4 Reasons Your Shopify Customers are Abandoning their Carts (With Solutions)

Kimberlee Meier
written by
Kimberlee Meier
last updated
June 26, 2019
4 Reasons Your Shopify Customers are Abandoning their Carts (With Solutions)

No matter how many visitors you get to your store, over half of them are going to leave without buying anything. 

According to the Baymard Institute, an average of 69% of website visitors abandon their purchase, and only 2.86% of e-commerce website visits result in a purchase. That’s a lot of lost sales. 

dropshipping website, Oberlo.

And the reason? Well, visitors aren’t happy with their checkout experience. They’re either being hit with extra costs, asked to create an account to complete a purchase, or the whole thing is just too complicated.

It’s not all bad news for Shopify owners, though. There are ways to swing the statistics in your favor and get more people buying from your store. 

Let’s dive into four of the top reasons customers abandon their carts-and ways you can stop it from happening. 

E-commerce customers love free shipping. In fact, they’re willing to abandon their entire purchase if they’re lumped with a shipping fee during their checkout process. 

A study by Walker Sands found that only 15% of US e-commerce customers were happy with the shipping options they were given. The same study found that 79% of US consumers would be more likely to shop online if they were given free shipping. 

Okay, offering free shipping might not seem like a big deal to you. And it might be tempting to drop your prices to lure customers into purchasing more, then passing the shipping cost onto them. However, doing this might be doing more harm than good-and causing customers to abandon their carts at the checkout.

Not offering free shipping isn’t the only killer, though. If you aren’t being transparent about your shipping costs along a customer’s buying journey, this will also hurt your chances of scoring a sale. 

Transparency goes a long way in a Shopify sale. If you aren’t being upfront with your customers from start to finish about exactly how much their purchase is going to cost, the most likely they are to ditch their cart, and never return. 

You don’t have to have free shipping to crush it in the e-commerce market (although it helps). What will help your store, though, is being upfront with your customers, so they’re not hit with unexpected costs when they get to the checkout.

This is what Shopify merchants call “price shock,” and transparency is the only way to stop this from happening. 

And before you say it—no, your FAQ page isn’t enough to stop your customers from scoffing at additional costs. It’s your job as a merchant to make their customer journey easy to navigate, and that includes giving them as much information as possible, in any way you can. 

A plugin like ChipBot can solve this problem—automatically. 

The app acts as an automatic live-chat on every page in your store. It answers commonly asked questions about shipping and returns and works as a virtual sales assistant when a customer scrolls to a particular section of a page. 

For example, if a customer is scrolling on a product page, you can set the plugin to automatically alert the customer that the particular product doesn’t qualify for free shipping. This might not be ideal for the customer, but what it does do is reduce the price shock when they get to the checkout with their other items. 

Pro-tip: If you’re going to make a customer pay for shipping, think about putting a shipping calculator on the product page. This way, they’ll know exactly how much it will cost for the item to reach them, which makes it easier for them to make a buying decision. 

Okay, so we’ve established that a lack of clarity is one of the biggest ways to lose a sale.

Trust messages, in this case, aren’t limited to security logos and privacy policies near the “Complete order” button, but in some cases, just bringing a little extra clarity where you’re asking the visitor to make a decision.

We’re talking about being upfront about your return policy and delivery time, and making it crystal clear at every step of their checkout process. To nail this, you need to give the customer every tool they need to get in touch with you if they have a question before they’re willing to purchase.

That means, your store needs to have on display (at all times)

  • Easy to locate contact information
  • Clear shipping/return policies (using ChipBot or something similar helps a ton with this)
  • Testimonials and Reviews from other customers

Sometimes, customers just need to know that you’re there to help at any point in the checkout process (even if they don’t need it). 

So, holding their hand throughout the checkout process and offering them customer service whenever they need can be surprisingly helpful in reducing abandoned carts. 

Take e-commerce store Simply Hike. It feels like every page of their website offers up whatever information a customer will ever need to help them make their purchase. 

Their homepage is clear about shipping, returns, and price checks: 

When you add a product to your basket, you know where you stand with sizing and delivery, and there is a CTA for customer service if the customer needs it:

Finally, at the checkout, the store’s payment gateways are made clear, along with checkout login options, return and shopping policies, and once again, access to customer service: 

Having this level of support and transparency at every stage of the checkout process can reduce the number of customers abandoning their carts through confusion, or worse, frustration. 

We’re going to say it: customers are lazy. And their time is precious. 

You need to make it as easy for them as possible to make a purchase. Making them create a whole account just to purchase a product from your store is not high on the list for nailing this one. 

According to a study by WebHostingBuzz, e-commerce merchants who require customers to hand over their email addresses, names and other data (not to mention remember another password), actually put off their customers from making a purchase. 

Yep, making your customers create an account before they’re able to purchase is driving them away from your store. 

Social logins are a customer’s answer to a quicker purchase, which can only be a good thing for merchants. 

A study of checkout forms by Baymard Institute found users thought that 61 of the top 100 e-commerce sites were asking for “seemingly unnecessary” information. And 77 percent of users agree that websites that have social logins as an option is an excellent way to solve the registration dilemma.  

If you haven’t started using social logins out of fear you’ll be missing out on precious data you can use for marketing campaigns—think again. Any social login that a customer uses gives you access to crucial data like their email address or Facebook profile. 

If anything-you’re remarketing efforts will thank you for moving to a social login system. 88% of shoppers who have to create a new account to purchase a product fill in the form with incorrect data. That’s a lot of wasted time and effort on dead-end email addresses. 

An app like Oxi Social Login can get social logins up and running on your Shopify store in minutes. 

Using the app, you’re able to pick what social logins you’re happy for your customers to use to make a purchase, and then customize the color pattern to integrate into your store. Easy!

Let’s strip this one back. 

In the US alone, e-commerce fraud rose by 30% in 2017, and overall, 16.7 million Americans reported they were victims of identity fraud. That’s 6.64 percent of the US population. 

Now more than ever, shoppers are hungry for more security around online purchases. 

As an online merchant, customers put a lot of faith into handing over their card details to you to receive their products. A Actual Insights survey found that around 61% of people didn’t make a purchase because the store didn’t have a trust logo was present, and over 75% said they didn’t buy because they didn’t recognize the logo used.

And if they don’t trust you? They’re abandoning their carts and finding another store that they do. Simple.

The introduction of valid SSL certificates has done a little bit to curb this. If an SSL certificate is out of date or not installed properly, your customers will see a warning message when they click on your site, telling them it’s not secure. This is a massive red flag that you’re store isn’t a safe zone. 

But a lot of anxiety runs through a customer’s thought process when you ask for their card details:

  • “Why do you need my phone number?”
  • “Are you going to call me when I don’t want you to?”
  • “Can I trust you with my credit card number?”
  • “Is my information secure with you?”
  • “Am I really getting the best deal?
  • “Will you sell my email?”
  • “Am I going to get a bunch of spam from you now?”
  • “Will you pick up the phone after I buy your product?”
  • “Will I get bamboozled, swindled, or be featured on one of those news stories about a huge scam around your company ?!”

The only way to overcome these objections is by winning over the customer’s trust. And fast. 

Like anything with Shopify, this can be done super quickly with an app. 

Using the Trust Badge app, you can add whatever trust logos you want to your Shopify store (for free) to reduce any buying anxiety you customer might have.

All you need to do is add any badges that are relevant to your payment gateways, customize their colors so they fit in with your store, and enable the “activate badge” toggle at the top of the page. 

That’s it. Your trust badges will then show on your product pages, directly below your add to cart button:

If you’re thinking the only way to stop customers abandoning their carts in your Shopify store is by sifting through a ton of hacks and adding exit-pop ups, think again.

A lot of customers ditch their carts for the same reasons they would leave a brick and mortar store without making a purchase: the prices are too high, there were fees they didn’t know about, or they don’t trust the payment setup. 

The key to reducing car abandonment is two-fold: you need to make the checkout process as simple as possible for the customer, and you need to be as transparent as possible about what their total bill is going to be. 

No hacks. Just a more honest store experience for your customer. And as a merchant, more sales for your bottom line. 

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Kimberlee Meier
Kimberlee Meier

Kimberlee Meier is a B2B/SaaS Content Writer who helps start-ups fuel their growth through quality, evergreen content.

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