The Shopping Cart Abandonment Epidemic: What it Means for You

Since the early 2000s, online shopping cart abandonment has been a growing problem, with the newest studies citing that about 67 percent of online shoppers abandon their cart and leave the website without making a purchase. Here’s how this affects your online business.

You Are Losing 67 Out of 100 Customers

Image via Flickr by Andreas Overland

Baymard combined 27 different studies to come up with the 67% shopping cart abandonment rate. The most recent study by Fireclick puts the numbers at 62 percent. Either way, that’s about two-thirds of your website traffic.

Translating the figures into more tangible terms, it means that 67 out of the 100 people who stop by your website long enough to put an item in a cart leave without buying anything. Shopify puts this into monetary terms: If you are currently making $15,000 a month in sales, you are potentially missing out on an additional $30,000 in sales every month and $360,000 every year.

You Are Getting Skewed Ecommerce Metrics

When you see a high cart abandonment rate, it’s natural to assume that those are simply lost and unrecoverable sales. Back in February 2013, however, eMarketer discovered that this wasn’t the case. Instead, they found that many were using shopping carts as wish lists and then going to purchase the items in the store, and others found that online shoppers were viewing items on their smartphone before switching to a PC to go through checkout. The bottom line? The online customer purchase path is a lot more complicated than we initially thought. That realization leads us to the good news:

You Can Get 63 Percent of Those Customers Back

Image via Flickr by Karen Roe

If you take the time to pursue this mass exodus of customers, Business Insider believes that you can capture almost two thirds of them back. BI Intelligence feels so confident about this high rate of recovery due to two statistics: three-fourths of customers who abandon their shopping cart are planning to return later and purchase the items, and follow-up emails to these shoppers result in a 40 percent open rate and a 20 percent click-through rate.

You Can Prevent Them Leaving in the First Place

While abandoned cart emails are a huge trend right now (and you can find plenty of examples on how to capture email addresses), you can also keep your customers from leaving in the first place. Here’s a list of 6 ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate (hint: we go through this checklist on all sites we optimize).

Still not convinced cart abandonment is a big deal? Check out the Cart Abandonment Infographic we put together last year (and feel free to embed it on your site too!).

How has cart abandonment affected your business, and how have you combated it?

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By Jon Correll

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