Why Shoppers Are Abandoning Their Carts & How To Fix It

Online shoppers are more likely to abandon their cart if businesses require them to make an account. So how can you solve this?

Imagine this scenario— Maria, a busy professional and mother of two, is shopping online for some new work clothes. She drops the perfect jacket and skirt into her cart and is ready to finalize her purchase when she is prompted to create an account prior to checkout. Frustrated by the additional steps, Maria closes the store’s webpage and runs a search on her chosen outfit to see where else she can buy it.

This is a common tale with online shopping. A whopping 72% of online customers in the United States choose to abandon their carts prior to checking out. This rate increases when the shopper is browsing via cell phone. 22% of these abandonments occur because customers are asked to create an account before completing the purchase.

Overall, 28% of shoppers say that being forced to create an account before checkout has caused them to abort their purchase. This is a significant problem for businesses, with e-commerce brands losing an estimated $18 billion annually due to deserted shopping carts.

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

Customers are increasingly turning to online shopping for the convenience, wide selection, product reviews, and opportunity to comparison shop. However, these reasons are often overridden by the shopper’s opposition to creating a new account, causing them to leave their cart without completing the transaction. Here are some of their reasons:

  • Time: Many consumers turn to e-commerce as a time saver. 75% of online shoppers say they want an easy checkout procedure, yet only 46% are willing to utilize online accounts that claim to simplify the purchase. The process of establishing an account is perceived to be too time-consuming, with nearly a quarter of shoppers saying it takes too long. When compared with the ease of stepping up to a cash register and swiping a card to complete an in-store purchase, the act of establishing an online account seems like a waste of time.
  • Security: With the national news seemingly covering a different instance of cybercrime almost daily, data security is a big concern for consumers. Nearly a quarter of consumers have stated they will abort a purchase if it requires sharing too much personal information.
  • Privacy: No one likes a junked-up inbox, and many consumers will avoid sharing their personal email addresses with a company to avoid follow-up marketing efforts. Most customers now scan subject lines and check sender names to decide whether to open emails from retailers. Citing how difficult it is to unsubscribe once signed up, about a third of online shoppers prefer shopping cart abandonment over an onslaught of emails.
  • Relationship: Creating an online account feels like a commitment. Many shoppers avoid signing up for an account because they don’t plan to buy from the store again, so it’s not worth the time and privacy concerns to provide personal information to the business.

What You Can Do

There are a variety of ways for e-commerce businesses to save the sale by addressing customer concerns regarding account creation:

  • Log-in: Ensure that a log-in button is visible and easy to access for existing customers to log in to their accounts prior to placing items in their carts.
  • Guest checkout: Enable guest checkout as the default option for completing the sale when customers are not already logged in.
  • Post-sale: Offer an option to create an account on the order success page. This removes the mandate to create the account, and data entry is simplified since shipping information has already been input.
  • Incentives: After the sale, utilize a pop-up window, the order success page, or the verification email to offer a discount on a future purchase if the consumer creates an account.


Let’s circle back to Maria’s buying journey. Her continued online search takes her to another site offering the same outfit. When she clicks the checkout button, she is taken immediately through a smooth sales process without having to create an account and she quickly completes her transaction. Maria is thrilled with the simplified purchase and determines that she will shop with this company again— a win/win scenario for the business and consumer.

Ultimately, consumers are looking for a seamless, private, and safe online shopping experience. Your goal is to ensure the sales transaction is simple, reducing friction and streamlining the decision-making process for your customers. By continuing to refine your online sales procedures, you can build a relationship with your guests, instilling trust and encouraging completed transactions and returning customers.

If you find that your exceptional product is not generating the sales you expect, contact the digital experts at ScaledOn for assistance in finding an edge in today’s competitive e-commerce marketplace.