Your go-to resource for acronyms, jargons, terminology, and useful words for product and customer experience teams.


Cart Abandonment

What is cart abandonment?

The term “abandonment” is used in e-commerce to describe a visitor who leaves a web page without completing the desired action. For example, “shopping cart abandonment” refers to visitors who add items to their online shopping cart but exit the page without completing the purchase.

There are several types of abandonment across different sectors, but shopping cart abandonment is the most obvious.

Why Shoppers Abandon Carts

There are many reasons why shoppers might abandon their carts, but some of the most common reasons can be found in our survey data.

For the retail sector, these were the most common reasons for abandonment:

  • 34% were ‘just looking’ i.e. not ready to buy.
  • 23% had an issue with shipping.
  • 18% wanted to compare prices.
  • 15% decided to buy in-store instead.
  • 6% abandoned due to a lack of payment options.
  • 4% experienced a technical issue.
  • 4% experienced a technical issue.

How you can reduce shopping cart abandonment?

Thankfully, there are steps that brands can take to lower the number of customers who abandon their shopping carts. By taking these necessary measures, retailers have a chance to recover some of the sales they would otherwise lose. 

Some ways in which retailers can reduce abandoned shopping carts are as follows:

Important to remember: It’s important to remember that not all shoppers are ready to buy right away. The research process can take some time, but if you provide the information that shoppers need, you can keep your site top-of-mind. Here are some tips for helping customers research products:
-Make sure your site is easy to navigate
-Provide clear and concise product information
-Offer customer reviews and ratings
-Keep your site updated with the latest products and information.

Find shipping, return, and payment information: Making sure your customers can easily find shipping, return and payment information on your website is crucial if you want to make sales. If potential buyers can’t see that you offer next-day delivery when they need an item for the weekend, or if their preferred payment option isn’t available, they’re likely to go to a competitor’s site instead. Offering fast, convenient shipping and easy returns at a reasonable price are what shoppers are looking for, so it’s important to make sure you’re meeting or exceeding your competitors in these areas.

Form Optimization: Form-filling is a necessary part of buying online, and it’s an area where shoppers can easily become frustrated. To reduce the number of abandoned forms, we need to make them as easy as possible to complete. This means providing shortcuts for users (such as address lookup tools), helping customers through the trickier form fields, and monitoring analytics data for common issues which trip customers up.

Use Relevant and Timely On-site Messaging: When a customer is on your site and appears to be leaving without completing a purchase, it may be helpful to provide them with more information or reassurance at that moment. This could be in the form of an on-site message that offers help, reminds them that you can save their cart details for later, or provides a little incentive to prompt them to complete their purchase.

Well-designed checkout: It’s important to have a well-designed checkout process that works well on both mobile and desktop. This means having forms that are easy to fill out and that don’t require too much friction for shoppers. One way to reduce friction is to provide guest checkout, which removes one barrier for users. Another way is to default to the appropriate keypad for touchscreen users so they can easily complete the form. Both of these methods will make it easier for users to complete the checkout process, which is crucial for any online business.

Cart abandonment emails: If you’re like most e-commerce businesses, you’re probably losing a lot of money due to cart abandonment. But there’s a way to fix that! Cart abandonment emails are a great way to recover lost sales and boost your bottom line. By sending a follow-up email to customers who abandon their shopping carts, you can give them a nudge in the right direction and remind them to complete their purchase.

Email reminders and callbacks: It can be useful for customers who need more information before making a purchase. For customers who are not ready to buy, you can offer to email them cart contents or booking details so they can come back to your site when they’re ready. For customers who need more help, you can offer to call them and provide extra assistance. You can serve up prompts to customers when they’re about to abandon your site, such as when they’re heading for the browser back button.

Abandonment surveys can be very beneficial for retailers as they can help to identify the reasons why customers abandoned their purchases and make changes to reduce future abandonment rates. Even if customers don’t return to complete a purchase, the information from the survey can be used to improve the shopping experience and make it more likely that customers will finish their purchase.