Cart abandonment

6 tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment

By Camille Felappi

Nov 24, 2022|10 min read

Shopping cart abandonment isn’t just about missing a sale. It weighs heavily on online retailers who lose $18 billion (£15bn) in sales revenue each year.   


On their side, online shoppers are becoming extra cost-conscious with inflation hitting the world while keeping high expectations on the shopping experience. If they find a product that meets their needs, but the shopping journey is not smooth and seamless, chances are they will abandon their cart. If you want to reduce the cart abandonment burden, check out the 6 easy-to-implement tips we compiled.

Why do online shoppers abandon their carts?

Before we dive into hints to reduce shopping cart abandonment, it is important to understand why it happens in the first place. On average, 69.99% potential customers opt for the “exit” button each year. One thing is for sure, you can’t prevent all cart abandonments. A study found that 58.6% of US online shoppers abandoned a cart within the last 3 months because “I was just browsing”. Naturally, it is harder to entice this segment of users to complete a purchase. However, putting this segment aside, we can notice that shoppers usually abandon their purchase during the final stages of the shopping process because of friction in their buying journey. A recent survey conducted on US online shoppers revealed the main reasons for cart abandonment: 

  • 42% extra costs (shipping costs, fees, taxes) 
  • 25.7% lack of alternative method payments  
  • 24.8% complicated checkout process  
  • 22.5% lack of shipping and return options 
  • 20.3% lack of trust in fraud protection 
  • 20.3% account creation requirement 

Our 6 tips will help you remove each of these frictions so you can convert cart abandonments into sales.


Tip 1: Include duties and taxes in your price

Online shoppers hate to be surprised with additional fees and taxes that were not made clear at checkout. So much so that it is the number one reason why they will exit your online store. This is especially critical if they are browsing from the other side of the globe. According to a survey from Statista, 59% of customers are afraid to purchase cross-border because they expect to pay additional fees or duties that are not shown at checkout. Unclear prices raise anxiety as customers have no idea how much duties and fees they will need to pay when their order crosses borders. 

By displaying the duties and taxes your customers need to pay before they finalize their order, you will significantly decrease your cart abandonment. Still, you need to make sure you are able to show the correct rates overwise your efforts will be in vain. To be on the safe side, you can use a duty and tax calculator like Eurora’s Duty & Tax calculation service. It displays the applicable VAT and duty rates in the shopping cart in real-time for more than 160 countries and in any currency. Besides, customers generally prefer to make a single payment including all taxes, instead of having to pay for it once the goods reach their country. You can collect the EU VAT from your EU customers at checkout with Eurora’s IOSS service. 


Tip 2: Add a free shipping option

While free shipping used to be an exclusive deal a few years ago, it is now becoming a real expectation. As we saw, shoppers mostly abandon their carts because of extra costs, including shipping costs. On the other hand, 53% of consumers said that they would be more likely to buy online if there is a free delivery. Rest assured, you don’t need to offer free shipping on all your orders, but rather add it under certain conditions to improve your delivery options. According to a report from Shippo, when given the choice between free and fast shipping, 83% of online shoppers prefer free.    

Depending on your business capabilities and profit margins, you can create your own free shipping offers to support your sales in addition to reducing cart abandonment. You can use free shipping to push specific items, offload extra inventory, or increase average order value. Setting up a free delivery option with a minimum value order can also be a real win-win deal. In fact, 48% of consumers are ready to add extra items to their carts just to qualify for free shipping, so the average shopping cart from your customers could increase. You can even consider having free delivery exclusively during peak sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day as an alternative to discounting.   


Tip 3: Offer multiple payment methods

Years ago, the only payment options offered by eCommerce stores were credit and debit cards. Yet, long gone are the days when customers had to enter long credit card numbers to finalize their purchases, and the lack of payment options is one of the biggest buying frictions. Digital wallets revolutionized the online payment process, and there are so many possible payment options that your customers won’t be satisfied with the old-school credit card payment. To start with, you can consider adding digital wallets and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option, which are among the most popular payment methods. 

Digital wallets are used to store digital versions of physical bank cards and credit cards (like Google Pay) or work as dedicated apps that connect directly to your bank or credit cards (like PayPal). It protects the buyer’s sensitive bank card data but also offers a smooth payment process to shoppers as they can make a purchase from the comfort of their smartphones. BNPL allows customers to make immediate purchases and spread out the cost of their payments. BNPL is a growing popular payment option. In 2022, half the US population used BNPL services, up from 37.7% in 2020.    


Tip 4: Simplify your checkout forms

Buying online should be easy and fast enough so that the item can be yours in just a few clicks. If your checkout forms are too long or confusing, shoppers will be likely to abandon their purchase like 24.8% of customers surveyed. On the other hand, experts estimate that conversions can be increased by 35.62% if you set up the right checkout forms. Of the many options you can find to improve your checkout process, the guest checkout and one-click checkout are more likely to bring you quick results.  

With the guest checkout option, online shoppers can make a purchase without having to create an account. Usually, customers find it time-consuming to create an account, unless there is a clear benefit. Capterra’s 2022 Online Shopping Survey found that 43% of consumers prefer guest checkout, and 72% use it even if they have an existing account. The one-click checkout is another great way to level up the shopping experience. Nearly 56% of customers expect to find whatever they need from a company in three clicks or less. With the one-click checkout option, shoppers can access their cart and purchase its content in one single step, making the whole checkout flow a breeze. 


Tip 5: Mind your return policies

The main downside of online shopping is that customers cannot fully assess your products because they can’t see, touch, or interact with the item as they could in a brick-and-mortar shop. For this reason, they rely on return policies and warranties to cover them if the item is defective or isn’t as they expected. According to Parcll, over 60% of consumers read through a return policy before making a purchase. It is an important part of the decision-making process, meaning that hidden or unsatisfactory return policies can lead shoppers are likely to abandon their carts. 

If you want to remove friction from your customer experience, not only is the buying flow crucial but also the return flow. First, you can review your return policy and ask yourself: is my return policy consumer-friendly enough? Does it push shoppers to hit the “buy” or “exit” button? A survey from ReBound found that 63% of shoppers expect a return policy to be at least 30 days, and 58% want a “no questions asked” return policy. Besides, 49% of online retailers provide free return shipping to their customers. Once you reviewed your return policy, the second step is to make it as easy to read and find as possible. 


Tip 6: Offer fraud protection

The rise of e-commerce brought its share of online scams and credit card frauds. Over the next decade, card fraud is estimated to cost the industry $408.50 billion (£342 billion) in losses globally. As a result, online shoppers are extra cautious when buying online. So much so that they do not hesitate to abandon their shopping cart if a website doesn’t show them enough proof of fraud protection. According to Baymard Institute, 18% of consumers are reluctant to surrender their credit card details to online stores they don’t trust. At the same time, e-commerce merchants face thousands of web attacks every day. Fraudulent online activities like identity theft, chargeback fraud, and account takeovers cost online retailers more than $20 billion (£16 billion) in 2021.  

Shoppers are easily deterred from completing their purchase if there is no SSL certificate, they don’t know your brand name, or the payment gateway is unfamiliar. If you have a weak fraud protection strategy, you should review it in the first place. You can enable 3D Secure, multi-factor authentication, and make sure you meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements to protect yourself and your customers. Once you have security protocols in place, it is important to show them on your website to build trust with your brand and encourage purchases. You can display trust logos from verified financial brands like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and PayPal. You can also promote your business as PCI compliant by showing the PCI DSS trust logo at checkout. 


Key takeaways

When you sell goods online, cart abandonment is part of the game. You cannot prevent every website visitor from hitting the “exit” button, yet you can drastically reduce cart abandonments caused by customer friction. Showing transparent prices, offering comprehensive payment, shipping, and return options, as well as making sure transactions are secure, can give you immediate results. On top of that, if you offer a smooth and seamless shopping journey, you will see customers not only finalizing their purchases but also coming back and recommending your products, which will help you build customer loyalty. 

By using Eurora’s Duty & Tax calculation service, you can show your customers the total price including taxes at checkout and reduce cart abandonments by being fully transparent. Learn more about Eurora’s Duty & Tax calculation service!  If you are a non-EU retailer selling to the EU, you can even collect the EU VAT from your customers at checkout with Eurora’s IOSS service to offer them a seamless shopping experience. Learn more about Eurora’s IOSS service!     


Do you want to know more about how Eurora can help you reduce your cart abandonments and level up your customers’ shopping experience? Get in touch with us!