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Everything You Need to Know About Cart Abandonment Rate

cart abandonment rate

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According to some of the latest data, 68.7% of online shopping carts that get abandoned prior to the checkout stage are a result of complicated checkouts, unexpected costs, or other requirements. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, this can cause e-commerce businesses to lose billions each year in revenue.

If you want to prevent lost customers, learn more about cart abandonment rate statistics and other facts that can help your business succeed.

What Is Cart Abandonment Rate?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a shopper leaves their shopping cart and abandons the checkout process after adding an item. Abandoned shopping carts should raise warning flags for an e-commerce business, which is why it’s so important to keep an eye on these metrics.

Are you wondering how to calculate cart abandonment rate?

You can divide the total number of completed transactions by the overall number of initiated transactions. Alternatively, you can find these metrics and then use a cart abandonment rate calculator.

An unusually high shopping cart abandonment rate can indicate an underlying issue with your checkout process, a broken sales funnel, or bad customer experiences.

Checkout Abandonment

Although sometimes confused and often related, checkout abandonment isn’t quite the same as cart abandonment rate. Checkout abandonment happens when a customer has already started the checkout process. Shopping cart abandonment is when customers leave their carts after adding at least one item.

Why Do Customers Abandon Shopping Carts?

Shopping cart abandonment can happen for several reasons. That’s why resolving the issue and reducing cart abandonment isn’t always straightforward.

First, you should check your analytics data. Determine when and how often people leave their shopping carts.

For example, did it happen after browsing products but before starting the checkout process? Was it during the payment or confirmation phase? Narrowing down this information can help you figure out where to start.

Here are a few of the more common reasons customers might leave their shopping carts.

Online Window Shopping

Window shopping isn’t a new phenomenon, but as it turns out, the pandemic made online window shopping far more common, especially among young people. The Covid-19 pandemic caused many brick and mortar stores to shut down, and younger people would add items to their online shopping carts instead, only to abandon the cart prior to the checkout process.

This would affect your e-commerce businesses’ metrics, but it wouldn’t necessarily indicate anything wrong with your store or checkout process. In fact, the number of abandoned carts simply went up during the pandemic as people looked for ways to pass the time. This may even out more now that stores are starting to open up again.

Slow Websites

A slow website can vastly impact the user experience and hurt your business. In fact, 70% of customers say website loading time affects their decision to purchase something. As you might expect, the longer it takes a website to load, the less likely a consumer is to stay on your website and follow through on their purchase.

Besides seeing a higher cart abandonment rate, you’ll see higher bounce rates. If the bounce rate is too high, it can affect your website’s ranking on search engines.

Several factors can contribute to a slow website, such as image size and quality, web hosting issues, cache clearance rates, plugins, and more.

In general, e-commerce sites should load within two seconds. Many consumers will leave if a website takes more than three seconds to load.

Unexpected Costs

Yet another common reason for a higher cart abandonment rate is unexpected costs. What are some examples of unexpected costs?

One example is a discount code that has limitations customers weren’t expecting. For instance, maybe the code only applies to certain items. A deal for free shipping might only apply if people add a certain amount to their cart first.

It’s best to be completely transparent about the limitations of these codes and discounts. Customers should know what to expect before they reach the checkout process.

Make sure you mention any other add-on costs clearly as well.

No Guest Checkout Option

Not everyone wants to create an account before they can buy something. If your e-commerce site doesn’t have a guest checkout option, it can result in abandoned carts and customers heading elsewhere.

You can advertise saving time or other benefits by creating an account, but it shouldn’t be mandatory. Giving consumers the choice to checkout as a guest gives them more options. 

How to Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

Now that you know more about the importance of the cart abandonment rate and what causes it, how can you avoid this problem?

Most importantly, you should make the checkout process as quick and straightforward as possible. Remove friction points, such as forcing customers to sign in or create an account.

The interface should be easy to understand. Additionally, your website should run fast, and it should be easy to add or subtract items if needed.

Offer a variety of different payment methods to appeal to as many consumers as possible. You might also want to consider offering payment plan options as these can make customers feel more comfortable about buying expensive items.

Make sure you have plenty of options for customer service. Chatbots and FAQ pages are there to help customers with questions and may result in fewer people leaving their carts behind.

Common questions include shipping questions, return policies, and payment options. Make sure these answers are easy to find on your website or through customer service.

For additional tips, check out some of our resources for e-commerce businesses!

Keep Your Cart Abandonment Rate Low

If you want to keep your cart abandonment rate low, make sure to follow these tips and avoid common mistakes. Keep an eye on your metrics and make adjustments where necessary.

If you need additional help, consider taking our e-commerce bootcamp course! We offer a variety of lessons and advice for entrepreneurs of all skill levels.


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