Shopping Cart Abandonment – Ultimate Guide

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a high-intent shopper visits an eCommerce website, adds at least one or more products to the shopping cart, and proceeds to exit the website without completing the purchase. Products that are added to the shopping cart but are not purchased are considered to be “abandoned” by the shopper.

Shopping cart abandonment has absolutely nothing to do with the visibility of the website or the offers run in the advertisements. So this cart abandonment problem cannot be solved by giving away more freebies. This requires a careful analysis of why exactly users are bouncing away from the website despite clearly liking the products.

88% of Web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction.– Forrester.

How to Calculate the Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate?

Ecommerce cart abandonment rate can be calculated and monitored by ecommerce retailers to understand specific reasons for increase/decrease in revenue. This helps in understanding the percentage of purchase intent showcased by the visitors of the site, who don’t buy even after having items in the cart.

Shopping cart abandonment rate = [ 1- (total no. of completed purchases/number of carts created) ] x 100%

Cart Abandonment Rate is calculated by dividing the total number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts created. Subtract the result from one and then multiply by 100 for the abandonment rate.

Why is Shopping Cart Abandonment a problem for retailers?

With the whole retail apocalypse theory falling flat and the “resurrection” of brick and mortar retail, it’s finally understood and widely accepted that it’s no longer a fight between retail and eCommerce.

Instead, it is all about customer experience at each and every touchpoint, be it online or offline, eCommerce is no longer the juggernaut that retail has to fear.

Instead, while we have seen legacy retailers who ruled the market slip and fall like Sears, Toys R Us after failing to adapt to changing expectations, we have also seen several eCommerce companies fold.

Physical stores and eCommerce websites have their own pros and cons. For instance, eCommerce offers people the convenience of sitting at home and shopping without having to move at all.

However, retail offers a physical experience that eCommerce websites can never replicate. Sephora Studio, Nike’s experience store, Lululemon’s Mindfulosophy are examples of very successful shopping experiences that have won over famously-fickle millennial shoppers. 

When you actually talk to consumers, they still want to shop by touching and trying on. They still want to connect, to step into space, and feel something.
– Forbes


Ecommerce websites, however, have one unique problem that retailers typically never face. This is called shopping cart abandonment.  

How Shopping Cart Abandonment impact E-commerce?

Retailers were reported to have lost a whopping $4.6 trillion to abandoned merchandise in ecommerce shopping carts according to Business Insider. Abandoned carts have a huge impact on the turnover of the company. These are shoppers who were interested in the product and yet abandoned their cart due to certain reasons; most of which are avoidable with the right strategies.

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment in E-commerce

To understand why shoppers abandon their carts, we need to deep-dive into what these shoppers do on the website.

Retailers need to differentiate between shoppers who come in with an intent to buy and those who are there to window shop only.

High-intent shoppers usually know what they are looking for, if not at the product level, at least at the category level. They typically add products to wishlists and shopping carts to shortlist them.

Why is Shopping Cart Abandonment a problem for retailers?

With the whole retail apocalypse theory falling flat and the “resurrection” of brick and mortar retail, it’s finally understood and widely accepted that it’s no longer a fight between retail and eCommerce.

Instead, it is all about customer experience at each and every touchpoint, be it online or offline, eCommerce is no longer the juggernaut that retail has to fear.

Instead, while we have seen legacy retailers who ruled the market slip and fall like Sears, Toys R Us after failing to adapt to changing expectations, we have also seen several eCommerce companies fold.

Physical stores and eCommerce websites have their own pros and cons. For instance, eCommerce offers people the convenience of sitting at home and shopping without having to move at all.

However, retail offers a physical experience that eCommerce websites can never replicate. Sephora Studio, Nike’s experience store, Lululemon’s Mindfulosophy are examples of very successful shopping experiences that have won over famously-fickle millennial shoppers. 

When you actually talk to consumers, they still want to shop by touching and trying on. They still want to connect, to step into space, and feel something.
– Forbes


Ecommerce websites, however, have one unique problem that retailers typically never face. This is called shopping cart abandonment.  

How Shopping Cart Abandonment impact E-commerce?

Retailers were reported to have lost a whopping $4.6 trillion to abandoned merchandise in ecommerce shopping carts according to Business Insider. Abandoned carts have a huge impact on the turnover of the company. These are shoppers who were interested in the product and yet abandoned their cart due to certain reasons; most of which are avoidable with the right strategies.

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment in E-commerce

To understand why shoppers abandon their carts, we need to deep-dive into what these shoppers do on the website.

Retailers need to differentiate between shoppers who come in with an intent to buy and those who are there to window shop only.

High-intent shoppers usually know what they are looking for, if not at the product level, at least at the category level. They typically add products to wishlists and shopping carts to shortlist them.

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