Web Design Basics Design Principles Top Design Reasons Why Shopping Carts are Abandoned Before Purchase

Top Design Reasons Why Shopping Carts are Abandoned Before Purchase

Many e-commerce companies often optimise their website design for search or engagement. But what do we specifically do to prevent shopping cart abandonment?

With current shopping cart abandonment rate upwards of 70%; you cannot afford to ignore developing a dedicated strategy to prevent it. Every e-commerce business experiences this trend; visitors come to your website, peruse the products, fill up their cart, get to the final stage…and radio silence.

Why do customers abandon their shopping carts?

Shopping cart abandonment is common to every sector and product types. While there are many reasons for this ranging from window shopping to poor internet connection, studies have shown that a good percentage can due to poor website design.

Your e-commerce site may be properly optimised for search, or contain professionally written product pages, however, if the web design doesn’t provide a rich user experience (UX) people will lose interest.

According to Bryan Eisenberg, some checkout forms fail because:

  • They don’t alleviate fear
  • They don’t increase trust and credibility
  • They don’t reinforce benefits
  • With improved design strategies or UX enhancement, most of these problems can be eliminated. Here are five major design issues associated with shopping cart abandonment.

    No elements of “Trust”

    Consumers have been bitten many times by failed promises. Issues such as purchase cognitive dissonance continue to influence their next buying decision, causing them to be sceptical. Trust elements are the different ways you can reassure your customers your business is trustworthy.

    The objective is to eliminate any fear they have in completing the purchase cycle. These design elements will convince your customers that they are not being ripped off.


    In spite of the proliferation of e-commerce all around the world, a majority of sales still occur offline. Why? Because people still fear losing their personal details to unscrupulous third parties.

    Phishing scams and online fraud are common. It is, therefore, the job of an e-commerce business owner to protect their website and convince customers their details are safe. Do this by displaying security seals or badges on the homepage and checkout page. Other useful features include a section for positive customer reviews and a visible return policy.

    Poor ease of navigation

    Does your site feel like a giant electronic onion? Do visitors have to go through layers of form fields and pages before the find what they want? Even the presence of interstitials (pop-up ads) can be annoying. Up to 24% of users abandon a cart because the navigation is too complicated for them. This is even worse when combined with poor page load speed due to not using quality web hosting. Another problem is getting a host with servers too far from where the majority of your website visitors are visiting from. This can be a problem in Australasia. A good host for Australia and New Zealand can be found here: NZ Domain Name Registration & Cheap Domain Names | Domains4Less.

    The more steps users encounter on your websites, the more likely they are to leave. Ensure your site menu is clearly defined. Reduce the number of form fields on registration pages and watch the conversion rate increase. By making navigation a seamless experience, you are more likely to see more shopping activities completed.

    Add help options

    Sometimes, people get all the way to the final checkout page and get confused. If there is no way for them to find solutions, they’ll jet off from your site. Do you have a system to attend to inquiries on your site? A live chat option, for instance?

    In this era of AI development, Chatbots have become the ideal solution for many websites. They engage customers in synchronous conversations and suggest better alternatives when they get stuck. Simply put, a chatbot is an automated programme designed to assist customers in achieving enhanced user experience on the website. An FAQ page can help too - as long as it opens on a separate page.

    Poor mobile experience

    Now that more users shop via mobile devices than on desktops, you probably don’t need a reminder about the importance of a mobile responsive interface. In fact, according to Google, more than 80% of its indexed pages are mobile-optimised. However, the problem still lies in; how efficient is your mobile site?

    For some e-commerce sites, the content structure doesn’t fit the proper size of a typical mobile screen. The button-size may also not be suitable for certain fingers. Are your product videos compatible with mobile devices? Do you have too many pop-up ads? All these contribute to a poor mobile experience that will cause customers to abandon the cart.

    Promo code regret

    One of the difficult aspects of customer relationship management is in treating both new and loyal customers fairly, yet recognising the commitment of long-standing customers. Promo-codes are a good way to encourage your more dedicated clients and are helpful when placed at the checkout page. However, if care is not taken, it could backfire.

    New customers who feel they are already paying too much may see the code and think it reason enough to abandon the cart. To avoid this, make the entry area for promo-codes less obvious. Perhaps you may relegate it to the side, but not out of sight. A less prominent promo code field should satisfy all parties involved.

    How efficient is your site’s UX? Perhaps, it's time for a review.

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