Adding items to the cart and not going through with the purchase is called cart abandonment and this is one of the most serious concerns for e-commerce sites. As per a study conducted by the Baymard Institute, around 69.57% of online shoppers abandon their cart. The number may even change from industry to industry and it also reaches 83% in some cases.

This is a multi-faceted problem and it has become imperative that eCommerce sites find a way to reduce the rate of cart abandonment. To do so, it is imperative to understand the causes of the problem. Here are top 10 reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and how these problems can be addressed.

1. High Shipping Costs and Taxes

One of the top reasons why a majority of the shoppers abandon their carts are the high shipping costs and taxes that get added at the very end and inflate the final price. When a customer is looking at a product and adds it to the cart, they do expect a nominal shipping charge. However, if the final amount becomes too high, they may go elsewhere to complete the purchase.


The seller can either offer free shipping if the cart value is above a particular price or have a flat rate shipping that is displayed clearly from the beginning and not just on the checkout page. The site can also display the final price of the product inclusive of the taxes so that the customer doesn't get any last minute surprises.

2. Complicated Checkout

A long winded checkout process that goes on for a few pages can lead to cart abandonment by almost 26% of shoppers. Even if the checkout process is limited to a single page, if it asks for too many details and takes too long to fill out, customers will leave without completing the purchase.


The checkout page should only ask for the necessary information such as the delivery address and contact details and nothing more. A site using WooCommerce plugin will get more customers if the checkout process is simple and clean.

3. Compulsory Signup

The customer gets to decide whether they would like to sign up with the website and create an account. Forcing them to create an account before making the purchase is a sure shot way to stop their shopping midway and making them leave.


Every eCommerce site should offer a guest checkout option. When the customer completes the purchase and enters their details, the site can use that to do the email marketing. This is a much better option than compulsory account creation.

4. Better Price Elsewhere

Many customers compare the prices on different websites and finally order from the one that offers the cheapest price. If your website was not the one with the cheapest price, then you may have lost the customer.


One way of rectifying this problem is to offer additional discount when the shopper is about to leave the site. This gives them an incentive to complete the purchase and reduces cart abandonment.

5. Lack of Security

A customer needs to believe that their personal and financial data is safe while shopping. Many customers will stop the purchase if the site with the WooCommerce plugin lacks the necessary security certificates.


It doesn't cost much to get the security certifications necessary to make the site safe and trustworthy. Make sure the certifications are up to date. This simple step can lead to a lot of sales for the eCommerce site.

6. Lack of Payment Options

Every customer has a preferred method of payment. They may be comfortable using that particular method and will not complete the purchase if the site doesn't accept that mode of payment.


Apart from the usual credit and debit card options, include popular local and international payment options. Paypal and local ewallets are no longer optional, they are compulsory for eCommerce sites.

7. Forgetfulness

Many customers add items to their cart and then get distracted by something else. They are willing to go through with the purchase. But they might not remember about the product.


There is a simple solution to this. E-commerce sites can re-target abandoned carts using Facebook Messenger. The re-targeting message can also include some additional discounts to further motivate the customer to complete the purchase.

8. Unsatisfactory Return Policy

This is the reason for almost 11% of shoppers to discontinue their shopping. Customers may have apprehensions while shopping. If the site doesn't allow returns, then these apprehensions may take over and the site loses a sale.


A good returns policy instils confidence in shoppers and tells them that the site has confidence in the product. The option of returning or exchanging the product in case the customer is unsatisfied or in case of size mismatch can do wonders for the site's sales.

9. Poor Customer Support

One of the biggest advantage that a physical store has over an online store is the ready customer support. Shoppers can clear their doubts instantly with the shop assistant. Not having this on the website with the WooCommerce plugin can lead to loss of sales when customers are unable to clear their doubts.


Have a customer support number or a live chat option on the website. Try to make this available 24*7 and this will definitely reduce the cart abandonment. The live chat can also be used to re-target abandoned carts and remind the customers about it when they visit the site again.

10. Site Was Not Mobile-Friendly

Many users shop through their mobile phones. One of the most common complaints is that eCommerce sites are not mobile-friendly. This inconveniences the shopper and they can leave their shopping midway.  By 2020, almost half of the online shopping will be performed via mobile devices and a site that is not mobile-friendly will lose a lot of customers.


A mobile-friendly website is no longer a luxury or an option, it is a necessity. Not just the website, the cart itself needs to be mobile friendly. It should display all the required information about the products without having to scroll sideways too much. If possible, create a mobile app for the site as many prefer using apps on their phone.

Increase Your Revenue and Reduce Cart Abandonment

A complete evaluation of the store or a customer feedback survey can help identify the problem areas.  But keep in mind that improving the store using the above methods is a continuous process. The cart abandonment needs to be tracked continuously to really see if the changes made are making an impact and leading to more sales. This can also help the store optimise their re-targeting strategy.