How often do you leave your full shopping cart in a supermarket? Never?  Once or twice in your life?  So why so many online customers (cart abandonment rate averages over 65% according to Baymard Institute) actively fill up their shopping carts and never complete the transaction?

 Here are the top 10 reasons we consider to be the most important:

1      Window shopping

Your customers are window shopping. If your visitors’ intention is to kill some time, it’s not that easy to persuade them to make a purchase. However, if your store stands out from your competition, there’s a chance that the today’s accidental bored visitor might become a real customer tomorrow.

 2      Planning future purchases

Your customers save products in their shopping carts in order to be able to buy them later. Maybe they are short of time or money to buy the product now. But they are more likely to be back to their carts later. Your kind abandoned cart alert and a button “Save for later” in a cart most probably will convert these abandoned carts into sales.

      Looking for the best deal

Sometimes customers go through the whole process to the checkout page to see the real price of their purchase with taxes and shipping costs. Sure, they have already done the same at your competitors’ stores and will continue until they find the best price and conditions. In this case, a prompt abandoned cart reminder that includes a special offer might increase your chances for conversion.

 4      Hidden costs

The price at the checkout is much higher than on the product page. Having low prices and then just slipping added fees in at the last moment is bad practice.  Do not misuse hidden costs and charges. By stating all additional costs as early as possible in the ordering process you will most probably create the image of a reliable and honest retailer.

 5      Unfriendly store

There are several ways to test your customers’ patience. Your checkout process may be too long, or shopping cart pages load slowly, or your store requires registration and filling fields that are unnecessary and unrelated to checkout process. By simplifying the purchase experience you can lead your customer to a completed transaction.  If your checkout process is multi-page, do not forget to place links to each section. It's also a good practice to give clients a progress indicator so they know where they are. Respect returning customers. Auto-fill forms based on cookie tags will definitely save their time, making the checkout process more pleasant, thus making the conversion more likely.

  6      Technical issues

There might be an unexpected breakdown of the Internet connection, system errors or bad links. The customer is too upset or even devastated to go through the whole process again. Provide your customer with the opportunity to recover the cart with just one click.

 7      Suspiciousness

Are you ready to share your credit card details with a stranger? Why should your customers be?  Ensure them you have a secure connection (Secure Sockets Layer, indicated by a https:// address and associated lock icons in browsers) and point out clearly that you have taken some security measures.

      Distracting noise

Flashing and buzzing banners, ads and other information on the Checkout page may distract attention of your customers from the key process you want them to perform unless these elements are directly related to the purchase (for ex. error message pop up or a cross-sell offer)

 9      Lack of transparency

The customers may be half way through the checkout process and still have no idea who they buy from. Assure them you are a reliable partner: place your guarantee and return policies prominently, display contact information at the top of the page – every page, place a link to a company profile page easily accessible from the cart. Be open and helpful. Give customers all options of communications and assistance: phone, fax, email, livechat , Skype, etc. Do not hide!

 10   Limited payment options.

The worst case scenario is when your customer is willing to buy, but you can’t accept the payment. Give your customers as many payment options as you can. Accept all major credit cards, online checks and integrate major payment providers so they can find the one that suits them.

 Even though it’s unlikely to raise conversion rate to 100%, all retailers aspire to keep it as high as possible. Taking measures to minimize the number of carts that get abandoned is a step that takes you closer to that goal. Recovering the carts that do get abandoned is the next step.

What is your experience with abandoned carts? Please share with us.


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