5 Reasons Why Visitors Abandon Cart on Your Ecommerce Store

cart abandonment Apr 12, 2019

Generating traffic is challenging. It doesn’t come for free.

Things get worse when a decent number of visitors leave your ecommerce store without buying. Most of them will leave your website after adding products in the cart.

Ecommerce cart abandonment is a serious issue.

The average online cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. This means only 30 customers (out of every 100) will complete the transaction after adding a product in their cart.

The rest will leave your website leaving you thinking: What made them abandon their cart?

There are several reasons why visitors abandon cart on ecommerce stores. And the good news is that you can avoid cart abandonment if you know these reasons.

Here are 5 major reasons why visitors abandon cart and what steps you can take to avoid it.

1. Unexpected Costs

High shipping cost, fees, tax, and hidden costs surprise visitors. This makes them abandon the cart. It is the biggest reason why the majority of the visitors leave products in a cart.

According to Statista, 63% of online shoppers in the US abandon carts due to shipping costs being too high.

Baymard asked online buyers what makes them leave a website during checkout, 55% said that extra costs being too high will make them leave a website.

Unexpected costs, in this case, refer to any cost that isn’t explicitly communicated prior to adding a product in the cart.

When a product is added in the cart, the user is willing (and ready) to buy the product for the price visible. That’s a reason why the product was added to the cart.

If I add this watch to cart, I’m ready to pay $7,250 for it.

And this is what I see as soon as I add it to my cart:

That’s cheating…

When I added this watch in the cart, there was no mention of shipping cost.

This is what exactly happens when people visit your store.

This $99 was unexpected. But what’s more important than unexpected cost is that buyers feel they have been deceived. It is clearly against the laws of transparency.


Let visitors know all types of costs upfront explicitly. The best approach is to add additional costs with the product price.

AliExpress is great at sharing shipping costs upfront right with the price. There isn’t anything unexpected. I know what I'll be paying on the next page.

This is how you can reduce cart abandonment on your ecommerce store.

2. Discount Code Not Working

As much as 46% of online buyers in the US abandon a cart because their discount code doesn’t work.

This happens a lot.

Not all discount codes that are punched in are expired. A lot of them are invalid that buyers grab from coupon sites.

You cannot control when and how people use coupons. Even if you share the expiration date, people tend to forget it.

And when a discount coupon doesn’t work, the buyer has no choice but to leave your store.

The good news: You can easily bring these visitors back by offering them a new discount code.

Here is how to do it.

1. Use cart abandonment popups that are powered by exit intent technology. Send a discount coupon to visitors who are about to abandon a cart.

2. Share all the available discount coupons on your website, so visitors can choose valid coupons from your website.

Namecheap uses this technique. You can always find the latest valid coupons on their website.

3. Send cart abandonment emails with discount codes. Abandoned cart emails have 41.18% open rate, 9.50% click rate, and $5.81 revenue per recipient.

I’m sure you cannot ignore these numbers. Start sending emails with discount codes to abandoning visitors and convert them into customers.

3. Complicated Checkout Process

According to the Baymard survey, 26% of respondents will abandon cart if the checkout process is complicated or too long and 6% reported that lack of enough payment methods will make them leave.

The Statista survey found that 30% of online buyers will abandon a cart because they have to re-enter credit card information and 25% leave a store when they're asked to re-enter shipping address.

Payment methods and re-entering credit card and shipping information are related to complicated checkout process.

Dealing with the checkout process is complicated…

Because it’s related to UX and there isn’t any straightforward method to improve UX of your store’s checkout process. It needs ample testing and tweaking.

However, you can get started with following best practices to improve checkout process.

1. Offer multiple payment options.

2. Simplify your checkout process. Remove distractions. Remove clutter. Remove navigation.

3. Enable one-click checkout.

4. Create a single page checkout.

5. Keep forms short. Get rid of unnecessary form fields.

6. Make CTA visible and prominent.

7. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need.

4. No Guest Checkout Option

As much as 34% of visitors will leave an ecommerce store if it doesn’t offer guest checkout.

There are two reasons why users prefer guest checkout.

First, it saves them from creating an account, which is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Second, to avoid the complicated checkout process.

So guest checkout is related to the checkout process. If your checkout process is simple enough, buyers will be least likely to demand a guest checkout.

Here is how Lego does it in style.

It treats new and returning visitors appropriately and have a guest checkout for new users.

Offer guest checkout even if your checkout process is very simple. Your customers want to see guest checkout, have it available for them.

5. Security and Trust Concerns

Around 17% of online buyers will abandon cart because they didn’t trust the store, according to the Baymard survey.

Yes, it’s a genuine concern. Over $16 billion was stolen from over 15 million US consumers in 2016.

It’s hard for new visitors to share their information with a new store.

Avoiding it is easier than you think.

Let visitors know they're in the safe hands. Tell them how their information will be used and stored.

Here is how you can make your store secure and trustworthy.

1. Switch to HTPPS, if you haven’t already.

2. Make contact information including email, phone number, and address clearly visible on your store.

3. Add a link to our privacy policy on the checkout page.

4. Add a trust seal on your checkout page. PayPal’s trust seal is noticed the most among other types of seals. Here is how to use it.

Using a trust seal is your best bet.

Conversion Fanatics added TrustGuard privacy seal on a checkout page for one of their clients which increased new orders by 19.2%, recurring orders by 28.2%, and revenue per visitor increased by a whopping 71.1%.


Reducing cart abandonment should be your ecommerce store’s top priority because these visitors are easiest to bring back.

They already added product(s) in a cart which means they were interested in buying but something stopped them. Your job is to find what’s stopping your target audience from buying from your store.

Fix all such barriers – one after another.

Learn more about air360 or request a free trial.

Sabih Javed

An inbound marketer and a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing having articles published on leading blogs like TheNextWeb, Yahoo News, Jeff Bullas, Business2Community, and more.