Conversion rate optimization is big business and for good reason; the slightest change can have a huge affect on sales and in turn, make you a whole lot of money for very little cost. Because of that, there’s a ton of information and studies out there around CRO, especially shopping cart abandonment.

We’ve gathered 25 of the top reasons people abandon shopping carts and put them in one place. Even better,  we’ve given you tips on how you can to avoid these.

Check it out:

  1. Shipping & handling costs too high
  2. Shipping & handling costs not included in checkout price
  3. Not ready to purchase at current time
  4. Want to compare prices elsewhere
  5. Price is too high
  6. Want to save products in cart for later
  7. Checkout process too long
  8. Too much information required during checkout
  9. Lack of contact information for the business
  10. Checkout process is confusing
  11. Required registration
  12. Unclear delivery times
  13. No order tracking option
  14. Lack of payment methods
  15. Site doesn’t appear trustworthy
  16. Site is too slow
  17. Lack of money at time of checkout
  18. Item unavailable or sold out
  19. Couldn’t find customer support
  20. Taxes
  21. Buyers remorse
  22. Shipping will take too long
  23. No customer reviews on site
  24. Ran out of time during order process
  25. Technical problems on site

The good news is, the majority of these things are preventable. Here are a few ways you can avoid shopping cart abandonment:

  1. Allow guest checkout. Forcing users to register before the checkout process is unnecessary. Give them the option to register when they are filling in their billing and shipping information.
  2. Show shipping costs and options early in the checkout process. There’s nothing worse then going through the whole process then realizing the price just doubled because of shipping. Make this clear early on.
  3. Allow customers to save items in their cart for later. For those looking to comparison shop or for those who just aren’t ready to buy, let them save their items. Whether you cookie them or prompt them to register as they leave.
  4. Show if items are available or sold out. Don’t wait until they get the item in their cart. If an item is out of stock or if an item is no longer available, tell people that on the product page, not in the cart.
  5. Offer customer reviews. Social proof is huge and when people want to purchase something unknown, they want to see what others have to say. Whether you let your own customers leave reviews or you use testimonials from across the web, reviews can be very helpful.
  6. Place security seals on your checkout page. A security seal can increase conversions by 5%-50%. That’s a pretty decent bump just by placing a small badge on your site!
  7. Optimize & test your site. A slow site or a site that crashes at checkout is never going to get a sale from me. Test your site, track where customers drop off, use Google webmaster tools, just make sure you know your site is running the best it can.
  8. Offer an 800 number. People want to know you are available if they need you. A toll free number is a great way to do this and can actually help increase conversions.
  9. Offer a progress indicator. Let the user know where they are in the checkout process. How much further do they have to go? What step are they currently on? Which leads us to the next tip…
  10. Keep checkout simple. Get the information you need in the shortest number of steps. It makes it easier for the customer and lessons the time for buyers remorse.
  11. Allow cart modifications/changes. Have you ever added an extra item and then not been able to delete it right in the cart? It’s terrible. Let the user add, delete, change shipping, etc right in the cart.
  12. Tell users what fields are required. We touched on this in our 5 Best Practices for Creating Forms post. Letting the user know what fields are required, speeds up the process and prevents errors.

While these tips may sound simple, you’ll be amazed at the results. What other things have you tried and what have you seen work?

Photo by brianjmatis

Mike Arsenault
Mike Arsenault is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rejoiner. He works with 350+ online retail & eCommerce companies like Hallmark, eTix, Liftopia, and Vtech Electronics to help them grow faster using lifecycle email. He once lived aboard a 36' sailboat in Boston.