A recent study found something that may be disturbing to many online marketers. The study found that when consumers shop online, 75 percent of the shopping carts they initiate are abandoned before the sale is finalized. If you’ve brought a consumer to the place where he or she is about to make a purchase, you don’t want anything to get in the way. Let’s look at the reasons why users abandon their shopping carts and see if we can remove any obstacles that stand between customers and finalized sales.

1. Buyer’s remorse: It’s that feeling you get after making a big purchase when you first ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Online, however, buyers have plenty of opportunities to get that feeling before finalizing the sale. It’s human nature; it’s the same reason you see out-of-place abandoned items near the checkout lines in retail stores, and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

2. Just window-shopping: Kids like to pretend they’re superheroes, and we really like putting those designer dresses and jackets in our shopping carts. But your kid isn’t really a superhero, and a lot of people just like to pretend they’re wearing those designer clothes. According to Women’s Health magazine, window-shopping can be a harmless fantasy that “releases mood-lifting endorphins, boosts your immune system, keeps your brain nimble, and even fulfills basic social needs.” Online window-shopping floods the senses and stimulates the imagination, and no credit card is needed for that.

3. Tax and shipping: Sure, that “Breaking Bad” t-shirt looked great online when it was listed for $14.99. Then some tax was added, the shipping charge was calculated, and your effort to identify with a TV character was just a whim that you quickly forget. Increasingly, online retailers are working to soften the sticker shock by calculating tax and shipping charges before you begin checking out. Since those charges can’t be eliminated, this is probably the best approach

4. The Great Coupon Code Hunt: You’re about to check out, and you notice it: Enter Coupon Code Here. Thus, the Great Hunt begins. You open tabs. You conduct searches. “Error 404 File Not Found” is burned into your brain. You can become so obsessed with finding the coupon code that you actually forget about your purchase, or you become so frustrated that you decide to quit the whole thing. Here’s a situation online retailers can actually do something about. Studies show that you are far more likely to make a sale when your coupon codes are easy to find. Coupon codes are a special incentive to buy, and customers genuinely appreciate them.

PoachIt is using a new approach; if customers don’t like a price, they can sign up for alerts when the item is reduced or goes on sale. Innovative thinking like this is the way social media marketers can avoid some of the built-in obstacles to online retail buying and selling.