The Top 5 Checkout Abandonment Reasons and How to Combat Them

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The Top 5 Checkout Abandonment Reasons and How to Combat Them


Ecommerce stores are focused on increasing traffic, creating a great shopping experience, and designing an intuitive shopping cart system. Many don’t realize that they are missing out on sales and could be making more of those efforts by applying best practices for addressing customers that leave checkout.

To make the most of your checkout and advertising efforts, you want more customers converting. The best way to do this is to first understand why customers are leaving and address these problems head on. To help you do that, we’ve compiled a list of the top five reasons customers abandon checkout, outlining the impact that reason has and strategies for combating abandoned checkouts.

Top 5 checkout abandonment reasons

Depending on your industry or niche market, customers abandon checkout for different reasons. It’s always important to track relevant metrics and measure analytics to help you identify where customers leave and potentially understand why. To do this effectively, you’ll need to know the difference between checkout and cart abandonment.

Shopping cart abandonment is when customers abandon the checkout after adding an item to their shopping cart; checkout abandonment is when customers abandon the checkout after initiating the payment process and advance beyond just adding an item to their virtual cart. This post will cover the top reasons for checkout abandonment; but we have another post covering the top reasons for cart abandonment. You should address both to reduce abandonment rates across your entire checkout.

Across industries, there are a number of common reasons for cart abandonment, as found in Baymard Institute’s collection of over 41 studies on cart abandonment. Below are the top 5 reasons for cart abandonment, which are likely to be impacting your ecommerce business in some way. Regardless of your checkout abandonment rate, you should use the best practices below to reduce the existing abandonment rate.

1. High additional costs at checkout

Customers that have browsed an item and added it to their cart have done so based on the cost of the item and the value they think they are getting. Adding fees at checkout makes them start this process over, rethinking the value of the purchase. If there are too many additional fees that were not indicated before, customers are likely to leave checkout to find a better option.

Best practice: Provide as much pricing information as you can before checkout – when customers are browsing and when items are in cart – so customers know the full costs upfront. Give customers full pricing details on the shopping cart page and potentially on product detail pages as well. Use customer zip codes to estimate shipping costs upfront and display the total order value.

2. Account creation required to buy

Screenshot with account creation and guest checkout options available

Increasing conversions means perfecting your sales funnel and motivating customers to buy. Forcing customers to register with your service and create an account does the exact opposite, creating a barrier to buy and at the very least slowing down their process.

Best practice: Never force customers to register or create an account in order to buy and always offer guest checkout options that are easy and accessible. Instead, follow up with customers to register after they’ve made a purchase using incentives and a way for them to track their order.

3. Checkout is too long and complicated

Online shopping is meant to be quick and painless, saving customers time in-store and making the process efficient. A long, complex checkout makes it difficult for customers to complete payment and slows them down. It can even cause people to abandon their checkout and look for a better experience on another online store.

Best practice: Consistently improve your checkout user experience to make it faster and reduce complications during the payment process. Eliminate any unnecessary form fields, optimize the design of your form fields, and continuously make improvements to provide shoppers with the fastest checkout possible.

4. Do not trust security to protect credit card details

Screenshot of security badges being displayed during checkout

Customers are wary of where their credit card (and other financial) details are stored – especially when shopping online. Adequate security is an essential piece of your ecommerce store, as customers will seek a safe platform if yours isn’t.

Best practice: Always provide high-level security for customers when operating an ecommerce store and allowing online payments. Ensure you require CVV/CVC pins for credit card payments and follow all other PCI compliance guidelines. Make the security on your checkout clear to customers by displaying trust seals throughout.

5. Slow delivery or inadequate shipping options

Unlike a brick and mortar store, shipping and delivery logistics are a main component of the online shopping experience. Customers expect fast delivery options, fair shipping prices, and for all to go smoothly as part of the experience.

Best practice: Give customers a variety of shipping options, so they can choose their preferred method. When possible, let customers personalize delivery dates, packaging, and more to ensure they order through your ecommerce store.

Checkout abandonment has a big impact on your bottom line, decreasing conversions and hurting your revenue. Now that you know the main checkout abandonment reasons, you can properly address these on your platform. Perfect your checkout with Bolt for a better user experience, greater security, and a faster process that gives customers a better payment process, amounting to more ecommerce conversions.

Bolt’s checkout follows best practices for checkout optimization, enabling customers to checkout twice as fast as competitors without compromising on security. Our platform is continuously optimized to give customers a great checkout and improve sales. Our checkout process is so secure, we offer a 100% guarantee on fraudulent chargebacks, so you need not worry. We use payment, input, and user behavior indicators to detect and identify fraud, reducing it’s impact while at the same time approving more valid orders, which reduces fraud losses.


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