Why Are Shopping Carts Abandoned in Online Stores?

We already said several times that most online stores focus most of their efforts and budget in traffic capture. It seems to be generally accepted that if a website’s conversion rate is 2%, increasing traffic is the best thing to increase revenues .However, sales can also be increased by improving conversion rates, and one of the best strategies in this respect is trying to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. Depending on the study, the shopping cart abandonment rate in e-commerce is approximately 70%.


The first thing to try and reduce this percentage is examining why customers abandon shopping carts. Some of the main reasons why a user abandons a shopping cart in an online store are the following:

  • A high total price. Some stores add taxes and delivery costs at the end of the shopping process. When the customer sees the final cost, he or she leaves. It’s as if we went to a restaurant, asked for the bill, and WHAM! The prices on the menu didn’t include VAT. The difference is that in an online store we can still leave without buying. Delivery costs are clearly the main reason for abandonment.

Here you need to be completely clear from the start, showing at all times the necessary information so that customers know that the price will increase, or directly trying to show always the final price. Many shops have very high shopping cart abandonment rates because customers create orders only to find the final price and compare it with those charged by competitors.

  • It’s not the right time. People often start shopping in unsuitable locations and times. Many people do it and work, where taking your credit card out and closing a sale is rather unseemly. In these cases, users might be allowed to save their shopping carts in order to close them later one. This combined with a technique to remind customers about their abandoned carts, will ensure that conversion rates improve.

  • Registration. The registration process is a critical part of the purchase. A registration process with too many steps which requires too much information from the user can guarantee cart abandonment. Many shops offer the possibility of closing a sale without registering. They only require the strictly necessary data, and thus make use of immediacy and impulsive shopping.  Any e-commerce business should be clear about whether recurring sale is its strategy or not, and this may require fewer data and steps in the registration process. The customer should perceive the added value of registering in your store (making future purchases more quickly, receiving deals, promotions, etc.) If you ask for more data, you must be able to make users see the point of it. And take into account the fact that not everyone will be willing to give you his or her data.

Even if you improve these and other factors in an online store, you should be clear about the fact that shopping cart abandonment will always take place, but you can lower high abandonment rates. In any case, regardless of whether your cart abandonment rate is high or not,  having an abandoned cart recovery system will always come in handy to improve the conversion rates in your online store.


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