Online Abandonment: Build Trust On Your Ecommerce Website

  Nik Oliva


You are now doing business on the web and have implemented different strategies to attract visitors into your website as well as to help you achieve the long-term goals of your business. However, it’s not enough just to draw visitors to your ecommerce website.

Nowadays, customers are very wary of sharing their personal information online with brands they don’t know well. And the lack of physical (person to person) communication as well as fears about risky processing of funds leads to other doubts for perspective customers and the result presents a challenge.

Many customers don’t trust ecommerce websites that aren’t fully established. If you’re a fairly new or even recently established ecommerce website, the truth of the matter is that most ecommerce sites lose out on many possible sales simply because customers abandon their carts in the middle of shopping.

What does shopping cart abandonment mean? Why do online shoppers abandon their cart?

Shopping cart abandonment (sometimes referred to the rate at which your visitors abandon depends on how effective you have structured the checkout process)is undoubtedly a great indicator of whether we are doing the things right or not in our online store. Shopping cart abandonment is a problem that all ecommerce sites see to some degree.

According to Techopedia:

“Abandonment is an e-commerce term that refers to a situation when a visitor accesses a website but terminates any actions by leaving the page. The abandoned activities the Web host desires may include purchasing a product or service, or completing an online survey. ” –  Techopedia

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with online shopping, but are also still concerned with online security, and consumers expect companies to understand the importance of protecting their personal information. However, they might abort the purchasing process if they feel their personal information may be at risk.

“A common type of abandonment for online retailers is known as shopping cart abandonment, which occurs when the visitor has filled an online shopping cart but leaves the site before completing the purchase.” –  Techopedia

Everyone loves a good deal, and with the help of internet, shopping have become easier than ever.

If you’re like most people, the instance you see a better deal (from other merchant) on the item you wanted to buy, you instantly leave your shopping cart abandoned in the middle of the purchasing process.

This becomes a potential loss for the business as the visitor did not pursue the checkout process. The main consequence for the business is a loss of (potential) revenue.

Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor enters the shopping basket and leaves before completing the checkout.

Many factors that contribute to shopping cart abandonment are out of the merchant’s control.

For instance, many users used to abandon online shopping carts because they didn’t understand how online shopping works. Other reasons for shopping cart abandonment include the buyer’s desire to find more information about the product or service.

Moreover, the Primary reasons for abandonment include high shipping charges, high cost of products and services, price comparison with other sites, and confusing and risky checkout processes that required too much personal information.

Although some of the factors that cause potential customers to leave your ecommerce website without completing a purchase are beyond your control, there are a number of ways you can take to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

The several reasons why potential customers abandon their shopping carts.

A research conducted by UPS and comScore shows the top five causes of shopping cart abandonment are:


As indicated above, 58% of customers surveyed abandoned their cart because of the high cost of shipping. Many people face an emotional block if the shipping costs come close to the cost of the item(s) in the cart.

For instance, a customer would be ordering a new set of pillow cover for $10, where the shipping cost (for example, $9) will outweigh the product price.

So you must provide complete shipping information, Don’t make them wait to find that information out after they have already gone through a few steps in the checkout process. If the information isn’t clearly presented at the time of checkout, your customer may leave the page to look for answers to her questions, or she might abandon the site entirely.

If you allow multiple shipping methods, show the cost for each. You could list them on each product page just under the product’s price, as a reminder.

If it makes financial sense, you might also consider offering special shipping rates to your customers. You can offer free shipping to first time visitors who are nearby and free shipping to customers who purchased in the past (repeat customers). And for international customers, offer country specific discounts on shipping based on order value. This could be done by adding fees to product pages or have a shipping widget that calculates shipping rates before the cart process.

Be upfront with any handling fees, shipping fees, and taxes since all of these additional costs are first added during checkout, and sometimes they make the product more expensive (customers might get angry at you for having a high shipping cost).

Price is not always the reason why a customer leaves the shopping cart.

As indicated above, some of the customers stating they are not ready to purchase, as well as they dont want to register just to make purchase.

When looking at customer behavior during the checkout process, the second main reason for cart abandonment is that the customer is still in the information search or evaluation of alternative steps of the consumer buying decision process (they are just starting to research their purchase, may be ready to buy tomorrow or next week.). So try to offer comparison shopping directly from your site. This gives you a chance to point out differences and demonstrate value.

Many customers may not want to create an account, or they may not have the time. Allow visitors to place orders without creating an account. If you want to collect information, give them the option of making their purchase without creating an account. You can collect email address (and possibly also their contact number) in the first step of your checkout process so you will be able to contact them if they do not complete the process. Also limit the amount of marketing data you collect when someone places an order.