Why do customers abandon their cart?

In a report from Baymard Institute we learn the reasons why customers abandon their cart on mobile checkout. This report was distilled and disseminated from 7 studies, 9,221 participants, and 37,000+ hours of ecommerce UX research. I would say the facts shared have been studied and processed to provide us with solid reasons to fine-tune and make changes to your ecommerce experience for your clients.

This article is only a snapshot of their findings. I encourage you to read through their whole report to learn all the facts they shared.

70% of mobile carts are abandoned

Oh my, why?


Let’s look at the number one reason. It’s not that the ordering experience is the problem or the website is too clunky, no. It’s because of those end fees for taxes, service charges, and shipping.

Fees are Too High

55% of those in the study indicated that their number one reason for abandoning the cart was because of the extra costs being too high. These are fees you have complete control over.

Here’s an example of exactly this. As we began to work with a client who wanted an ecommerce site, he complained how people would leave his site to go to Amazon to complete their purchase even though the items on Amazon were more expensive. The reason was clear to us that the reason they were doing this was because of their Amazon Prime accounts and free shipping. When we increased their price to reflect Amazon prices and eliminated shipping on their site, we created no reason to buy from Amazon.

Creating Accounts

The next reason, having to create an account. They want to shop as a guest just like when they are in any brick and mortar store. Think about it, when you shop at any store, you don’t need to share any personal information with them, not even your email address. When you go to check out and swipe your credit card, there is no need to provide a phone number or email address. Depending on your type of product, it may be a once and done experience. Let them shop as a guest.

A Complicated Process

The third reason, too long and complicated a checkout experience. Again, this is something you can control for them. Categories of items, individual items with sizes and colors, when selling products with variables like that keep it as simple as possible. Test it with some of your best clients before going live with the final checkout experience. Keep everything relevant, too. Don’t bog down the customer’s experience with products that might not apply to their interests. Less product choices of the right products = more products in the cart.

The fourth reason goes back to the number one reason, they couldn’t see those additional prices and be able to calculate what they were going to be before they checked out. That, frankly, is an error in the set up of the checkout process, point blank. You need to discuss this with your website developer to finetune this process. Again, think about your experience at a brick and mortar store. You know there will be tax, yes, but what about the shipping cost. Oh, there isn’t any.

The fifth reason is, lack of trust in your credit card processing system. By making certain the set up for the information required for their credit card appears like it would on their card, they will feel more comfortable completing the process of payment. Having logos of the credit card processing choices such as Authorize.net, Paypal, Stripe, and Square also reassures them of the process. More important as well is having a privacy policy and readily accessible to them to see is another reassurance that you are in compliance with GDPR Privacy Laws. We make a point of including the privacy page for all clients without any cost for the build of the page on their site.

Other reasons for abandonment include:

  • Website had errors and crashed
  • Delivery was too slow
  • Return policy wasn’t satisfactory
  • There weren’t enough payment methods
  • The credit card was declined

Checklist to finetune your customer’s buying experience

This report also identified ten ways companies can improve a shopper’s checkout experience on mobile web and app.

  1. Offer Guest Checkout and Make it Prominent
  2. Provide Appropriate Touch Keyboard Layouts
  3. Auto-Format Space in Credit Card Field to Match with Display on Physical Credit Card
  4. Format the Credit Card Expiration Date Fields to Match Physical Card
  5. Display a Progress Indicator
  6. Set Billing Address = Shipping Address by Default
  7. Show Order Total Before Asking for Payment
  8. Include a ‘Place Order’ Button at the Top of Order Review Step
  9. Don’t Ask for Duplicate Information
  10. Provide Third-Party Payment Options

Learn more about the additional reasons for abandonment and the ways to finetune your customer experience by downloading their complete report by (1) downloading their report here or give us a call and we’ll meet to discuss these and what we can do to help you.

  1. https://pages.amazonpayments.com/Mobile-Optimization-Report.html

Share this article:


Skip to content