Derek Cikes, Commercial Director at Payflex, identifies ten reasons for online shopper cart abandonment so that merchants can address the issues head-on and get those carts through checkout.

1. Extra costs are too high (shipping, tax, fees)

53% of online shoppers say they abandon their cart because they’re faced with extra costs at checkout that they did not budget for. International shipping fees can be exorbitant, and some payment gateways have fees attached to them.


Try to lock down the best shipping rates available. There are many shipping forwarders who can secure the best rates from global courier companies and do the negotiating for you. Securing lower shipping costs and easy customs clearance will save your customer money and alleviate your own custom logistics woes. 

On the topic of payment gateway fees, the simple solution is to have payment solutions that don’t have any fees. These do exist and it’s a no brainer to include them at checkout.  It’s a must-have if you want to create a frictionless checkout experience. 

2. The site wanted me to create an account

31% of online shoppers said they abandoned their carts because the site wanted them to create an account. You can understand this: having so many accounts can be daunting for any online shopper and convincing them to make your store one of them is difficult.


The online way to tackle this problem is to make the experience of creating an account as frictionless as possible. Perhaps make a promise in your call to action that an account can be created in less than 45 seconds – and mean it. 

3. Complicated checkout process

23% of online shoppers said they abandon their carts because the checkout process was too cumbersome. This is a travesty and no online store should lose customers on account of a complicated checkout process.


Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. The kiss approach covers a lot of areas and for a frictionless checkout experience, it’s the best advice we can give. Keep your checkout process to 5 simple steps: checkout, delivery details, payment details and confirmation. Studies confirm that the top 100 ecommerce sites use 5 steps so if your site has more, you need to adjust it. Adding a visual progress indicator to the checkout experience is also known to enhance the user’s journey through checkout.

4. I couldn’t see/calculate total order cost upfront

20% of online shoppers said they abandon their cart because they couldn’t properly calculate their order costs upfront. This is clearly a UX problem that needs fixing.


You’ll have to go back to the UX drawing board and work out why your customers are having difficulty with this. There is clearly a transparency issue that needs to be addressed. Simplicity and transparency are the most vital elements at checkout. 

5. I didn’t trust the site with my credit card details

17% of online shoppers said they abandon their carts because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card details. Creating a trustworthy brand upfront is crucial to your business’s success.


You can easily address this in your FAQs section or by adding your security provider logos to your checkout page or homepage to pre-address your customers concern.

6. Delivery was too slow

16% of online shoppers said they abandon their carts or cancel their orders on account of delivery being too slow. Although it seems like a shipping pain point, the real problem here is probably stock-related.


We understand that the model for a profitable online business often means only ordering stock upon request for that item. It keeps your overheads low and you’re your risk in check but if it starts becoming a major contributor to your cart abandonment, you’ll need to change your strategy, at least for your most popular items.

7. Website had errors/crashed

15% of online shoppers abandon their carts because the website crashes or has errors along the checkout process. Truly nothing could be more frustrating for a customer.


A robust infrastructure, reliable servers and a strong team of software developers can ensure this never happens to your site. It becomes especially important during busy seasons such as Black Friday and Christmas shopping. You need to be consistently ready for high volumes of traffic.

8. Return policy wasn’t satisfactory

10% of online shoppers abandoned their carts because of a returns policy that didn’t meet their needs. This can be tricky to address and find the balance between mitigating your risks and keeping your customers happy.


This can be a hard problem to solve, especially if you’re a new online store trying to attract new shoppers and build your name and your brands. It should be addressed to a degree but sometimes you need to apply the 80/20 principle and if only 10% of shoppers abandon their carts on account of you mitigating your returns risks, then perhaps it is commercially sounder to dig in your heels. 

9. There weren’t enough payment methods

6% of online shoppers said they abandon their carts because there were not enough payment options. 

What can you do about it?

Your online store should be exploring innovative ways to offer payment solutions that don’t drive your customers into debt. The credit card model is archaic and perpetuates a destructive buying cycle that is often short-lived. Interest-free payment solutions are a global phenomenon known as the Buy Now, Pay Later movement and they’re revolutionising the way online shoppers pay. 

10. The credit card was declined

4% of online shoppers abandon their carts because their credit cards get declined. There is not much you can actively do about this pain point, but it is still worth a mention as it’s important to know.


Give them the option of a payment solution that does not rely on the balance of their credit card. It would be short-sighted to simply address the problem with yet another credit-based payment solution. The only outcome will be a debt-ridden customer who can’t return to your store because of a growing credit crisis.

We hope that the above reasons for cart abandonment and the relevant solutions will help you to increase your sales and ultimately become a leader in your ecommerce marketplace.

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