Conversion Rate Optimization

3 Main Reasons for Cart Abandonment and How to Treat Them

For every eCommerce marketer, cart abandonment is one of the most painful areas.

But before finding the right cure, let’s get clear on what Cart Abandonment Rate (CAR) is and how to calculate it.

CAR is an indicator that reveals the number of visitors who had the intention to complete the purchase but ended up by NOT doing it.

Here’s the formula:


According to  recent research by The Baymard Institute, 67.91% is the average Cart Abandonment Rate. And depending on the vertical you’re in it can go from 60% up to 80%.

The same study shows that an average of 35.26% increase in conversion rate is possible by doing checkout design optimization only.

What does this mean in terms of money? If we take into account that the eCommerce sales from US and EU amount to $738 billion (source: eMarketer, 2015) a 35.26% increase in conversion rates means a whopping $260 billion worth of recoverable lost sales.

And this can be achieved by solely working on better checkout flow & design.


[giph source]

But there are so many other ways to tackle cart abandonment rate, we’ll get to them in a minute. Before this just think for a moment:

What you could do with $260 billion?

With this money, you could buy almost all the products and services offered by the countries of Romania and Sri Lanka. (As of Dec 2015 Romania’s GDP was $177.85 billion and Sri Lanka’s $82.32 billion.) [source]

In case you’re wondering, here’s how Romania and Sri Lanka look like on the map.

reasons for cart abandonment


So that’s a lot of money that could be recovered by the eCommerce businesses solely due to cart design optimization.

Now that we got a clear picture of how big of an impact cart abandonment rate has, let’s see what are

The Main Causes of Cart Abandonment


[Graph source]

In the next section, we’ll address the first three from this top. If you want to see what we suggest for each of these reasons and how we can help you reduce your cart abandonment rate, you can jump right >>here<<.

If you’re still here, read on. We know every problem bears inside the seeds of its solution so let’s go through the 3 biggest reasons for cart abandonment and their remedies:

#1 Reason –  “Extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees)” (61%) 

Solution: Pricing is a very sensitive topic for customers. They want to know how much they have to pay for the products they’ve ordered. So you need to clearly state any extra costs before reaching the checkout page.

Ideally, provide free shipping above a certain amount and include any taxes in the product price itself.

In this final step of their journey, assure customers there are no extra taxes and what they see it’s all they have to pay. Display an easy method to calculate the total price, including the product price and shipping costs.

#2 Reason – “The site required creating an account” (35%)

Solution: Allow people to submit orders as guests. Forcing them to signup for an account before being able to buy would only deter them to complete the order.

Just think about the last time you were forced to sign-up on a website before you decided that you wanted to buy or spend more time there. You probably left without looking back.

Or do you remember when your parents forced you to clean up your room when all you wanted was to go outside and play? You hated it, right?

So don’t make your visitors relive the same frustration. Just don’t do it and you’ll see your sales increase.

#3 Reason – “The checkout process is too complicated/long” (27%)

Solution: We live in an era of information overload when humans have the shortest attention span ever. Like shorter the one of a goldfish. A study by Microsoft carried in Canada discovered the average attention span had decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015.

What happened during these years? Smartphones. There’s nothing we can do to fix this, but we should keep it in mind when designing our websites.

If you make your visitors work too much through the checkout process, you’ll lose most of them. Make sure to eliminate any requirements that are not necessary for completing the checkout.

-Reduce the number of form fields

-Delete links that point to other pages of the website (think navigation menu & footer links)

-Have a clear progress bar in place

-Make the form interactive so that you provide instant gratification.

If you want to see our suggestions for every single one of the issues that cause high CAR click here<<.

Otherwise here are some real results we obtained for three different companies in industries like women fashion, biotechnology, and high priced food by applying Omniconvert tools and strategies.

We used A/B testing, surveys and web personalizations based on thorough research and data analysis before launching each of these experiments.

AVON – A targeted Web Personalization increased the conversion rate by 96% on a product category page



-A conversion rate increase of 96.63%

-Green-eyes page: 111 times more views

-Brown-eyes page: 292 times more views

-Black-eyes page: 89 times more views

-Blue-eyes page: 73 times more views

AliveCor – A/B testing the CTA resulted in a 27.39% increase in revenue

AliveCor control variation


-Uplift of +2.46% on add to cart rate.

-Revenue increased by +27.39% on variation.

-Conversion rate increased by +25.74%

-Engagement increased with a +5.82% uplift

GetMaineLobster – A Survey with objection treatment personalizations created a 51% conversion rate uplift

GetMaineLobster survey


-Successful re-engagement to exit visitors

-An increase of 51% in conversion rates

-Additional 7% revenue generated from exit visitors

-Increase in email leads by 9%

Wrapping – up

CAR – Cart Abandonment Rate – is one of the main issues that affect the eCommerce world, no matter the industry, the size of the business or the country of residence. Billions of dollars are lost every year because visitors abandon their shopping carts before finalizing their purchase.

Among all the causes that contribute to an increased CAR, the main three are extra costs too high or hidden, missing guest login option and a too complicated/long checkout process.

For every reason that hinders a prospective buyer away, there are multiple solutions that we, at Omniconvert, apply with great success for our clients.

You too can reduce cart abandonment and increase your sales using tools such as surveys, A/B testing or web personalization. Start here.

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