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Why are your customers adding tickets to their cart, then abandoning those tickets before completing the checkout process?


The answer might surprise you. It turns out nearly 70% of all e-commerce carts are abandoned

Sometimes there are special circumstances, like a personal emergency, but more often than not it comes down to one of five user-experience frustrations. 


You’re leaving money on the table if your event isn’t taking steps to prevent abandoned carts (imagine what you could do with nearly 70% more sales!). Let’s dive into the most common reasons for abandoning a ticket cart, and how you can fix it.

What is an Abandoned Cart?

An abandoned cart refers to a situation in e-commerce where a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but leaves the website without completing the purchase. In the context of ticket sales for events, an abandoned cart would occur when a potential attendee selects tickets for an event but does not complete the checkout process.


Abandoned carts are a common occurrence in online shopping and ticketing, and they represent lost revenue opportunities for businesses and event organizers. Understanding why customers abandon their carts and implementing strategies to reduce abandonment rates is essential for maximizing sales and improving the overall customer experience.

Why Customers Abandon Their Tickets Before Checkout

1. High Ticket Prices

One of the most common reasons is that the ticket prices are higher than expected or beyond what the buyer is willing to pay.


How to Prevent It: Do your research before setting a random price point for your tickets. If this is your first event, it might be helpful to look at other events in your area and find out what they charge for tickets. If you’ve hosted events before, you can look at your past ticket sales as well as the use of discount codes or early bird pricing to understand whether you should raise or lower your prices. 


Don’t forget to survey your guests and ask what they thought about the value of their tickets as well. And be sure to check out our 2024 Guide to Event Ticket Prices for more tips on how to set the right price point for your next event. 

2. Hidden Fees

Unexpected fees can create sticker shock during the checkout process. If a guest thinks they’re paying $10 for a ticket, and the total at checkout is $20, they might think twice before entering their credit card details. 


How to Prevent It: Use a ticketing platform that makes fees clear up front. On Passage, for example, guests can view the total cost of their purchase, with fees listed separately, before they add tickets to their cart. When they checkout, the price will be exactly what they were expecting, so fewer purchases are abandoned due to surprise fees or taxes. 


It also helps to choose ticketing software that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg in fees, too. Compare the prices of multiple different platforms to ensure your software won’t give your guests sticker shock. 


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3. Complicated Checkout Process

Lengthy or complicated checkout processes, especially if they require creating an account or entering too much information, can lead to frustration and abandonment.


How to Prevent It: Start by using a ticketing platform like Passage where guests can choose between checking out as a guest or creating an account. Once you have your event set up, go through a test transaction yourself to see how easy or difficult it will be for your guests. It can also be helpful to ask a friend to walk through the checkout process, too, for an unbiased opinion. 


Try to avoid using an overly-complicated event setup.  For example, asking guests to choose a separate time slot for each of your three attractions, then requiring they select an assigned seat for another experience, and having a list of five custom questions plus entering their phone number for a virtual queue. A lot of folks might get frustrated and abandon the process halfway through. 

4. Technical Issues

Glitches, errors, or slow loading times on the ticketing website can cause buyers to give up and abandon their purchase. 


How to Prevent It: Thoroughly check your event’s website and ticketing page on different devices and browsers to make sure it’s functioning properly. If a page takes three or more seconds to load, you may want to remove unnecessary plugins, reduce the size of large photo and video files, or take other steps to make it easier for your guests to use. 


You should also ask your ticketing partner to provide recent “uptime” data. If their software regularly goes offline unexpectedly, that can affect your customers’ ability to purchase tickets. (Pssst: Passage has a 100% uptime rate on our mobile app and ticketing platform.)

5. Uncertainty about the Event

Lack of information about the event, such as unclear event details, seating arrangements, or event policies, can make buyers hesitant to complete the purchase. Discovering unexpected restrictions or requirements (e.g., age restrictions, ID verification, etc.) during the checkout process can also lead to abandonment.


How to Prevent It: Provide your guests with clear information both on your website and your ticketing page. Follow best practices for what to include on your ticketing page (you can even use AI to help generate an event description if you get stuck). And make sure you spell out a clear policy for things like refunds or inclement weather. 


An FAQ page on your website can also be helpful for guests to find the information they’re looking for. If you get questions on social media or by email, add those answers to your FAQ page so that other guests can find those details, too!

Final Thoughts

Abandoned carts can be a major revenue loss for event organizers. By addressing these common issues with inventive solutions, you can minimize cart abandonment and improve the overall ticket purchasing experience for your customers.


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