Cart abandonment is the term used to describe when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but leaves your website without completing checkout.
Every eCommerce business can expect a certain level of cart abandonment. For example, sometimes shoppers add items to their cart without having any intention of buying them.
But if you measure your cart abandonment rate (the percentage of total orders that are started but never completed out of the total number of orders), you can keep track of it and see how it is affected by making changes to your checkout process or sales funnel.
Average Cart Abandonment Rate
The average cart abandonment rate according to a survey of 500 global brands is just over 88%.
Abandonment rates vary by industry. Some of the industries with the highest rates of cart abandonment include automotive and luxury products, probably because the average cost of these items is high.
Car rental companies and airlines also see high abandonment rates as many customers go partly through the checkout process while they’re researching a trip. It’s often not possible to see the full prices for a flight or car rental including taxes without adding it to your cart.
Reasons for Cart Abandonment
There are many reasons for cart abandonment. One of the main causes is that many users like to “window shop” online and add items to their basket that they never actually intend to purchase. Other reasons include:
- High shipping prices or other hidden extras like taxes that only become visible at checkout
- Long or complicated checkout process
- Customer is forced to create an account to complete checkout
- Not able to remember password to log in
- Discount codes not working
- Price difference after adding item to cart
- Limited payment options
- Lengthy shipping times
- Shipping not available to the location of the shopper
- Security or privacy concerns
Cart Abandonment Strategies – How to Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate
While it’s not possible to reduce cart abandonment behavior such as window shopping for entertainment or saving products for research purposes, there are a few things you can do to recover abandoned shopping carts.
Abandoned cart reminders
Sending an abandoned cart email is one way that many online stores recover abandoned carts. If a customer was distracted while shopping or needed some more time to think about their purchase, an automatic email reminder that they still have items in their cart can prompt them to complete checkout.
Even more exciting: research shows that sending an abandoned cart reminder can even get sales out of users who were window shopping and didn’t have any intention of making a purchase.
You can also retarget customers in ads on social media or other websites, reminding them of the items they left in the cart.
Clearly stating shipping fees and times on product pages
One of the main reasons for cart abandonment is seeing additional fees at checkout. So many eCommerce businesses can reduce their cart abandonment rate by offering fee shipping or being more transparent about their shipping fees and times and any additional costs before the checkout stage.
Improving site speed and reducing the number of form fields
Simplifying the checkout process can also help a great deal with reducing cart abandonment rate. Split A/B testing can be a helpful tool for optimizing your checkout and getting more orders to the payment stage. Checkout optimization can increase conversions by as much as 30%.
Encouraging users to create accounts can be a great way to get them on your mailing list and engage with them more. But it can also damage your conversions. Make sure you give the option of checking out as a guest rather than forcing all users to register.
Optimizing your site for mobile
Finally, it’s important to note that cart abandonment rate tends to be higher for mobile users. You can reduce this by making sure your site and checkout are optimized for mobile and easy to use. Some customers prefer to complete checkout on a desktop computer, so abandoned cart emails can help here too.