Definition

Shopping cart abandonment refers to customers adding products to their online shopping cart but leaving the website without completing the purchase

Causes contributing to cart abandonment encompass unanticipated expenses, intricate checkout procedures, a deficit of trust, challenges related to website performance, and restricted payment alternatives.

Cart abandonment is, unfortunately, a common problem for eCommerce owners, rendering all their efforts (financial or otherwise) to improve their SEO or advertising processes futile. 

Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment

Nearly 70% of shoppers decide not to go through with their purchases.

According to the Baymard Institute, the typical rate of cart abandonment is 69.99%, a figure derived from an average of 48 studies on shopping cart abandonment, with rates ranging from 56% to 81%.

This means that, on average, only three out of every ten customers who load up their shopping carts end up completing their purchase at the checkout.

Moreover, Statista, with data from Baymard Institute, has shown a consistent increase in the cart abandonment rate since 2014. 

In that year, the average rate was 68.07%, which has steadily risen yearly.

The Psychology Behind Cart Abandonment

If we apply the Fogg Behavior Model to the phenomenon of cart abandonment, we’ll notice crucial insights into the factors influencing customer actions. 

This model emphasizes three fundamental elements—motivation, ability, and trigger—that significantly impact an intended behavior, such as completing a purchase.

When desired behaviors do not occur, it is often due to a deficiency in one or more of these elements. 

Identifying these specific friction points can be instrumental in refining strategies to address cart abandonment. 

Let’s look at these examples:

  • When consumers find it hard to figure out how the shipping costs are worked out, they lose interest, making them check out other places.
  • If you see a product on the website but then get an error saying it’s out of stock, it messes up your ability to buy it.
  • And if there’s no offer to upgrade or suggestions for other stuff that goes well with what’s in your cart, it misses a shot at convincing you to go ahead with the purchase.

Identifying the reasons behind your cart abandonment problems involves delving into the data, scrutinizing your product pages, evaluating your checkout process, and essentially trying to see things from your customer’s perspectives. 

Chances are, you’ve made online purchases yourself, and there’s a good chance you’ve ditched a cart at some point. As you start this investigation, you might quickly see why carts are frequently left hanging on a webpage.

How Cart Abandonment Affects Revenue and Customer Behavior

High cart abandonment rates go beyond mere statistics; they represent a complex challenge that can significantly impact your business’s growth and success. 

Here’s why cart abandonment spells trouble for businesses.

Lost Revenue

Evidently, when customers abandon their shopping carts, it directly translates to lost revenue.

Increased Cost per Conversion

Cart abandonment not only impacts earnings but also raises the cost of achieving each sale. Companies end up spending extra on advertising to re-engage customers and encourage them to complete their purchases. 

This strains budgets, consumes time and resources, hurts business efficiency, and diverts attention from critical areas.

Damaged Customer Relationships

While cart abandonment hits finances, it also influences how customers perceive the business. 

If customers abandon their carts due to payment issues or security concerns, it can lead to frustration and undermine trust. 

High cart abandonment rates signal problems with the checkout or shopping experience, discouraging customers from coming back. 

Over time, this damages the brand’s reputation and weakens customer loyalty.

Business Insight Challenges

Cart abandonment can skew the interpretation of sales performance, revenue, and customer behavior. 

Business metrics like conversion rate, average order value, and revenue per visitor may appear lower than they actually are, as abandoned carts aren’t considered in completed transactions. 

Misinterpreting these metrics might lead to misguided strategic decisions, such as ineffective marketing campaigns or flawed inventory management.

Common Causes of Cart Abandonment

Sometimes, the reason behind cart abandonment is simple. 

Someone adds an item to their cart impulsively, lacking genuine purchase intent. Interestingly, cart abandonment rates reach their peak in December, driven by the allure of Black Friday and holiday sales that entice impulsive shoppers.

In fact, a Baymard study revealed that 58.6% of online shoppers in the United States have deserted a cart within the past three months, citing reasons like “I was just browsing/not ready to buy.” 

Most of these potential shoppers abandon their carts before even starting the checkout process, and these instances of abandonment are essentially inevitable losses.

However, some other cases aren’t as straightforward and can’t be explained through window shopping. 

Here are the most common causes behind cart abandonment – if one hits too close to home, it means it might be time for you to review your practices. 

High Extra Costs (Shipping, Tax, Fees)

One of the primary culprits leading to cart abandonment is the revelation of unexpectedly high extra costs during the checkout process. 

This includes shipping fees, taxes, or additional charges. 

Customers appreciate transparency and may reconsider their purchase decisions when faced with hidden costs.

Mandatory Account Creation

Forcing customers to create an account before completing a purchase can be a major turn-off. 

While account creation may have its advantages for businesses, it’s essential to balance it with the user experience. 

Offering a guest checkout option can reduce friction and encourage customers to complete their transactions.

Over-complicated Checkout Process

A lengthy or convoluted checkout process is a recipe for cart abandonment. 

Customers seek a seamless and quick transaction experience. 

Simplifying the steps involved in checkout, minimizing form fields, and providing progress indicators can go a long way in preventing frustration and abandonment.

Lack of Trust (Security Concerns)

Trust is the bedrock of online transactions. If customers harbor security concerns, they are likely to abandon their carts. 

Implementing robust security measures, displaying trust badges, and offering secure payment options can help alleviate apprehensions and build trust with your audience.

Unsatisfactory Return Policies

Customers want assurance that they can return products hassle-free if they are dissatisfied. 

Unclear or rigid return policies may discourage potential buyers.

Provide transparent and customer-friendly return policies to instill confidence and reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.

Limited Payment Options

A lack of diverse payment options can be a significant barrier to completing a purchase. Customers have their preferred payment methods, and restricting choices may lead to abandonment. 

Offering a variety of payment options, including credit cards, digital wallets, and other popular methods, caters to a broader audience.

Website Errors and Crashes

Technical glitches such as website errors, crashes, or slow loading times will frustrate users and prompt them to abandon their carts. 

Regular website maintenance, performance testing, and prompt resolution of technical issues are essential to ensure a smooth online shopping experience.

Measuring Cart Abandonment

If you want to calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate, you simply need to divide the total number of completed transactions by the number of initiated sales (adds to the cart). 

To obtain the abandonment rate, subtract the result from one and multiply the outcome by 100. 

For example, suppose your site recorded 80 completed purchases and 300 shopping carts created. In that case, the cart abandonment rate can be calculated as follows:

(1 – [80 / 300)] 100 = 
(1 – 0.2667) 100 = 
0.7333 * 100 = 
73%

Tools and Software for Monitoring Cart Abandonment

Alternatively, you can streamline the process of calculating the cart abandonment rate by using an abandonment rate calculator.

Various options are available to help you tackle the challenge of cart abandonment. 

Such software is designed to track and analyze these occurrences, giving you valuable insights and statistics to lower this rate. 

Moreover, these tools can also include advanced features, such as recovery email campaigns, where personalized emails are sent to entice customers back and encourage the completion of their transactions.

When it comes to eCommerce, the game isn’t solely about prices, products, or services. 

Instead, it focuses on delivering the optimal customer experience. 

You can use Omniconvert’s Explore to create such experiences for your prospects and reduce cart abandonment through strategic overlays. Read more about the subject in this comprehensive article – here.

Analyzing Data to Understand the Root Causes of Cart Abandonment

Data analysis enables the identification of pain points within the customer journey, thus immersing yourself in the reasons why people abandon their carts. 

The first step would be delving into the numbers to determine the specific stages where customers abandon their carts.

It can be during checkout, account creation, or even in the paying stage if you offer limited payment options. 

It’s crucial you uncover exactly what makes people leave so you can tackle the issue. 

Then, use heatmap tools to delve into user behavior patterns. 

Trace customers’ paths on your website, from product page entry to cart abandonment. Recognizing these patterns unveils trends and provides insights into the mindset of potential buyers.

Finally, give customers an opportunity to express themselves. 

Use tools such as surveys, reviews, and direct input from those who abandoned their carts to understand their concerns about pricing, checkout complexity, or trust issues.

If cart abandonment is an issue in your business, you need to act asap. 

However, you must first gain a comprehensive understanding of the root causes. 

Fortunately, once you know what’s going on, you can strategically implement solutions. 

Whether streamlining checkout processes, enhancing pricing transparency, or diversifying payment options, data-driven insights pave the way for informed improvements.

Strategies to Reduce Cart Abandonment

This brings us to the next exciting topic: solving your issues with cart abandonment. 

In this section, we will delve into key strategies to reduce cart abandonment, starting from the most common reasons behind this problem.

Streamlining the Checkout Process

A seamless and user-friendly checkout process is the first step in reducing cart abandonment. 

Consumers crave simplicity, efficiency, and convenience when online shopping. 

After all, if they wanted a more complicated way of shopping, they would have gone the route of brick and mortar stores, right?

Evaluate your current checkout flow. 

Is it overcomplicated? 

Are you requesting consumers too fill out too many form fields?

Are they required to go through too many screens before being able to buy?

Simplifying the checkout process can be a game-changer. 

Another important aspect here is mobile optimization

A responsive design and a simplified mobile checkout experience ensure that smartphone users encounter no obstacles, thereby reducing the likelihood of abandonment.

Offering Multiple Payment Options

An important aspect of shopping convenience lies in having a variety of payment options.

In fact, these options can be the decisive factor in completing a purchase.

Beyond credit cards, consider integrating digital wallets, bank transfers, and other popular payment methods. 

At the same time, providing a seamless and secure payment experience across these options enhances customer satisfaction and trust.

If you have an international customer base, consider accommodating various currencies and local payment methods. 

Unfortunately, a failure to offer familiar payment options will lead to frustration and abandonment, especially for customers outside your primary market.

Transparent Pricing and Fee Structures

No one likes hidden costs and unclear fee structures.

Customers appreciate transparency in pricing, including shipping costs and taxes. 

It’s your job to clearly communicate all charges early in the shopping process to set realistic expectations. 

Consider providing a shipping cost calculator on product pages, allowing users to estimate additional expenses before reaching the checkout.

Remember to assure customers that their transactions are secure. 

This way, you’re fostering confidence and reducing the likelihood of abandonment due to trust issues.

Enhancing Website Performance and Security

A sluggish, suspicious website will quickly drive customers away. 

Optimize your website’s performance to ensure fast loading times, smooth navigation, and responsive interactions. 

Additionally, invest in strong and updtaed security measures to protect customer data. 

SSL certificates, secure payment gateways, and regular security audits contribute to a safe online environment, reassuring customers and reducing cart abandonment.

Implementing Guest Checkout Options

For many people, the prospect of creating an account to order a product is complicated enough to make them quit. 

That’s why implementing a guest checkout option is a great way to eliminate the hassle of registration from the shopping experience. 

Simplify the process by requesting only essential information, such as shipping details and payment information. This way, you’re encouraging spontaneous purchases and minimizing cart abandonment.

The Role of Remarketing in Recovering Abandoned Carts

Here’s some great news: even if customers abandon their cart, the game isn’t over. 

Remarketing, a powerful strategy, comes into play to rekindle interest, re-engage potential buyers, and ultimately recover those abandoned carts. 

Strategies for Effective Remarketing Campaigns

Firstly, focus on segmentation if you want true precision; one size rarely fits all in the world of remarketing. 

Segment your audience based on their behavior, preferences, and the reasons behind cart abandonment

Then, tailor your approach for each segment to create more personalized and targeted messaging. 

Consider segments such as first-time visitors, repeat customers, or those who abandoned high-value items.

Secondly, be mindful of the timing of your remarketing efforts. 

For example, implementing a drip campaign with a series of strategically timed messages can be more effective than a single outreach. 

Consider sending an initial reminder shortly after abandonment, followed by subsequent messages spaced over a few days. 

Experiment with timing to find the sweet spot for your audience.

Best Practices for Crafting Abandoned Cart Emails

The subject line is the gateway to your abandoned cart email. 

Craft compelling and attention-grabbing subject lines that prompt users to open the email. 

Incorporate a sense of urgency or highlight a special offer to entice recipients.

In the body of your email, clarity is key. 

Clearly remind customers about the items left in their cart, and concisely communicate the value proposition. 

Highlight any unique selling points, promotions, or limited-time offers to motivate them to complete the purchase.

Finally, guide customers seamlessly back to their abandoned carts with a strategically placed and visually appealing call-to-action. 

Make it effortless for them to return to their shopping journey, ensuring a user-friendly experience.

Using Retargeting Ads to Re-engage Customers

Retargeting ads, particularly Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs), are a potent tool in your remarketing arsenal. 

DPAs automatically showcase the exact products users left in their carts, creating a personalized and compelling visual reminder. 

This level of specificity can significantly increase the chances of conversion.

Using Social Media Platforms

Leverage the power of social media platforms for retargeting. 

Create visually appealing ads that align with your brand and target users based on their interaction with your website. 

Social media retargeting can be especially effective due to the extensive reach and diverse user base.

Leveraging Customer Feedback

Besides retargeting, customer feedback is another strong tool that will help your rates. 

We’ve already mentioned it as the key to uncovering the reasons behind cart abandonment. 

Now, it’s time to delve deeper into the multifaceted process of gathering and analyzing customer feedback to understand the reasons for abandonment.

Gathering and Analyzing Customer Feedback

Understanding the reasons behind abandonment is pivotal, and customer feedback provides a direct line to these insights. 

Whether it’s unexpected costs, a cumbersome checkout process, or concerns about security, customer feedback reveals the pain points that need addressing.

Use post-purchase surveys, feedback forms on your website, or even social media platforms to provide the space for consumers to share their thoughts. 

Encourage candid responses and make the feedback process straightforward. 

Anonymity in surveys can often lead to more honest and constructive responses.

Using Surveys and Feedback Tools to Gain Insights

Designing effective surveys is an art. 

Ensure your surveys are concise, relevant, and strategically crafted to extract actionable insights. 

Focus on specific aspects related to the shopping experience, such as the checkout process, product selection, or overall website navigation. 

Combine closed-ended questions for quantitative data with open-ended questions for richer, qualitative insights.

Feedback tools integrated into your website or application can provide real-time insights. 

These tools capture feedback at critical touchpoints, allowing you to identify issues as they arise. 

Additionally, sentiment analysis tools can help gauge the emotional tone of feedback, providing a nuanced understanding of customer sentiments. 

Regularly monitor these tools to stay proactive in addressing emerging concerns.

Implementing Changes Based on Customer Suggestions

Not all feedback is created equal.

Focus on actionable feedback that directly addresses the issues contributing to cart abandonment. 

Identify recurring themes and patterns in the feedback to pinpoint areas that require immediate attention. 

A data-driven approach ensures that changes are targeted and impactful.

Implementing changes based on customer feedback is a strategic move and a powerful demonstration of your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Communicate transparently about the changes you’ve made in response to customer input. 

This fosters trust and reinforces the idea that customer feedback is valued and can drive tangible improvements.

Mobile Shopping and Cart Abandonment

Since most online shoppers use mobile devices, cart abandonment rates are also highest on smartphones. 

Considering that, we think it’s best to dissect the impact of mobile user experience on cart abandonment and look at strategies for optimizing mobile platforms.

The Impact of Mobile User Experience on Cart Abandonment

The limited-screen real estate on mobile devices poses unique challenges. 

Clunky or non-responsive design elements can frustrate users, leading to higher instances of cart abandonment. 

Understanding the constraints and opportunities presented by smaller screens is the first step in mitigating this impact.

Mobile users are notorious for their impatience. 

Slow-loading mobile sites contribute significantly to cart abandonment. 

Optimizing the speed and performance of your mobile platform is not just a luxury but a necessity. 

This involves compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and employing other techniques to ensure swift page loads.

Optimizing for Mobile to Improve Conversion Rates

A responsive design is non-negotiable. 

Ensure that your website adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions. 

This not only enhances the user experience but also positively influences search engine rankings, as search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites.

The checkout process on mobile should be a streamlined and intuitive journey. 

Minimize the number of steps required to complete a purchase and reduce form fields to essential information. 

Implementing features like auto-fill for addresses and credit card details can significantly enhance the convenience of the mobile checkout process.

Mobile Payment Options

Mobile users often have specific preferences when it comes to payment methods. 

Offering a variety of mobile-friendly payment options, such as digital wallets and one-click payment solutions, caters to the diverse needs of your mobile audience. 

A frictionless payment process can be a game-changer in preventing cart abandonment.

User-Friendly Navigation

Mobile users value simplicity and ease of navigation. 

Implement clear and concise navigation menus, prominent search functionality, and strategically placed CTAs. 

A user-friendly interface reduces the likelihood of users getting lost or frustrated, contributing to a more positive mobile shopping experience.

Cart Abandonment Across Different Devices

It’s interesting to see that people show distinct shopping behaviors depending on their devices. 

Here’s a breakdown of these device-specific abandonment rates:

73% of customers abandon their carts on desktop

While desktops offer a more comfortable viewing experience due to their larger screens, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a lower overall cart abandonment rate. 

According to Barilliance, the average cart abandonment rate for desktop eCommerce sessions is 73.07%, representing the lowest rate when compared to other devices.

On tablets, the cart abandonment rate increases to 80.74%

Users tend to abandon their carts more frequently on smaller screens, with over 80% of people abandoning their carts on tablets, as reported by Barilliance. 

It’s noteworthy that shopping from tablet devices has considerably declined, comprising only about 3% of all online shopping sessions, according to Kibo. 

The mobile cart abandonment rate is the highest among all devices, at 85.65%

Mobile users experience the highest cart abandonment rate, with 85.65% of shoppers failing to complete their purchases. 

However, mobile traffic constitutes more than two-thirds of all eCommerce sessions, accounting for 68%. 

You can tell from these insights that addressing mobile user experience is crucial, considering the significant potential revenue loss associated with this platform.

Wrap-Up 

As you can see, cart abandonment is a challenge for most businesses out there. 

This abandonment not only bleeds revenue but hurts customer bonds and distorts vital metrics. 

However, it ain’t over until it’s over – you still have a fighting chance. 

To rise above, use must wield strategic tools—simplify checkouts, offer diverse payments, listen to customer voices, and unleash savvy remarketing. 

The mobile frontier is also crucial, with an 85.65% cart abandonment rate – it’s time to start crafting seamless, memorable experiences across all devices. 

Good luck!