Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges for any online retailer to overcome. It is thought that over 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned, meaning that the customer places items in their cart, but never completes the order.

Shopping cart abandonment

There is a myriad of reasons why a customer might abandon their cart, but one particular factor stands out head and shoulders above the others: shipping!

But how can shipping be a cause of shopping cart abandonment? Well, it contributes to this problem in a few ways.

In fact, the majority of abandoned carts are due to the customer hitting unexpected shipping costs either at the cart page or checkout.

Another significant portion of customers will abandon their carts because their purchase wouldn’t reach the minimum amount to qualify for the free shipping threshold.

Many customers feel that shipping and handling charges need to be shown earlier in the checkout process to help them make their decision.

There are more reasons customers abandon their carts, and they don’t all have to do with shipping, but shipping issues are by far the number one cause of cart abandonment.

Since shipping is such a huge factor, it is vital for any online retailer to have a clear strategy on shipping and to ensure the shipping has got great visibility throughout the shopping journey.

Things to consider

When deciding on a free delivery threshold, don’t just pick a random number out of the air. Review past sales look at the average sales value and then use that figure to make an informed decision.

What are your competitors doing?

Customers are very savvy these days and will look at multiple sites during the research phase of the shopping process.

If your shipping costs are too high versus the competition, try to understand why? Does it make sense to match their rates? Have some of the shipping cost been factored into the product prices?

Give customers options

Everyone shopping needs are different and some customers will be happy to pay for an enhanced shipping service. Next Day delivery and Saturday deliveries are all great options to offer and of course, these can carry a premium cost.


Often shipping descriptions do not carry any indication of how the items will get to the customer (and sometimes they do not need to).

However, using a branded courier’s name will help with that trust factor. Seeing the name DPD will let the customer know the level of service they can expect with the delivery.

Shopping journey visibility

Put your Free Shipping as a USP (Unique Selling Point). Generally, these appear on every page, ensuring that your cart pages let the customer estimate a delivery cost. This way as the customer hits the checkout page there are no surprises and the changes of abandonment are reduced.

If you would like expert advice about reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate, contact our team today for professional, helpful advice and support.