures of habit, and we prefer to use preferred online payment options such as Apple Pay, PayPal or go-to credit cards like MasterCard and Visa.

Wix Stores that accept 3 or more payment options have an average 39% higher GPV.

09. Long delivery times

In 2020, 24% US shoppers chose same-day delivery via online-only merchants. This number had risen to 36% by February 2021. Even though same-day delivery is not an option for most items and retailers; long delivery times can cost a sale. The good news? In 2021, the average consumer will wait longer to receive an eCommerce delivery than they did a few years ago. This is a pandemic-era trend. Delivery times can take from 5 to 8 days in 2019 to for 2021. Shipping times should be kept as short as possible, while also setting appropriate expectations for shoppers and communicating clearly throughout the process.

10. Lackluster returns

Shopping cart abandonment can be caused by a poorly communicated return policy or a complicated return process. Customers want options regarding returns, just as they do with fulfillment and payment. A recent survey revealed that 60% of customers prefer contactless returns such as parcel drop-off at authorized addresses.

11. Currency that is not localized

A common reason shoppers abandon their shopping cart is when they see prices that aren’t in their currency. This can cause friction at checkout and add uncertainty to online shopping.

12. Low buying intent (e.g. shoppers in research mode).

Window shoppers and tire kickers–the buyers of the world, not the browsers–still exist in digital commerce. Today recently reported that online shopping carts are a new type of window shopping. Customers have created almost 47% more shopping bags since the beginning of the pandemic. Many customers add items to their shopping carts without intending to buy them.

13. Limited product inventory

Shopping cart abandonment is often caused by insufficient inventory. When shoppers discover that an item is not in stock after they have completed the checkout process, this can lead to shopping cart abandonment. This can lead to poor checkout experiences, which more consumers cite as a reason why they won’t return online.

We realize that there are many cart abandonment issues, but the list is not endless. This is a brief overview of the areas that must be addressed if you want to decrease cart abandonment.

How to fix shopping cart abandonment problems

Retailers can take steps to reduce abandonment of shopping carts. This includes choosing the right eCommerce platform that addresses the common issues that lead to abandonment.


Platforms such as Wix eCommerce can help retailers address the issues we have listed:

  • Wix eCommerce offers store owners hundreds of templates that can accommodate small to large product catalogues. SaaS web hosting, web design and eCommerce means the platform is stable, reliable, and secure. Our IT engineers and IT professionals ensure that everything runs smoothly so you can concentrate on your business.
  • Optimized checkout and shopping cart features. A simplified checkout process that allows customers to pay using multiple payment methods from any device helps reduce cart abandonment.

Wix eCommerce allows guest checkout. It also has multiple payment options, including the ability for one-time or recurring payments. Wix Stores make it easy to set up currency converters to allow retailers to accept non-local currencies. With WixPOS, those with a physical presence can offer in-person sales.

  • Flexible payment options and shipping options are possible with the right eCommerce platform. The templates are intended to reduce distractions and make it easy for shoppers to move through the steps necessary to complete a purchase.
  • A robust inventory management system: More than half of small businesses do not track their inventory. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to communicate information such as product availability and shipping times with customers. inventory management is a feature of eCommerce platforms like Wix that allows you to manage all aspects of your inventory, from inventory tracking to returns. Since inventory monitoring can be done from a single location, retailers can provide fulfillment options such as BOPIS (if they own a physical address).

While technology can help eCommerce vendors reduce shopping cart abandonment, clear communication is essential throughout the buying process. Make sure that your eCommerce website has an easy-to-find returns policy. Make sure you are clear about shipping times and any external factors that could cause delays. Be clear about identifying out-of-stock products on the product pages and not just during checkout.

For those with low buying intentions, provide helpful information such as product reviews, recommendations and product details. These, along with the right technology will reduce abandoned shopping carts. If all else fails bring people back with abandoned shopping cart emails.

Automated emails can reduce abandonment of shopping carts so well

You can recover 25% of the lost shoppers by sending emails to abandoned cart emails.

An email remarketing technique called “cart recovery email” is the abandoned cart email. It reminds customers about products that they have added to their cart but then abandoned.

Because they are targeted and automated, abandoned cart emails work extremely well. An eCommerce platform can allow retailers to set up abandoned cart campaigns. In this instance, the audience segment is registered shoppers who have logged in to your eCommerce platform, added items and then left without purchasing. When the session is over, an automated email is sent. The email usually contains a list of items in the customer’s cart, and an invitation to them to return to complete their purchase.

Wix online shops with active abandoned cart recovery automates increase sales up to 29%

Emails from abandoned carts have a strong track record. Half of those who receive abandoned cart emails end up buying. At 41%, open rates are also high. Click rates hover at 9.5% and ROIs can reach 1,300%. The best part? The best part? For example, our comprehensive guide includes eight abandoned shopping cart strategies to help you increase your revenue using automation.


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