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Shopify Cart Abandonment: 7 Reasons why it Happens and 6 Tips to Reduce it

One of the biggest pitfalls when running a Shopify store is cart abandonment. Shopify cart abandonment costs money and wastes time. In the end, your Shopify store misses out on potential sales. Indeed, Shopify cart abandonment has a negative effect on your business. But do you know exactly how much cart abandonment affects your business?

In this article, we are going to discuss why customers abandon their carts. Also, we are going to talk about what you can do to boost Shopify cart recovery and convert those elusive sales once and for all.

What is Shopify cart abandonment?

Shopify cart abandonment happens when customers visit your online shop, add items to the cart, and then fail to complete their purchase. Thus, customers leave items in the shopping cart without paying for them. Consequently, your Shopify store misses out on a potential sale. 

In traditional brick-and-mortar stores, cart abandonment is similar to when a customer walks into a store, looks at items, tries them on, and then walks out of the shop. In this situation, having a customer walk out empty-handed costs your shop money (think of overhead and running costs) and wastes time. 

So, why do customers abandon carts?

Several factors come into play. In particular, there’s something that your shop did or didn’t do to close the sale. Let’s take a closer look at why customers abandon their carts.

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Why do customers abandon their carts?

There are seven common reasons for Shopify cart abandonment. Let’s explore them in detail.

#1 Lack of trust

In general, lack of trust boils down to customers’ fears surrounding an online store’s security. For instance, customers may be wary about entering their credit card information or exposing personal data. Security features such as an SSL certificate can go a long way toward proving your Shopify store’s security. 

Also, strong customer reviews greatly enhance trust in your brand and shop. A survey by the Baymard Institute (cited by marketing consultancy SalesCycle) indicates that roughly 17% of customers abandon their carts due to a lack of trust.

#2 Shipping costs

Shipping and other associated costs are the number one reason for cart abandonment. The added cost that comes with shipping or additional features (insurance, surprise add-ons, or hidden features) causes roughly 55% of customers to leave their cart. 

The best way to avoid this situation is to be upfront about costs. Surprising customers at checkout with markups is never a good idea. Where possible, display shipping prices (or at least an approximation) on your product pages, or partially factor them in to your product prices.

Letting your customers know that taxes and shipping still need to be added helps add transparency

#3 Complexity

Making the checkout process long and complicated causes 26% of visitors to give up their carts. As a result, a simple, streamlined process should encourage customers to complete their purchases rather than frustrate them.

#4 Just browsing

Some visitors enter your Shopify store to browse your available items. Thus, they never had the intention to make a purchase in the first place. Nevertheless, your brand’s value proposition can entice them to go through with the purchase. In this situation, 34% drop their cart because they have to create an account to complete their purchase. Therefore, creating a quick-buy option helps avoid this issue. 

Allowing customers to make one-time purchases without creating an account can go a long way toward preventing cart abandonment. It’s always a good idea, though, to throw in special incentives to sign up, such as a discount code or welcome bonus.

#5 Technical issues

Technical issues cause approximately 17% of potential customers to jump ship. Indeed, any glitches can quickly frustrate customers, leading them to leave your Shopify store. The great news is that Shopify offers near 100% uptime and avoids virtually every technical issue in the book.

#6 Delivery time contributes to Shopify cart abandonment

Customers value speedy delivery. Consequently, slow delivery times account for 16% of cart abandonment. Offering various delivery options can greatly help avoid this issue. However, it’s always important to be transparent about additional shipping costs. Please remember that customers hate being surprised at checkout.

#7 Lack of payment options

Lastly, a lack of payment options causes 6% of users to walk away. Offering as many different payment options as possible is a great way to entice shoppers to go through with their purchases. Offering various credit card options, online services like PayPal, and even cryptos can help close the deal. 

Add additional payment options to make buying easier. Source: thegreenmumma.com

On that note, 4% of customers indicated that card decline has caused them to abandon their carts. While this would not be your shop’s fault, it might have something to do with technical issues. Therefore, it’s worth ensuring the technical side is running fine.

Bonus: Approximately 11% of users cite returns policy as the reason for dropping their cart. Indeed, a rigid or overly complex return policy can frustrate shoppers. So, it’s definitely worth ensuring you offer as much flexibility as possible.

What can you do to avoid Shopify cart abandonment?

You’ll be pleased to know there’s plenty you can do to remedy Shopify cart abandonment. Here are six actionable steps you can take today.

#1 Ensure the checkout process is secure

One of the biggest steps you can take to avoid Shopify cart abandonment is to ensure your site has a secure checkout process. In particular, you want to ensure that your site contains the necessary security measures. 

Using third-party payment processors such as PayPal, Visa, or Amazon help boost your site’s overall security. However, you may find yourself paying high transaction fees. In most cases, merchants pay between 2% to 4% on every transaction. Needless to say, you’re paying more than you should, even though your Shopify store’s security is worth it.

With Shopify Payments, you can save a significant amount in processing fees. Transaction fees cost pennies as Shopify can give a flat rate per transaction. Moreover, your site will be secure thanks to Shopify’s encryption and site security. Consequently, you can rest assured that your customers will feel safe when shopping on your site.

#2 Be transparent about shipping costs and taxes

Earlier, we mentioned how much customers hate surprises. Surprising customers with shipping costs and taxes at checkout can keep customers from following through on their purchases.

So, what can you do about it?

Honesty is the best policy. Being upfront and transparent about shipping costs and taxes is the best way to go. A good strategy is to give customers options. For instance, customers can choose free, standard shipping or pay for faster delivery. Ultimately, you want to ensure that customers see this information as they proceed through the checkout.

Additionally, it’s important to include taxes in your product ads. For example, some merchants include messages about applicable state sales taxes. It’s always best to include taxes in product ads than surprise customers at checkout.

#3 Offer various payment methods to reduce Shopify cart abandonment

A common issue that discourages customers from following through on their purchases is a lack of payment options. You can avoid these issues by offering various payment options. In addition to processing all major credit cards, you can accept other payment platforms such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or WePay. 

Also, many retailers now offer payment plans through platforms such as Affirm. By giving customers an array of choices, you can ensure that your customers find one that works for them. In doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of Shopify cart abandonment while boosting your overall conversion rates.

prxperformance.com offers monthly payment plans

There’s a catch, though: please ensure you’re aware of the processing fees that come with each payment option. Please note this is a crucial point. Otherwise, you may end up paying much more fees than you expected.

#4 Boost trust

Lack of trust in your Shopify store or brand can quickly lead to Shopify cart abandonment. Thus, boosting trust in your brand is an essential task. Boosting trust in your brand can occur in many ways. 

shopify cart abandonment
zenbivy.com displays reviews directly on collection pages to build trust

On the whole, boosting trust reduces Shopify cart abandonment by quelling doubts and fears regarding your products or services. In particular, testimonials and reviews have a powerful effect in ensuring your brand gets through to customers.

#5 Make the checkout as simple as possible

There is nothing worse than a complicated checkout experience. Therefore, you must strive to ensure your Shopify store has a simple checkout process. For instance, you can add a “quick buy” feature to your collections where customers don’t need to register to make a purchase. 

Additionally, arranging the checkout process so that customers only need to checkboxes or click on drop-down menus increases the likelihood your customers will follow through on their purchases. Remember that a lot of your customers could be shopping from mobile devices/small screens, so make sure it’s easy for these users to complete a purchase.

#6 Send Shopify cart recovery emails

Emailing reminders for your customers to complete purchases can help improve Shopify cart recovery. When you send out friendly email reminders, you follow up on your customer’s latest activity. 

These email reminders help customers consistently think about their carts. As a result, you can drastically improve Shopify cart recovery. However, you must ensure to avoid harassing customers. Otherwise, you’ll end up causing the opposite effect.

How can PickyStory help to reduce Shopify cart abandonment?

PickyStory has some great features to help compat Shopify cart abandonment. Let’s take a look at three: 

Firstly, you can now show your customers (on the cart page) how much they’re saving when purchasing product bundles or deals. Sometimes, not seeing the discount or savings until the final checkout page causes customers to abandon their cart. 

Showing the savings in the cart both acts to reassure customers that their discount is being applied, and also incentivizes them to continue with the purchase because they’re getting a great deal. 

shopify cart abandonment
Source: try.pickystory.com

Secondly, you can offer additional discounts and deals on the cart page itself. If a customer has one product in their cart and is tossing up whether or not to go ahead with the purchase, consider showing them (on the cart page) a related or recommended product at 20% off (when they purchase it with the product they already have in their cart).

This can be a great incentive not just for the customer to make the initial purchase, but to actually sell even more to them! 

shopify cart abandonment
Source: try.pickystory.com

Finally, you can now choose to display Combo Products as either separate SKUs in the cart (which is great if you want your customers to have the option of removing or modifying products inside the Combo), or as a single line item which cannot be modified. 

Depending on your customer journey, choosing the most appropriate option can help improve to reduce Shopify cart abandonment in your store. 

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Take action to reduce Shopify cart abandonment and improve your bottom line

Let’s be real here, it’s extremely unlikely (ok, borderline impossible) that you will every eliminate Shopify cart abandonment. It’s an issue that plagues all Shopify stores and a constant struggle merchants face. 

However, there are at least the actionable tips above that you can take to help lower the rate of abandoned carts in your store. By following these steps and monitoring your cart abandonment rate, you can slowly optimize conversions and generate as much revenue as possible. 

If you’re looking for more Shopify tips and recommendations, check out the PickyStory blog.

Good Luck!

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