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Shopping Cart Abandonment


6 minute read

Five ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

It’s not easy running an eCommerce business. You invest a lot of time and money into developing marketing strategies that will drive potential customers to your website.

And over time, these strategies start to pay off.

People begin visiting your website and many of them seem highly motivated to buy. They engage with your content, add items to their cart, begin the checkout process…And then they leave without purchasing a single item!

Why does shopping cart abandonment happen? And what can you do to reduce the number of people abandoning their carts so deep in their purchase journey? Those are the questions this article will answer for you.

Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts

You’re familiar with this. Every day, a certain percentage of people will visit your online store and then abandon their carts before finishing their purchase. Australians, particularly, are known for their tendency to to abandon shopping carts. One report found that Aussie retailers experience cart abandonment rates as high as 76%.

But if you don’t know why your customers are abandoning their carts then you won’t have much luck fixing this problem. So the first step is to understand why cart abandonment happens.

Every business is a little bit different but the buying habits of customers remain fairly consistent across all industries - from beauty to fashion to technology to home goods. And most customers share the same preferences and frustrations when it comes to make a purchase.

According to the Future of Australian Retail report, 72% of consumers choose to shop online because they place a high value on convenience and a smooth online shopping experience. So, when faced with a lengthy payment process, 32% of customers will jump ship. 30% will leave due to security concerns and 27% become put off by unexpected charges.

Here are some additional reasons customers will abandon their carts:

  • They want to see if they can find a better price elsewhere.
  • They never intended to make a purchase and were just browsing.
  • The website requires them to create an account to finish their purchase.
  • The shipping costs are too steep.
  • The customer has concerns about the store’s return policy.

With these points in mind, let’s look at what you can do to reduce cart abandonment rates on your online store.


Fortunately, most of the problems listed above are things that you can fix immediately. By improving the checkout design and removing friction for your customers, you can begin increasing your transaction volume and closing more sales.

Here are 5 ways you can reduce shopping cart abandonment:

1. Keep it simple

27% of customers will abandon their cart if the checkout process is too long and confusing, according to PayPal. So making this process as quick as possible is one of the best ways to encourage more customers to complete their orders.

Ideally, you’ll streamline this process to the point where customers don’t have to enter much more than their name, email address, and credit card information. From there, they can hit “pay” and be done.

It is also helpful to allow customers to save their information for next time. That way they don’t have to re-enter that same information every time they want to shop with you.

2. Allow a guest check-in option

It’s never a smart idea to require customers to create an account before making a purchase. Most of your customers have multiple online accounts and hate managing them all.

One study found that the average person has at least 118 accounts across the web! It’s impossible to remember the passwords for all of those accounts, which means a new account registration just adds up to a lot of wasted time.

Plus, there are security issues with having too many forgotten online accounts. This opens up access to hackers who can steal your or your buyers’ personal information.

A guest check-in option is a great alternative to forcing buyers to register. Or you can let them use their Google or social media accounts to sign in, thus reducing friction during the buying process.

Still not convinced? Hear this: Eliminating mandatory registration during the checkout process can lead to a 45% increase in sales. That should be reason enough to allow new customers to shop without creating a new account.

3. Minimise the CTA buttons on the checkout page

Every button leading to the check-out page needs to have a place and purpose. Having too many buttons all over the page can distract the user. So it’s best to whittle down the number of CTA buttons you include on the check-out page. At the same time, ensure that you clearly distinguish the checkout button from all others. If every CTA button looks the same, this can get confusing.

Likewise, having CTA buttons that blend in with the rest of your page (rather than stand out) can make your buyers lose interest. So choose your CTA button colours wisely and keep the colours for similar CTAs consistent. For instance, having the same colours for your ‘Learn More’ and ‘Buy’ buttons will diminish their unique purpose.

4. Build trust through the buying process

With credit card fraud and data breaches mounting across the world, a website that looks suspicious will only turn buyers away. When customers are shopping on a new website, they will look for signs that they can trust that business.

Including security logos and displaying that your website is PCI compliant will help build trust and reduce cart abandonment. Make it a point to clearly display familiar payment methods, like Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Also, explain any off-site payment methods with a disclaimer before customers check out. Any rude shocks to buyers parting with their money is best avoided! The key is to help them trust the flow of the checkout process.

5. Make sure there are no price shocks on your website

No one likes adding an item to their cart then when they’re ready to checkout, only to discover there are hidden costs like taxes or shipping charges. The problem may not always be the shipping costs themselves but rather, the unexpected charge and the feeling that your business is not being upfront.

Most customers just don’t like surprises. But there are ways to reduce cart abandonment even if you don’t want to offer free shipping.

You simply have to make them aware of the extra costs before they add items to their cart. One easy way to do this is by adding a button to the product pages that calculates your customer’s shipping costs for them.


No matter how successful, all eCommerce businesses struggle with cart abandonment to some degree. This is one of the most frustrating and inevitable parts of doing business online.

It’s impossible to ever truly get rid of shopping cart abandonment but you can take steps to reduce it. And by acting on the tips listed above, you’ll not only increase your store’s conversion rates but you’ll create a better customer experience.

By removing friction during the checkout process and building trust with your customers, you’ll hang onto more customers and increase your overall sales.

These are things Bambora can help you accomplish. Get in touch to learn more about how we can make it easier for your business to accept online payments.

About the author

Victoria Galloway is Bambora APAC's Technical Copywriter, and has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.