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Shopping Cart Abandonment

Sep 30, 2022

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment


Shopping Cart abandonment is a term in online shopping that refers to a shopper adding items to their virtual shopping cart and failing to complete the purchase before they end their session. All online stores experience shopping cart abandonment, in fact, average cart abandonment rates can range from 70% (on desktop) to 86% (on mobile).

Causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment can occur for many valid reasons largely outside of our control. The online store visitor may be interrupted, distracted, or may merely be online window shopping. To remedy this, it helps to ensure your shopping, registration, and checkout processes are so streamlined that the time from product view to purchase is short. Additionally, prompting an expiring promo code can help entice a casual browser to become a happy buyer. Other reasons for cart abandonment can include:

  • High shipping and handling costs: Shoppers might make it all the way to a check out page then discover a shipping fee they weren’t expecting or do not want to pay
  • Low intent: Just browsing or researching
  • Inconsistency: Lack of consistency between an ad and the product detail page (PDP)
  • Looking for a discount: Many savvy shoppers know that certain retailers will cookie them and provide a follow up email or offer in order to entice them back to an abandoned shopping cart, so will intentionally add items to their cart and wait for a follow-up offer

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

How to Calculate Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts created and multiplying that number by 100.

how to calculate shopping cart abandonment
How to calculate shopping cart abandonment rate

How to Optimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

A consistently high shopping cart abandonment rate is usually a signal that there’s something fundamentally wrong with parts of your online shopping experience. Identifying and fixing any technical issues on your site should be your first priority when optimizing your cart abandonment rate.

Consider all shopping cart abandonment instances as opportunities to better understand your customer and to identify opportunities for optimization and personalization.

A few questions to ask:

  • Are there specific products, product categories, price points or cart sizes that are more likely to be abandoned?
  • At what point in their path to purchase are shoppers leaving your site?
  • Are shoppers initiating the checkout process, or are they leaving before?

Answers to these questions will help to determine where to focus optimization efforts and pinpoint opportunities for improvement and personalization.

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