Shopping cart abandonment is a serious challenge for businesses across various industries. As reported by the Baymard Institute, average around 69.57% of all shopping carts are abandoned. This is an average of 48 shopping cart abandonment studies, which range from 56% to 81%. This means only around 30% of your customers actually end up buying what they add to their baskets.
The issue is so significant it’s believed around $4.6 trillion in merchandise is left unpurchased in online shopping carts, as customers end up being distracted by something new.
Shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the number of initiated sales. (adds to basket).
Let's say your business recorded 100 completed purchases within the month, and 800 shopping carts opened, which equates to 12.5% completed transactions. Then, the cart abandonment rate is simply 1 - the cart conversion rate: 1 - 12.5% = 87.5%
You can also use an abandonment rate calculator to simplify the process.
A confusing website interface or too many checkout steps frustrates shoppers and gives them time to second-guess their purchases.
Many ecommerce businesses offer coupon codes to first-time buyers or other incentives for account creation. If you don’t offer incentives and your competitor does, your customer may take their business elsewhere.
Nothing turns shoppers off more than seeing unanticipated fees tacked on at checkout.
In fact, a study by Baymard Institute found that 48% of shoppers with actual purchase intent (i.e. those who aren’t window shopping) abandoned shopping carts because the extra costs (shipping, taxes and fees) were too high.
In an attempt to compete with Amazon, big-box retailers including Target, Walmart and Best Buy have made free, two-day shipping ubiquitous, leading customers to expect the same privileges elsewhere.
An ideal checkout flow is a smooth, frictionless experience. The typical checkout process is as follows: shopping cart > billing info > shipping info > shipping method > preview order > payment > confirmation.
A checkout flow that does not follow a logical sequence of steps can deter customers. So will asking for too much information to complete the purchase, such as the customer’s phone number, date of birth or gender.
Some ecommerce stores don’t reveal an item’s expected delivery time until checkout. Delivery time is typically contingent upon the customer’s location, especially for businesses that ship overseas.
This also depends on the item in question, however. Custom items will naturally take longer as they are made to order. According to study perishables and household items should be delivered quickly to guarantee food hygiene and because customers typically order them urgently. By contrast, delivery windows for consumer durables such as furniture are a little looser
Red flags like outdated website design, no Security certificate, an unfamiliar brand name or an unfamiliar payment gateway can dissuade customers from making a purchase.
According to Baymard Institute, 18% of consumers are reluctant to surrender their credit card details to ecommerce sites they don’t trust.
A lack of social proof — reviews, testimonials and other user-generated content — makes it hard for customers to trust you.
If your site has a confusing interface or is laggy, people lose confidence in your product or service.
Also, run cross-browser and cross-device tests to ensure your online store works correctly on different browsers and devices. You can use Google Analytics to find reports on website performance across devices: Audience > Technology > Browser & OS or Audience > Mobile > Devices
The abandoned cart flow should be the first email sequence that you set up for your eCommerce store, regardless of whether you are in the fashion, the supplements or the electronic industry.
If your abandoned cart recovery rate is above 10%, you are doing a decent job. Above 20% is exceptional.
Abandoned cart emails are automated messages sent to customers who exit a website without making a purchase or “reshelving” their items. Abandoned cart emails work to draw customers back to the site, encouraging them to complete the purchase they were already on the brink of making.
Abandoned cart emails enable online stores to recover lost sales and re-engage potential customers. These emails serve several purposes:
Free shipping reduces the purchase cost, making people less likely to reconsider, especially when it comes to impulse buys.
Let shoppers sidestep account creation if they so wish. This reduces the time it takes to check out by removing additional steps while enabling those who don’t wish to share their personal information to complete a purchase confidently.
Guest checkout means customers don’t have to store their credit card information and their email address will only be used for delivery updates.
Progress bars are a wonderful tool because they tell users how many more steps remain in a user flow. This creates a sense of momentum that reduces the likelihood of someone dropping off due to an unnecessarily protracted checkout process.
A nearly completed progress bar also provides visual reinforcement for shoppers to proceed with their purchase because they can see how much they’ve already invested in checkout. You can also include a simple cart reminder or notification on your website.
For example, if a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t initiate the checkout flow, you can set a pop-up to remind customers that they haven’t completed the purchase.
If customers used a promo code or you’re offering a first-time buyer discount, show how much has been deducted from the original price. This makes customers feel they’re getting a good deal and they will be less likely to have misgivings.
Time-limited sales also create a sense of urgency, especially if you display a countdown.
Customers want to use their preferred payment method, especially if it’s more convenient and means they don’t have to enter their billing information every time they purchase from a new brand. Find out what payment options your customers prefer and offer the right integrations.
Users will abandon their carts if the next step in the checkout process isn’t clear.
Highlight the next step in the payment process using calls-to-action that tell the user what to expect.
Make sure the CTAs for each step are distinct and use familiar wording — don’t try to be original or cutesy. For example, after ‘Add to Cart’ the next call-to-action should be ‘Buy Now’ to initiate the checkout flow.
Make it clear that users will have the chance to review their purchase before hitting the final ‘Confirm and Pay’ button.
Keep a close eye on site availability and uptime, especially during peak seasons. Slow page load speed can seriously dent your conversion rates.
According to a 2019 study by Portent, a 0-4 second load time is best for conversion rates. The highest ecommerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds. With each additional second of load time, conversion rates drop by an average of 0.3%
When customers have a complaint or question, they want an expedient resolution. Live chat support allows them to have their query answered promptly, thereby assuaging any concerns they might have that would preclude a purchase.
Remember that live chat implies near-instantaneous responses, so don’t offer this feature unless you can deliver. Data shows that the first response time on a chat tool must be under a minute.
Outside of business hours, you can have a chatbot take over; however, give customers the option to request assistance from a real human if their issue remains unresolved
Being too easygoing with refunds and returns can eat your profit margins, but it helps build trust — especially if you’re a new business selling an expensive item.
The standard return window for most retailers is 30 days. Generally, most online retailers do not accept refunds for custom items — but don’t enforce this unflinchingly. If a customer’s order is incorrect or defective due to an error on your part, you should honor them with a refund or risk the reputational damage of a negative review
Customers can often feel anxious when buying products from companies online, particularly when they’re not familiar with the brand. Social proof is an excellent way to minimize this issue. With a star rating or reviews from existing customers on your product pages, you show your customers that your items are authentic and trustworthy
Shopping cart abandonment can be a serious issue for many companies. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of losing customers. From leveraging the power of social proof in your checkout, to making sure you stay with your customers every step of the way, the right strategy should improve your conversions, and your customer lifetime value.
Implementing tactics like abandoned cart emails, free shipping offers, and diverse payment options can significantly boost recovery rates. Furthermore, prioritizing customer experience with live chat support, clear calls to action, and optimized page speeds establishes trust and reduces friction. In the quest of success, a solid refund policy and leveraging social proof play pivotal roles, reassuring customers and fostering lasting brand loyalty.