Basket abandonment remains a big challenge for ecommerce retailers, with the latest stats suggesting a global abandonment rate of 76.9%.

Here are a few reasons why consumers typically abandon their online shopping – and how ecommerce marketers might counteract this behavior.

– Feeling pressured into making a purchase

Usually stripping the checkout process of all the unnecessary elements is a good idea. Stuff like top menu, sidebar, navigation, footer, etc.
But it can backfire if customers encounter the checkout process before they are ready to buy. Maybe they’re just researching yet. They could feel pressured and leave.
It depends on your funnel, your customer journey, and your product. It could go either way. So it’s best to test, not assume.

It also might be better to avoid forcing a too linear path, allowing people to go back to the site if they want.

– Using the shopping basket for research

52% of global shoppers prefer to research clothing and footwear purchases online, with this rising to 62% for electronics and 68% for books, music, and video games.

Unsurprisingly then, this is one of the biggest reasons for consumers abandoning their baskets without making a final purchase, with many planning to shop around on other ecommerce sites to ascertain the best price or service.

You could win them back with a good basket abandonment strategy and send them emails with an enticing offer.


This example from Kate Spade not only reminds them about abandoned items but also offers a 15% discount and shows more products they might like, maximizing the likelihood of customers coming back and completing the purchase.

– Intent to buy in the real world

Alternatively, consumers doing research online might abandon their basket with the aim of purchasing from a physical store (and not necessarily from the same retailer). In this case, retargeting or sending an email reminding them of their basket contents might not be enough.

In such cases consider offering alternative steps during the checkout process or when the user clicks away, such as “find this item in-store” or “save basket contents to a wish list.” That way, the shopper might be prompted to convert using an in-store pick up there and then.

– Lack of trust

When it comes to purchasing online, consumers need reassurances throughout the entire journey.

From my experiences, lack of trust is one of the top reasons for *not* buying. There is no such thing as too much trust. So every time you have a chance to increase the trust (and reduce the risk,) do it. Do it even if it feels like it’s too much.

How to increase trust? User reviews, SSL certificates, security badges, a clear total price of the product, no surprises, clear shipping cost (if there is any), and many more.


Here, although overall design is abysmal, not the reassuring elements: clear list of delivery methods and prices, Norton security badge, clear price breakdown, clear info about delivery dates, Google Customer Reviews badge. Good job!

– Frustration over delivery options

In a survey, nine in 10 respondents cited free shipping as the number one incentive to shop online. Unsurprisingly then, unexpected delivery costs are one of the top reasons consumers might change their mind at the point of checkout.

If delivery is not free, don’t hide the cost. Any surprises at the critical step of checkout turn off visitors.

As a parting thought, remember the fact that a large portion of checkout abandonment is normal user behavior and forcing users to convert will only make them feel more pressured and less likely to buy. They could be just browsing. For now. Let them do it and don’t push them. Or they might not come back when they’re ready to buy.


Why online shoppers abandon their baskets and how to stop them