cart abandonment reasons

8 Cart Abandonment Reasons and How to Solve Them?

Getting traffic and attracting visitors to your website is tough. It’s even tougher when they leave in the middle of the checkout process without making a purchase.

You’ve worked hard on marketing and getting traffic. And, despite your marketing efforts and traffic generation, conversion rates may remain low.

You may say: “I have lots of add to carts but no sales”.

So, why are not your traffic converting?

To understand this, let’s first identify the type of abandonment you your site has and learn how to calculate it.

Cart Abandonment vs. Checkout Abandonment

There are two primary forms of abandonment: cart abandonment and checkout abandonment.

Although both scenarios involve potential customers leaving without completing their purchases, they occur at different stages of the buying process and have distinct nuances.

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment occurs when a shopper adds items to their online shopping cart or basket but leaves the website without completing the purchase.

This typically happens before the customer reaches the checkout page.

Reasons for cart abandonment can vary and may include unexpected costs, lengthy or complicated checkout processes, comparison shopping, or simply being distracted.

What is Checkout Abandonment?

Checkout abandonment, on the other hand, specifically refers to situations where a customer starts the checkout process but does not complete it.

This occurs after the customer has initiated the checkout process by entering their shipping and billing information, but before finalizing the purchase by confirming payment.

Reasons for checkout abandonment can include unexpected shipping costs, concerns about security, lengthy or confusing checkout processes, or simply change of mind.

How to know if your conversion and cart abandonment rate is good?

Industry benchmarks suggest that a healthy website conversion rate typically ranges between 2% and 5%. However, understanding your site’s conversion and cart abandonment rates requires a deeper dive into your analytics.

To calculate and analyze the conversion and cart abandonment rate, you should get the data from Google Analytics and create a sales funnel.

Calculating Conversion Rates

To accurately measure your conversion rate, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify Key Pages for Calculation

Focus primarily on the “Thank You” or order confirmation page alongside the checkout page. These pages are critical for tracking conversions.

The thank you page is the page to which a customer is redirected after a successful transaction or purchase.

You might like reading how to create thank you page.

Step 2: Gather Data on Visitors

Get the total number of visitors who make it to the checkout page (X) and those who proceed to the “Thank You” page or complete an order (Y) form your Google Analytics report.

Step 3: Calculate

Divide the number of visitors who reach the “Thank You” page (Y) by the total number of visitors who reach the checkout page (X).

Formula: (Y / X) * 100

This calculated percentage represents your conversion rate, indicating the proportion of visitors who complete a purchase after reaching the checkout page.

Calculating Cart Abandonment Rates

To understand your cart abandonment rate, follow these steps:

Step 1: Access Transaction Data

Analyze the total number of initiated checkouts compared to the number of completed purchases.

Step 2: Calculate

To calculate cart abandonment rate, subtract the completed transactions from the initiated checkouts.

Then, divide the number by the total initiated checkouts, and multiply by 100.

Formula: (1 – (# Completed transactions / # Initiated sales)) * 100

The resulting percentage represents the cart abandonment rate, indicating the proportion of initiated sales that were not completed. This gives insight into potential friction points in the purchasing process.

What Are The Reasons for Abandonments and How to Solve Them?

The reasons people abandon their shopping carts or checkout can be as simple as forgetting, changing their mind. Or, they can also be more serious issues such as technical difficulties or security concerns.

Here are the most common cart abandonment reasons.

Reason #1 Unexpected Costs

Extra fees like shipping, taxes, or handling charges appearing during the checkout process often ‘surprise’ customers.

According to Baymard, unexpected costs are the number one reason for shopping cart abandonments, leading to 48% of abandoned carts.

21% of the customers report that they couldn’t see or calculate total order cost up-front.

Take, for instance, the case with iHerb. They provide information about shipping costs upfront.

However, customers are often surprised at the checkout page by additional taxes and shipping fees that can amount to twice the price of the product itself.

Solution: Be Clear About All the Costs Associated With the Purchase

To address added-cost challenge, you can display the total product cost clearly on the product page, including a note that the price includes VAT (Value Added Tax). Integrating tax into the product price and ensuring customers see the all-inclusive price early on eliminates surprises.

Reason #2 Lack of Trust and Security Concerns

Customers may hesitate to provide sensitive information like credit card details if they doubt your website the security measures in place.

Concerns about security, credibility, or legitimacy of the website or payment methods can cause customers to hesitate or abandon their carts.

According to the same research by Baymard, 25% of the customers say that they didn’t trust the site to give credit card information.

Solutions: Trust Badges, SSL Certificate, Live Support, Social Proof

Trust badges

Trust badges, such as security seals, payment method logos, or satisfaction guarantees, reassure shoppers about the safety, reliability, and trustworthiness of your website and transactions.

By adding, for instance PayPal or Stripe trust seals, you will let your customers know that your site is legitimate and these trusted third-party service providers secure the data they share.

Use stribe trust badges to build trust at the checkout page

SSL Certificate

Make sure you maintain up-to-date SSL certificates on your website. This will ensure that your website’s connection is secure, and it will protect user data.

If you are using WordPress, you can use a plugin like Really Simple SSL which simplify SSL certificate management.

Live support chat

Adding live support options, such as chat or click-to-call, provides immediate access to customer support. This, in turn, builds trust by ensuring that for any concern, your potential customer can easily reach out.

Social proof

Customer reviews and testimonials are really effective in building trust. Most shoppers, about 70%, look at reviews before buying anything, and nearly 88% trust these reviews just like they would a friend’s suggestion.

If you show good reviews on your site, it can make your site seem more trustworthy and could even boost your sales by up to 34%.

Reason #3 Limited Payment Options

If preferred payment methods are not available, customers may abandon their carts rather than using unfamiliar or inconvenient options.

In the “The 2022 True Cost of Online Fraud Global Study” research by PayPal and Ponemon Institute, 59% of respondents said their customers have frequently abandoned a shopping cart when their preferred payment is unavailable.

For example, 66% of BNPL users leave the checkout incomplete if they do not see the BNPL (buy now, pay later) payment option.

Solution #1: Integrate Stripe Elements

By offering familiar and convenient payment options for all your customers, you can reduce cart abandonment due to limited choices.

Stripe Elements provides a set of customizable interfaces for various payment methods. This includes popular options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Stripe’s own ‘Link’ feature for quicker transactions.

By integrating Stripe Elements you can offer payment methods that your customers know and trust.

Solution #2: Use Comprehensive Payment Method Like Stripe

Stripe is a comprehensive payment platform that supports a wide range of payment methods.

By integrating Stripe, you can easily offer variety of payment options like ACH, SEPA, iDEAL, BECS, Alipay, Giropay, and Sofort.

Reason #4 Need for Account Creation

Another reason customers abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase is when the website requires them to create an account.

26% of your potential customers will abandon their carts if you require them to create an account to make a purchase. This requirement can significantly hurt conversion rates, especially if the purchase is a one-time event and the customer has no plans to return.

For example, sometimes low-value items don’t justify the effort of creating an account for the transaction. Or, if you are accepting donations or fundraising, requiring account creation for a one-time donation can discourage potential donors from contributing.

Solution: Offer Guest Checkout

Providing guest checkout on your website makes the purchase process easy. It’s particularly true for one-time or infrequent buyers who may not want to commit to creating an account.

Other than that, you can use Stripe Checkout to offer a guest checkout for one-time or infrequent buyers. With Stripe Checkout, your customers can complete purchases quickly without the need to create an account.

Link by Stripe is also beneficial for guest checkout scenarios, as it offers convenience without the need for account creation. Link by Stripe allow customers to save their payment details securely, enabling faster payments in future transactions.

Reason #5 Complicated Checkout Process

Lengthy or complex checkout forms requiring too much information can lead to frustration and abandonment.

Lengthy or confusing checkout forms, multiple steps, or unclear instructions can frustrate customers and cause them to abandon their purchase.

In fact, 22% of customers cite a too long or complicated checkout process as a reason for abandoning their purchase.

Solution: Simplify Checkout Process

To reduce checkout abandonment rate you should make the checkout process as simple as possible.

For example, you can reduce checkout flows to fewer steps and minimize form fields. The Baymard Checkout Usability study reveals that checkout flows commonly span 5 or 6 steps.

Other than that, you can use Stripe Checkout to provide quick checkout with minimum steps. Stripe Checkout is a prebuilt and customizable payment page that offers one-click checkout experience to your potential customers.

You can also consider displaying a progress indicator on your checkout page. Such breadcrumb trail allows customers to visualize their progress and understand how many steps are remaining.

you can reduce cart abandonments by showing checkout progress bar

Reason #6 Shipping & Delivery Issues

Long delivery times, lack of shipping options, or high shipping costs can deter customers from completing their purchase.

Solution: Define Shipping, Delivery and Return Policies Clearly

When people know exactly what to expect, they’re more likely to feel comfortable making a purchase. You can add little badges on your site that quickly show your estimated shipping and delivery times and return policy.

You can also add an FAQ section to provide customers with clear answers and ease their minds about any questions they may have.

Reason #7 Technical Errors & Website Performance

Slow loading times, glitches, or technical errors on a website can interrupt the shopping experience. Which in turn cause customers to leave before completing their purchase.

In fact, 13% of customers report abandoning their checkout process when they encounter technical issues such as payment processing errors or website crashes.

Other than that, even a one-second delay can result in a 7% drop in conversions, an 11% decrease in page views, and a 16% dip in customer satisfaction. Also, after just 3 seconds, 57% of online shoppers will abandon a site, with 80% choosing not to return.

Note that, Kissmetrics’ shopping behavior analysis indicates that 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less.

cart abandonment rate across devices

Solution #1: Improve Site Speed and Audit Regularly

To achieve high performing website, you can conduct regular site audits to avoid technical issues.

For example, you can start with the following steps:

  • Compress images to optimize images and media files.
  • Minimize HTTP requests and combine files such as merge CSS or JavaScript files and remove unnecessary elements.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce load times.
  • Enable browser caching to provide speed load time.

Solution #2: Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices

To make your website mobile-friendly, you can get start with the following steps:

  • Ensure your website automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of mobile devices.
  • Create a mobile-friendly navigation system.
  • Optimize images, minimize code, and leverage browser caching to ensure your pages load quickly on mobile devices.
  • Design buttons and links that are easy to click with a finger.

Reason #8 Change of Mind & Distractions

Customers may simply change their minds about making a purchase or decide to postpone it for various reasons.

For instance, Baymard reports that 47% of people mention “I was just browsing” or “I’m not ready to buy” as their reasons for not completing a purchase.

Additionally, external factors, such as receiving a phone call or encountering distractions, can lead to cart abandonment by causing customers to leave the checkout process without finalizing their purchase.

Solution: Implement On-Site Popup Widgets & Discounts

If the reason for cart abandonment is psychological or external, such as distraction or not being ready to buy, you can utilize marketing tools to convert them.

Here are some examples to convert users on the cart or checkout page and reduce abandonment rate.

Counter or activity notifications

Show the number of visitors currently online or those who were recently on your site, creating a sense of popularity and urgency.

Exit-intent popups

Exit-intent popups are on-site widgets. They pop up when the user’s mouse cursor moves towards closing the tab. You can offer discounts with exit-intent popups and give them a reason to stay and complete their purchase.

Interactive elements like wheels

You can also allow users to complete checkout by offering spinning wheels or similar gamification features in the cart page. These provide a chance to win prizes or discounts, thus enhancing the shopping experience.

FOMO notifications

Fear of missing out an opportunity is one of the powerful marketing tactics to convert users to customers. You can use FOMO notifications about limited-time discounts or exclusive offers to create a fear of missing out throughout your site or cart page.

Stripe coupons

If you’re using Stripe on your site, you can offer Stripe coupons or discounts to make it more attractive for customers to proceed with their purchase.

Wrap Up


Overall, a major percentage of the reasons why customers abandon the checkout process occur is the reasons related to your site. The rest are personal or psychological reasons that happen outside of your control.

For the reasons that occur on your side, you can prioritize user flow and customer experience first by making your site mobile friendly and fix technical issues. Then, you can genuine reasons why they should buy from you or proceed with the transaction process such as transparent shipping, delivery and return policy, clear product and service description, and offer discounts.