Shopping cart abandonment is an epidemic in the ecommerce world.

Recent data shows the average cart abandonment rate is almost 70 percent. That means only 3 out of every 10 people who places an item in their cart actually buys it.

Cart abandonment comes with the territory of owning an ecommerce store, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Customers abandon shopping carts for all kinds of reasons, but many online store owners commit the same common mistakes that drive up unnecessary cart abandonments.

Are you making any of them?

If the answer is yes, those small mistakes might be blowing out your shopping cart abandonment numbers – meaning you’re losing sales.  Find out if you're making any of the mistakes from the list below and put fixing them at the top of your to-do list. 


#1: High Price Discrepancy

You know that feeling when you find out something you thought was too good to be true... is? That’s the last feeling you want to give customers. But it’s exactly what they feel when the price on a product’s description isn't the same as the price on the checkout page.

There are a lot of things that can cause high price discrepancy.

  • State taxes
  • Extra fees
  • Shipping

Sometimes, as an online store owner, you’re boxed into a corner here. If that sounds like you, there are still a few things you can do to help mitigate sticker shock on the checkout page.

The most important step is to begin setting customer expectations as soon as possible. Be upfront on the product page and in the shopping cart about anything that will add to the list price, including shipping charges.


#2: Lengthy, Complicated Checkout Process

We’ve all been shopping in a brick and mortar store and headed to the checkout... only to find a mile-long line. A long, complicated checkout process is the ecommerce version of this.

  • Unnecessary information fields
  • Required account creation
  • Unclear requirements

A million small annoyances can add up to one frustrating checkout experience. Frustrated shoppers abandon their carts – leave them in the middle of an aisle, filled to the brim.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Take pains to cut out any part of the checkout process that isn’t vital – this isn't the place to upsell or collect customer information. Above all, lay out the process in a clear, easy-to-follow way – so customers always know where they stand.


#3: Mobile-Unfriendly Shopping Cart

As of this year, mobile shopping accounts for more than a third of all retail ecommerce. And that number will only grow. If your mobile shopping cart isn’t designed for smartphones, you’re losing business, plain and simple.

Mobile-unfriendly shopping carts are clunky, hard to follow, and slow. Mobile users are impatient – even more so than their desktop counterparts. A slow mobile cart is like a death sentence for your online store.

Streamlining your checkout process (like we mentioned in the last section) is a good start. A user-friendly mobile cart also cuts out clutter and keeps the mobile experience in mind. That means optimizing for “taps” instead of clicks and making navigation seamless.


#4: Slow Loading Website

Those of us who’ve been around the block on the internet are well acquainted with the loading wheel. It spins and spins while our patience wanes. Our patience with this little wheel has dropped off as our expectations of websites and online stores has grown.

Today, we expect websites to load in no time – and many of us give up after about 20 seconds. As screens get smaller, so does that number. That means if your mobile shopping cart isn’t fast, it’s a liability.

  • Cut down on design elements,
  • Use smaller image files, and
  • Invest in high-speed hosting.

These are all good ways to ensure your shopping cart is running at peak performance.


#5: Letting Payment Insecurity Slide

As consumers, we’re used to trusting ecommerce retailers with sensitive data – like credit cards and bank account numbers. But thanks to recent, high-profile breaches, we still have a healthy dose of skepticism about who we trust with our financial data.

Online store owners should take pains to ensure the privacy and security of sensitive customer data, but that alone isn't enough. You also need to communicate those efforts, so customers feel safe handing over their data in the first place.

A payment page without third party security assurances is a red flag for many consumers. If they can't trust you with payment information – you guessed – they abandon their carts. In a recent survey, 18% of respondents cited payment security concerns as the reason for abandonment.

That’s why it’s important to include both robust security measures and third party verification on your payment page. Accepting payment options like PayPal (that allow users to pay without disclosing any sensitive information) is good practice, too.


Don’t Let Small Mistakes Cost You

Shopping cart abandonment happens, but it’s important for online store owners to mitigate the number of potential sales lost to abandonment. If you’re making any of the common mistakes above, you have an easy fix to bring your cart abandonment rate down – so get to it!

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