4 Ways to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment on Your Website

Mari Oksanen Written by Mari Oksanen - Sep 18, 2014

Imagine if out of every 100 customers who went to a supermarket only 32 actually decided to buy the items in their shopping cart. The other 68 would leave their shopping cart near the check out, get their children from the toy aisle and walk out. I believe the owners of the supermarket would react quickly and do something about it.

This absurd situation is a reality in E-commerce. According to the Baymard Institute, the shopping basket abandonment rate is 67.91%. This is a huge amount of lost euros. The good news is that most online stores can improve their figures significantly with minor changes.

Why are Shopping Carts Abandoned?

According to widely used survey of WorldPay, the main reasons shoppers abandon their shopping carts are:

  1. Presented with unexpected costs 56%
  2. I was just browsing 37%
  3. Found a better price elsewhere 36%
  4. Overall price too expensive 32%
  5. Decided against buying 26%
  6. Website navigation too complicated 25%
  7. Website crashed 24%
  8. Process was taking too long 21%
  9. Excessive payment security checks 18%
  10. Concerns about payment security 17%
  11. Delivery options were unsuitable 16%
  12. Website time out 15%
  13. Price presented in a foreign currency 13%
  14. My payment was declined 11%

How Do I Get My Customers to Complete Their Orders?


Let’s play around with the idea that at the Prisma check out the cashier informed you that your purchases total €78, but in addition to that you have to pay a 5% tip to the cashier, a €4 check out conveyor belt tax and a €2.90 queuing fee. What would your reaction be?

On the other hand, you know that there is VAT on every product and you pay that without grumbling because it’s included in the price of the products. You knew about it beforehand.

So tell your customers upfront about all charges. If possible, include the charges in the prices so that you can offer free postage and a clear price.


There is abundant amount of competition around you and many customers compare prices and may be able to find the product cheaper elsewhere. It’s worthwhile to offer competitive pricing but it is just as important to offer customers other reasons why they should buy just from you. Be discovered, delight them, and stand out from the crowd.

One way to stay in the minds of potential customers at times other than just the purchase moment is to offer search engines content that interests the customer, i.e. offering expertise via articles and advice. Maybe even something entertaining. But before anything else, if you want to score points with the customers, offer good customer service. This is not self-evident online.

Convey the message that you value your customer and their time by making purchasing easy and deliveries fast. They will remember you and will be less likely to order anywhere else just to save a few euros.


Build trust. At first glance, your website must be professional. Keep information up to date and error free, product information should be comprehensive and image quality high. There should not be any missing images and every link should work.

Provide details about your company; have easy to find contact details, and information about your response time. Customers need to be able to reach you easily and quickly through all the channels that you use. When they know your response time, generally they will wait until this time is over before contacting you again.

Make sure that your payments and logistics partners are known and genuinely dependable. Also be dependable yourself. Keep your promises.


Guest Check Out

Getting back to the familiar Prisma example and the image of abandoned shopping carts around the check outs… imagine after having waited in a long line, you get to the cashier and you are handed you a form to fill out with personal information and marketing activities of the store. You would already be impatient and want to just be able to pay and leave. But no, they won’t take your money before you had filled in the form. Take it or leave it.

I would put my money back in my pocket and leave everything on the conveyor belt. And I would do the same online. So don’t force the customer to register. Registration can be offered as an option, but so should checking out as a guest.

Offer a Variety of Payment Methods

If we were at the Prisma checkout again, and you couldn’t pay by credit card, your purchase wouldn’t happen. There are many kinds of people, and equally as many payment preferences. Preferences also vary a lot from country to country, but the safest option is to offer a wide range of payment methods because the absence of one of them can cause you to lose sales.

Offer a Rapid Payment Service

Payments are undergoing a dramatic change on a worldwide level. It is generally felt that it is too complicated online using traditional payment methods. It would not be amusing at an ordinary Prisma check out to have to key in your credit card number, your pin code and, on top of that, confirm the payment with your bank credentials. I bet that kind of process would no longer be tolerated in any physical stores. So why online?

Different types of rapid payment services (e.g. Paytrail account) are springing up quickly at the moment and all signs point to a rising demand for them amongst consumers. Early adopters are also active online shoppers, so it’s worth offering this kind of rapid payment option in your website.

Traditional payments can also be made quicker with different kinds of bypass services, which reduce the number of steps in the payment process.

Compare Your Figures to Others in the Industry

Compare your figures with those in Fireclick’s service, where fresh figures are always accessible, i.e. shopping cart abandonment rates and conversion. This way, you can determine what aspects of your website are succeeding and what areas need improvement. By keeping an eye on these figures, you can also stay up to date on recent and new developments.


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Nine Case Studies and Infographics on Cart Abandonment and Email Retargeting

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