Why Shoppers Leave and How to Keep Them? Understanding Cart Abandonment

Navigating the vast expanse of the eCommerce world is a continuous learning process. One challenge that has been persistent for online retailers is cart abandonment. Losing potential sales at the final stage is not only frustrating but also costly. According to recent statistics, the average cart abandonment rate is a staggering 70%. This means that seven out of every ten customers who start the checkout process do not make a purchase. 

But why does this happen? And is there any way to reduce this rate and boost online sales? Well, yes! This blog aims to answer these very questions, delving deep into the reasons for cart abandonment and offering actionable strategies to combat it.

Understanding Cart Abandonment

Before formulating strategies, it is important to understand the depth of the issue. Cart abandonment happens when visitors add products to their online shopping cart but exit without completing the purchase. A high abandonment rate indicates a mismatch between consumer expectations and the checkout process’s reality. If the reasons for this issue are not found on time, customer satisfaction gradually decreases, leaving the business at a loss. 

Reasons for Cart Abandonment

Unexpected Additional Costs

One of the primary reasons for cart abandonment is unexpected additional costs, such as shipping fees or taxes. No one likes hidden surprises, especially when it affects their pockets. Unexpected charges, whether for shipping, taxes, or other fees, can deter a customer from completing a purchase. According to a study conducted by Baymard Institute, 56% of customers abandon their carts because of extra costs that are revealed during the checkout process. 


Customers expect to see the total cost of their purchase upfront, so be transparent about the prices. Being transparent about all costs from the initial step eliminates distrust and shock at the final stage. An upfront breakdown, itemizing all additional charges, ensures consumers feel informed, respected, and more inclined to finalize their purchase, knowing there won’t be any last-minute financial surprises.

Mandatory Account Creation

Forcing shoppers to register for an account can be a significant deterrent, especially for first-time customers or those seeking a quick purchase. While registrations allow businesses to gather valuable consumer data, many users find this step cumbersome and invasive. They may fear unwanted marketing emails or feel that the process is unnecessarily lengthy. Consequently, mandatory account creation can lead to potential customers abandoning their carts and seeking a more straightforward shopping experience elsewhere. 


Offer a guest checkout option that ensures a quick buying experience. This solution caters to those wary of sharing extensive details or those simply in a hurry. This flexibility can successfully bridge the gap between an abandoned cart and a successful sale.

Complicated Checkout Process

Another significant reason for cart abandonment is the complicated checkout process. Shoppers appreciate knowing where they stand in the checkout process. They often get frustrated with multiple steps, lengthy forms, and unnecessary information requirements. According to the same study by Baymard Institute, 28% of customers abandon their carts due to a lengthy or complicated checkout process.


Include progress indicators to visually demonstrate the steps involved, showing users how much they’ve accomplished and what’s left. This transparency eradicates ambiguity, offering an intuitive and user-friendly experience. By clearly delineating stages like ‘Billing Information,’ ‘Shipping Details,’ ‘Review Order,’ etc., users can mentally prepare for each step, making the process seem quicker and more manageable, thus reducing potential drop-offs due to perceived complexity.

Limited Payment Options

Customers have different preferences when it comes to payment methods. And they expect various payment options that suit their convenience. Not providing a variety of payment options can also contribute to cart abandonment. By limiting your options, you risk alienating potential customers. A study by Statista revealed that 13% of respondents abandoned their carts because their preferred payment method was not available.


Ensure compatibility with various payment methods that can dramatically boost user confidence. From credit cards to digital wallets like PayPal and region-specific options, it’s important to cater to a global audience. While money is mostly digital nowadays, we suggest not excluding the cash-on-delivery option because it increases trust completely. By presenting diverse options, businesses convey adaptability and consumer-centric attitudes, reducing the friction in the final stages of checkout and lessening the chances of cart abandonment due to payment issues.

Unclear Return Policy

Offering transparency and flexibility in return policies is crucial for building trust and confidence in online shopping. So, an unclear or restrictive return policy can deter potential buyers. Shoppers value the flexibility and assurance of easy returns. If the return policy is perceived as complicated, has hidden fees, or offers a limited return window, customers might abandon their carts, fearing potential hassles or losses should the product not meet their expectations. 


Offer an easy-to-understand return and refund policy which can show empathy towards potential uncertainties. This way, shoppers feel reassured, knowing they can revert the purchase if it doesn’t meet expectations. Make sure to allow returns after sufficient days of the delivery so customers do not get hurried or anxious about their returns. This safety net significantly reduces purchase hesitations, ensuring customers feel comfortable proceeding to checkout.

Long Delivery Time

In the age of instant gratification and quick e-commerce solutions, slow delivery times can be a significant reason for cart abandonment. When faced with prolonged waiting periods, customers may seek alternative platforms offering quicker delivery options. The promise of fast shipping has become a unique selling proposition for many e-commerce sites. Not being able to match up can lead to potential buyers abandoning their carts in favor of faster alternatives.


Offering fast deliveries is always the best option for these concerns. However, if it isn’t possible, businesses should be upfront about the delivery time. Generally, the delivery time is showcased on the last page of the purchasing process. By showing the delivery time in the beginning process, customers can buy the products that satisfy their time-sensitive demands. 

Lack of Trust and Security

Trust plays a crucial role in e-commerce transactions. If customers are uncertain about the security of their personal information or payment details, they are more likely to abandon their carts. Reviews play an important role in the decision-making process, and if there are no testimonials, reviews, or feedback sections, customers are likely to change their minds at the last minute. 


Trustworthiness is foundational in online shopping, and any doubt can lead to cart abandonment. So, to eliminate trust concerns, prominently display trust signals on your website, such as security badges, customer testimonials, and secure payment icons. 

Additional Tips to Reduce Cart Abandonment

Offer Incentives

One effective way to reduce cart abandonment rates is to offer incentives to customers to complete their purchases. Provide discount codes, free shipping, or gift cards to encourage customers to finalize their transactions. Implementing such incentives can create a sense of urgency and motivate customers to complete a purchase.

Optimize Website Performance

Speed and functionality are crucial. Prioritize quick load times and troubleshoot issues diligently. A dependable hosting service ensures minimal downtime. When a site performs efficiently, users are less likely to grow frustrated and abandon their carts.

Retargeting Strategies

Address cart abandonment proactively. Use retargeting ads to remind users of their incomplete purchases. Personalized emails with product visuals and time-sensitive discounts can be effective tools to lure shoppers back, nudging them to finalize their purchase.

Live Chat and Support

Instant support can sway purchasing decisions. Incorporate a responsive live chat, ensuring representatives are equipped to handle typical queries. By addressing concerns in real time, businesses can prevent potential cart abandonment rooted in uncertainties or confusion.

Struggling with cart abandonment?
Let us transform your sales funnel with our digital marketing services!


Cart abandonment is a challenge but by no means an impossible one. Understand the core reasons for cart abandonment and implement the strategies mentioned above; we guarantee that by doing so, you can improve customer experience, boost conversion rates, and increase the success and profitability of your ecommerce enablers store. As the digital landscape continually evolves, staying adaptive and responsive to consumer behavior is the key to thriving in the eCommerce realm. Contact us right away.

Bhavya Shah is a Business Analyst at iCreative Technologies. He specializes in the eCommerce consulting for all business domains. He is working hand-in-hand with developers and clients to produce requirements and specifications that accurately reflect business needs and are technologically achievable.

Have a project in mind?

Sit adipiscing duis sed id euismod elit non faucibus pretium. Felis non mattis vitae at. Senectus posuere sed netus sit phasellus et egestas tellus.

What Our Clients Are Saying?

Our Achievements

Binori BSquare3, 1001 – 1008, Sindhubhavan Rd, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380054

For Sales: +91 98258 77071

For HR: +91 9909942388

Copyright © 2024, iCreative Technologies Inc

Fill in the details and we'll
call you back shortly