How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

August 20, 2020
Average Read Time: 3 minutes

Leveraging the benefits of an e-commerce website is a great way to boost revenues. Customers and businesses are buying and selling across multiple channels. Turning your website into an online shopping experience can help you provide a great customer journey. Be sure to check out our post about why you should add an e-commerce website to your business.

However, shopping cart abandonment can lead to a leaky sales funnel. In this post, we'll:

  • Define shopping cart abandonment.
  • Identify a few key reasons why it happens.
  • Provide you with strategies to recover the sale.


What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment happens when shoppers add items to their virtual shopping carts on your e-commerce website but leave your site before completing the purchase. Today’s e-commerce websites experience an average shopping cart abandonment rate of 69.57 percent. That’s nearly two out of every three shoppers not completing the purchase!


The abandonment rate for online shopping carts is important for business owners. A high shopping cart abandonment rate could indicate an e-commerce site that needs to be optimized for a better user experience. If you sell online, keep reading to learn more.

Why Do Customers Abandon Their Shopping Carts?

Let’s take a look at some statistics to better understand why online shoppers abandon ship. Baymard Institute’s 2019 Checkout Usability study details the top 10 reasons for shopping cart abandonment shown in the chart below.

Chart 1

This research indicates that there’s an awful lot of friction taking place during the checkout process, as well as a lack of transparency around costs. To get shoppers to cross the e-commerce finish line more often, companies need to eliminate these obstacles and barriers. Streamlining the checkout experience to make the process as simple as possible is easy to do. We've put together a list of five ways to reduce cart abandonment.  

Five Tips to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment

  1. Be Transparent About Costs Give shoppers all the information and facts up front. Provide as much detail about pending purchase amounts, discounts, taxes, shipping and delivery information, return policies, and more so there are no surprises. When shoppers can’t see total order costs up-front, conversion rates drop. Transparency builds confidence and trust, while helping build long-term relationships.
  2. Provide Guest Checkout – Requiring shoppers to create an account before checking out is a big turnoff. This is particularly true for first-time buyers who may not be ready to sign up for an account. Online retailers who require accounts add extra steps, in other words friction, to the purchasing process. By offering a guest checkout, shoppers can complete the purchase without being forced to sign up for an account.
  3. Create Simple, Straightforward Forms – Once shoppers decide to buy, they want to complete the purchasing process as quickly and easily as possible. Complicating the checkout with time consuming forms that contain too many fields slows shoppers down. As a result, they will abandon their carts. You can mitigate the risk by removing friction from the customer experience.
  4. Offer More Payment Options -Data presented in an infographic from Milo shows that 56 percent of online shoppers expect a variety of payment options on the payment page. Providing lots of options, including credit, debit and prepaid cards, direct debit bank transfers (ACH) gives shoppers the convenience they’re looking for.
  5. Beef Up Payment Security – Given the continuing onslaught of cyber crime, today’s shoppers are cautious when paying online, and rightly so. If they don’t feel safe providing personal information or if they have concerns about their payment information not being handled securely, shoppers will bail out of the purchasing process. Beefing up security around paying alleviates fears and anxieties while building trust.
    Check out our blog post, What Is a Hosted Payment Page, to learn more about the benefits of a secure payment page. With MerchantE Hosted Payments, your payment page can even be branded to look like your website, fostering trust and confidence for shoppers.


The Bottom Line: Providing transparent and frictionless purchase experiences are a must when it comes to combating shopping cart abandonment. Improving the purchasing journey using the recommendations in this article can go a long way in resolving abandonment issues. Eliminate the friction, and drive improvements in conversions, which ultimately increases cart recovery, sales, and revenues.



Want to add a shopping cart integration to your website? You can integrate this powerful feature into your e-commerce site today. 


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