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Why Consumers Abandon Carts And What Sellers Can Do To Fix It!

We have all been there, we’re about ready to buy something for whatever price we’ve agreed on with the website we are looking at. We put it in our cart and proceed to checkout and then discover that it’s $10 to ship our $15 T-shirt or whatever and we abandon the cart entirely. Outraged that it costs over half again to ship your shirt and you no longer want that shirt anyway. It doesn’t matter that if that shirt had just been $25 with free shipping you would have happily bought it. This is not a reasonable response from the logical part of our brains. This is something from that primal, how dare you rip me off with this unexpected cost part of our brains. Maybe you have considered in the past that it would just be you, but I’m here to assure you that it is not, and I have data to back it up.

How Often Are Carts Abandoned?

According to a study by Statista in 2018 63% of respondents have abandoned carts because of high shipping costs, and 36% have abandoned carts because of long shipping carts. Clearly shipping is incredibly important if so many people are abandoning products in their carts because of shipping issues. That means you need to ensure that you have quality shipping solutions to ensure that people follow through with their purchases instead of just abandoning the cart. If you don’t have these shipping things sorted you lose sales, it literally could not be simpler. Except now you find yourself asking, “But shipping costs money, how do I maintain my profits while keeping customers happy?” as everyone around you looks at you like you’re going insane because you’re posing questions to a blog post that was already written while in the office/coffee shop/public transportation. Well, I will tell you how to keep your customers happy without going broke yourself.

How To Keep These Sales

We will start with the solution I already brought up in the opening paragraph; just bake those shipping costs right into the product cost so that your customers don’t have any unexpected costs. They saw your full cost, agreed to that when they decided to make their purchase, and will have no reason to leave the cart. There are, of course, downsides to this approach. Your initial price will appear higher and that could turn off customers. You aren’t likely to be paying flat rates for your shipping so when you bake those costs in the profit margin for you could be changing per purchase, which makes it tricky to plan for your costs. This approach can also cause problems if the costs you pay for shipping change drastically, because that means you will have to change the price of your goods, which can certainly cause fewer purchases.

Are There Other Options?

There are always other options. You can allow customers to calculate their shipping costs before getting to the checkout page. You should absolutely be giving customers options for how quickly they want their products shipped, that’s pretty much just standard at this point.You can set a threshold for free shipping as many online retailers do. Even in places like Etsy many of the shops that use the platform will set a free shipping threshold at something like $35 or whatever makes sense for their shop. With this approach it is absolutely crucial, however, that you don’t set products to be something like $34.95 when your free shipping threshold is $35, because that will undoubtedly cause abandoned carts. Your customers will likely feel that doing so is underhanded and you’re trying to rip them off. With all of these approaches it is necessary to ensure that the customer will not feel that you are trying to take advantage of them. As with basically everything in running a good business, it is crucial to be transparent with your customers.


I kind of reached the conclusion in the closing of my last body paragraph, but it literally cannot be overstated how important it is to be as transparent as possible with your customers. The old adage about how the sausage gets made just does not hold up in the internet age to such an extent that here is the first link Google gave me about how to make homemade sausage. In a time when your customer can literally just look up how much it would cost to ship something from where you are to where they are, the most important thing you can do is be completely upfront and honest with them, so do exactly that.

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