Fighting Shopping Cart Abandonment

Everyday web store owners fight to strive and succeed in the competitive field of eCommerce. They use all the weapons they have at hand, combined to provide a fierce attack - advertising, content, social media and special offers are some of the most popular examples.

However, there is a deadly disease making companies lose battles in the very last minutes, an affection that’s been haunting eCommerce for a long time: shopping cart abandonment. According to Business Insider, 74% of all shopping carts are abandoned, a threatening growing number.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate = 1 - (Number of Orders Placed / Number of Shopping Carts Created)

We’ll explore some of the most common factors leading this problem and the best tools and tricks to fight back.

Shopping Cart

Factors Affecting Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Shipping Fees

The very first reason why people drop your shopping cart aside is due to unexpected shipping fees.

Forrester, points out that 44% of customers who abandon carts do it because of the later added high shipping fees which they weren’t previously aware of.

2. Complex Checkout

The second main driver for shopping cart abandonment is the complexity and length of the checkout process. Many eCommerce companies develop neverending forms that lead customers from page to page with numerous required fields. Customers usually don’t appreciate to provide more information than what they consider necessary and also, don’t like to lose too much time either.

3. Payment Options

Then, the third most important cause of unattended shopping carts is the inability to pay for the goods sold. When selling online you need to consider that your are enabling your products to an international audience with very distinct buying behaviour.

Credit Card
Also, not everyone in the entire world uses the same credit card provide as you do neither they are all willing to pay with credit card (some are not even able to do so). Therefore, not allowing customers to use alternative payment options is a fatal condition for many of the intended purchases done through your website.

4 . Indecision

As Shakespeare once proclaimed (and we have just adapted) to focal question in customers mind is always the same, “To buy, or not to buy?”. As Savvy Panda explores, 41% of customers who make it to the end of the process give up, in the last minute, due to indecision, confusion or uncertainty.

However, there is a way to make sure they don’t go anywhere, stop messing about and buy - right now (or maybe tomorrow). Let’s take a look at how we can fight back.

Fighting Back Tactics

The premise is clear and simple, you need the be there where you customer first starts to struggle. You can’t rely on anyone else to do that job for you, when the customer is buying (or trying to) you have to be holding his hand and supporting his every step.

1. Instantaneous Support

A good way to do it is by allowing direct customer interaction with your support agents through live chat. Live chat is a tool through which customers can ask questions and get instant answers from someone of your own team. Live chat is a spot-on tool that besides providing necessary support, also adds credibility and trustworthy to your online business.

Live Chat

2. No Growing Price Tag

From an early stage of the checkout process it is important to let the customer know exactly how much he is going to pay in the end, after every tiny fee and tax is added to your initial price. In this case, being a spoiler is a good thing and will keep customers from leaving you later on.

3. Key Optimisation

Face it, this is the most important part of your website. The checkout process is the moment that will enable customers to buy from you, the essence of your business life. To make sure customers can deal with it until the end it is highly important to optimize it - constantly.

During the checkout, avoid all unnecessary spam or other distracting elements to make sure people don’t think of anything else but to finish the transaction. Finally, reduce the checkout process as much as possible. Keep only the true necessary steps and avoid the rest for another opportunity.

4. Offer Guest Checkout

Guest checkout is becoming more popular and demanded among online buyers. The opportunity to avoid submitting all their personal data, for the sake of buying a pair of socks, is valued by a growing number of people. We know how sad this is for you, not being able to get all the precious data from your customers. But keep positive, at least they are still buying (whoever it is)!

5. Abundant Payment Options

We are slightly exaggerating on this one. No one expects you to offer zillions of different payment options, the managerial and bureaucratic side of it would kill every smaller company. We only recommend you to think of one or two alternative (and popular) payment options you are not considering yet. Think of your growth strategy, where you want to go and how “those” people buy.

Payment Methhods

6. Send follow up e-mails

Finally, the best advice is to (whenever possible) remind your customers about their pending carts and about special deals they might miss if they don’t buy right now. e-mails are a valuable tool to remind confused customers about your offer and push them into making a final decision, never overlook the power of such interactions.


To win the battle against online shopping procrastination you need to be ahead of the customer, get to know exactly what he’s thinking and experiencing. Then, optimise (we repeat, constantly) your checkout process to match every stage or problem that can come up.

A final note, whenever customers are not using guest checkout, use the opportunity that visitors fill in some data in the checkout for lead generation. Think of it, even if they end up leaving your cart abandoned and forget to buy from you right now, they might still do it sometime in the future.

Marta Wadsworth is part of the Marketing Team at Userlike. Besides creating juicy content, Marta is also a country manager for Userlike, in the United Kingdom.