7 min read

Shopping Cart Abandonment: Statistics and Facts

Written by Andriy Boychuk
7 min read

No matter how long you have been dabbling in eCommerce, you must have encountered abandoned carts.

These are situations where a customer adds one or more items to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase. Simply put, he or she simply gives up on the purchase and moves on. 

And while it is expected that some customers are simply window shoppers, when the abandonment rate keeps increasing, it is a clear indication of a greater problem.

So to avoid escalation, it is best to keep up with shopping cart abandonment statistics, calculate your abandonment rate, and monitor it over time.

Shopping cart abandonment statistics

Some of the most important shopping cart abandonment statistics include: 

1. The average abandoned cart percentage stands at 69.80%

A lot of research has been done to estimate the average cart abandonment rate over the years. This has produced figures as low as 55% and as high as 84%.

So to come up with a clear picture, the Baymard Institute calculated the average of the results of 44 recent studies, coming up with a whopping 69.80%. 

Even if we assume that half of this percentage can be attributed to people who were window shopping, this value is still really high.

Abandoned cart statistics: most online shoppers are just window shopping.

And things only get worse during the festive season and Black Friday. So if ever there was a time for online sellers to understand what drives customer decisions, it is now. 

Although you can never get your abandoned cart percentage to zero, the lower you get the better – some people even claim it’s possible to get down to 20%.

2. The average abandoned cart percentage rises to over 80% among mobile users

Interestingly, the smaller the screen the customer used to shop, the higher the chances that they won’t complete their purchase.

And since more people use their phones to shop rather than computers, this poses a serious threat to online sellers everywhere. 

But there is a silver lining – you can easily optimize your eCommerce site for mobile users:

  • You can increase your mobile site speed so that buyers don’t have to sit around waiting for pages to load
  • You can reduce your site copy and only leave the essentials.

3. The cart abandonment rate for financial products is 86.3% while that of food is 4%

One thing you should understand about cart abandonment rate is that it varies from one type of product to another.

The more essential a product is, the more likely customers are to complete their purchase. That’s why food has an abandonment rate of only 4% while that of clothes is 40%.

4. Brands lose billions in sales revenue due to cart abandonment

After customers abandon their carts, they rarely come back.

To give you some perspective, here are some Statista research insights into what UK shoppers do after cart abandonment:

  • 31% come back later to complete their purchase
  • 26% buy the same item from another online retailer
  • 23% don’t buy the item at all
  • 8% buy the item from a physical store.

It is therefore not surprising that cart abandonment costs brands $18 billion in sales revenue yearly.

So if you have or are planning to start an online store, its cart abandonment rate is one metric you can’t afford to ignore.

How to calculate cart abandonment rate

When trying to calculate cart abandonment rate, your first step should be to divide the total number of completed purchases by the total number of shopping carts created.

You should then subtract the resulting figure from one and multiply the answer by 100 to get a percentage.

Mathematically, this is expressed as:

[1- (transactions completed/ shopping carts created)] * 100

So if you get 300 completed transactions from 1500 initiated shopping carts, your cart abandonment rate will be 80% as calculated below:

[1 – (300/1500)] * 100

= [1 – 0.2] * 100

= 0.8*100

= 80%

You can use this formula to calculate cart abandonment rate for your entire store, a device type, or a specific region.

Facts about cart abandonment

Some of the reasons that cart abandonment rates are high include:

1. People don’t like extra costs

When it comes to buying things online, people value transparency.

They want to know exactly how much they will need to pay before they get to checkout. Otherwise, they feel blindsided.

It, therefore, shouldn’t be surprising that extra costs are the number one reason why people abandon their carts.

In fact, extra costs contribute to around 55% of abandoned carts. So be transparent and when possible, offer free or discounted delivery.

2. People don’t like creating accounts

The last thing you want to see when checking out your order is a prompt to create an account – 34% of cart abandonments actually occur at this point.

This is particularly a pain point for customers who are planning to make a one-time order. 

So to lower the chances of cart abandonment, it is best to incorporate a way that customers can complete their orders without having to create an account.

3. People like quick checkout proccesses

Around 18% of abandoned carts are due to long and complicated checkout processes.

So the fewer form fields your buyers have to fill the better.

Find ways to improve the usability of your site and use more effective checkout solutions. 

4. People don’t buy from sites they don’t trust

In this age of cybercrime and identity theft, it’s only natural for people to be cautious about sharing their credit card information online.

In fact, 17% of abandoned carts are caused by people who don’t trust your site. They may like your product but they are just not willing to take the risk.

So to gain their trust, here are some things you could do:

  • Install an SSL certificate
  • Showcase warranties
  • Incorporate testimonials to your site
  • Provide a variety of payment options.

Ultimately, with just a little bit of website tweaking and email marketing, you can effectively reduce your cart abandonment rate.

And the great thing is, you don’t even have to do everything by yourself. There are experts out there willing to design an amazing abandoned cart email for you.

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