Shopping Cart Abandonment: Why Does it Happen?

If you have any experience with shopping online, the chances are you already know what 'shopping cart abandonment' actually is. Why? Because you have probably done some shopping cart abandonment yourself.

Shopping cart abandonment is the term used to describe what happens when an online shopper begins the process of a purchase, but drops off before completing the transaction. In doing so the customer has 'abandoned' their shopping cart and what may have been a conversion, is lost.

Why Does It Happen?

There are many things that will influence a shopper to make them abandon a cart. Read on to find out some reasons as to why it can happen.

1. Immediate Interruptions

Shopping cart abandonment can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which you can have absolutely no control over; the person may be distracted mid-transaction by a phone call or doorbell or they may lose their internet connection or power on their computer.

The best solution to this problem is installing some shopping cart recovery software on your site. This will allow you to remarket to your abandoned customers and encourage them to come back so they can finish their transaction. Quite often it is a good idea to offer than an incentive to do so, such as a promotional time-limited discount.

2. Price comparison

The ease of price comparison on the internet means that the usual practice when buying online it to research and do some price comparison before making a final purchase. Quite often shopping cart abandonment happens simply because a customer is not at the 'buying stage' just yet - they may be just 'window shopping'.

A good way to incentivise them to return to your site over competitors is to remarket to them via email and offer them a promotional discount.

3. Shipping Costs

While the product you offer may be the best value for money over your competitors, your shipping cost may be putting off potential customers and causing them to abandon their transactions.

To combat this best thing you can do is to be upfront about your shipping costs at the very beginning of the transaction. Allowing a customer to see their overall price will encourage them to continue with their purchase. Not including these costs until the end may result in the customer feeling 'cheated' or fooled. They may want to abandon their transaction immediately out of frustration; or worse yet, dismiss your site as a potential option in the future. While your shipping costs may not be as competitive as you would like, including them from the beginning will result in more quality conversions in the long run.

For more information on cart abandonment visit Ve Interactive at


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