19 min read

What is Checkout Abandonment & 11 Ways to Reduce It

Checkout abandonment is a crucial problem that you shouldn't underestimate.

A customer becomes interested in adding products to their cart, proceeds to checkout, and vanishes without purchasing. To avoid that, you should focus on checkout abandonment reasons and strategies.

We explained what checkout abandonment is, why potential customers abandon their carts, and 11 effective strategies to recover those lost carts.

Let's explore them together and start reducing checkout abandonment!

What is Checkout Abandonment?

Checkout abandonment is about a customer initiating the checkout process but not purchasing anything.

It occurs when a potential buyer adds items to their online shopping cart but fails to complete the purchase or decides not to do so.

This phenomenon is common and poses a significant challenge for e-commerce businesses of all sizes.

It can emerge as a massive problem for companies striving for seamless conversions, so considering it and applying strategies to reduce checkout abandonment is crucial.

According to GoCardless’ article, the average abandonment rate is 69.99%, and a good checkout abandonment rate is less than 40%.

How to Calculate Checkout Abandonment Rate?

Determining your checkout abandonment rate is achievable through manual calculations using data from conventional website analytics tools.

You can use tools like Google Analytics to get the data of checkout abandonment.

Use the following formula to calculate the checkout abandonment rate:

Checkout abandonment rate = 1 - # of orders completed/# of orders initiated x 100

Checkout Abandonment vs. Cart Abandonment

an illustration of a laptop screen with abandoned checkout in an e-commerce setting

Though they might look similar, there are a few differences between cart abandonment and checkout abandonment.

Let's quickly compare cart abandonment vs. checkout abandonment.

Cart abandonment occurs when customers add items to their shopping cart but leave the website before the checkout process begins.

Reasons for cart abandonment can range from simple window shopping, comparison shopping, or distractions and may not necessarily indicate a lack of interest in the products.

People who abandon their carts might be simply browsing or comparing prices with competitors.

On the other hand, checkout abandonment refers to customers who proceed to the checkout stage but don't complete the final purchase.

At this stage, the customer has already shown a serious intent to buy, making checkout abandonment a critical phase to address.

Unlike cart abandonment, checkout abandonment states that your audience seriously wants to buy your product since they have already decided to go through the checkout process.

The reasons for checkout abandonment can be related to payment problems they encounter during checkout, the poor user experience, or various concerns about security, shipping, etc.

8 Reasons Why Customers Abandon the Checkout

There might be many reasons, concerns, and problems that can lead to customers leaving their checkout.

Knowing why customers abandon checkout can help you handle this properly.

We listed eight reasons why customers abandon the checkout below so that you can have a better understanding of checkout abandonment!

1. High & Unexpected Shipping Costs

Unexpected and high shipping expenses are among the main reasons why people abandon checkout.

These expenses can be a major turn-off for customers as they want a clear route with no unexpected shipping costs.

To handle this, you can make your shipping costs transparent from the start.

Consider free shipping thresholds or flat-rate options to keep the journey cost-effective and straightforward.

2. Complicated & Lengthy Checkout Process

a man checking a laptop screen and an illustration of an abandoned checkout

According to Baymard's research on cart abandonment, 18% of people abandon checkout due to a long or complicated checkout process.

Overwhelming checkout can lead to frustration and abandonment during the checkout process. You need to keep your checkout process simple and direct to prevent this.

If you don't want to lose customers who once were interested in your products, you need to provide them with efficiency during checkout.

A one-page checkout reduces frustration and increases the likelihood of a successful transaction.

3. Lack of Trust or Security Concerns

If customers detect insecurity in your transaction process, they'll quickly leave the checkout.

Ensure your payment gateways are secure, display trust badges prominently, and make your commitment to data protection crystal clear.

Pay attention to providing a secure checkout process, and state that you value your customer's privacy and security.

4. Unexpected Additional Fees

Hidden charges are one of the biggest turn-offs for customers. Surprise fees can make customers reconsider their purchase.

You should lay all cards on the table from the beginning and clearly communicate taxes, handling charges, or any other fees upfront.

Transparency builds trust and avoids unwelcome surprises.

5. Mobile Checkout Challenges

According to XP2's research, the checkout page sees the highest percentage of abandoners on mobile devices, with rates of 77.34%, compared to 65.75% on tablets and 61.42% on desktops.

As mobile shopping becomes increasingly popular, an overwhelming mobile checkout process can lead to abandonment.

Ensure your website is mobile-responsive, and optimize the checkout experience for smaller screens.

6. Lack of Guest Checkout Option

According to Baymard's article 25% of people who abandoned checkout stated that the site wanted them to sign up for an account.

Forcing customers to create an account before checkout can be a significant barrier. Include a guest checkout option to make the process smoother for first-time shoppers.

You can allow them to complete their purchase without creating an account to increase the chances of conversion.

7. Lack of Payment Options

Customers value flexibility when it comes to payment. They may hesitate to complete their purchase if your checkout offers only a restricted set of payment methods or lacks popular options.

A lack of digital wallets or alternative payment gateways during checkout can quickly change your customers' minds.

Ensuring diverse payment options is key to keeping customers on the road to conversion.

Offering a variety of choices not only answers diverse customer needs but also minimizes the chances of abandonment due to limited payment flexibility.

8. Website Performance Errors and Crashes

Website errors and crashes can disrupt checkout.

One significant consequence of website errors is the fear of data loss. Crashes during the checkout process may bring uncertainty about the security of customer data, potentially leading them to abandon their carts.

To prevent this, invest in robust website hosting, implement security protocols, and assure customers of data protection.

Websites not optimized for various devices, especially on mobile platforms, can encounter errors, resulting in a poor user experience.

Apart from performance errors, your website's load times are also important. If your website suffers from slow load times, it frustrates customers and impacts their trust in your platform.

Optimizing performance and reducing load times is important to reduce checkout abandonment.

11 Ways to Reduce Checkout Abandonment

Once you learn why your customers leave checkout, you should take action to achieve your goals. Trying out various methods to recover abandoned carts can be useful.

Let's explore 11 tips and techniques about how to reduce checkout abandonment!

1. Optimize the Checkout Process

an illustration of a virtual shopping cart filled with various products

You can reduce the checkout process to a single page for simplicity. Fewer steps can minimize the likelihood of customer frustration and abandonment during checkout.

A streamlined process enhances the user experience and encourages users to complete their purchases.

Also, you can reduce form fields and required information during checkout. Pay attention to only collecting essential information to minimize customer effort.

As fewer form fields mean quicker completion, you can experience higher conversion rates and lower checkout abandonment rates.

Collecting more data about customers to create more specific segmentation can make sense for you, but simplifying the user journey by asking only for the necessary details can make the checkout process a breeze.

2. Provide Reasonable Shipping Costs or Free Shipping

Transparency builds trust and eliminates surprises during checkout. That's why you need to display your shipping costs clearly and explain them early in the customer's journey.

Be upfront about shipping costs to set clear expectations and foster customer trust from the beginning.

Flat-rate shipping provides a predictable cost, encouraging customers to proceed. Also, you can offer free shipping for orders above a specific number.

Reward larger purchases with free shipping or provide a flat-rate option for predictable and appealing shipping costs.

free shipping popup example with a coupon code that says “Don’t leave empty handed”

You can show a popup like this one for your free shipping offers and recover abandoned carts.

Add an engaging headline like "Don't leave empty-handed" and include a call-to-action button to make the process smoother.

By segmenting your audience, you can show a popup to certain segments to offer free shipping. Also, including a coupon code for free shipping can be useful as well.

3. Build Trust with Secure Payment & Trust Badges

Security is a top concern for online shoppers. That's why you need to prioritize secure payment options and visibly showcase your commitment to their data protection.

Choose reputable payment gateways to ensure transaction security. Display trust badges prominently to signal a secure shopping environment.

trust badge popup example with secure payment options

In order to answer trust and security questions, you can display a trust badge using a popup like this one.

You can add your secure payment options with their icons, state the details briefly, and include a CTA button at the bottom of your popup.

4. Display Clear & Concise Product Information

To leave no questions in your customers' minds during checkout, ensure that you display clear and concise product information.

Provide detailed product details and high-quality images. That way, you can eliminate uncertainties by presenting a clear picture of what customers are purchasing.

You can include small product images, product titles, size details, and other crucial information during the checkout page.

By doing that, you can help your customers to see what they are purchasing clearly, and they can smoothly complete their checkout.

5. Include Exit-Intent Popups

Exit-intent popups are great for capturing the attention of leaving customers. You can display popups when customers show signs of leaving the site.

To recover checkout abandonment, offer exclusive discounts or incentives and recommend products to encourage them to reconsider.

Well-timed popups can turn hesitation into a successful conversion.

exit intent popup example that says “wait”

Using a popup like this one can be helpful in offering irresistible offers and encouraging customers to complete their purchases.

You can add an attention-grabbing headline like "Wait" or "Don't miss out…" to encourage your visitors to take action.

Then, offer an irresistible discount and include a call-to-action button that takes visitors to the collection page or checkout to recover abandoned carts.

💡 Pro Tip: You can use Popupsmart to create conversion-ready exit-intent popups to reduce checkout abandonment.


Get Started with Popupsmart Today

See more exit-intent popups: "55 Exit Intent Popup Examples to Increase Conversions"

6. Send Checkout Abandonment Follow-up Emails

Sending follow-up emails to those who abandon checkout can work wonders. Don't forget to include personalization, as personalized emails can help you connect with your audience effectively.

Create compelling and personalized email content, and send your follow-up emails with a warm tone.

You can include product recommendations in your follow-up emails or offer discounts to grab your customers.

Attach a clear CTA button at the end of your checkout abandonment email to recover abandoned carts properly.

checkout abandonment email example that says “Oops..Did you forget something?”

For example, Pulp & Press' abandoned checkout email is a great example of a sincere and friendly follow-up email.

The headline "Oops.. Did you forget something?" is an excellent example of an engaging headline to grab people's attention.

The email gives the message clearly and shows the items that are left behind. You can send a follow-up email like this one and keep the conversation going.

📌 You can use event or user-action-based email automation to get the most out of follow-up emails. That way, you can send follow-up emails to encourage purchase completion automatically and increase your conversions.

7. Use Remarketing & Retargeting Ads

You can re-engage customers with targeted ads that display their abandoned products.

Utilize platforms like social media and display networks to maintain visibility.

You can create retargeting ads on platforms like Google Ads or social media, showcasing abandoned products with personalized content.

Craft a genuine message and compelling call to action to encourage their return, and implement this strategy across various platforms to reinforce brand visibility.

That way, you can stay on your customer's radar. Remarketing keeps your brand in their consideration, increasing the likelihood of them returning to complete a purchase.

8. Offer Incentives and Discounts

Exclusive discounts or limited-time offers can encourage customers to complete their checkout process.

Reinforce the value of the products and emphasize the opportunity to recover checkout abandonments.

Apart from offering discounts for shipping or during exit-intent, as explained before, you can also provide discounts as a seasonal campaign, give coupon codes during the end of your season, or offer discounts to your back-in-stock products.

9. Provide Guest Checkout Option

Not all customers want to register on your website just to make a purchase.

That's where integrating a guest checkout option becomes an efficient strategy to reduce checkout abandonment.

This approach can reduce obstacles and improve the customer experience, saving time through a hassle-free and simplified checkout process.

Include a warm and welcoming message emphasizing the guest checkout's simplicity and security and ensuring customers feel welcome and assured.

To enhance efficiency, ensure that the details of the guest checkout option are prominently displayed and straightforward and make the overall process for your customers easier.

Taylor Stitch’s checkout page as a guest checkout example

For example, Taylor Stitch provides a guest checkout option with an express checkout feature that includes common payment options.

Also, the option to sign up is given below the guest checkout part.

Discover "26 Best Checkout Pages to Enhance Shopping Experience" for checkout page inspiration.

10. State Return Policy & Include Money Back Guarantee

Customers can leave checkout as a result of questions about return and money-back guarantee.

Introducing a money-back guarantee can eliminate uncertainties and allow customers to seek a return if they are unsatisfied.

Create a warm, genuine message highlighting your return policy. Emphasize the risk-free nature, and make customer satisfaction your top priority. Ensure that you clearly state the rules in a friendly tone.

Display the guarantee clearly on your website to boost the chance of recovering carts and build trust and loyalty.

Customers, assured of a refund option, can be more likely to complete their checkout and become loyal customers.

11. Encourage Customers to Save Their Cards

Manually entering card information can also relate to checkout abandonment. You might consider adding an option for saving card details.

That way, your customers can quickly complete their purchase without leaving their checkout behind.

If you use this strategy, you should inform your customers about the security of saving card details and comply with privacy regulations.

Wrap Up

Handling checkout abandonment is an ongoing process that you should carefully consider. Knowing why your customer leaves checkout provides a better understanding of which path you should take.

Thanks to the strategies and tips gathered in this article to understand, address, and recover abandoned carts, you can start reclaiming revenue and building lasting customer relationships.

Focus on forming lasting relationships with your customers, and aim to improve your business according to their pain points and needs. That way, you can recover abandoned carts efficiently and boost your sales.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Average Checkout Abandonment Rate?

Although it varies depending on your industry, the average checkout abandonment rate is 69%.

How Can Transparent Shipping & Pricing Policies Affect Abandonment?

Clearly communicating shipping costs and pricing details from the beginning establishes trust, eliminates surprises, and reduces the likelihood of customers abandoning their checkouts.

How Personalized Follow-up Emails Reduce Checkout Abandonment?

Personalized follow-up emails with incentives and product recommendations can re-engage customers, reminding them of their abandoned carts and encouraging them to complete the purchase.

How Can Businesses Use Retargeting Ads to Recover Abandoned Carts?

Retargeting ads on platforms like social media keep the brand visible to customers who have abandoned their checkouts, increasing their chances of returning and completing the purchase.

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