How to Fix The Top Reasons Customers Abandon Carts

How to Fix The Top Reasons Customers Abandon Carts

By Rob Zaleski
Apr 20, 2017
How to fix cart abandonment in ecommerce

The unfortunate truth is that well over half of people (58.6%) abandon carts because they’re simply window-shopping and not ready to buy. There really just isn’t much we can do about them, but that does leave over 40% of shoppers that you can get to buy. Below are statistics from a recent Baymard Institute study on why the rest of these customers abandon their carts. These are things you can fix.

Baymard Institute Cart Abandonment Study graphic

Baymard Institute Checkout Research, Sept 2016

Extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees)

As shipping experts, we know you don’t want to or can’t always eat the costs of shipping products to customers. At the same time, when you’re competing with larger retailers offering free shipping, it can be a struggle. There are a few things you can do to make this a bit more palatable and still offer shipping costs that won’t make people bail.

  1. Compare different shipping methods: with USPS, UPS, and FedEx all competing for your business, it pays off big time to compare and contrast what will be the best method for shipping products to customers. You may be surprised to find in certain instances USPS is cheaper and just as fast as FedEx and UPS, depending on where items are going, how much they weigh, and anticipated turnaround time.
  2. Offer free shipping over a certain order size: this can be based on your average order size to try and increase average order size. If someone is a few dollars away from the minimum, they are much more likely to add one more item to get free shipping. Is the shipping still a loss? Possibly. But an increased average order size across the board can help outweigh that in the long run.
  3. Consider USPS regional rate boxes for shipping: we cover this in our free 2017 Rate Guide, but essentially you can save a substantial amount on shipping, depending on which zones you ship to. The USPS even provides free boxes for this method and many others, saving you on packing material costs as well.

Site wanted me to create an account

We know it makes things easier to have a customer as part of your ecosystem. Sometimes though, people just want their stuff. Requiring an email for updates is expected, but give them the option to sign up for an actual account later and just check out as a guest. Customize your confirmation emails for guest checkouts with a call-to-action to finish signing up for an account post-purchase. Perhaps try offering a special discount or product access that is members-only to encourage them to finish the process after they’ve already made a purchase. List benefits of having an account, such as pre-populated information, first access to products, or members-only promotions.

Bottom line, if you try to make someone set up an account before actually handing over dollars, you may lose a third of them. Probably not quite worth it just to create a streamlined order process for the future. Gain their business, then work on gaining their trust to take that next step.

Too long/complicated checkout process

We’ve written about ways to improve your checkout before, particularly in terms of the user experience. And I get it, the more you know about your customer, the better you can market to them. Are you willing to lose almost 30% of them because you didn’t streamline your checkout process or asked for too much information?

Just like the previous section, think longer term. Make the process as easy, streamlined, and error-free as possible at the onset. Test your checkout in different browsers and on different computers to make sure it works flawlessly. Later, once you have a customer’s business, work on building that relationship and get more information from them.

And for those other situations where you can’t help cart abandonment, you can always try a little friendly follow up. Our friends over at offer up some great tips for creating cart abandonment emails that will perform well.

Regardless, always try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. What is the process they would prefer? How can you best cater to their needs and make it easier to buy than competitors do? You can always work on customer management once they’re, y’know, a customer. Don’t rush that relationship, nurture it!

Learn about the latest rates by downloading our eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2017 Rate Changes:
2018 shipping rates

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Rob Zaleski

Content Marketing Manager at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.