3 Strategies for Understanding Why Online Shoppers Abandon Their Cart

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Every day, countless online shoppers browse products, add items to their carts, and then vanish, leaving businesses scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong. Fortunately, there are numerous way to gather feedback about why customers abandon their carts. With this information,business can improve the online shopping experience and boost conversion rates. In this article, we’ll talk about 3 strategies businesses can use to collect feedback and decode the mysteries behind online cart abandonment.

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when customers add items to their online shopping carts but do not complete the purchase.

Implementing Exit Surveys

Exit surveys are a straightforward yet powerful tool to understand why customers decide to abandon their carts. When a customer is about to navigate away from the website, a strategically placed pop-up can prompt them to provide feedback about their shopping experience. This immediate interaction gives businesses real-time insights into the factors influencing the decision to abandon the cart. Be sure that the popup has the following attributes in order to get effective feedback.

Short and Specific

Keep the survey concise and focused. Ask about the reason for abandonment, pricing concerns, shipping issues, or any other relevant aspect.

Incentivize Responses

Offer a small discount or coupon code as a token of appreciation for completing the survey. This encourages customers to share their thoughts.

Open-Ended Questions

Alongside multiple-choice questions, include an open-ended question where customers can freely express their thoughts and feelings.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Ensure the survey is mobile-responsive, considering that a significant portion of online shoppers use mobile devices.

Example of an mobile-friendly website exit survey from wisepops.com

Analyzing User Behavior

Sometimes, customers might not readily provide feedback, but their actions can speak volumes. By leveraging analytics tools, businesses can gain insights into user behavior and draw educated conclusions about the reasons behind cart abandonment.

Session Recordings

Use tools that record user sessions to visually track where customers drop off in the checkout process. This can reveal usability issues or confusing steps that might be causing abandonment.


Heatmaps show where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending time on a webpage. By analyzing these, businesses can identify potential pain points and optimize the checkout experience.

Example of an ecommerce website heat map (provided by eyequant.com)

Conversion Funnels

Analyze conversion funnels in analytics platforms to pinpoint exact stages where customers drop off. This can help identify specific hurdles in the purchasing journey.

Customer Support Integration

Adding an online customer support channel to your website can offer direct communication and provide valuable feedback. Live chat, chatbots, and customer service lines can be utilized to engage with customers who are having issues or close to abandoning their carts.

Proactive Chat

Chatbots that initiate conversations with customers who are acting in a way that it is likely they will abandoned their carts is another way to help your online shoppers. These bots can inquire about any issues they are having and direct users to a page that may provide an answer or to a human customer support representative.


Live Chat for Feedback

Training customer support representatives to inquire about abandonment reasons during live chat interactions is another way you can gather useful information. It also gives your reps the chance to offer immediate assistance which may help the shopper complete their purchase.

Feedback Documentation

After taking so much time to implement the processes of gather feedback, be sure that feedback is documented and shared with relevant teams for analysis and discussions about ways to improve the website.

Bonus Tip!

Another action that business owners can take to reduce cart abandonment is to conduct a Website Assessment. This involves an analysis of your website’s design, functionality, and feedback. It helps you identify areas where visitors might be dropping off or experiencing difficulties. By understanding these pain points, you can implement targeted improvements to enhance the overall conversion process.

Click here to get a free Website Assessment Starter Kit!

Take Away

Figuring out the reasons behind cart abandonment is a critical step toward optimizing your visitors’ experiences and your business’s sales. By implementing strategies like exit surveys, user behavior analysis, and customer support integration, you can gather valuable feedback that empowers you to enhance the online shopping experience, address pain points, and ultimately boost sales. Embracing these methods not only helps businesses recover potentially lost sales but also demonstrates a commitment to listening to customers and continuously improving their website.

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Alisha McFarland Face Circle

About the Author | Alisha McFarland

With over two decades in the tech industry, I've seen it all—successes and setbacks alike. Now, I use my experience to offer objective, professional advice for improving websites.

If you're looking to enhance your website's performance, I'm here to help with simple, effective strategies.

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