Essential Tips to Improve E-commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment


e-Commerce sites live from articles they sell online and for them shopping cart abandonment is a major problem.  A high shopping cart abandon rate, imply a lower conversion rate and the consequence is a loss of revenue.

In this article we will briefly define the shopping cart abandonment, the problem as well as common approaches on how to improve e-commerce shopping cart abandonment.

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor enters the shopping basket and leaves before completing the checkout. This it potential loss for the e-commerce business as the visitor did not buy the articles. The straightforward consequence for the business is a loss of revenue.

Understanding the causes of shopping cart abandonment

Before starting the process of improving the shopping cart abandonment we have to ask ourselves the reasons why people abandon their shopping cart? Furthermore is a certain percentage of shopping cart abandonment not normal?

According to Forrester Research, here below is a list of the most common reasons customers abandon their shopping cart:

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment?

Be trustworthy and transparent

For all kind of business, a person will only buy your good if he trusts you. In my country (maybe yours too) generally car repairers have a bad reputation. Why? Because when you get the bill it is often more than expected because they add a few dollars here and there for stuff that it is hard to control. Do not do this mistake! Online concurrence is rough and an online dissatisfied customer will never come back.

In case you have some shipping cost, only accept credit card payment, product is out of stock or whatever other reason put this information in a place where your customers can directly see it.

Make your customer confident that your page is secure and that their personal information will not be resell to a third company. You should also tell your visitor that they have the right to return products within XY days after receiving them.

Minimize the number of steps

A fundamental rule in e-commerce is to make the buying process as quick and easy as possible for your customers. The ideal case is to have a single page to complete the sale. It is useless to ask your customers to fill out information you do not really need. Just ask the bare essential.

Of course, this is not always possible to “shrink” to a single page. In case you need several steps, be sure to include a progress bar. Still a checkout should be in no more than three steps. Customers need to know in which step they are in the buying process. Besides a going back step is mandatory as a customer may have done a mistake. He needs to be certain of the information entered before he can buy.

Do not force customers

When the customer decides to buy a product and he is not a client (member) do not lose him by forcing him in becoming a member. Indeed, users who first order tend to be anxious and do not want to give personal information on a site that may not be trustworthy.

Do not hold back on photos of your products

In the “physical” stores, it is possible to touch a product, to feel a product, to see the details and to get an idea of the quality of the product. In e-commerce one of the only alternatives that you can have is to provide high quality photos or video of each of your products. Besides if you product is available with another color or a slightly different shape you should put a picture of it.

Images give the customer a direct feedback compare to textual description. Textual description is still very important but in a second phase. It is also important to keep a thumbnail of all your purchased products in the checkout process. This will reduce the number of people who return to the previous page to check their order. Besides when a user goes on mouse over a thumbnail a bigger picture should appear as it is not always easy to distinguish products from a thumbnail.

Quick examples and recommendations

Here below some clear examples that will reduce the shopping cart abandonment.

The user knows if he buys for over 100€ the delivery will be free. This may convince clients buying slightly under 100€ to purchase a small (cheap) item in order to get over 100€.

Show your payment methods in the footer or sidebar. It does not cost a lot of space and it is obvious and understandable.

This is also an obvious message for a customer that is in a hurry to get his product. This and a 24h delivery will give the customer a feeling of professionalism.

Never forget to add editing possibilities. A customer may change his opinion about a product and you do not want to lose him because he cannot delete or change the quantity of a product.

Help your customers! Here is a basic example of how you could show your customers where the Card Verification Code is.

Let us know your tips and tricks about improving e-commerce shopping cart abandonment.



  1. Nick

    Hi there. I like this post very much. It is very informative post. Keep up the great work. Thanks

  2. Dan Culline

    Very use full and helpful tips regarding e-commerce shopping cart abandonment. thanks for sharing these tips cause i did not knew these things before.

  3. Patt

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  4. Alin Soren

    I wonder if abandon is just cause of the reasons you listed and if there actually is a way to stop it. I checked on multiple websites/blogs answers on how to stop it cause I have many clients asking me why so many don’t actually buy the products. I think the reasons are far more and the methods to decrease it’s rate is low.


  5. Carren

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Cheers!

  6. Susan Smith

    Thanks for the post! It was very informative. However as per my point of view creativity is required to create and maintain any e-commercial portal. It should be simple, easy to understand and user friendly for the customers. That’s more important because it will save time of the user to find anything online..

  7. Shopping cart abandonment is really a big issue among the inline retailers and it is not as simple as it might seem. You have some really great tips here and I really believe that on of the best ways is to keep it as simple as possible, don’t overload users with unending flow of information and suggestions.

  8. John C

    Interesting study. I can certainly attest to the high shipping costs encountered. As an Australian, searching online for almost anything to buy invariably results in stumbling across a supplier that either DOESN’T ship internationally period, or, if they do, they charge a fortune for postage/shipping. I’m trying to gather together a list of sites that offer International shipping for free. Some do exist. I have a few posts about it on my blog – . Cheers.

    • djavupixel

      Hi John,

      we would be happy to see your article about International shipping fees. Nevertheless I think that shopping costs is not everything for customers as long as they are not too high.

  9. Good article. The shipping costs is what I struggle with most myself. I can’t really offer free shipping because my margins are low. I did find that Canada Post ships at the lowest cost, compared to FedEx or UPS. Probably counts for USPS as well.

  10. Chathura

    Thanks for the great tips.
    I’m going to design an e-commerce website so these tips will be very useful.

  11. djavupixel

    @Lena Tailor
    Thanks, I hope it will help you. Do not hesitate to ask me for tips if needed.

  12. Lena Tailor

    Very nice list. I am designing a shopping cart for a client right now and a few of these pointers will be very helpful.

    • Rober Jones

      Wonderful learn, I simply passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he really bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Anyway, in my language, there are not much good supply like this..