10 Reasons for WooCommerce Cart Abandonment & Solutions

WooCommerce refers to a plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into an online store. Due to its versatility and simplicity, WooCommerce has become the most popular eCommerce plugin, empowering 2.3 million stores worldwide.

When running a WooCommerce business, you probably confront lots of problems such as conversion, customer retention, website security, and copyright.

WooCommerce cart abandonment is also one of the inevitable issues. Whether you’re just starting an online business or have a successful venture already, you’re bound to face this issue at some point.

Having a headache with abandoned carts? This article will help you identify the root causes and give you a cure.

It’s impossible to completely eliminate this problem. However, with the right strategies, your WooCommerce cart abandonment rate would reduce significantly.

What is an Abandoned Cart?

Shopping cart abandonment happens when a potential customer starts checking out for an online order but quits the process before finishing the purchase.

In simple terms, it is when a visitor adds products to the cart but leaves the site without buying. Any item a shopper puts into the cart but never makes it through the transaction is considered to be “abandoned”.

This problem strongly affects your WooCommerce business revenue. For this reason, it’s important to keep a close eye on the cart abandonment rate.

Cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of successful transactions by the total number of shopping carts created. Then subtract the result from 1 and multiply by 100.

This is a vital metric to keep track of because a high cart abandonment rate signals an ineffective sales funnel.

woocommerce cart abandonment rate formula

WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Statistics and Facts

The most obvious consequence of shopping cart abandonment is you’re missing out on a sale. A lost sale means you lost a customer and a profit, whether their order was small or large.

How does it feel watching users load their carts on your WooCommerce store only to leave without purchasing? It’s painful, isn’t it?

You’re not alone.

This is a problem every WooCommerce retailer encounters. The number speaks for itself.

The Average Abandoned Cart Rate across All Industries Is 75.6%

Statista has conducted research and indicated that the average cart abandonment rate is over 75%. In other words, approximately 3 out of every 4 online shoppers don’t complete their transaction. Such a startlingly large number!

This represents a huge lost opportunity, especially when you consider the resources and effort it takes to get people interested in your product or service in the first place.

woocommerce cart abandonment rate by industry
Source: Statista

The chart reveals that high cart abandonment is an ongoing problem for all eCommerce enterprises across industries. And there is no exception.

Mobile Users Have the Highest Abandonment Rate of 85.65%

Baymard Institute’s research has demonstrated that the average cart abandonment rate differs by device. Mobiles made up the greatest percentage with roughly 86% of shoppers hitting the exit button on the checkout page.

Think about that. How much would your sales increase if you captured those customers instead of losing them?

Source: Baymard Institute

The smaller the screen size is, the more likely the shoppers are to abandon their carts. Therefore, to retain customers and convince them to make purchases, it’s necessary to optimize your eCommerce store for different screens.

Brands Lose $18 Billion/Year in Sales Due to Cart Abandonment

When a prospective customer leaves without purchasing, part of your business revenue is lost. The higher the cart abandonment rate is, the more sales you lose.

It's reported that eCommerce brands worldwide lose a total of $18 billion in revenue each year because of cart abandonment.

woocommerce cart abandonment rate by device
Source: Dynamic Yield

It's sad but true that cart abandonment poses a challenge that every WooCommerce business owner faces. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. Take prompt steps and you can make this problem less serious. But first, you have to figure out the reasons why people abandon their carts.

10 Reasons for WooCommerce Cart Abandonment and Solutions

Online shoppers abandon their carts for many reasons. But numerous studies have shown there are some consistent and common culprits. Baymard Institute has analyzed these data sets and ranked the top 10 major cart abandonment causes:

10 reasons for woocommerce cart abandonment
Source: Baymard Institute

For WooCommerce store owners, recouping even a fraction of abandoned carts can drastically add to your bottom line. Here’s how.

#1 High Extra Costs

61% of people abandon their carts because additional costs such as shipping fees, taxes, etc. at checkout are too high.

Unexpected costs added after putting an item to the cart make customers rethink their purchase. In some cases, you offer a huge discount on products to try to convert your visitors into customers. However, the extra shipping cost irritates and deters them from completing their transactions.

Some visitors even add items into their carts to just view the final total. Once they realize the extra fees are too high, they are less likely to proceed.


You can apply a psychological pricing strategy to influence the buyer's decision to complete a purchase. It could be:

Time Constraints: 1 day only! Only 1 hour left! Use artificial time constraints to generate a sense of urgency. Single-day events that end within a few hours encourage customers to make purchases quickly. That way, it’s more likely that they will ignore the extra fees.

Free Shipping: This must be one of the most commonly used tactics. You can wrap all costs into the price of each item, then offer your customers free shipping. Thus, you make them feel like they’ve saved money on an item instead of paying for extra fees.

#2 Forced Account Creation

35% of shoppers tend to get disillusioned at checkout because of being forced to sign up or sign in an account.

Requiring visitors to have an account in order to make a purchase is always a bad idea. It breaks the purchase cycle by adding an extra step that can turn potential customers away. Not only new users but also existing ones can run into trouble when they forget their account passwords.

Imagine you enter a store which features a product that catches your eyes. After a few clicks, you’re ready to check out, but a popup shows up asking you to “Create an Account”.

Obviously, hitting the exit button is much faster than registering a new account. So why would your visitors go through the account creation process when it’s easier to just quit?


To reduce the cart abandonment rate due to mandatory account creation, it’d be better to offer:

Guest Checkout: Never force your visitors to create an account during the checkout process. Instead, you should allow them to place orders without an account. This helps you fasten first-time purchases.

It takes only a few minutes to enable guest checkout in WooCommerce. Since customers aren't required to sign in, this omission lessens friction in the purchase process and helps them convert faster.

Optional Account Creation: Clearly state that registration is an option before users enter the last confirmation step. As your customers are about to complete the checkout, they are less likely to exit. This allows them to purchase with as few distractions as possible.

In this case, you should briefly highlight the benefits your users can receive after the registration. For example, discounts for logged-in users, or the convenience of reusing data such as shipping address, payment method, etc. for later orders.

#3 Complicated Checkout Process

27% of customers would like to quit a long, complex checkout process.

Every additional step and form field slows users from finishing payments and hurts their shopping experience. If you fail to keep their browsing, sign-up, and checkout process simple, it will discourage them from completing a purchase. In the worst-case scenario, some of them may never come back.


To ensure a painless checkout process, here’s a list of things you need to do:

One-Page Checkout: To keep customers, make your checkout short, ideally one page, and avoid asking for unnecessary information. Less checkout time means less time for them to change their buying decisions.

User-Friendly Design: Using a visual progress indicator with a description of each step can be beneficial. It’s a useful way to keep your users both engaged and aware of how much further they have to go. That way, the checkout process becomes more interesting and effortless.

Auto-Fill Forms: Save the information that customers fill in the checkout forms. Use that information to set up auto-fill forms for future orders. This helps the checkout process faster and more accurately.

Minimum Distractions: It would be best to minimize distractions at checkout. They include ads, sidebars, product info, pop-ups, and anything that could pull shoppers away from completing their transactions.

#4 Unclear Pricing

Inability to calculate the total purchase cost upfront is the reason 24% of people abandon their carts.

Many shoppers add items to their cart to determine the total cost of their order. If they don't see the full product price before checkout, including additional fees, they won't push through with their purchase.


Show customers all costs upfront, including any shipping fees, taxes, and other costs they should expect.

A good product page should tell people the exact product price they have to pay. Try to make the price stand out by using larger font sizes, bold formatting, and a different color.

Be transparent and upfront about the price, don’t hide any charges from the product pages. If customers are less surprised after adding an item, chances are that they will follow through to purchase.

#5 Website Errors

Experiencing a website error while shopping causes 22% of shoppers to leave without buying.

Website errors seriously undermine user experience, erode trust, and lead to cart abandonment. These errors include inconsistent branding, messy layout shifts, spelling mistakes, poor usability, slow loading time, and so on.

When encountering an error, chances are that your customers will leave your site immediately and won’t return in the future. It is estimated that site errors put 18% of a company’s revenue at risk. A big figure that’s hard to ignore, especially in today’s economic climate.


Since it’s not easy to detect website errors and respond on time, prevention is always better than cure. Apply the following tactics to minimize your website errors:

Core Web Vitals: Regularly test and analyze your site’s performance using Google Core Web Vitals. It supports you to identify major errors and weak points so that you can improve your eCommerce store’s productivity.

By proactively tracking site errors, you can nip them in the bud and provide a seamless experience for your customers.

Content Review: Double-check carefully before publishing any content on your site. Minor errors like misspellings, font errors, inconsistent colors, etc. usually have little impact on your website. However, they negatively affect your business reputation and brand in the public eyes.

#6 Payment Security Concerns

18% of online customers don’t complete their transactions because they don’t trust the eCommerce platform’s security.

Technological development along with an increase in the number of online transactions create new opportunities for cybercriminals. That's why many people are reluctant to give out their credit card details online. They’re afraid that their financial and personal information can be stolen and used for malicious purposes.

Root causes of suspicion include design flaws, outdated layouts, missing images, no user reviews, and no SSL certificates.


To protect your business and customers while still delivering an excellent checkout experience, you need:

Reliable Payment Platforms: It can be very difficult to manage all the security measures on your own. We highly recommend integrating with trustworthy payment platforms, namely PayPal, Stripe, Square, Braintree, etc. They combine both payment processing and effective anti-fraud protection that helps you detect and prevent fraud in your eCommerce store.

SSL Certificate: SSL certificate refers to a security protocol that encrypts private data and makes your eCommerce site PCI compliant. In simple terms, it helps you verify transactions and store credit card details safely.

Get an SSL certificate and display trust seals throughout the checkout process so your customers know their information is secure.

Product Reviews: You can gain trust from customers by adding product reviews and social proof to your homepage and product pages. Additionally, showing your business contact information, including email, phone number, and location is also a great way to increase trust.

#7 Slow Delivery

Slow delivery is the main culprit causing 16% of shoppers to abandon their carts.

In fact, how long people wait can directly influence their buying decisions and their post-purchase satisfaction. Too slow shipping times hurt your customer satisfaction and thus, result in cart abandonment.

According to the UPS Report, on average, most buyers are willing to wait a week before receiving their order.


Give your customers a wide variety of shipping options and the ability to customize their delivery details. By allowing them to personalize delivery times and choose between shipping providers, they can get the experience they prefer.

#8 Poor Returns Policy

10% of buyers don’t proceed to checkout due to an inadequate returns policy.

A poor returns policy can hinder retail sales and drive your customers away. After leaving your store, people often seek a better place to shop, and in most cases, your competitor's store. That’s a red flag!


Show your customers detailed instructions and steps to make sure everyone clearly understands your returns process before checkout. You should include the following information in the guideline:

  • Deadline to return the product.
  • Product conditions that are valid for return.
  • Type of refund such as store credit, exchange, full refund, partial refund, etc.
  • The information they must provide for a refund such as receipts, credit cards, etc.
  • Any shipping or restocking fees they have to pay.

#9 Limited Payment Methods

8% of customers abandon their shopping carts because they can't find their preferred payment method.

The fewer payment options are available to your customers, the higher your cart abandonment rate is. Imagine spending hours searching for an item only to realize at the checkout that the store only accepts the payment methods you don’t have. How frustrating would that be?

Since payment options can cause disappointment, they make all the difference between whether customers make the final purchase or not.


Try to accept as many payment methods as you can. By offering diverse options, you can ensure that your customers have their preferred one at hand.

However, adding options costs money, so prioritize major payment methods first, expanding as you go. Offer MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal, one of the most commonly used methods, expanding to more specialized payment options when viable.

#10 Declined Credit Card

Unaccepted credit cards result in a 5% loss of total potential sales.

Despite spending a great deal of time optimizing your checkout process, there’s still that dreadful “declined credit card”.

There are many reasons for this problem. This can be due to high card activity during a short period, limitations on online or international orders, etc. The fault mostly is not on your side. So how can you deal with that?


In the credit card error message, you can suggest your users try again or use a completely new payment processor.

The Journey to WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery

Besides improving and optimizing the checkout experience, another key strategy for coping with cart abandonment is shopping cart recovery.

Despite your best efforts to get rid of cart abandonment, some customers will always leave before making a purchase. This could be because they carry out research to buy later and just forget to check out.

That's where cart recovery comes in handy. It helps you capture the customers after they've already left your site.

There are 2 main methods to recover WooCommerce abandoned carts:

WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Email: Collect your users’ email addresses during the checkout, then send them an email to remind them of their abandoned carts. You can also offer an attractive coupon code or discount to encourage them to come back and complete their purchase.

However, it takes a lot of time to manually write and send emails to every customer who abandoned their carts. To make it easier for you, consider installing a WooCommerce abandoned cart recovery plugin. Here’re some of the best ones:

  • WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart
  • Hubspot for WooCommerce
  • Retainful
  • ELEX WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • YITH WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart

Abandoned Cart Retargeting: Retargeting is another powerful tactic in WooCommerce cart abandonment recovery. Ad retargeting campaigns remind your website visitors of your products and services after they leave your store without buying. This increases the chances of recovering lost sales due to abandoned carts.

Don’t Let WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Ruin Your Business

Reducing the number of abandoned carts in your WooCommerce store is not an easy task. But that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. Pay close attention to the little things that you often ignore and you can make a big difference.

The idea is to work smart and adopt the right methods for checkout optimization and cart abandonment recovery.

We have shown you some actionable and result-oriented solutions. If you tackle the problems mentioned in this article properly, undoubtedly you will end up reducing abandoned carts by over 30%.

Let’s get this show on the road!