Shopping cart abandonment is a top concern for any e-commerce store owner, especially those who have just launched a new shop. Cart abandonment occurs when shoppers add items to their carts but never go through the checkout process.

For store owners, abandonment can be frustrating, and it can have far-reaching consequences. The good news is that you can take steps to reduce shopping cart abandonment and boost sales.

But for these strategies to work, you need to understand why customers abandon their carts and how it can affect your sales and revenue in the long term.

reduce cart abandonment

Cart Abandonment Statistics

These stats will give you some insight into the problem of cart abandonment:

  • Nearly 70% of consumers abandon their carts – Baymard Institute
  • Shoppers aged 25-44 are most likely to abandon their carts – ContentSquare
  • Customers abandon up to $4 trillion in products in their carts each year – Swrve
  • Checkout optimization can increase conversions by 35.62% – Baymard Institute

Why Do Customers Abandon Their Carts?

Customers abandon their carts for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are beyond your control, but others can be optimized to help reduce abandonment rates.

Reasons for Cart Abandonment

Here are some of the top reasons shoppers abandon their carts:

Complicated or Confusing Checkout

A complicated, lengthy or confusing checkout process will frustrate your customers and increase the risk of abandonment. In fact, 17% of customers abandon their carts because of a lengthy or complex checkout process.

If it takes several minutes to make a purchase through your site, this may be why customers are abandoning their carts.

Limited Payment Options

Customers have their own preferences for payment options, and if an online store doesn't offer that option, they’re likely to abandon their carts and shop with a competitor. 

If you only accept a few payment methods, you risk losing more customers before they complete the checkout process.

Website Crashes and Errors

Sometimes, customers abandon their carts because they have no other choice. Website crashes and errors may prevent them from going through the checkout process, or they may lose trust in your shop and decide to take their business elsewhere.

Unexpected or High Shipping Fees

When customers encounter high or unexpected shipping costs, they may abandon their carts and search for stores with lower fees. Any kind of unexpected fee (customs fees, taxes, handling, etc.) may deter customers from making a purchase.

Having to Create an Account

Customers want a simple and quick checkout process. The more steps that are involved in making a purchase, the more likely they will be to abandon their carts.

If an account is required to make a purchase, shoppers may find that the extra time and effort aren’t worth it.

There are countless reasons why a shopper may abandon their cart, but these are the most common ones. Understanding why customers abandon their carts is important, but how does this affect your e-commerce business?

What Are the Effects of Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment affects your bottom line. If consumers leave items in the cart, it’s a sign that something went wrong before checkout. The person had enough interest to add the item to their cart, but they may have had issues with:

  • Pricing
  • Shipping
  • Checkout process
  • Payment

A few effects of cart abandonment are:

  • Customer lifetime value: You’ve lost a sale if the item remains in the user’s shopping cart, causing your lifetime value to plummet. A lost sale is also a loss in lifetime value because you may never have the opportunity to impress the consumer again.
  • Higher customer acquisition costs: You spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing to attract new customers. If they abandon their carts before they make a purchase, your customer acquisition costs will continue to rise.
  • Inventory issues: If you’re holding items in a customer’s cart, you could run into inventory management issues and a low turnover rate if your cart abandonment rate is high. 

If your shop is losing sales to cart abandonment and you want to change the trajectory of your sales, you can be proactive in reducing abandonment by following best practices.

cart abandonment statistics

How To Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

You understand the major financial impact of cart abandonment, but you also need to work diligently to rectify the issue. If you follow a few of the best practices below, you’ll be well on your way to recapturing some of the potentially lost sales that happen to every e-commerce shop owner.

Want to know how to reduce cart abandonment fast?

Consider the following:

Exit pop-ups

If the buyer has items in their cart and attempts to click off of the page, an exit pop-up can help. Your pop-up can say:

  • Hey! Did you forget something? And offer the person free shipping or a discount for placing their order.
  • Don’t forget your ITEM! Stock is running low.

One-click Ordering

How many clicks does it take to go from adding an item to your cart to completing the order? One-click ordering is one of the best ways to remove abandonment because it leverages consumer eagerness to purchase an item.

For example, a person may see a beautiful necklace on your store’s website. They click “add to cart,” and by the time they get to the third page of checkout, they’re second-guessing their purchase.

Add a one-click purchase option by allowing your existing customers to:

  • Save shipping addresses
  • Save payment information

One survey found that one-click ordering led to a 28.5% spending increase.

Cart Abandonment Emails

If the consumer with an item in their cart already shared their email address with you, it’s the perfect time to send them an email. You can wait a few hours before dispatching your reminder email to let the person:

  • Know they still have items in the cart
  • You want to offer them free shipping or a discount

Abandonment emails are a powerful tool that will help you make a sale that may have been otherwise lost. Discounts or special offers can help you “seal the deal” and make a sale.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Consumers may abandon their cart for a number of reasons. One reason for abandonment is that the person is price-shopping or waiting for your price to come down. You can use a sense of urgency as a means of turning would-be abandonment into a faster sale.

Show how many of the items are left in stock, or if the item is selling fast, you can add this wording to the product page.


People don’t want to miss out on the items that they want to buy. A simple change in wording can help you boost sales and conversions.

Enticing the potential buyer with a discount or perk, such as free shipping, may be enough to turn an abandonment into a sale.

Cart abandonment is a major concern for e-commerce stores at all times of the year. If you follow these tips above, you’ll reduce the number of consumers tapping off of your store when items are in their cart and boost sales.