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Why Shipping Costs Are The #1 Reason Online Shoppers Abandon Their Carts

Why do shoppers abandon their carts?

Every eCommerce seller has been there before. You’re going through your stats and you see the number of abandoned carts for your online store, and your jaw drops forcefully to the floor. You’re certainly not alone. Studies have shown that the average rate of cart abandonment across all eCommerce sites is over 60%. That’s…not good, to say the least.

Most people that shop online do so for the convenience and the ability to save themselves both time and energy. So then why do so many of them abandon their carts as they’re seemingly hovering their finger above the “Place Order” button? While there are tons of different reasons to consider (still wanting to shop around, not willing to register on a site, etc.), those same studies have reported that high shipping and handling fees are the number one factor scaring potential customers away.

How can I change my shipping and handling costs so that I don’t keep scaring away potential customers?

Freight Buddy has worked with countless eCommerce sellers over the years, so we’ve picked their brains for some suggestions on what to do to combat S & H sticker shock. Here are three of the most common answers we received.

  1. Offer free shipping: This is a great way to get your customers’ attention, although, depending on your margins, this option has the potential of drastically cutting into your profits. You can always offset this by requiring a minimum order amount or minimum number of items though. If you only offer one-of-a-kind or luxury items, this is probably not the best option for you. But, if you’re in a highly competitive market (i.e. furniture or auto parts) and your competitors don’t already offer free shipping, it’s definitely something to consider. If you are going to eat the costs of shipping, let Freight Buddy help you secure the lowest possible rates.
  2. Charge flat rates: Another option is to charge your customers a flat rate for every freight package, or flat rate tiers for different weight ranges or order totals. This method does require a bit of preparation though, as you’ll have to research your average cost of shipping for each of your items (which is a good idea to do regardless). Fortunately, Freight Buddy has taken the guesswork out of this step with fast and accurate rate quotes at With flat rates you can trust, each order may be slightly over or under the actual shipping cost, but in the end it should all average out beautifully.
  3. Pass the cost of shipping onto the customer: This is definitely the most risky play, but if the goods you sell are primarily heavy or over-sized (our specialty here at Freight Buddy), this may be the best option for you. Offering flat rate or free shipping on orders like these that often incur accessorial charges is one of the most common ways to turn a loss. While this strategy doesn’t have nearly the same marketing power as free shipping, it is a great way to gain your customer’s trust. They pay exactly the same amount you would have to ship your goods, so make sure you set them up with Freight Buddy’s incredibly low “Wow, I can’t believe these rates” everyday prices.

Freight Buddy is here to help

Regardless of how you choose to offer your shipping, Freight Buddy is here to help make the process as simple as possible. We have great relationships with dozens of eCommerce sellers and will work with you every step of the way to make sure you get the best rates possible on all of your freight shipping. Calculate your free freight quote or give us a toll-free call at 800.578.6009 to speak to one of our friendly and experienced shipping agents today.