Every time a basket abandoner leaves your site without finalising their purchase, you lose money.

It’s a simple truth, but a frustrating one none the less.

A staggering statistic from Baymard shows that nearly seven out of ten shopping baskets are abandoned online. Truth be told, we’ve all been part of that statistic.

You know how it goes – you’re browsing through a website; you pop a couple of items in your cart and you go to check out. To your annoyance, the page takes an age to load. Once it does, you’re hit with a pop up telling you you have to create an account.

You go through the process of inputting your email, verifying your account and get back to your basket, only to see you’ve now been hit with a hidden shipping fee that has hiked up your total spend. Okay, fine, you can deal with that, you really want those items – so out comes your card but as you go to input your details, you aren’t 100% confident that the site is completely safe. Reluctantly, you hit ‘confirm’, only for the site to crash, your basket to empty, and you’re back at square one.

Not ideal, right?

For every 100 potential customers, on average 70 of them will leave a site without making a purchase. While it isn’t always down to website faults, it’s a sure bet that there are actionable things you can do to help lower that stat.

In this article, we take a closer look at basket abandonment – what it is, what causes it, and 10 things your business can do to prevent it.

What are basket abandoners?

Basket abandoners, or cart abandoners are customers who have added an item or items to their online shopping cart, but don’t quite make it to completion with their purchase. It is estimated that more than $18bn per year is lost due to cart abandoners.

Not ideal for your business!

But why? What’s preventing customers from committing to a purchase?

Take a look at some of the main reasons customers abandon their baskets.

Top causes of basket abandonment

High costs

Modern-day shoppers are savvy. Really savvy. And they’re constantly looking for ways to tighten their purse strings. Needless to say, if a client is just about to check out and suddenly notices a ton of extra costs stacked onto their order at checkout, it may make them think twice.

There are a ton of extra fees that might cause a shopper to turn away, from unexpected shipping costs to taxes, customs or duties. Those fees are the reason 47% of shoppers abandon their basket.

Account creation requirements

Your customers, especially first-time customers, are looking for a super seamless shopping experience when they land on your site. One way to throw a spanner in the works? Forcing them to create an account.

Shopper frustration can quickly build when they’re suddenly forced to give out their birthday, phone number, or any other details that aren’t essential to their purchase, particularly if it’s just a one off.

Complex checkout processes

!8% of shoppers abandon their carts because of a websites complicated checkout process. And we get it. Time is precious to shoppers -they want a seamless and quick experience that doesn’t take a degree to figure out. Shockingly, the average checkout flow has almost 12 default form elements that a customer has to complete before they can make their purchase. It’s no wonder so many choose to drop off and look elsewhere for a simpler process.

Concerns about payment security

Cybercrime is on the rise. As more and more businesses move online, the risk to digital consumers is at an all-time high. Customers are trusting you with their sensitive information, and if your site doesn’t tick their security boxes, they’re going to quickly jump ship.

Limited payment options

Just as customers have a preference for how they shop, they also have a preference for how they handle their money, and how they pay for goods and services. If a customer finds themselves limited to one or two payment options, neither of which work for them, chances are they’ll look elsewhere for a competitor who can offer them a more convenient payment system.

A woman sits on an orange carpet against a white leather sofa with a laptop on her knee.

10 ways to prevent basket abandonment

While basket abandonment is a serious issue for many businesses, hope is not lost!

Here are our top 10 tips for preventing basket abandonment.

1. Simplify the checkout process

Make your customer’s journey on your site as seamless and simple as possible. Take away the need for lengthy checkout forms and endless detail fields. Instead, keep things straight forward, only request crucial information and reduce the steps needed to complete a purchase. Bonus points if you can introduce tools like a progress bar, auto-fill or one-click checkout.

2. Offer multiple payment options

Giving your customers more ways to pay gives you more ways to snag their custom. There are a ton of ways you can help customers to pay on your site, including digital wallets, buy now, pay later and accepting multiple types of card. If your customer base is international, consider providing an on-pay currency conversion option.

3. Use exit-intent popups

If your customer is erring on moving away from your site at checkout, an exit-intent pop up might be just what you need to divert their attention back to their basket. Exit intent popups work by tracking a user’s mouse movements. As their cursor strays away towards the back button, page exit or address bar, a pop up appears, presenting them with a handy call to action. The pop ups can be used to gather contact details, offer information on discounts or offers, or a range of other disruptive messages that encourage your customers to stay on your site and complete their purchase.

4. Create a sense of urgency

While consumers don’t want to feel pressured or rushed to make a purchase, there’s no harm in creating a little buzz and urgency around their purchase.

FOMO (fear of missing out) can be a VERY powerful tool here, particularly when paired with exit-intent strategies. If you’re looking to create a sense of urgency, try displaying countdown timers for limited-time offers, display in-demand products or offer a limited-time discount code.

5. Offer transparent pricing

Nobody enjoys getting hit with extra costs at the checkout. When shopping online, this can easily be enough to make a customer quickly click away. Remaining upfront about your costs is a simple way to build trust and make sure your customers are aware of anything they may not have been expecting. Try adding additional costs in easy-to-find places, like product descriptions or promotional banners.

6. Guest checkout options

Gloriously simple yet often neglected, adding a guest checkout option is a quick and efficient way to help avoid your customers abandoning their baskets. Not every customer wants to hand over their sensitive data, and a guest checkout option gives them the chance to finalise their purchase quickly and easily. After they’ve finished shopping, give them the option to create an account and offer incentives, money off their next purchase or other promotions that may help retain their custom.

7. Strengthen trust signals

Communication between you and your customers is key at every stage of their buyer journey. Consumers value trust in the brands they choose to spend their hard=earned cash with and getting it right can mean the difference between choosing you or a competitor.

Make sure your product descriptions are accurate and up to date, and that they reflect what it is your customer is actually buying. If your customer receives an item that isn’t exactly as described, chances are any trust you had built with them will quickly dissolve.

8. Offer personalised product recommendations

Often, you’ll find that customers may add an item to their basket, but it isn’t quite what they’re looking for. This may leave them reluctant to commit to tapping ‘check out’ as they browse your store for something closer to what they had in mind. Offering dynamic product recommendations and upselling promotions can help your customers to see personalised recommendations and suggestions for goods that are similar to what’s sitting in their basket. If they spot an alternative that hits the mark, chances are they’ll add it to their basket and commit to that all important purchase.

9. Send abandon cart emails

So the worst has happened. A customer has jumped off your site without making a purchase. But you’ve still got a chance to win them back.

Abandoned cart emails, or retargeting emails are an awesome touch point to re-engage your customers. From the information gathered while they were on your site, you can deliver tailed messaging straight to your customers inbox, with product recommendations, discounts, offers or incentives that can help to persuade them to hop back onto your site and complete their purchase.

Make sure your abandon cart emails are straightforward, that your messaging is consistent and they that have a clear CTA to give you the best chance of bagging a conversion.

10. Offer free or discounted shipping

Buyer behaviour has changed massively in recent years. Amazon has changed the game when it comes to how shoppers expect their goods to arrive, which isn’t always good news for brands who aren’t able to offer super-speedy shipping.

It’s reported that 24% of people abandon their carts due to slow delivery speeds. Offering free or discounted delivery can help lessen the sting. If you can’t commit to scrapping shipping costs, there are a few options to help reduce the cost of deliveries – savings you can pass back to potential basket abandoners. Try using lightweight packaging materials to reduce the weight of packages, or offer free local delivery or pickup.

Bonus tip: If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty strategy of basket abandoners, try heatmapping! Using a heatmapping tool on your site can help you get a better overall picture of your customers journey on your site, giving you a better idea of areas they focus on, ignore, or accidentally miss on desktop, mobile or tablet.

You may find your customers have all the information they need to complete their purchase, but are struggling to find it.


If you’re tired of basket abandoners jumping ship before they shop, get in touch and let’s chat about how we can help create your perfect basket-saving strategy.

Talk to one of our experts

What's your challenge?