7 Key Reasons Why People Abandon Their Carts Online And How To Fix It.

For everyone involved in the online retail industry, abandoned carts are a very big problem. Those of us who spend weeks on product descriptions, categories, images it is very frustrating to see a large number amount of visitors who have left products dumped in an online shopping cart. So you have to ask yourself, “where am I going wrong and how could I fix it?” We have prepared a number of common issues of why people abandon their carts.

Abandon carts


There are a number of valid reasons to why people abandon their carts. In fact 65% of people abandon their carts. It is just a question of whether you thought every last detail through when making adjustments to try and prevent this, such as:

 1. Hidden Charges

Once people get to your checkout page, they are usually there for a reason – They have thought through the costs of everything and worked it out to be a reasonable price for their budget but suddenly they incur extra charges which they didn’t envisage. This could be down to shipping/delivery fees or tax charges. Whatever it is, you have lost 22% of happy customers. Not good. But how do you prevent this? Well, by integrating a calculator to add the shipping fees and/or existing offers/promotions within your shopping cart would help as that would mean the customer is informed about those extra costs or money savers within the first few minutes of their shopping journey, so it won’t scare them when they get to the checkout page. Another way of helping them is to make a pop up message whilst shopping that reminds them of any discounts/sales you may have on at the time as this might tempt them to potentially carry on browsing.

2. Process

Nobody likes poor UX on a website, let alone a checkout page, so demanding information through unnecessary forms, questions and/or reviews does not go down well. This is quite a high priority when you are thinking about why people abandon their carts. Sometimes, before a visitor has even began looking around your website they are intruded upon by a sign up screen, almost forcing them to give more details than they are comfortable with even before they have got to know you or your products. This can work, but only sometimes and usually not on a retailing website. Whatever is complicating your checkout page, it needs to stop. Most people prefer to keep their details private, especially when it comes to buying something online. Try a new way of letting customers checkout, offer a quick way to proceed. You need to build the customers trust before expecting anything quick like that. If you really want to keep this long process, try targeting existing/previous customers who have already signed up to your website, not the possible “one-offs“.

3. Multiple (Trusted) Payment Methods

This is something that everybody has a problem with. It is more common than you think to see sites that have untrustworthy/unseen payment methods. These are usually what put people off. 17% of people have said they will not buy from a website because they are trust waveworried about the safety and security within. This is an easy problem to solve, by displaying and integrating small logos from the accepted payment methods, such as;




and security confirmation badges from sites like

Trustwave and •TrustedShops can dramatically improve your sales by letting customers know they are safe on your website. The advantage to allowing integrated payment systems such as PayPal lets the customer a decide to give you their details or do it through a process they trust.



When your customer is shopping online, they are not just looking at your products, they are looking at the design and sometimes the brunt of your website. Typical questions you should be asking yourself when trying to work out why people abandon their carts, are:

How easy is it too navigate around?

• How eye catching is my website?

• Does it excite or bore the customer?

Everybody is going digital so that involves a number of different platforms to think about fitting your website on. If your website is not made to fit obvious devices then you are more than likely to loose out. A customer online also does not want to be bored, they are usually shopping online for a reason – Make them just as excited and intrigued as they would be in store (if you have one) If you do not have a retailing store, do something to try and stand out from others. Maybe before the launch/re-launch of your website try gathering beta testers from your ideal niched market to try and navigate around your site and find any possible issues to why people abandon their carts.

5. Location

When designing a website you need to really think outside the box about who you want to aim your products or services at – who are your market, the people who you originally set up your business for. You can show that through different country domains, for example a French niched retailer might use the domain .fr and people will be more likely to buy if they think the company is based in their country, and they also may not understand the currency that is displayed.

Ask yourself:

• Who is my target market?

• Is my website going to be worldwide? If not what languages should be available?

• Will their be an automatic currency changer?

• What will the shipping fee rates be if I create a worldwide website?

It can be very awkward or frustrating for a visitor when they visit a website and cannot understand anything. Make sure have the currency changed too, because its been seen that sites will change the language but leave the customer to work out the difference in currency, and this is annoying for a customer if they didn’t realise it could be adjusted.

6. Website Speed

Having a good technical set-up for your site can be a way of building trust and preventing the question ‘Why people abandon their carts’. Usually a customer is visiting your website because they want to do things instantly, by having a site which is slow and crashes easily will make you loose out. Especially with those impatient but keen potential customers who are ready to pay but cannot get through because your website won’t work. A common problem which causes slow connection is having a poor server. Paying for a cheap, low quality server will not always cut it, so if you decide to have someone else hold your website make sure they are reliable. Slow connections and poor servers can also happen if you host your own website server but there are a number of ways you could fix this

• Optimise your CSS – You can check the amount of external pages being used through this CSS tool

• Compress page sizes through apps such as Gzip.

• Re-size/compress images to scale using photo editing tools.

There are many other things you can do to speed up your connection but that is for another time.

7. Competitors

I saved this one until last as it is something which you should already have thought about. Whatever online retail industry you are in, someone else is more than likely doing it too. You need to find out who your competitors are and what they are doing differently to you. Looking for competitors mistakes, instead of what they are doing right is sometimes the easiest way to go about it. However, I am not talking about your competitors in general I am talking about their prices. You need to compare prices, because potential customers will be. See if there is anything which you think you should change to your own product prices, or make a price match option available. This is allowing the customer to feel comfortable in asking for price reduction if they know they can get it somewhere else at a cheaper price and stop you having to question, why people abandon their carts.

So there we have a roundup list of all the common problems which cause online cart abandonment – with some brief explanations on what you can do to fix each problem. We hope that you have found this useful when you are trying to decrease the amount of abandoned carts. If you have any questions, please send us a Tweet and get chatting with us! @ecommerce_kent You can even join in the conversation on Facebook.