In 2020, 88.05 % of online shopping carts were abandoned one step before shoppers made an order. Such figures point to the urgency of the shopping cart abandonment problem. Instead of looking for new promotion tools, it’s sometimes more beneficial to clarify the reasons why users abandon their digital carts on your eCommerce website.

How much can you gain by reducing the online shopping cart abandonment rate? The answer is easy: the lower the rate, the more orders you get and the more you earn. Moreover, solving the digital shopping abandonment problem is easier and less costly than finding ways to reach a new audience.

In this article, we will talk about shopping cart abandonment, the reasons for and the consequences of this notion, and the ways to reduce high abandonment rates.

What Is Digital Shopping Cart Abandonment?

The shopping cart abandonment rate is one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) for an eCommerce business. To learn about other KPIs to be tracked by retailers, check out our article. In this blog post, we review the most important metrics that directly and indirectly determine your profit.

Online shopping cart abandonment denotes the situation when a user puts a product (or products) into the shopping cart and then abandons it instead of placing an order. The shopping cart abandonment rate shows the number of such situations in percentage terms. Here is some data on shopping cart abandonment rates by industry and product:

shopping cart abandonment rates by industry and product

The number of the created shopping carts determines customer interest in the products or services you offer. Users get engaged by your marketing efforts, they like your website design and business mission. They are almost ready to place an order. But something makes them change their mind and leave one step before they turn into clients.

A high abandonment rate may point to the problems shoppers face while going through the customer journey. These can be usability issues, system bugs, unclear layouts, etc. By fixing the reasons for their dissatisfaction, you grow sales and increase client retention.

How to Calculate Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

You will need two metrics: the number of completed orders and the number of initiated shopping carts. To calculate the rate, use the following formula:

how to calculate shopping cart abandonment rate

For example, you got 100 orders last week. Meantime, there were 300 shopping carts created on your website. Firstly, we divide the number of orders (or transactions completed) by the number of shopping carts initiated and get 0.33. Then we subtract 0.33 from 1 and multiply the given number by 100. As we see, the shopping cart abandonment rate is 66% in this case.

But what value indicates that it’s time to worry? Let’s discuss this question in more detail.

What shopping cart abandonment rate is acceptable

Ecommerce business owners want to know what shopping cart abandonment rate is considered good and what is bad. To get a precise answer, you should understand that everything depends on the peculiarities and scope of your business, competition, your goals online, etc.

Yet, there is the rate of digital shopping cart abandonment that businesses face on average. According to Baymard Institute, companies report the shopping cart abandonment rate equal to 69.82%. So, if your abandonment rate is around 65-70%, you are a part of the common tendency.

It’s impossible to reach the 0% shopping cart abandonment rate. Not always, cart abandonment is determined by the quality of service. Some clients may leave their shopping carts simply because they use them for comparing prices, calculating the approximate cost of their wishlist, and other reasons you cannot influence.

However, there are a lot of aspects that you can control. Your shopping cart abandonment rate will never be “too low,” and there’s always room for improvement. And finally, why is shopping cart abandonment a problem at all? These 2021 figures speak for themselves:

losses from abandoned shopping carts

5 Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

It’s time to review the common reasons for cart abandonment and the solutions that can help you increase the number of placed orders.

Problem #1: Insecure or inconvenient payment methods

A trusted business owner would never integrate insecure payment methods into their eCommerce website. But ensuring the security of payments is not enough — the security should also be proved and well demonstrated. You have to show your customers that their payment details are protected and there is no chance of data breach.

Worrying about the security of payment is one of the top 5 reasons for order abandonments during checkout. If your shoppers doubt the security of the online transaction, they would rather look for guarantees on another website (most likely, the well-known one). That is, to outstand the competition and fight the pressure of business giants, you have to differentiate by the ecommerce security and convenience that your buyers get.

reasons for abandonment during checkout


It’s pretty natural that your buyers do not want to put their credit card information at risk. To dispel the security doubts, integrate safe payment methods into your website. These, for example, include PayPal, SiteLock, Norton, and others. Also, you have to add a trust seal to the page where users are expected to make a payment (check the example below).

secure checkout visualisation example

The impact of trust seals is described in the study by Conversion Fanatics, the company that develops the strategies for conversion improvement. After they added trust seals to the checkout page, their conversion increased by 28.2%. Here is another impressive result: the company’s revenues raised by nearly 71% per user.

To protect both your and the clients’ data, find a reliable software development company that will integrate secure payment methods into your online store, increasing user trust and client retention.

eCommerce Payment Methods banner

Problem #2: Extra charges

Online buyers do not have a consultant in place that would help them weigh the pros and cons of a particular product. Most frequently, users base their choice on client reviews and pricing. Shoppers see the product they like, and if the price is satisfactory, they put it into their shopping cart. Yet, only at the checkout stage, does it turn out that they have to pay the additional charge, including taxes, cost of packaging, or shipping.

55% of the survey’s respondents named hidden extra costs a reason for abandoning their online shopping carts. To reduce the online shopping cart abandonment rate, make sure that client-company cooperation is transparent from beginning to end. Probably, some percentage of clients will ignore extra fees and proceed with the order. Yet, at least 55% of users will leave their carts abandoned and start looking for a better offer.


Not always, a retailer is able to avoid adding extra charges. For instance, taxes are imposed on the legal level, and if not to include them in the payment sum, you will lose your own money. The best strategy is to inform a client about extra fees right from the start. Even if you are going to add some additional charges at the checkout stage, notify your client about them at the prior stages.

For example, this is what the shopping cart of Walmart looks like. Since the sum of taxes depends on the user’s location, it is calculated at the final stage of placing an order. Still, Walmart keeps a client informed that it is not the final sum and some extra fees will be added at checkout.

shopping cart of Walmart

Being transparent reduces the number of annoyed and disappointed clients. You can mention the extra costs on the product pages and let your clients choose among several shipping methods with different pricing. The wider choice you offer, the more likely users are to proceed with placing an order.

Problem #3: Poor usability

In most cases, the reason for a high online cart abandonment rate lies in the steps a client has to take prior to checkout. However, sometimes the checkout stage is the reason itself. Confusing checkout processes caused by poor usability is one more precondition for leaving shopping carts abandoned.

Too complicated checkout process irritates online shoppers. The lack of details about shipping fees, unclear CTAs, annoying pop-ups or ads — all these aspects affect the quality of user experience on your website.


Keep form fields clear and simple. If the information is not essential for processing an order, make it optional to fill in. Also, try to automate repetitive aspects of the checkout process to save clients time. For instance, instead of asking a user to fill in the shipping and billing addresses separately, add the function of address duplication. It will allow clients to use the billing address as the shipping address by putting a tick near the necessary function.

Also, improve user journey with intuitive and laconic UI and UX design. Make sure that your website’s appearance inspires buyers to make an order. Avoid alarming color shades and find trusted UI/UX design services that will express your business identity in the digital space.

Problem #4: Technical issues and bugs

High shopping cart abandonment can be caused by the poor tech performance of your website. The situation becomes doubly hard to detect when the problem occurs not to all users but only to a particular category.

For instance, people who access your website via mobile may face difficulties, while those who open it via laptop may not. But no matter the device — the natural client’s response to the crashed website is simply leaving it. Moreover, if the page loads for more than 3 seconds, users also quit it. This is why you should care about your eCommerce website’s load speed and performance.


Do not forget to optimize your eCommerce store to different devices. There is a very real possibility that the high shopping cart abandonment rate on mobile devices is due to websites not being mobile-friendly. By offering a mobile-friendly eCommerce experience, you improve the odds for conversion as well as your search engine ranking.

Another means for detecting tech-related problems is to gather client feedback and conduct client research. Reach out to your customers and ask them what they think of their shopping experience. This can help you understand the data you have gathered and improve your eCommerce store accordingly.

Problem #5: Compulsory registration

Online buyers prefer eCommerce websites over brick-and-mortar stores because shopping online is quick, easy, and convenient. Yet, at least once in life, each of us faced the following: we look for a book/movie and find it on some website. We click on the “download now” and feel relief — we are almost at the destination. But wait: the website obliges us to register before downloading.

Would you register after the frustration and annoyance you had to feel? There is not much of a chance. The same works for your clients. Online buyers want to get enough flexibility and freedom while using your website. They want to have the right to choose whether to register or not and avoid dozen of steps before placing an order.

Putting the compulsory registration at the end of the user journey, businesses try to outwit their clients. Unfortunately, they only make things worse for themselves, letting the user feel frustrated and go to a competitor.


The quickest solution is to make registration-optional. By ensuring the guest checkout option, your clients will be able to place an order without signing up. ASOS, for example, offers the guest checkout option but asks buyers to enter their email that is further used for marketing efforts:

how ASOS reduces abandoned carts

Another solution is to make the registration as effortless as possible and inform a client about the obligatory registration before they move to the checkout stage. You can make the user life easier if you integrate the means of quick registration into your eCommerce store. This is how eBay implements this solution:

how eBay reduces digital shopping cart abandonment

So, these were 5 main reasons and solutions for the online shopping cart abandonment rate. To learn more, check out some other helpful tips from a famous entrepreneur and analyst expert Neil Patel:

Wrapping Up

Reducing the shopping cart abandonment rate is one of the most efficient ways to increase conversion. Forbytes hopes that our basic guidelines will help you improve the given metric. And if you need help with setting up or polishing your eCommerce store — just get in touch. Our team is more than happy to help you make it shine.