UX Design
< 5 minute read

eCommerce 101: Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment (with Infographic)

Micah helps businesses craft meaningful engagement through branding, illustration, and design.

Lack of transparency, perceived risk, and an inconvenient user experience—mix them together and what do you get?

Sales? No.

Profits? Never.

Abandoned eCommerce checkouts? Absolutely.

At its core, eCommerce is an exercise in trust. Once trust is earned, convenience is king. When trust and convenience are compromised, eCommerce shopping carts are left in the aisles. In fact, nearly every abandoned eCommerce checkout can be traced back to one of these three principles:

  1. People don’t want to be duped. When it comes to spending money on the web, customers value transparency. Sneaky, last-second charges are a proven path to plummeting sales.
  2. People don’t want their hard-earned money to be stolen. If an eCommerce site appears disreputable because of bad UI design, unclear copywriting, grammatical errors, or any other seemingly seedy shortcomings, it’s bound to lose business.
  3. People don’t want to work to buy stuff. Studies show that up to 88 percent of online shoppers conduct pre-purchase research. When they’re ready to buy, customers shouldn’t be burdened by account creation or lengthy checkouts. Instead, they need a laser-focused user experience that helps them do what they came to do—spend money.

What does mean for designers working on eCommerce products? Two things:

  1. Designers should be familiar with basic shopping cart abandonment stats. eCommerce sites exist to make money, so designers need to understand the prominent customer pain points of the online shopping experience.
  2. Designers must know how their work affects abandonment rates. Problem solving is the purpose of our profession, and there’s no bigger eCommerce design problem than customers who are so frustrated by their shopping experience that they refuse to click the “buy now” button. For better or worse, our design decisions influence buyers.

Still need convincing? This awesome infographic illustrates ten of the most common reasons for eCommerce shopping cart abandonment.

Shopping cart abandonment