Cart Abandonment VS Checkout Abandonment: What’s The Difference?

Find yourself getting confused between cart abandonment and checkout abandonment? Let’s find out what they mean and how you can approach them!
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq

Content Writer

Reading time: 5 minutes

More often than not, cart abandonment is confused with checkout abandonment. While they both lead to the same result — shoppers not completing their purchase and causing you a loss in revenue — each term is still very different.

The difference is subtle, but recognizing it is essential as they both have different ways you should approach them. 

With that said, let’s dive deeper into cart abandonment and checkout abandonment so you can recover lost sales!


What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when a shopper does not complete a purchase. They’ve browsed your website, added items into their basket, but abandoned their carts for whatever reason. 

To calculate your cart abandonment rate, divide the total number of completed transactions by the number of initiated sales (number of add to carts). Then, subtract the result from one and then multiply by 100.

What is checkout abandonment?

Checkout abandonment occurs when a customer begins the checkout process but does not complete it. They’ve initiated the checkout by filling in their transaction details, but fail to purchase it in the end.

By dividing the total number of finished transactions by the total number of begun transactions, the checkout abandonment rate is determined. 

High checkout abandonment rates typically indicate issues with the checkout system’s user experience.

Why customers abandon their carts

It’s hard to pinpoint just one reason why shoppers abandon their carts. Every online marketplace is unique, but these are some of the most common concerns that lead to cart abandonment on numerous sites:

Hidden Costs

Hidden expenses are the leading cause of visitors abandoning their shopping carts. Almost 49% of buyers indicated shipping costs as the key reason for cart abandonment. 

Need for registration

A major source of contention is spending more time and effort than anticipated.

When prompted to register a new user account, 22% of cart abandoners do not finalize their transaction, and 28% of all shoppers indicate it is a reason for cart abandonment.

Slow delivery

One of the main reasons for shopping online over physical stores is the added convenience. That’s why having slow or delayed delivery times will only shun shoppers from proceeding to purchase from your store. 

Lack of trust

On the internet, users are sometimes cautious to disclose credit card details. You may boost conversions by including social proof and trust badges, thus improving the website’s credibility, particularly on the checkout page. A substantial refund policy might also assist in assuaging client fears.


Online buyers have a limited attention span and will quit a checkout process that is too complicated or time-consuming.

Needless formalities frequently cause discomfort and might even be perplexing. As customers dislike long and perplexing checkout processes, try to make them as simple and painless as possible. 

Limited payment options

Buyers have a preconceived notion of their favorite payment method and will almost always only pay if that method is available. This leads to them abandoning their cart if that option isn’t available.

Try to add as many payment options as physically possible for you.

Why customers leave before checking out

Once again, there isn’t just one reason why shoppers don’t follow through with their purchases. We’ve prepared a list of the most common causes for customers abandoning the checkout process, and fortunately for e-commerce businesses, they’re all fixable!

Hidden costs

Hidden taxes or delivery expenses are some reasons for 61% of shoppers to leave the checkout page without purchasing.

Thus, the checkout abandonment rate can be lowered by giving total transparency to customers throughout their purchasing experiences, such as a visible shipping costs page or taxes disclosed in the product price before checkout.

Need for registration

Mandatory account registration, which prevents you from making a purchase unless you register with the company, is another prominent reason people leave the checkout process. Account registration renders the buying process more difficult, causing 35% of shoppers to abandon their carts at checkout.

Providing customers with both “Guest Checkout” and “Create an Account” options is a simple approach to avoid this.

Long checkout

Prolonging the checkout, whether through needless information questions to fill out, indirect checkout paths, or creating an account, is why 27% of shoppers abandon the process.

Making the process smooth and straightforward by creating a one-page checkout can reduce this.

Technical issues

If your website or app is glitchy and often crashes, customers won’t feel confident providing their information. They may also refuse to complete the purchase out of fear of losing money as a consequence of a website malfunction or other technical concerns.

To solve this problem, try to optimize your website to its best feasible form.


Customers are always skeptical of their purchase, and if you keep showing them alternatives even on the payment page, this only adds to their anxiety and makes them less sure of their decision.

To make buyers more certain and confident, remove as many distractions such as ads and pop-ups on the checkout page. 

6 ways to reduce checkout and cart abandonment

State a clear refund policy

💸 For checkout abandonment

Be upfront and transparent about whether or not you give refunds or exchanges. 

Many people leave the checkout process solely because the return or refund policies are not clear, making your brand less credible. The best course of action is to be transparent about your business. 

For instance, stating that you don’t offer refunds for international buyers is far better than leaving the issue unattended and ambiguous. 

So be transparent if your company doesn’t have the resources to handle global repayments. Customers will be dissatisfied if you lie or have multiple hidden restrictions.

Optimize your website

💸 For checkout abandonment

The quality of your website reflects the trustworthiness of your brand.

Customers will never trust your business if your website is glitchy and laggy. Similarly, if your website’s loading time is too long or it frequently crashes, you’ll have a hard time gaining the trust of your shoppers. 

If your website’s performance is below average, customers may become frustrated or lose faith in your checkout in a variety of situations.

Consequently, shoppers are less inclined to input payment information after a sudden failure for fear of being double-charged or having their payment failed.

Provide clear shipping details

🛒 For cart abandonment

Ensure that delivery information is adequately presented across your website to inform individuals about shipment timelines. Also, mention shipping costs — either free, a ballpark figure, or a chart so customers can calculate it before paying.

Setting unreasonable shipping information assumptions will only cause you more harm than good. 

Offer multiple payment options

🛒 For cart abandonment

Another reason why customers abandon their carts is the lack of appropriate payment options. Therefore, accepting as many payment alternatives as possible, such as credit cards, installments, and eWallets is a sensible choice.

These are the payment methods you should have on your e-commerce website:

  • Credit card, Debit card
  • PayPal, Stripe
  • Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
  • Installment payments
  • Electronic bank transfers
  • Mobile payments

Communicate with customers

💸 For checkout abandonment

Unfortunately, e-commerce businesses don’t have the advantage of having a physical store and ground staff to communicate with customers. 

While this is where many online businesses lag behind in, it doesn’t mean you can’t communicate well with your shoppers! 

Adopting a live chat or chat widget on your website allows you to engage with customers, offering them a customized and personalized user experience.

Insert a chat widget on your website to reduce cart abandonment.
Insert a chat widget on your website to reduce checkout abandonment.

With a simple click of a button, website visitors can initiate a one-on-one chat with you and communicate with your representatives in real-time, providing your customers with a simple and quick option to contact you for the answers they require.

Also, because you’re constantly there when your consumers need you, it makes you appear more trustworthy to them.

Add social proof

🛒 For cart abandonment

Shoppers see social proof as confirmation of your company’s legitimacy and trustworthiness.

Once again, it increases customer trust by demonstrating that previous customers have had positive interactions with your business. This encourages other customers to shop there without fear of being scammed.

Product reviews, shoutouts, checkout page trust badges, and even third-party endorsements can all be used to provide social proof.


That concludes our discussion on cart and checkout abandonment, its causes and consequences, and how to deal with it.

Cart abandonment and checkout abandonment are major roadblocks to your company’s capacity to generate high income, and they must be addressed methodically.

So, remember to experiment with and test our many methods for optimizing your sales. Since it is mostly dependent on your brand’s target market, what works for you might not work for someone else or vice versa.

Try NovoChat for free! 🚀

An e-commerce chat marketing platform to grow your sales. 

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