Essential eCommerce Industry Stats For Abandonment

shopping cart abandonment

For many years, shopping cart abandonment has been a growing problem for eCommerce retailers.

According to the Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.53%.

Translated into simpler terms, that means nearly 70 out of 100 people who fill their shopping carts on your website never come back to finish their purchase. When put this way, that percentage is staggering.

While shopping cart abandonment is the bane of eCommerce retailers, it can also provide an opportunity.

With billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise abandoned in online shopping carts, about 60% of that may be recoverable. For shrewd eCommerce sites with some ingenuity, you can turn abandoned carts around to your advantage.

In this article, we’re going to discuss essential eCommerce industry stats for abandonment and what you can do to turn the negative into a positive.

Would your revenue increase if you retained some of those abandoned carts?

Well, you guessed it. Your revenue most certainly would increase.

Let’s talk about those 70/100 people we mentioned earlier. How much money would you make if you captured those sales instead of lost them?

Here’s an example: If your monthly online revenue is $15,000, and you convert 25% of those abandoned carts into fulfilled sales, you’d make an extra $45,000 each year!

So, we’ve just made the case for doing something about those abandoned carts. First, though, let’s discuss why the carts are left in the first place.

Why Do People Abandon Carts?

According to, here are the reasons people abandon carts:

  • They are presented with unexpected costs.
  • They were “just” browsing.
  • They found the product cheaper somewhere else or with free shipping.
  • It was just too expensive or they were comparison shopping.
  • They changed their mind.
  • Your website crashed, was too slow, timed-out, or the navigation was confusing.
  • They had to go through too many steps to get to the end.
  • They worried about your site security.
  • Their credit card got declined.

Here are some additional alarming statistics as to why carts are abandoned:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 22% of carts abandoned happen due to no shipping information available.
  • 15% of customers don’t complete a purchase due to items being out of stock.
  • 3% of carts are abandoned because of confusing product information.
  • 2% of site purchases are lost due to payment processing issues.
  • Retailers lose nearly $18 billion annually due to cart abandonment.
  • People who abandon carts spend 55% more when they are remarketed to.
  • Most people abandon carts on Thursdays.
  • There wasn’t a sale section.
  • Two out of three people said they’d buy more online if returns were free.

Now that you have a clear picture of why people abandon carts, let’s talk about what you can do about it.

Decrease Cart Abandonment

Online shoppers do a lot of window shopping, but it’s different than traditional brick-and-mortar window shopping. Instead of simply browsing items, your customers, with one click, are adding items to their virtual shopping cart.

Here are a few ways to decrease shopping cart abandonment:

Offer free shipping. Be upfront and very clear when talking about shipping. Don’t wait until the items are added to the cart to spring it on unsuspecting shoppers. If you can’t offer outright free shipping, offer it at a certain dollar amount. For example, you can provide free shipping on orders over $100. You might find shoppers even spend a little more to reach your free shipping cap.

Make it really, really easy. Have you ever noticed Amazon’s one-click ordering? Buyers don’t even have to visit the shopping cart. If they’ve already set up an account and added a credit card, they can purchase without visiting multiple screens. Today’s online shoppers crave simplicity and ease – this is one of the reasons they’re even shopping online.

Use easy-to-follow navigation and instructions. Point your shoppers where you want them to go. Don’t under any circumstances make them guess. Let them know what point they are in the process. For example, if you have three steps, show them as completed once the user passes through. This can be done by “graying” out the completed steps and bolding ones left to finish.

Offer multiple payment options. The name of the game is convenience. Offer multiple credit card options as well as payment systems like PayPal. Remember – make it easy!

Display security logos so they feel comfortable and secure giving you’re their credit card.

Offer guest checkout as an option. Ecommerce shoppers don’t always want to create an account, and again think simplicity. On the flip side, you could offer a perk for creating an account. Point out that they’ll be able to check order status, complete returns faster and get exclusive coupons to encourage them to sign up. Just make it crystal clear why they should sign up. A study by User Interface Engineering shows a 45% increase in customer purchases when forced registration was removed from the checkout page.

Show images in your customers’ shopping carts so they remember exactly what they’re purchasing. Online retailer Athleta does a great job at this.

Ad Retargeting to Abandoned Cart Customers

When you market to people who abandoned their shopping carts, you keep track of your eCommerce site visitors by showing them your ads when they visit other online websites.

The best examples of ad retargeting are online powerhouses, Zappos and Nordstroms. Have you ever been on your Facebook page and noticed the exact pair of shoes you just viewed in the right hand column? This is retargeting.

There are many ways to retarget to visitors, and Google AdWords is one such way. As long as the site your customer is visiting accepts ads, you can retarget your users and show them the product they had viewed on your site.

Emails to Abandoned Cart Customers

The other way to recapture your customers is through email. Set up personalized emails that get sent to your shopper if they don’t complete their purchase.

If you’ve gotten the shopper’s name and email, you can send them an email or series of emails reminding them they’ve left items in their cart. Your email(s) should include:

  • Picture of item(s) left in cart
  • Reviews of item
  • Refund/return policy
  • A strong call to action

There are several ways to make this happen. Consider these Shopify apps:

Using something other than Shopify? Try these:

Increase Revenues

Don’t leave money on the table due to shopping cart abandonment. Execute some of the above ideas, and you’ll find you have more shoppers completing the process the first time. And for those who do jump ship and abandon their carts, you now have two ways to reel them back in.

Would you like some assistance implementing these ideas? We’re here to help you increase your conversion rate and decrease your amount of abandoned carts. What’s more, we guarantee your results. Contact us today to increase your online revenue by decreasing deserted shopping carts!

Image: Rick Harris

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