Cracking The Code of Ecommerce Customer Pain Points in 2023

ecommerce pain points

Delivering an exceptional customer experience has become the Holy Grail for retailers navigating in the ecommerce space. However, even the most meticulously designed ecommerce platforms often encounter a common roadblock: shopping cart abandonment

Nearly 70% of digital shopping carts were abandoned without purchase in 2021. 

This rate has been steadily increasing since 2014, indicating that ecommerce struggle to convert website visitors into customers leading to only 3.1% ecommerce conversion rate by the first quarter of 2023.

44% of online shoppers worldwide abandoned their carts in autumn 2022 due to delivery options, including preferred method and provider availability, as well as expected delivery delays. 

Payment options were the second reason for incomplete e-commerce purchases, affecting 40% of shoppers.

Image: Top reasons for cart abandonment among online shoppers worldwide. Source: Statista

But that’s not all. 

Customers around the world face unique challenges that cause them to leave the site without buying.

By knowing the issues buyers face, retailers will be better equipped to ensure a friction-free shopping experience and boost ecommerce sales.

So we decided to shed light on some of the major pain points that customers often face during shopping online.

16 Customer Pain Points in Ecommerce

1.  Shipping Costs and Delays

High shipping costs or lengthy delivery times can deter customers from making a purchase.

Shipping costs alone account for 28% of abandoned carts. 

Whereas, other delivery options including shipping cost, delivery method, delivery provider, delays in delivery lead 44% of buyers to leave their cart.

Customers often compare the cost of items with shipping, leading to doubts about the value. Many of them expect affordable or even free shipping options with fast delivery.

But the problem with offering free and fast shipping is that it cuts into profits. This leads to small businesses facing the challenge of finding the right price point to cover shipping costs while building trust with customers.

2. Payment Security

Consumers want to feel confident that their sensitive financial information, such as credit card details, will be handled securely.

Any doubts regarding payment security can deter potential customers from completing their purchases.

Approximately 18% of US shoppers leave their carts behind for this reason.

3. Product Quality and Description

When customers receive a product that falls short of their expectations based on the provided description or online images, it can be a source of profound frustration and disappointment. 

The discrepancy between what was promised and what was delivered erodes trust in the brand and can result in not only customer dissatisfaction but also costly returns and exchanges.

Brands can implement video commerce to boost ecommerce sales

For example, livestream shopping can help buyers in gaining a deeper understanding of a product by providing them with real-time, interactive access. 

During a live stream, hosts can showcase the product’s features, demonstrate its functionality, and answer questions posed by viewers. This direct engagement enables customers to see the product in action, receive detailed explanations, and clarify any doubts, resulting in a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the item they are interested in purchasing..

4.  Return and Refund Policies

Complicated or restrictive return and refund policies can frustrate customers. They prefer clear and hassle-free processes for returning or exchanging products. 

32% of consumers worldwide abandon their carts because of this while 12% of US consumers don’t finish their purchase because return policies aren’t satisfactory.

5.  Payment Options

Payment options are one of the biggest customer pain points in e-commerce. If customers are not able to pay using their preferred method, they are more likely to abandon their cart.

According to a global survey, 40% of online shoppers in the world abandoned their carts in 2022 due to a lack of preferred payment methods. 

Another 2023 survey conducted by Baymard Institute found that 11% of US shoppers abandoned their carts due to a lack of payment options.

6.  Website Usability

A poorly designed or confusing website can make it difficult for customers to find what they need, leading to frustration and abandoned carts.

7.  Mobile Experience

Brands must provide a comprehensive mobile experience as customers expect it. As mobile shopping grows, a lack of mobile optimization can be a significant issue. Customers expect a seamless shopping experience on their smartphones.

Google research indicates that 64% of smartphone users expect a site to load in 4 seconds or less. 40% of consumers have turned to a competitor for a better mobile experience, and 1 in 4 shoppers abandon their carts if a site’s navigation is too complex.


In fact, poor mobile experience goes beyond losing a sale; it can leave users deeply frustrated, and these negative sentiments directly impact a company’s reputation.

  • A substantial 48% of users express frustration and irritation when encountering non-mobile-friendly sites. 
  • Additionally, 36% feel their time is wasted on such websites, and 52% are less inclined to interact with a company due to a subpar mobile experience. 
  • 48% perceive a lack of care for their business when a website doesn’t function well on their smartphones.

8.  Out of Stock Items

Popular items sell out fast. So when customers add them to their cart and return a few minutes later to find out that a desired product is out of stock after starting the shopping process can be disappointing and lead to cart abandonment.

Addressing this issue by implementing inventory management strategies and providing real-time stock updates is crucial to improving the overall positive shopping experience and reducing disappointment among buyers.

9.  Lack of Product Information

Incomplete or insufficient product information can make it hard for customers to make informed decisions, especially for complex or technical products.

10. Hidden Fees

Unexpected fees, such as additional charges during checkout, can lead to distrust and cart abandonment.

Image: Main reasons why US consumers abandon their orders during the checkout process in 2022. Source: Statista

11. Inadequate Personalization

Customers appreciate personalized recommendations and content tailored to their interests and past behavior. Lack of personalization can result in a less engaging shopping experience.

12. Trust and Reviews

Customers often rely on product reviews and ratings. If these are lacking or appear to be manipulated, it can reduce trust in the e-commerce platform.

Trust in e-commerce often comes under scrutiny due to several concerns. Such as, the  prevalence of fake reviews that mislead buyers, suspicions of manipulated ratings, and a lack of transparency in how reviews are collected and moderated. 

Complaints also extend to issues like review spam, inconsistency in feedback, bias from paid reviews, and difficulty in identifying genuine feedback. 

Consumers may express worries about businesses actively managing their online reputation by suppressing negative reviews or creating a scarcity of negative feedback. These concerns highlight the need for greater transparency and reliability in e-commerce review systems to enable informed purchasing decisions.

13. Account Creation

Today’s customers demand convenience and fast checkout. Many of them prefer the option to check out as a guest.

Forcing customers to create an account before making a purchase can be a barrier. So, if they have to invest more time completing the steps, it can lead to dissatisfaction. 

For instance, creating a new user account can be a friction point that causes 22% of cart abandoners to give up on their purchase, and 28% of all shoppers say it’s a reason why they’ve abandoned their carts!

14. Cross-Border Shopping

When shopping from international e-commerce sites, customers may encounter issues related to currency conversion, customs, and international shipping due to lack of supportive features.

15. Customer Support

Difficulty in reaching customer support or receiving prompt and helpful assistance can be a major pain point. 

Responsive, empathetic and knowledgeable customer service is crucial.

According to Microsoft, nearly half (47%) of consumers switched to a different brand because of poor customer service.

Another research conducted by Sprout Social indicates 40% of consumers anticipate receiving a response within one hour, while 79% expect a response within 24 hours.

16. Card Declined

One of the biggest frustrations for online shoppers is when their payment card gets declined while making a purchase. 

In 2022, 4% of people in the United States gave up on their online shopping because their card didn’t work, according to a Statista survey. 

This is consistent with the Baymard Institute finding that 6% of US shoppers faced this same problem and abandoned their shopping carts.

The above are only a few of the burning issues that negatively impact retails sales and revenue, and hurt brand reputation leaving their customers with a bad experience.

Awareness brings opportunities and we hope this knowledge will help you develop better strategies to tackle customer frustration by addressing the pain points and boost ecommerce sales.

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