What Causes Cart Abandonment?

Businesses that understand what causes cart abandonment can improve their business practices to turn the abandonments into sales.

Customers who shop, add items to their cart, then abandon them are a mystery to their favorite online businesses. Businesses that understand what causes cart abandonment can improve their business practices to turn the abandonments into sales. 

What is car abandonment?

Customers who add items to their cart then leave the shop have abandoned their carts. Businesses can figure their cart abandonment rate by dividing their sales by created carts, then subtracting that total from one. 

For example, if your customers created 200 carts but completed 50 purchases, the abandonment rate is 75%. Businesses need to understand when and why customers leave their carts without purchasing to reduce their abandonment rates. 

What are your shipping costs?

Customers do not like to pay high shipping costs. If your shipping rates are too high, customers will look elsewhere for similar items with lower added costs. Sometimes, customers add items to a cart so they can see what the final cost is with shipping and taxes. Customers who don’t like the total won’t make the purchase. 

You can reduce abandonment from shipping costs by sharing the costs before they add items to their carts. Some businesses let customers input their zip codes to see the shipping price on the item’s page. Then, they can leave before having to add the item to a cart. 

Do you force customers to create accounts?

Customers like to have choices; they don’t like businesses to force them into anything, especially account creations. Some people leave their carts if they have to create an account with the company. To avoid cart abandonment for account creations, allow users to purchase as a guest. 

How long does it take to get to the cart?

Some websites require shoppers to click through several pages before they finalize a sale. Having too many steps to check out is like forcing customers to wait in a long checkout line. No one wants to do that. 

Each step slows the user and gives them opportunities to go elsewhere. Do not complicate the sales process. Instead, keep it simple with minimal data entry and streamlined payment processing. 

Is your website secure?

No one wants to have someone take their credit card details from an online store. In 2019, hackers obtained nearly 165 million personal data records. Almost half of all fraud cases are related to credit card hacking. If your site is not secure, people will abandon their carts. 

To get shoppers to close the deal, you must have a top-notch fraud management system, displace trust seals, and show that you follow payment-card-industry standards

Do you check your competition?

Some shoppers like to browse to find the best deals. Customers will put items in their carts, then look around for better deals, coupon codes, and free shipping. If your store offers the best deal, they might come back to buy it. If not, the shopper will abandon their cart. 

To avoid this type of abandonment, check your competition. If you can offer the best deal with coupon codes and shipping, then do it. Your customers will return to close the sale. Some websites show their customers what the competition is doing, so they know right away that your deal is the best one, thus reducing abandonment from the start. 

Do you offer coupon codes?

Coupon codes and discounts fill the online shopping world. Customers expect to get a deal online. If you aren’t offering coupon codes, frequent-shopper discounts, or other benefits, you’re probably seeing more cart abandonment than other stores. 

To avoid abandonment, offer coupon codes. Make them easy to find and valuable. Customers will buy more if they get a coupon. 


Customers usually abandon their carts for a reason. You can reduce cart abandonment by providing complete information to your customers and useful coupon codes, and a trustworthy and secure checkout page. Pay attention to your customers’ behaviors, your shipping rates, and your competition to reduce cart abandonment. 


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