Common E-commerce Payment Problems Leading to Cart Abandonment

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Common E-commerce Payment Problems Leading to Cart Abandonment

The advent of e-commerce has brought about a profound transformation in the way people engage in shopping. With the surge in online retail, the act of purchasing goods and services has become notably more convenient, efficient, and accessible.


Nonetheless, this convenience has ushered in fresh challenges for online retailers, with one of the most formidable hurdles being the issue of cart abandonment. This predicament arises when a customer places items in their virtual shopping cart but subsequently exits the website without finalising the transaction.


In the United Kingdom, cart abandonment poses a substantial predicament for online retailers. According to recent statistics, the average rate of cart abandonment in the UK stands at approximately 75%, surpassing the global average of 70%. In essence, this means that out of every four individuals who add products to their cart, only one ultimately completes the purchase. This phenomenon can have a significant impact on the financial performance of online retailers.


Cart abandonment stands as a pivotal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for e-commerce platforms. It provides retailers with insights into potential issues within the sales funnel or deficiencies in the user experience. A low cart abandonment rate translates into higher sales and increased revenue.


One of the primary factors contributing to cart abandonment in the UK is payment friction. Payment friction occurs when the payment process becomes overly intricate, time-consuming, or perplexing for customers. This frustration often compels customers to abandon their carts and explore alternative sources for the same product or service.


Common issues leading to cart abandonment include:


Clarity and Transparency: Ensuring that final prices are displayed before checkout and that delivery times are accurately communicated can mitigate last-minute cart abandonment.

Lack of Trust: Building trust by safeguarding card details, displaying testimonials and reviews, and offering a generous return policy can boost customer confidence.

Delivery Costs: In a competitive landscape, offering affordable or free shipping can be a significant factor in reducing cart abandonment.

Promotions or Limited Offers: Adding limited stock notices or time-sensitive offers can incentivise customers to complete their purchases.

High Prices: Price comparison is a common practice. Providing discounts or incentives for first-time visitors, newsletter subscriptions, or discount codes can reduce cart abandonment.

Lack of Payment Options: Catering to different customer preferences by offering various payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and virtual wallets, can lower abandonment rates.


Omnichannel payments can effectively address cart abandonment by allowing customers to pay through multiple channels, including credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and other payment options. This approach reduces payment friction and streamlines the checkout process, making it more convenient for customers.


One of the primary advantages of omnichannel payments is the ability to accommodate customers’ preferred payment methods. Recognising that customers have diverse preferences, offering multiple payment options can cater to a broader audience. For instance, some customers may prefer credit cards, while others may favour digital wallets like PayPal or Apple Pay. By accommodating both preferences, retailers can reduce the risk of cart abandonment.


Omnichannel payments also enable customers to switch between payment methods seamlessly. For instance, a customer who initially attempts to pay with a credit card but realises they don’t have it on hand can effortlessly transition to a digital wallet or another payment method without restarting the entire checkout process. This flexibility minimises frustration and the likelihood of cart abandonment.


Moreover, omnichannel payments enhance the checkout process’s seamlessness. Traditional payment methods often require customers to manually input their payment details, a process that can be time-consuming and error prone. With omnichannel payments, customers can save their payment information and utilise it across various channels, expediting and simplifying the checkout process.


In the UK, digital wallets such as PayPal and Apple Pay have experienced substantial growth, underscoring the importance of offering these options to customers. According to a study by Worldpay, the usage of digital wallets in the UK increased by 114% between 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the study revealed that 70% of UK consumers prefer to pay with a debit card, followed by credit cards at 26%. Hence, providing both options is essential for retailers aiming to mitigate cart abandonment in the UK.


By reducing payment friction and offering diverse payment options, retailers can create a smoother and more user-friendly checkout process. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of cart abandonment, ultimately boosting sales. As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, omnichannel payments will play an increasingly vital role in enhancing the online shopping experience, enabling retailers to remain competitive and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.


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