Why consumers abandon their shopping carts?

Online shopping cart abandonment can be defined as the action of placing one or more products in a shopping cart then exiting the shopping session without completing the purchase of previously selected items (Kukar-Kinney and Close, 2009).

This blog post aims at a better understanding of online shopping cart abandonment through the identification of factors associated with this behavior. Indeed, it seems that factors associated with the price of the product, the usability of the site, the lack of information about the products, the lack of options for delivery or payment, confidentiality of data as well as the reputation of the company are responsible for the abandonment of shopping carts.


Source de l’image: Grewal Levy Marketing News

Here is a summary of the various factors that may cause shopping cart abandonment.

Factors related to the product price and delivery:

  • The consumer wants to get the lowest price.
  • The consumer checks prices over several channels before making a purchase.
  • The consumer expects the online price of a product to be significantly lower than in a physical store.
  • Handling and delivery costs are too high.
  • Handling and delivery costs are shown too late in the online shopping process.

Factors related to the use of the shopping cart:

  • The consumer uses the shopping cart for entertainment.
  • The consumer uses the shopping cart to search, organize, and compare products.
  • The consumer uses the shopping cart as a tool for future purchases.

Factors related to the structure, design and functionality of the website:

  • The online purchase process is too long or too complicated.
  • Navigation on the website is too slow.
  • Breakdowns and technical errors occurring on the website are interrupting navigation.

Other factors:

  • Lack of consumer information to make the purchase.
  • Lack of consumer payment options and delivery.
  • Perceived risk concerning overall site security and confidentiality of data.
  • Company’s reputation is not satisfying to the consumer.

In conclusion, abandonment of the online shopping cart is the result of multiple factors. However, many of those can be avoided. Indeed, decreasing the rate of shopping cart abandonment is possible when the online purchase process is optimized and when the suitable amount of information is provided at the right time.