If you own an online eCommerce business, you already know that shopping cart abandonment is one of the main challenges affecting your online sales and overall revenues. As much progress as we’ve made over the years with technology and adjusting to online customer habits, when it comes to shopping online, things have not changed that much. In fact, in some cases they’re actually worse than they used to be. Online shoppers are now much more picky and demanding about their online shopping experience.

There are tons of statistics online related to shopping cart abandonment. Baymard.com recently calculated the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate based on 29 different studies containing statistics on this particular issue. You can review the study yourself here but suffice it to say, any abandonment rate higher than 60-70% is already very high.

Among the leading reasons why online shoppers leave their shopping carts is because shipping costs are too high. Last year, UPS and comScore completed a joined study showing that as many as 81% of online shoppers in the U.S. indicated free shipping played a major role in their experience. (Amazon Prime Members already know that!). Sixty percent said they’ve abandoned their cart after finding out that shipping costs made the price higher than expected. Half said they abandoned carts because their order value wasn’t large enough to qualify for free shipping.

Other reasons included:

  • Shoppers not being ready to purchase, but wanting to save the cart for later
  • Wanting to get an idea of the cost for comparison,
  • Getting distracted and forgetting to complete a purchase,
  • Preferred payment options not being offered.

eMarketer put together this chart looking at these reasons across different regions based on the study:

A separate study from Business Insider shows that shopping cart abandonment will result in as much as $4 trillion work of merchandise being abandoned in online shopping carts this year. However, as much as 63% of that amount will also be recovered by those online retailers that anticipate and create tools to capture back lost shoppers.

“An abandoned shopping cart does not automatically translate to a ‘lost sale,’ because three-fourths of shoppers who have abandoned shopping carts say they plan to return to the retailer’s website or store to make a purchase, according to data from SeeWhy,” says Cooper Smith, a senior analyst for BI Intelligence. “Online-only retailers are at a disadvantage to “omnichannel” retailers in this respect because they have fewer channels through which to recover lost sales.”

“Retailers can reduce the rate of abandonment and increase conversions by streamlining the checkout process and also by retargeting shoppers with emails after they’ve left a website,” he adds. “Initial emails, sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate, according to Listrak.”

As in previous studies, the Business Insider report also confirmed that the main reason why shoppers abandoned shopping carts in 2014 was because shipping costs were more than expected.

One great way to bring back visitors to your store is via retargeting ads. If you’ve ever shopped at Amazon.com, I’m sure you’ve seen retargeting ads at work. These are the ads for the very same product that you were looking at on Amazon.com’s website appearing on your Facebook news feed and just about every other major website all over the web. In fact, retargeting ads allow techniques such as offering you the same product at a discounted price (or coupon) as a way to lure you back to the previously abandoned cart to complete the purchase.

In addition to shipping costs, the increase in mobile browsing is not helping with shopping cart abandonment either. According to Nielsen, around 84% of consumers that use their mobile devices, also use their devices for shopping (see Nielsen graphic below). However, the majority of eCommerce sites are not ready to server their mobile customers properly.

Mobile Shopping Ecommerce

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Google will soon be implementing a mobile-friendly ranking signal to its mobile search results, putting more pressure on all websites to convert to responsive platforms. Those who implement a mobile-friendly check out process to their shopping carts, will therefore see a decrease in their abandonment rates, especially compared to those who do nothing about it.

In sum, the more effortless and frictionless you can make your shopping cart check-out process, the lower your shopping cart abandonment rate will be, and that in itself is a moving target too. You don’t have to match Amazon.com’s budget to create a simple and efficient shopping cart that makes buying your products a breeze for your customers.

If you have any questions or need help setting up your online shopping cart, be sure to contact our Team at MGR Consulting Group and we’ll help you get started with the right solution.

Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)




IBM Digital Analytics