Top 4 Reasons for Abandoned Carts in Your Shopify Store and How to Reduce Them

If your Shopify store is like most, you see many people browsing your site, adding things to their cart, and then leaving. At some stores, that can be as high as 99% of shoppers. There are a number of reasons why this is happening and luckily, there are some things that we can do about it.


1. Shipping

The biggest reason why people leave abandoned carts. They might start going through the checkout process and then see that shipping costs more or will be slower than they’d like. There are 3 challenges here, and here’s a breakdown on how to overcome them.

Learning about shipping costs late in the process

To overcome this, the easiest thing to do is have your shipping costs mentioned in various places on your site. In some cases, if a product is especially expensive to ship, you may want to mention that on the product detail page. This lets people know the shipping cost up-front, and they can use that as part of their initial purchasing decision.

Shipping is more expensive than expected

The easiest way to give people the most accurate shipping costs is with a flat fee, especially if shipping is free. Shoppers are increasingly expecting to not have to explicitly pay shipping. You’ll have to increase the cost of your product to compensate, but you’re overcoming a common objection as well as giving them one less factor to think about. People don’t like to do math, so don’t make them do it.

3. Shipping takes longer than they’d like

This challenge is primarily for stores that sell and ship internationally. Whether your a dropshipping business in the US shipping from China, or a store with domestic fulfillment in the US that ships to France, international shipping times are just longer. The transporter from Star Trek hasn’t been invented yet. To overcome this, set people’s expectations about shipping times. You can do this in various places on your site, including the product detail page.

2. Account creation

Don’t require shoppers to create an account to make a purchase. You can have it as an option, but unless someone is going to be a regular customer, they’re not going to want to do that.

Luckily, that’s easy to do in your Shopify shop. You can find the Customer Accounts settings in your store dashboard under settings -> checkout -> customer accounts. We recommend making accounts optional. It’s great if people are confident enough in your store to create an account and it’s an indicator that they’re more likely to buy from you again.

3. Your store doesn’t look trustworthy

There are a number of signals that shoppers pick up on when evaluating the trustworthiness of an online store.

Your site doesn’t show an easy way to contact you

Having an easy way to contact you gives shoppers reassurance that you’re a legitimate business and that they can get answers to their questions. A contact form and an email address go a long way towards building trust with your shoppers.

Your policies isn’t well written or isn’t very customer friendly

The default Shopify return, terms of service, and privacy policies need to be customized to your store and customer friendly. If you decide to use them though, please make sure to go through and replace all of the templated sections to customize it to your store. Your store will look especially untrustworthy if your policies have things like “(if applicable)”, “[[INSERT ANY OTHER PAYMENT TYPES ACCEPTED]]”. Amazon has conditioned shoppers to expect customer-friendly returns, and if your products are comparison shopped on Amazon, you need to reduce the number of factors which put you at a disadvantage.

Use trust badges

While we might consider trust badges inessential, they are an important piece in conveying that you’re a legitimate business. Accepting payment methods like Visa and Mastercard allow you to use their badges. You can also add other trust badges like McAfee from the Shopify app store.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews on products help shoppers understand the product better and indicate that it’s less risky to buy from you because other people have and received their products. Customer reviews are hard to get though, especially for new stores.

There are a few ways to get reviews. We recommend not writing or paying for fake reviews. People can always tell.

First, if you’re dropshipping from Aliexpress, you can import the reviews for the products in your store. It’s best to go through those reviews though and filter out any that aren’t in your store’s language, and ones that are that seem fake. Having a number of short, similar reviews on your products doesn’t build trust.

Second, you can easily set up your Shopify store to collect reviews from your customers. Once you turn add the Shopify reviews app, set up an email to each customer a day or two after their purchase and ask them to write a review. At the start, you may consider something like holding a raffle for anyone who writes a review that month. You could also make the review request when you’re announcing a new promotion.

Third, ask your family and friends to help you out by trying one or more of your product and writing honest reviews.

4. Shoppers are just browsing or aren’t ready to buy

Some people conduct research on more than one website before they make a purchase. They may visit your site, browse around, then add something to their cart to “save it for later”. People will still browse and abandon their carts even if your site is the best in the world, however, there are some things you can do to help convince them to make the purchase.

First, install an app which makes someone’s cart stick around so they’ll see it on their phone, their computer, and everywhere else. Many people will shop on more than one device before buying something, so make it easy for them to do that.

Second, set up your cart abandonment email in your Shopify settings in settings -> checkout -> abandoned checkouts. This lets you send a customer who’s abandoned their cart and entered an email address one email. While Shopify recommends sending this email 10 hours after cart abandonment, research into shopping behavior indicates that sending the email within 3 hours is best. Unfortunately, Shopify has options for only 1 hour, 6 hours, 10 hours, and 24 hours. You could try doing an experiment to see which works better for your shoppers, 1 hour or 6 hours.

Additionally, there are apps which let you set up an abandoned cart email sequence, in which you can offer a discount if they don’t buy after the first email, for example. There are also apps which can set up and run these types of sequences automatically, and they tend to be more expensive.

Third, make the purchasing process as quick and easy as possible. Require shoppers to enter as little information as you need to complete a purchase. Make things like collecting phone number, optional.

Summary of Abandoned Carts Advice

To sum up:

  1. Shape up your shipping: tell customers up-front what your shipping costs and times are. Offer free shipping if you can.

  2. Make account creation optional.

  3. Make your site more trustworthy by giving people a way to contact you, making sure the information on your site is detailed and accurate, add trust badges, and get reviews.

  4. Help convince browsers to become buyers with a streamlined checkout process, a persistent cart, and an email reminder about their cart.