The Real Reason You Are Losing Customers, Why They Are Abandoning Your Shopping Cart And How To Stop Them From Leaving

You know how many times I walked into a store, filled my cart with things I wanted to buy, and than just walked away? You know how shopping carts I’ve abandoned online? Probably 7 out of 10 times that I am in need of something and even plan on buying it, I end up abandoning a shopping cart on atleast one website.  Probably the most common shopping cart abandoning I do is on domain registrars. I check to see if a domain is available, I add it to my cart, but than I just bounce and move on.This lesson is just as applicable to a retail store as it is to an ecommerce  website and even a service business.

While every case, person and situation might have a unique manifestation, probably the most rampant problem that exists is the ability to PROCRASTINATE.

I have literally clicked on the checkout page of a website, wanted to buy something, and was to pull my wallet out of my pocket. In fact, probably 70% of my paypal purchases I make are because I only need to login to paypal. Same goes for Amazon One Click shopping. I almost never abandon a cart on Amazon, because the barrier between deciding to buy and paying is so small, it is super easy to click on before my mind can get to work talking me out of it.

Here is what is happening. Every Time You Are Motivated To Make a Purchase, A New Pain Point is Created In Your Life. Now You Have To Take Action. You Have To Reach Into Your Wallet, Enter All You Information, Consider The Cost and Whether You Want Something, and Here is The kicker….

Your Mind Will Look For ANY EXCUSE possible to NOT TAKE ACTION!
Anything To Avoid the new pain point created in your life… and guess what the number one simplest, easiest excuse someone will look for to bounce from your website and avoid taking action?

That’s Right. PROCRASTINATION. The idea that you can buy this later, or even think about it later is such an easy out and excuse to move on and abandon the cart, and eliminate the pain point of taking action RIGHT NOW.

The Next Place They Look is Trust. Do They Believe The Offer and Opportunity, and than a whole bunch of other reasons from Tax To Paying For Shipping, To The Fantasy That There Is A Better Deal To Be Found Elsewhere.

But the first place they go is, “Can I Worry or Think About This Later.”


The more time you give them to think about it, the more time they have to talk themselves out of taking action. The less time they have to think, the more likely they will make a decision based on what they were thinking when they put the item in your cart in the first place.

This Is Why Limited Time Offers Work So Well. They Force You To Act Now. They Also Force You To Think About The Possibility Of Losing Something.

People Hate Losing or Missing Out. They Want What They Can’t Have, and When An Offer Is About To Disappear, It not only Triggers their Desire To Have What They Might Not Be Able To Have Soon.

This Is What Made Groupon Such A Great Business, and where so many other Daily Deal Sites Failed. Forcing people to ACT NOW, eliminates their biggest weapon, the ability to delay the sale. However, the deal has to be believable. If They don’t believe your offer is limited in time, you will lose the sale because they no longer trust you. Even if all other evidence screams that you are the mother theresa of honesty, giving them the excuse to leave is all it takes. They just need to feel for a second like you are taking advantage of them, or deceiving them, and they are gone so quickly.

So, Maybe Think About Finding Ways To Turn Your Shopping Cart into a Ticking Clock, Forcing Them To Act Now. Maybe the next time you run an advertisement, think about putting in a limited time offer, forcing them to act now and getting them into the mindset of not losing something like a great deal.

So, The next time you are wondering why someone isn’t buying, maybe wonder if you make it too easy for them not too!


About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Rebecca Michaels says

    I am guilty of using online shopping as means of procrastination from anything and everything, and then procrastinating from the actual buying of whatever I’ve found myself entranced with. Though, one click for paypal does actually break through that procrastination sometimes and the ease of payment and watching my money slip away makes me wonder if I would be better off without it. Haven’t done anything about that of course, because… procrastination. I may not love limited time offers and such when they’re directed at me (I’m currently in a spiral of reliving wanting a dress and the fact that it went out of stock, which of course works to encourage me to not miss out again), but they really are a key marketing tool. The retail store where I used to work always had Sale and Discount signs up, but we never ever changed the prices on the product but they got people eager. Considering all you have to do is ad a few words to your advertisement to find that motivation, it’s a pretty worthwhile endeavor.


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