How to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate and boost sales

online shopping cart abandonment

Imagine that a prospective buyer decides to purchase an item from your eCommerce site, adds it to the cart, and then decides against buying it. Isn’t this phenomenon, known as shopping cart abandonment, a nightmare for any online retailer?

Wouldn’t you want to find out what made these visitors leave behind a product they had already liked?

In this blog, we explore why abandoned carts have become a bane to the eCommerce business and what can you do to reduce the online shopping cart abandonment rate.

But before we move on to discussing strategies for reducing this, let’s find out how experts define it  –

What is cart abandonment rate?

As discussed earlier, the online shopping cart abandonment rate is a clear metric that indicates the health of your checkout process. If it is high, then you need to assess the complexity of the checkout page and find out what’s blocking your conversion.

You can calculate the cart abandonment rate by dividing the number of completed transactions by the numbers of carts created by the customers.  Then, you need to subtract the derived value by 1 and multiply by 100 to arrive at the right percentage.

shopping cart abandonment

Although average cart abandonment rates vary from industry to industry, a study concluded that 69.80% can be considered as a common yardstick and anything beyond that needs immediate attention. 

Why do customers abandon shopping carts?

Research by Barclaycard concluded that UK retailers lose out on more than 18 billion pounds of potential sales due to abandoned carts. However, despite these shocking cart abandonment stats, the awareness amongst UK online merchants is at an all-time low.

6 in 10 online retailers in the UK do not know the average buyer drop-out rate on their eCommerce website and 3 in 10 have never analyzed the months when their eCommerce business witnessed the highest number of abandoned carts.

Clearly, the online merchant community needs an intervention to better manage these issues and figure out the following 

  • How to reduce the cart abandonment rate altogether? 
  • And how to convert abandoned carts with the right strategies? 

And the first step towards achieving these goals begins with understanding the reason behind its increase. Let’s find out what makes customers abandon the shopping carts they spent so much time browsing for – 

why customers abandon shopping carts
  • Customers often abandon their shopping carts because of extra shipping costs that they were not aware of while browsing the item. 
  • Certain eCommerce sites require visitors to first create an account and then complete their checkout process. Many customers get irked by the absence of a guest checkout and abandon cart instead. 
  • Adding on to the previous point, customers also lose interest in completing a transaction if the checkout process is too lengthy or complex. For example, having to add separate billing and shipping addresses complicates the process unnecessarily and leads to an increased cart abandonment rate.
  • Website performance too plays an important role in increasing cart abandonment rate. If the site speed is slow or it crashes often, the customer is more likely to leave the transaction incomplete.  
  • If your eCommerce site doesn’t have a secure payment gateway, your metrics will always have a higher rate of abandoned carts. No matter how common online retail becomes, customers will always rely on those businesses that offer trusted payment mechanisms. 

If we had to summarize all the reasons for the increased cart abandonment rate, we would ask you to have a look at your checkout process from a customer’s perspective and list down the reasons for not going ahead with the transaction.

This simple exercise will help you pinpoint the exact reason for the increased number of abandoned carts in your business.

Meanwhile, you could always use the following strategies to reduce cart abandonment rate considerably.

5 Strategies to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate in a business


  • Do not keep any cost hidden: When a customer knows about every charge involved in a transaction, they are less likely to change their mind at the last moment. So, ensure that you are upfront about every cost involved – including the shipping cost and taxes if any.

Pro tip: This becomes crucial in international eCommerce as every country has specific tax regulations. Digital commerce platforms like Magento/Adobe Commerce are great for a global retail business with features that enable multi-store management and tax regulation.

  • Integrate multiple payment options: The rise in the digital economy has also led to the emergence of multiple payment mechanisms. As a result, a customer expects every possible payment option while making an online purchase. From cash on delivery to EMI options, try to include every possible payment option in your digital commerce solution,

Pro tip: Migrating to Salesforce Commerce Cloud ensures that your digital commerce solutions are well-integrated with all third-party payment options.

  • Include Guest checkout option: We can’t stress enough about the need to simplify the checkout process and enable the guest checkout option. Your one step towards saving a prospective customer’s time can lead to a better conversion rate.

Pro tip: Instead of asking a visitor to create an account before they complete the transaction, why don’t you try asking them right after the transaction is over?
Once they have had a hassle-free shopping experience with you, they’re more likely to strengthen the association and sign up as a regular customer.

  • Consider cart abandonment emails: Did you know that when you send an eMail about abandoned carts to a customer, they open almost 44.1% of them and 29.9% of them even result in recovered sales?

    The reason for this is simple – if a customer has added an item to her cart, she already likes it! All you need to do is remind her of what she has left behind with probably a discount coupon or an exciting offer to finish the transaction.

Pro tip: Try sending the first cart abandonment eMail within the first hour of abandonment for better results.

  • Optimize mobile experience: By the time 2021 ends, the share of mobile commerce in total eCommerce sales will reach 72.9%. Naturally, an online shopping portal that is not meant for mobile phones will lead to an increased mobile cart abandonment rate and decreased conversion. Thus, it is important to have mobile-optimized eCommerce solutions.

Final takeaway:

Let’s face it – abandoned carts are a heartbreaking wake-up call. They suggest that your products/services meet customers’ needs but you need to align your eCommerce solution to optimize the customer experience.

However, there’s a brand new opportunity at the end of this tunnel. Since your products are up to the mark, all you need to do is understand the customer journey better and create a holistic online experience for your visitors!



Talk to our experts for more insights.

We would love to hear from you.


Please fill the form or send us an email at