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Shopping cart abandonment facts and how to avoid it

What are the statistics and what are the steps you can take to lower cart abandonment on your web shop?

Shopping cart abandonment statistics

Shopping card abandonment means that a buyer adds products to their shopping cart but doesn’t complete the purchase. There are various abandonment statistics published online with slight variation in their findings. Thankfully the folks at Baymard Institute have collected data from 19 reliable recourses and as a result they have calculated an average abandonment rate of 67.35%.

So what are the prime reasons for buyers abandoning their cart?

This infographic from Milo lists some of the top reasons:

cart abandonment reasons

Research findings from the comScore 2013 Stat Of Retail Presentation highlights some more useful statistics:

  • 44% of those buyers who abandoned a shopping cart, did so because of long delivery times
  • 49% of consumers say free shipping is the most valuable online shopping incentive retailers can offer
  • 3 out of 4 have added to their cart to qualify for free shipping
  • 2/3 of shoppers review a return policy before making a purchase

A survey of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by Econsultancy and TolunaQuick found that 74% of shoppers would abandon a purchase due to high delivery charges, while 54% would drop out if they experienced any technical problems. Other popular reasons are: the price is too high (49%) and the need to register before buying (25%).

8 reasons consumers abandon shopping carts

Having analysed all the statistics from the above three sources, It is possible to conclude 8 main reasons in order of importance:

  1. Shipping cost too high or lack of free shipping
  2. Not ready to purchase yet. Saving items for later
  3. Delivery time too long or not displayed early in the process.
  4. Price too high. This is normally the total shipping inclusive price.
  5. Technical problems
  6. Not happy with the return or refund policy
  7. Ability to place order without registering
  8. Ability to pay by PayPal for buyers who want to use their PayPpal account to pay instead of using a credit card.

Note that although I have been only mentioning cart abandonment, most of the points mentioned above will have an impact on both cart abandonment and checkout abandonment.

How to improve the cart abandonment rate

Having identified the top reasons why people abandon cart, it is not difficult to arrive at viable solutions to overcome the main obstacles.  Here is my summary:

  • According to comScore, 49% of consumers say free shipping is the most valuable online shopping incentive retailers can offer. If you can offer free shipping and clearly display early on that buyer qualifies for free shipping, then cart abandonments due to free shipping should no longer happen.
  • Save for later or wishlists, allow the shoppers who are not ready to buy yet to save their items for later and hence not use the add to cart for this purpose
  • Clearly display delivery and stock information on the product page and provide fast delivery times.
  • According to comScore, 67% of consumers will shop more with a retailer if they offer a hassle-free return policy, hence offering an attractive return policy helps as an incentive
  • Usability and error free checkout. It goes without saying that it is critical that the cart and the checkout process are well designed, user-friendly, and free from technical problems.

For more detailed tips and a visual presentation here is a useful info-graphic

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