Why Shoppers Leave eCommerce Sites?

Why Shoppers Leave eCommerce Sites?

According to the Baymard Institute, 70.19% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Imagine, for every 100 potential customers, 70 leave without making a purchase. 

Think about how much your revenue could grow if you captured those lost sales. Data shows that shopping cart abandonment causes eCommerce brands to lose a whopping $18 billion in yearly sales revenue. 

So, what can you do about it?

In this blog, we’ll discuss 10 common reasons why customers leave without buying and offer practical solutions to help you improve the shopping experience and boost your sales.

The Importance of Understanding Shopper Behavior

Understanding shopper behavior is crucial as it allows businesses to tailor their marketing strategies, optimize product offerings, and create personalized shopping experiences that enhance customer satisfaction and drive sales conversions.

 When shoppers abandon their carts or leave your site, it represents lost opportunities and potential revenue. By analyzing the reasons behind this behavior, you can identify and address the barriers preventing conversions effectively.

A survey of 6,000 online shoppers in the US and Europe reveals that 60% of consumers abandon purchases due to poor website experiences. This underscores the significant impact that user experience has on sales and highlights the importance of optimizing your site to meet customer expectations.

Shoppers make quick decisions about whether to stay on a website or leave. According to the survey, 42% of consumers decide within 10 seconds, and 20% make this decision within just 5 seconds. This means that first impressions matter, and any friction in the user experience can lead to lost sales almost immediately.

Improving user experience is key to reducing bounce rates and cart abandonment. When you understand the reasons behind shopper behavior, you can implement targeted solutions that enhance customer satisfaction, drive higher sales, and foster long-term loyalty.

Top 10 Reasons Why Shoppers Leave eCommerce Sites

Every eCommerce business faces challenges that can drive potential customers away. 

Understanding these challenges is essential to creating a website that not only attracts visitors but also converts them into loyal customers. Here, we'll delve into the top 10 reasons shoppers leave eCommerce sites and offer practical solutions to help you: 

1. Poor Website User Experience

Research shows that 25 percent of shoppers leave a website without buying anything because of a poor experience. 

Complicated websites, ones that make you sign up before you can even start shopping, or bombard you with annoying ads, can make people give up and go to the competitor’s website instead.

What’s more, shoppers expect websites to load quickly. If your eCommerce site takes more than a few seconds to load, potential customers are likely to leave before they even see your products. In fact, studies show that a delay of just one second in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Actionable Solutions

Simplify the Process

Simplify the sign-up process by offering guest checkout options or allowing users to sign in with social media accounts. 

Minimize the number of mandatory fields and streamline the registration form to make it quick and hassle-free for users to start shopping.

Optimize Ad Placement and Frequency

Reduce the number of intrusive ads and optimize their placement to ensure they do not disrupt the user experience. Avoid pop-ups that cover important content or interrupt the browsing flow. 

Additionally, limit the frequency of ads to prevent them from overwhelming users and detracting from the shopping experience.

Improve Website Loading Speed

Optimize website performance to ensure fast loading times and smooth navigation. Compress images and optimize code to reduce page load times. Implement caching mechanisms and utilize content delivery networks (CDNs) to deliver content more efficiently. 

By prioritizing speed, you can enhance the user experience and reduce the likelihood of visitors leaving due to slow loading times.

2. High Shipping Costs and Long Delivery Times

You're browsing a product online, contemplating whether to purchase a pair of headphones priced at $19.99. After deciding it's a worthy buy, you proceed to checkout, only to find the total has unexpectedly jumped to $27.19. Confusion sets in until you realize the real culprit: shipping costs.

Shipping expenses play a significant role in cart abandonment, with 63% of all shoppers abandoning their carts due to costly shipping. Free shipping has long been favored in eCommerce, with 9 out of 10 consumers citing it as their top consideration when shopping online. 

However, simply offering free shipping may not suffice anymore. Customers now prioritize speedy delivery, with options like one-day or same-day shipping becoming increasingly appealing.

Actionable Solutions

Offer Expedited Shipping Options

Embrace the demand for faster delivery by providing options like one-day or same-day shipping, even if it incurs an extra cost. Additionally, explore alternatives such as local pickup or local delivery to cater to customers' preferences for speedy service.

Implement Minimum Order Amounts for Free Shipping

If you’re hesitant to offer free shipping due to cost concerns, establish a minimum order amount (e.g., free shipping on orders over $50). This strategy leverages the psychology of online shopping, where customers are more inclined to spend more to qualify for free shipping.

Optimize Inventory Distribution

Enhance delivery speed by strategically distributing inventory across warehouses located in areas with high order volumes. 

Minimizing the distance between products and customers accelerates delivery times, mitigating the risk of cart abandonment due to lengthy delays.

3. Complicated Checkout Process

Ever been frustrated by a checkout process that feels like navigating a labyrinth? You're not alone. An average checkout flow contains nearly 12 form elements. 

An overly long or complicated checkout process is a leading cause of cart abandonment in eCommerce. Studies show that almost 30% of shoppers abandon their carts due to complicated checkouts.

Whether it's the sheer number of pages or the endless form fields, a convoluted checkout process can drive customers away. Sometimes they are thinking "I'll do it later," but often, they're irritated enough to abandon the purchase altogether.

Actionable Solutions

Streamline Checkout Steps

Simplify the checkout process by reducing the number of steps required to complete a purchase. Minimize form fields and eliminate unnecessary questions to expedite the process.

Implement Progress Indicators

Provide users with a clear indication of their progress through the checkout process. Progress indicators help users understand how far they are from completing their purchase, reducing frustration and encouraging completion.

Conduct Regular Usability Testing

Regular usability tests identify pain points in the checkout process. Sit down with a friend or potential customer to observe their interaction with your website and identify areas for improvement.

4. Lack of Payment Options

Imagine eagerly adding items to your cart, ready to make a purchase, only to discover at checkout that your preferred payment method isn't accepted. Frustrating, right? This scenario is all too common in eCommerce, where the lack of payment options can lead to cart abandonment.

Some online stores limit the types of transactions they accept, restricting customers to specific payment methods like Visa cards. However, this approach risks alienating customers who prefer alternative payment methods.

Actionable Solutions

Diversify Payment Options

Expand your range of accepted payment methods to accommodate a broader audience. Consider integrating popular options such as credit/debit cards, digital wallets (e.g., PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay), bank transfers, and alternative payment methods like Buy Now, Pay Later services.

Ensure Seamless Integration

Ensure that all payment options are seamlessly integrated into your checkout process. Optimize the user experience by minimizing redirects and simplifying the payment flow to facilitate smooth transactions.

Communicate Accepted Payment Methods

Clearly communicate the accepted payment methods throughout the shopping journey, from product pages to checkout. Providing transparency upfront helps manage customer expectations and reduces surprises at the point of purchase.

5. Poor Product Descriptions and Lack of Reviews

Studies suggest that about two-thirds of shoppers abandon their carts because they're simply "just browsing." One contributing factor to this noncommittal behavior could be insufficient information to make an informed purchasing decision.

In the absence of physical interaction with products, customers rely heavily on product descriptions and reviews to assess their suitability. Therefore, it's important to provide detailed and informative descriptions that instill confidence in potential buyers.

Actionable Solutions

Enhance Visual Representation

Provide photos of each product from opposing angles and showing scale. If a product comes in different colors or variations, include photos of each option. Leverage advancements in cameras and image editing technology to capture professional-grade photos without the need for a professional photographer.

Optimize Product Descriptions

In the product description, give as many details as you can. List the measurements, materials, durability, origin, and special features such as accessories. 

Make it even more engaging by weaving a short tale about the product’s history, design inspiration, or unique craftwork. Adding these extra details not only enhances the shopping experience but also boosts SEO by providing valuable content for search engines to index.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Actively encourage customers to leave reviews by sending follow-up emails post-purchase or offering incentives for feedback. 

Positive reviews serve as social proof, building trust and credibility among potential buyers. 

Additionally, address any negative reviews promptly and transparently to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and product quality.

6. Security Concerns

With the rise of online scams, consumers are increasingly cautious about sharing sensitive data like credit card numbers. Small businesses, in particular, may face skepticism from customers regarding payment security.

Online shoppers prioritize the security of their personal and financial information when making purchases. According to a survey by the Baymard Institute, 25% of respondents cited mistrust in a website's security as a reason for abandoning their shopping carts.

Actionable Solutions

Establish Trust Through Security Measures

Demonstrate the security features of your eCommerce site, including SSL certificates, multiple payment methods, and transparent security information. Incorporate recognizable security logos and labels during the checkout process to reassure customers about the safety of their data.

Leverage Social Proof for Credibility

Enhance trust and credibility by showcasing customer testimonials, ratings, and reviews throughout your eCommerce store. Incorporate user-generated content to provide social proof of your brand's reliability, potentially increasing conversion rates.

Clarify Store Policies and Simplify Design

Provide clear descriptions of store policies, including returns, refunds, and shipping, to alleviate customer concerns and build trust. 

Create an FAQ page to address common issues or points of confusion. Opt for a simple, user-friendly design without unnecessary gimmicks to enhance usability and trustworthiness.

7. Lack of Customer Support

In a traditional brick-and-mortar store, customers enjoy the advantage of direct interaction with sales representatives who can address their queries and provide assistance in real-time. This personalized support significantly enhances the shopping experience and fosters trust and loyalty among customers. 

However, when it comes to eCommerce, replicating this level of customer support can be challenging.

Online shoppers often encounter hurdles when seeking assistance on eCommerce platforms. Without the immediate availability of sales personnel, they may struggle to find answers to their questions or resolve issues promptly. This lack of customer support can lead to frustration and ultimately result in cart abandonment.

Actionable Solutions

Enhance Visibility of Contact Details

Ensure that contact information is prominently displayed on your website, ideally in the footer section, for easy accessibility. Provide multiple communication channels, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or live chat support, to cater to diverse customer preferences.

Implement a Comprehensive FAQ Section

Create a detailed FAQ page covering common customer queries regarding product information, shipping policies, returns, and any other relevant topics. Organize the FAQs in a user-friendly format, allowing customers to quickly find answers to their questions.

Invest in Responsive Customer Support

Prioritize responsive customer support to address inquiries promptly and effectively. Implement live chat support or chatbots to offer real-time assistance to customers browsing your website. Additionally, ensure that emails or messages sent through contact forms receive timely responses to enhance customer satisfaction and trust.

8. Limited Return Options

Offering free returns and exchanges is crucial for driving sales in online retail. Research has demonstrated that it's almost as impactful as providing free or expedited shipping. By informing your customers about your free returns and exchange policy, you can effectively reduce cart abandonment rates and encourage more completed purchases.

Concerned about the potential drawbacks of a lenient return policy? A research by the University of Texas-Dallas analyzed 21 studies and found that while lenient return policies may lead to more returns, they are strongly associated with increased sales.

Actionable Solutions

Streamline the Return Process

Make the return or exchange process as seamless as possible for customers. Provide pre-addressed packaging for return shipments and clear, detailed instructions on the return procedure. 

Simplifying this process reduces friction and encourages customers to complete returns or exchanges.

Extend Return Window

Offer customers an extended return window to provide them with ample time to return items. 

Research indicates that a longer return period increases the likelihood of customers keeping their purchases.

Communicate Return Policy Clearly

Ensure that your return policy is clearly communicated to customers throughout the purchasing journey. Display information about free returns and exchanges prominently on product pages and during the checkout process. Transparent communication builds trust and encourages confident purchasing decisions.

9. Overlooking Remarketing Opportunities

Online shoppers who almost purchased from your store have demonstrated a clear interest in your eCommerce store. 

According to Business Insider, three-fourths of all cart abandoners intend to return to the site to complete a purchase, highlighting the importance of keeping your brand fresh in their minds.

One common reason for cart abandonment is distraction. Unlike in physical stores, where customers have tangible reminders of items in their carts, online shoppers can easily get sidetracked with a simple click.

Actionable Solutions

Send Checkout Recovery Emails

Checkout recovery emails encourage visitors to return and complete their purchases. Collect shopper emails through strategically placed pop-ups or early in the checkout process to facilitate this initiative.

Utilize Facebook Retargeting

Utilize Facebook's retargeting capabilities to re-engage shoppers who have abandoned items in their online carts. 

Install a pixel on your site to collect data on abandoned items and sync it with shoppers' Facebook profiles. Display dynamic product ads showcasing the abandoned items to prompt shoppers to return and complete their purchases.

Offer Incentives for Returning Customers

Provide incentives to encourage returning customers to complete their purchases. Offer discounts, exclusive deals, or loyalty rewards to entice shoppers back to your website and finalize their abandoned carts. 

Display these incentives prominently on your website or include them in follow-up emails to reinforce their value and encourage conversion.

10. Compulsory Account Creation

Compelling customers to create an account before completing a purchase can deter potential buyers. Whether due to a complex and time-consuming registration process, a lack of immediate trust, or simply inconvenience, the Baymard Institute's research indicates that more than a quarter (26%) of abandoned carts result from mandatory account creation.

While some users may willingly create accounts for platforms they frequently use, like Amazon, this isn't the case for every website. For one-time purchases, customers may find the account creation process burdensome and opt to abandon their carts instead. 

Actionable Solutions

Offer Guest Checkout Option

Provide customers with the choice to make purchases without creating an account. Implement a guest checkout feature that allows users to complete transactions quickly and without the need for account registration.

Enable Social Media Sign-in

Facilitate easy access for customers by allowing them to sign in using their existing social media accounts, such as Google or Facebook. This eliminates the need for manual account creation and enhances user convenience during the checkout process.

Simplify Account Creation

Streamline the account registration process by minimizing the number of required fields and steps. Design a user-friendly interface that guides customers through registration swiftly and effortlessly.


In the competitive landscape of eCommerce, understanding shopper behavior is vital to turning clicks into conversions. While attracting visitors is essential, ensuring they complete their purchases requires addressing the common obstacles that lead to cart abandonment. By improving user experience, offering diverse payment options, and simplifying the checkout process, you can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and boost sales.

At Storyly, we understand the importance of creating seamless, engaging, and trustworthy shopping experiences. Just as we empower brands to create compelling in-app and web experiences, applying these principles to your eCommerce site can transform abandoned carts into loyal customers.

By implementing the actionable solutions outlined in this blog, you can address the critical reasons shoppers leave your site without buying. Optimize your website for speed and simplicity, offer transparent and flexible shipping options, and ensure robust customer support to build trust and credibility. Embrace remarketing strategies to re-engage potential buyers and reduce cart abandonment rates.

Ultimately, the key to success lies in continually refining your approach based on shopper behavior insights. By doing so, you can foster long-term loyalty and drive sustained revenue growth. So, take these steps today and watch your eCommerce business thrive!


Team Storyly

Group of experts from Storyly's team who writes about their proficiency.

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