Avoid these nine mistakes to reduce cart abandonment on your ecommerce website

It's easy to understand why so many people abandon their carts on e-commerce stores. There are too many choices, and it can be hard to find the right product. But if you're a small business owner, cart abandonment is bad for your bottom line. See how you can avoid losing customers with this blog post!

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TDLR: Shopping Cart Abandonment is one of the worst e-Commerce problems. It's so bad that some people have started to call it an epidemic, and I think they may be right.

One study found that in the year 2020, 88.05% of people who added items from a shopping website into their virtual shopping carts abandoned those carts before completing the transaction. These instances of shopping cart abandonment account for about 80% of sales, totaling $4 trillion in lost revenue worldwide.

Cart Abandonment might be a common issue, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it.

Customers do not complete their purchase for various reasons, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways you can reduce these numbers by avoiding these common pitfalls.

Cart Abandonment Reasons  | Source: Statista
Cart Abandonment Reasons  | Source: Statista

Here's entry #1 in our 3-blog series, where we'll give you actionable tips on eliminating mistakes that lead to increased shopping cart abandonment rates for your online store.

Through this insightful journey, you'll learn the ins and outs of shopping cart abandonment and how to offset inevitable losses from abandoned carts through simple tricks.

Slow Website Loading Speed

Slow sites are a severe blow to the e-commerce conversion rate. A page that takes more than four seconds to load will lose up to one-quarter of its visitors, and at eight seconds, the number jumps from 25% to 36%. It's no wonder these seemingly minor delays can have a highly negative impact on your conversion rate.

However, in this blog, we will mainly talk about checkout page mistakes that lead to 65.23% of shopping cart abandonment annually. If you wish to know more about how to tackle your website slowness, refer to this blogpost.

Checkout and Cart Page Optimization

One of the primary reasons why customers do not complete a purchase is a poorly designed checkout page and an inconvenient checkout process.

The checkout page is the final stage in any eCommerce store customer's journey with that company. It very well may make or break their decision to convert into buyers and eventually become regulars of yours (or not).

Once customers experience potential shortcomings on this particular part of the site, including anything from complex navigation structures to low-quality images. In that case, it becomes much easier for them to decide against putting items in their shopping cart.

75% of consumers rate your online store's credibility based on its design. Therefore, failing to optimize the design on cart pages can obstruct your customers' checkout process.

So, without much ado, let's find out some of the common mistakes that cause shopping cart abandonment and how you can rectify them.

Mistake #1: Failing to Offer a Guest Checkout Option

Sure, it's ideal for site visitors to leave their emails. It gives you additional data to help form your marketing campaigns and further personalize services.

However, making it mandatory for potential customers to create an account to make a purchase is an unnecessary roadblock in the purchasing journey. It's also bound to leave a bad taste in people's mouths because it's intrusive and inconvenient.

Allow Guest Checkout
Allow Guest Checkout

So, to reduce shopping cart abandonment, you must make it easy for customers to checkout without creating an account, i.e., 'Guest Checkout', is clearly visible on your cart page. And you'll want a specific CTA button for "Guest" checkout that stands out on the page. This simple provision can reduce shopping cart abandonment rates dramatically.

Mistake #2: Not Showing All the Necessary Product Information in the Cart

Around 68% of customers will abandon their shopping cart behind without making a purchase.

Now, wishlists are part of the consumer experience. But you want to make sure those virtual "window" shoppers eventually return and convert into paying customers.

Give those hesitant site visitors every reason to return by providing the essential information on the cart. This means including product title, product image, chosen product variant, size, quantity, price, and the remove button/icon.

Display Product Information during Checkout
Display Product Information during Checkout

The following elements aren't 100% necessary as the above ones, but they'll still go far in helping you reduce shopping cart abandonment:

  • As long as it's relevant, discounted or old prices will help.
  • Crucial information such as warranties or guarantees would also be valuable.

Mistake #3: Non-Clickable Product Images and Titles

Make the user experience more seamless by ensuring the product title and image are clickable. This small detail lets the visitor navigate back to the product page so they can do more research.

This simple trick has the power to increase the chances of a customer making an onsite purchase! In this way, you can reduce shopping cart abandonment .

Mistake #4: No Automatic Updates After a Quantity Change in the Cart

When customers change the quantity of an item in a cart, details should adjust automatically.

"Update Cart" or "Edit Cart" buttons only make the process irritating and inconvenient, so do not make the mistake of using them on your cart page. After all, adding actions to the purchasing process creates unnecessary obstacles and offers a clunky user experience. It may also encourage potential shoppers to abandon their carts. So, what's the right way to do it?

Let's make it easier for you with an example. This is how a bad UX design looks like! Here, the customer needs to manually update their carts in case of alteration during the checkout process.

Tedious Cart Update Process

When you don't have selectors and don't automatically update the cart, users will have to do three unnecessary actions: Click on the quantity input box → . Write the desired quantity of items → Click on the "Update cart" button.

On the other hand if you show selectors and automatically update the cart, then users will just need to make one click on selector inputs (plus or minus icons) to change the quantity of an item in their cart!

To understand better, look at the example below.

Easy Cart Update Process
Easy Cart Update Process

The customer's cart gets automatically updated with a simple click on the selector input button, i.e., the quantity box. This is a simple yet effective way to improve user's purchase experience.

Mistake #5: Designing an Invisible Call to action(CTA) Button

Your path to purchase should be clear and straightforward. The better your user experience (UX), the more sales you can expect to make. Clarity and simplicity are hallmarks of conversion rate optimization, so you mustn't get in the way with complicated messages or images on your pages, which may lead to shopping cart abandonment!

Your primary call-to-action (CTA) button must be the element on the page that stands out most.

In the instance of your cart page, you want people to navigate to the checkout. Neglecting to make the required CTA button visible and direct will impede a potential shopper's purchasing decision. And this notion holds even if the visitor was ready to buy something (or many things).

Make your CTA stand out on the page by following these guidelines:

  • The button's color should be unique, standing out from the other screen elements.
  • Design should remain consistent across all funnel stages--the button should always be the same color across each step.
  • Make sure the button's color scheme contrasts the overall background.
  • There should be enough white space around the button.
  • The button should be easy to notice and click--make it large.

Applying these simple tips to your eCommerce website will help you reduce shopping cart abandonment drastically.

Mistake #6: Not Making All Payment Methods Transparent

It's essential to show all available payment methods already on the cart page, so when shoppers reach the checkout process, they will know which payment methods can be used to pay for it. The easiest way to display this is to add an image that will contain well-known icons of all payment methods you support.  

Take into consideration that if you have multiple payment options (let's say 10). It doesn't make sense to show all of them. Instead, focus on the most typically used methods. You can analyze your purchase history data to see which payment types are used most at your online shop.

A poor display of payment options
A poor display of payment options

Ensure that the colors stand out for this picture, so people can see the methods your online store accepts. Something like this-

A good way of displaying payment methods
A good way of displaying payment methods

The above example looks much attractive and convenient because of the logo-oriented icons, which allow users to choose their payment options effortlessly.

Mistake #8: You Haven’t Added a “Free Shipping” Threshold

"Why incur shipping charges when you can just get it here?" is the new mantra of digital shoppers! A recent study found that expensive shipping costs were number one on a list of reasons people abandoned their carts. You might think this tactic to be harsh. Still, if done correctly and tactfully with consideration for your customers' needs (like including free returns), then even those who feel apprehensive about paying extra will find themselves asking, "why not?"

Use free shipping as an incentive to sell more products. In turn, the average order value will be increased along with overall sales revenues.

Let site visitors know about this offer by designing a banner throughout all screens of your eCommerce website. Also, promote the free shipping threshold right by CTA buttons or near the ATC buttons on product pages.

Leverage a feature that lets shoppers know how close they are to reaching the free shipping threshold by adding products to their cart. This will encourage customers to buy more items.

Introduce offers like free shipping/ buy 1 get 1 free
Introduce offers like free shipping/ buy 1 get 1 free

Upon filling the cart sufficiently, your visitors should receive a prominent notification to tell them they've reached the requirement. Have the messaging appear through the following two delivery methods:

  • A top notification
  • In the shipping information column, using the CTA button.

Applying this tactic may also increase your sales since free shipping is something we all love; therefore, customers may even an item or two to eliminate the shipping fees.

Mistake #9: You Don't Clarify Returns, Refunds, or Money-Back Guarantees

A crucial hurdle standing in front of online shoppers making purchases is potential risk factors. If you want to make your customers feel like they can trust their purchase, offer a clear and easy-to-find return policy. Be honest about the general limitations on returns so that shoppers don't have any surprises when it shows up at their door.

Conveying that refunds, returns, and exchanges are seamless and straightforward will make customer anxieties disappear about shopping with your online store.

According to the 2016 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, transparent return policies are essential for building trust. Here's what your potential customers want you to include in yours:

-An easy and hassle-free process like a pickup-from-door option. (36%)

-A policy with clearly defined limits on refunds or exchanges within a reasonable timeframe from the purchase date if necessary. (32%)

-Quick refunds credited to their bank account.(42%)

An excellent way to execute all of these is by adding a group of icons at the checkout process that informs all the policies briefly. You could also have a more sizeable section with more in-depth information about your return policies. Regardless of execution, ensure that it's located near the CTA button (e.g., below).

Transparent Return and Refund Policy
Transparent Return and Refund Policy

Your policy for returns shouldn’t distract users from CTA buttons. However, it needs to be easy to read and scan.

Mistake #10: Making the Discount Field too Visible

When shoppers see a prominent discount section that asks them to apply a code while checkout, they’re likely to search Google for a code.

What happens if they don’t find that code? They’ll - at the very least - be disappointed and distracted from the purchasing process. And since there’s no discount to apply, they’ll be discouraged from completing their transaction.

Make the discount section just noticeable enough. A small clickable text saying “ Click here if you have a discount code” will do the trick.
Once you click the option to enter the discount code:

Right way of displaying promo codes/ discount coupons
Right way of displaying promo codes/ discount coupons

This way, people with codes won’t have to scour the ends of the earth. And those without codes won’t be reminded that they aren’t getting a deal.  Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rates can get easy if you make it feel like a win-win situation for online shoppers by giving them discounts and free shipping, as well as making their buying experience more fun.

Mistake #11: There’s No Sense of Urgency

Unless a shopper needs a product, there’s always the chance to talk themselves out of a purchase. The fact is, shopping online is filled with distractions and delays, whether it’s a messenger alert, a riveting part of a podcast, or anything else.

It’s up to you to create a sense of urgency to complete purchases right now. Notifying users about time-limited discounts and special offers can encourage them to complete the transaction.

Urgency Triggers - Offer is reserved for 1 hour only
Urgency Triggers - Offer is reserved for 1 hour only

Here are a few tips on how to execute urgency triggers:

  • Limited time offers can be signified by countdown times.
  • Place urgency triggers strategically--countdown times for discounts should be located next to the discounted price. A timer for next-day shipping should be next to the "add to cart" button or shipping info.
  • Avoid false senses of urgency.

Trust me when I say, reducing shopping cart abandonment rates doesn't have to be complicated; learning and adapting these simple strategies for a seamless shopping experience can take you a long way in yielding customer loyalty.

Mistake #12: You Aren't Using Scarcity Triggers

A short supply of products/services makes them more attractive to shoppers because it proves that people want what's being offered. And by not having the product/service, users feel they are missing out.

Humans are drawn to purchasing something when it's limited or exclusive. It's introductory psychology. Highlight limited supplies on both product and cart pages for consistency with your scarcity triggers.

Scarcity Triggers - Only few items left in stock
Scarcity Triggers - Only few items left in stock

Remember to keep these elements near the appropriate sections, such as price and CTA buttons. Use different colors and sizes so that it grabs users' attention during the checkout process.

Mistake #13: You Have a "Continue Shopping" Button But Not Many Products.

Don't bother with the "continue shopping" button on the cart page if you only sell a few products. At that point, it only serves as a distraction.

Add this button to your cart page only if you have lots of products. This is a secondary action, only used by some shoppers. So, don't make it too dominant on a page--make it a clickable text and nothing more.

Mistake #14: Your Cart Page has a Cluttered Design Layout

A busy cart page increases a shopper's cognitive load, placing boundaries in front of their decision-making.

Keep your design economical and clean on the cart page. Please don't make it distracting with tons of elements.

Most cluttered website designs are a headache to deal with, and there is no way around it. Ever since the advent of e-commerce, people have been trying their best to streamline the checkout process on websites to make online shopping much more effortless.

Here are a few tips on how to keep things simple on the cart page:

  • The Checkout button should stand out the most.
  • Keep the background neutral in color.
  • Make product titles, variants, quantities, and similar elements visible--but not too large.
  • The most visible price on the page should be the subtotal.
  • Logically structure all information (e.g., product items, subtotal prices, CTA button).
Example of a clean checkout page - Nordstrom
Example of a clean checkout page - Nordstrom

Apply these simple ways and watch your shopping cart abandonment rate go down in no time.

How can LatticeAI help?

If you want to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate, you need a plan.

Most e-commerce sites try to solve this problem by sending boring notifications or generic emails to cart abandoners. But they don't work because they're not customized for your site's needs and goals. Also, sending just one abandoned cart recovery email or sending few emails but with clumsy designs won't help you either.

LatticeAI makes it effortless for you to get the best possible abandoned cart campaign series with the click of a button. Our campaigns are hyper-personalized for your store and your customer segments.

LatticeAI automatically generates personalized messages tailored specifically for your store based on the customer's actions. We also help increase conversions by adding design elements to the mails such as product images, text descriptions, call-to-action buttons (CTAs), etc., which can dramatically improve the overall user communication of your website (and boost sales) and reduce shopping cart abandonment.


In this blog post, we've explored eCommerce shopping cart abandonment and how it could be affecting your business. We also shared some simple ways to reduce these numbers, including making sure you have clear calls-to-action on product pages, cart page, and checkout pages, reconsidering where you place your 'add to cart button, and providing an option for a guest checkout page. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these simple ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment and watch your conversation rates skyrocket in just a few weeks.

Once you are done with the recommendations on this blog, don't worry! Our team is ready with our best tips for increasing conversion rates in eCommerce stores beyond this - by helping you with targeted campaigns customized for every customer segment that you might not have noticed earlier. Sign up today for a free trial!


What are the other ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment?

It's no secret that when people hit the end of a long shopping cart aisle, they often abandon their carts. Retailers are well aware and have come up with various ways to combat this problem that usually does not involve much effort on their part:

-Price matches other stores' prices online so shoppers can get what they want at your store without wasting time driving around town looking for it elsewhere. Offer free shipping over $X, promote customer loyalty programs like "reward points" and cashback, etc.

What is your No 1 cart abandonment solution for small businesses?

There are so many different ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment, each being creative in its way!

Make the checkout process seamless and minimize number of click to place an order - this must be the first thing to reduce the number of abandoned cart.

Why do customers abandon their shopping carts?

Customers abandon their shopping carts for various reasons. Some of them are:

Slow loading sites: The website takes more than five-ten seconds to load.

Sloppy design: Customers find the checkout pages too cluttered, or they're too hard to use.

Longer delivery times: When you need an item quickly, and it takes a long time for shipping, that'll kill the interest of every customer alive today.

High prices on certain items/lack of discounts or the brand do not offer free shipping.

How to offer free shipping without incurring shipping costs?

One way to keep shipping costs from throwing you for a loop is by partly adding them to the product price. This will help customers avoid sticker shock while checking out and make it easier on their wallets, too, when shopping online.

Which payment options are most widely used by customers?

The most commonly used payment options are credit card (43%), debit card (27%), PayPal and UPI(16%), and cash/(11%). With this in mind, it might be time to consider adding Venmo or Apple Pay as an option for payments on mobile.

Is it necessary to create an account on Shopify to prevent shopping cart abandonment?

These tips are for everyone who is looking for ways to reduce cart abandonment. With Shopify, you can easily start your own online store in no time. It provides all the features and apps that merchants need to build a successful e-commerce business. Their app store provides several cart abandonment solutions. Therefore, creating an account with them helps to lower abandoned carts without you having to do everything yourself.

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