Why Shopping Cart Abandonment Happens and How You Can Prevent It

March 7, 2016

You’re missing out on sales every single day. I don’t need to take a look at your website or business to know this. It’s a problem that every online retailer faces.

Over 68% of potential sales are lost to shopping cart abandonment alone.

Rather than view cart abandonment as a problem, let’s view it as an opportunity. Cart abandonment results in $ 18 Billion in lost revenue annually (source).

If we can reduce cart abandonment just slightly, this can result in hundreds and even thousands of dollars in additional monthly revenue. The money is out there, now let’s go get it!

Why Cart Abandonment Occurs

Shipping Costs are too High

The number one reason for shopping cart abandonment is that shipping costs are too high. Consumers are now starting to expect low cost shipping options or free shipping. In short, if your business allows for you to offer free shipping then you need to.

Price Shopping

One of the reasons that consumers love shopping online the ease of shopping around. This accessibility results in shoppers filling up their cart with products and then leaving to see if they can find similar products at a desired price point. This doesn’t mean you should all of the sudden lower your prices. Look to offer value to the shopping experience that will keep shoppers on site to checkout.

Coupon Hunting

Head to Google right now and search your brand or store name. In most cases, suggested search results will contain “your brand name” followed by “coupon”. When I recently looked up BetaBrand, a San Francisco based clothing company, the third most searched term was “Betabrand Coupon.”


Shoppers are actively looking for coupons and promo codes in order to save money on their orders. This common practice of hunting for coupons can hurt you in several ways.

First, it drives visitors away from your site and once a visitor leaves, it’s very difficult to get them back on your site. Second, coupons found online may be expired or bogus which can discourage shoppers from completing their order. Lastly, big coupon sites like RetailMeNot can take a commission fee as credit for the sale.

This can all be avoided by providing promo codes on your site. We’ll discuss the most effective way to do this in order to prevent cart abandonment a little later on.

Shoppers Aren’t Ready to Buy

Cart abandonment doesn’t mean that shoppers don’t have interest in buying from you. Sometimes people just aren’t ready to purchase. In this article, we’re going to focus on how to convert shoppers who are in the buying mode. Here’s more information on converting these types of cart abandoners.

How to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

we need to give shoppers a reason to stay on site and ultimately purchase. To accomplish this, we want to go to the source of the problem.

Cart and checkout pages are key points in the purchasing process because this is traditionally where the final order total is displayed and the purchasing decision is made. No surprise, this is where the majority of cart abandonment takes place.

Our Goal: Prevent shoppers from abandoning their shopping cart while also driving shoppers to complete the checkout process.

Our Solution: Exit offers specifically tailored for ecommerce and cart abandonment.


Engage shoppers who attempt to leave the cart or checkout pages with an exclusive exit offer. This promotion is designed at meeting the shopper’s needs that they’d usually attempt to fulfill by leaving the website. This enables you to directly engage with cart abandoners and you can hit them with powerful incentives to purchase.

It’s best to just give the shopper the promo code. This eliminates barriers and the shopper is able to redeem the offer within the cart and checkout pages. At this point in the purchasing process, you want to keep them on site so they can purchase. Less barriers will result in more sales.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Case Studies

Artwear brand, The Mountain, reduced cart abandonment rate by 30% with a simple exit offer on cart and checkout pages!

themountain-cart-abandonment-decrease-pop-up-justuno.png Read the full ecommerce case study

KUTOA, a health bar brand that also donates food to impoverished communities, had a low sales conversion rate and cart abandonment was a main culprit. KUTOA’s cart abandonment offer increased the brand’s sales conversion rate by 187%!

KUTOA_header_graphic-1.pngRead the conversion optimization case study

Effective Cart Abandonment Offers

Cart abandonment occurs mostly due to pricing and shipping options which means we need to offer free shipping and/or discounts in order to meet their needs.

According to shoppers, free shipping is the biggest factor in making a purchase. Offering free shipping to cart abandoners will absolutely drive more sales. If you can make it work with your margins, offer free shipping!

If you’re unable to offer free shipping then using discounts is your next best option. A key thing to remember is that a small discount can go a long way in driving more sales. You don’t have to implement high discounts to grab shopper’s attention.

Engage cart abandoners with an exit offer including a promo code for a slightly higher discount. For example, if you’re offering 5% off discounts site wide, consider offering cart abandoners 10% off.


Key Takeaways

  • Keep Shoppers on your Site

Whether it be price shopping, coupon hunting, distracting emails, or a spiral into the Facebook news feed, bad things happen when shoppers leave your site. Exit offers will keep shoppers on your site while providing an incentive to check out that same visit.

  • Offer Free Shipping

Shoppers are looking to buy from retailers who offer free shipping so provide them with an offer that fulfills their needs. If you can offer free shipping, do it! I guarantee you convert more sales.

  • Eliminate Barriers with an Unlocked Offer

It’s all about making it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for and complete the process of checking out. By offering a promo code to abandoners on the cart page, you eliminate the process of trying to find better prices or a promo code elsewhere. The promo code can easily be redeemed with a simple copy and paste!

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Today!

Implement an effective shopping cart abandonment strategy and convert more sales today! Here is a full step by step on how to setup your cart abandonment exit offers.



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