You’re losing money. We haven’t even met, but I know this because the data supports it—each and every day you sell online you’re losing potential orders on your website.
According to Baymard Institute, 69.57% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Think about that. For every 100 potential customers, 70 of them will leave without purchasing. How much would your revenues increase if you were capturing those sales instead of losing them?
Let’s look at a quick example. If you're currently making $15,000/mo in online revenue and could turn just 25% of those abandoned orders into sales, you’d make an extra $45,000 each year.
Cart abandonment causes online businesses a great deal of pain. This article shares 30+ shopping cart abandonment statistics to explain why people abandon their carts and what online retailers can do about it. Armed with this knowledge, you're one step closer to converting browsers into customers.
🛒 Table of Contents
What is the average shopping cart abandonment rate?
Research by Baymard Institute shows the average cart abandonment rate differs by device, with mobile and tablet devices having the highest percentage of shoppers hitting the exit button on a checkout page:
- Desktop: 69.75%
- Mobile: 85.65%
- Tablets: 80.74%
The location of your customers also plays a role in how likely they are to abandon their online shopping carts, too. Some 86.15% of Spanish shopping baskets are abandoned midway through. On the other side of the scale, shoppers in the Netherlands have the lowest abandonment rate at 65.49%.
Certain items also have bigger drop-offs. Items in women’s knitwear, leather goods, and lingerie categories are most prone to "website window-shoppers".
Unsurprisingly, December is the month where cart abandonment is at its highest. Black Friday and holiday sales mean more people are shopping (hence the increase in cart abandonment).
Lots of factors play a role in cart abandonment, so it's safe to say that the vast majority of people adding items to their online cart won't complete a purchase—for some reason or another. But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. Keep reading to understand the main drivers of shopping cart abandonment.
The effects of shopping cart abandonment
When potential customers select the exit button instead of the “complete your order” button, it’s lost revenue for your business. It’s reported that ecommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment.
Ecommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment.
So, what happens after customers leave your site?
Research from Statista found that when UK shoppers abandon carts, less than a third return to buy it. A quarter of them buy the same product from a competitor.
Why do people abandon their online shopping carts?
Extra costs are too high
49% of people abandon their shopping cart because extra costs at checkout were too high.
Extra costs—including shipping, taxes, and extra fees—aren’t always made obvious to a customer. When they head to their online cart and see those fees added on top of each product price, it causes 49% of cart abandoners to exit.
An account is required
First-time customers to your online store want a fast, friction-free checkout experience. That doesn’t happen when they’re being asked to create an account.
24% of people abandon their online shopping cart because the site wanted them to create an account.
Time-consuming fields, like your birthday and phone number, aren’t essential to buying an item online. For some shoppers, it’s frustrating to have to give all of that information for a single purchase—which is why why almost a quarter (24%) of cart abandonment happens because the site asked them to create an account.
(Even if someone has created an account before, remembering their login isn’t an easy job. The average internet user has 100 passwords.)
Offering a guest checkout option or an accelerated checkout option that remembers a customer can be enough to solve this problem for your potential customers.
The checkout process is too long
18% of people abandon their shopping cart because of a long and complicated checkout process.
Luckily, this has an easy fix: ditch the unnecessary form fields in favor of checkout solutions like Shop Pay. It stores a customer’s information so they can simply tap to buy the items in their cart. No three-page walls of questions needed.
Pricing was unclear
High shipping costs are a leading cause of cart abandonment. In a similar vein, many (17%) of shoppers abandon their cart because they couldn’t calculate the total order cost up-front.
Customers can be subject to extra fees when buying online, especially when they’re purchasing from another country. Import taxes and currency conversions all play a role in determining whether it’s worth buying from an online retailer.
The website is untrustworthy
17% of people abandon their online shopping carts because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information.
In 2020, almost 1.4 million people in the US reported being a victim of identity theft. With sensitive information—like credit card numbers and home addresses—being submitted through an online checkout, it’s no wonder why modern-day shoppers are concerned about their privacy when shopping online.
Some 17% of people abandon their online shopping carts because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information.
Installing an SSL certificate, highlighting customer testimonials, and showcasing warranties all help to combat this.
How to combat cart abandonment and recoup lost sales
1. Use a trustworthy ecommerce platform
The journey to recouping lost ecommerce revenue doesn’t start at the checkout page. The entire user experience influences how likely a customer is to complete their purchase. That success is rooted in choosing a best-in-class ecommerce platform.
Check whether your ecommerce platform is responsive. Cart abandonment is at its highest for tablet and mobile users. If your load times are too long, or the page needs pinching and squeezing to make sense, you’re delivering a poor mobile experience—and likely contributing to higher abandonment rates.
Choose a template that changes based on the device it’s being loaded on. The Shopify theme library has 70+ plug-and-play responsive themes for you to choose from.
Finally, consider any apps that can reduce cart abandonment across your entire ecommerce site. Keep Cart, for example, is available through the Shopify App Store. It remembers the items a customer has added to their online cart. If they leave your site and return at a later date, they’ll have the items saved and ready to buy.
2. Accept alternative payment options
Long gone are the days of customers having to enter their long card number into their browser. Some 7% of people abandoned their shopping cart because the retailer didn’t offer enough payment methods.
Amongst some of the most popular payment methods are:
- Shopping apps (Shop Pay and PayPal)
- Digital wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay)
- Buy now, pay later (Shop Pay Installments, Klarna, Four, and AfterPay)
One in four merchants using Shop Pay Installments double their average order value when allowing customers to spread the cost over monthly payments. Customers can spread the cost of higher ticket items over a longer period. (That explains why buy now, pay later payments have grown by 215% in 2021.)
💡TIP: All US Shopify merchants can now offer Shop Pay Installments—add Shop Pay Installments Banner to your Product Page today.
The good news? You don’t need to overhaul your existing payment processing system. A plug-and-play app, like Shop App, means customers can use their preferred payment method and buy items in their cart in just one click.
3. Offer free (or discounted) delivery
There’s no doubt that Amazon changed the way shoppers buy online—especially when it comes to free delivery. As a small business, how do you compete with their free (and same-day) shipping options?
Because Amazon’s shipping deals are amongst one of its biggest incentives to shop there, some 19% of people abandon their carts because the retailer’s delivery options were too slow.
Consider offering free delivery to customers and displaying it prominently in your checkout process. You could cover the cost of shipping for orders over a certain amount, or bake the average cost of shipping into your product’s retail price.
Even if you can’t scrap shipping costs entirely, there are workarounds to offering cheaper delivery for people mid-checkout. You could:
- Use lightweight packing materials to reduce its weight
- Rely on Shopify Shipping
- Offer free local delivery or pickup
4. Highlight your returns policy
Returns policies aren’t just essential post-purchase. Around one in 10 cart abandonments happen because the shopper wasn’t satisfied with the returns policy during the checkout process.
Online retailers are plagued by returns. So, it doesn’t make sense to show return options before a customer has purchased it, right? Not necessarily. Shoppers want to know they have options for items they buy online—like returning it for a full refund if it’s different from what they expected.
Reduce shopping cart abandonment by showcasing your return policy mid-checkout. Even a few small graphics to explain the no-risk purchase, like this example from Bear Mattress, can do the trick.
5. Retarget cart abandoners elsewhere online
The beauty of online shopping is that most customers use several channels at once. Advertising slots on social media, email, and other websites are prime real estate for reducing cart abandonment.
Not convinced? Research shows that retargeting can reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%, and increase online sales by almost 20%.
Plus, three out of four shoppers notice retargeted ads. Of those consumers, over a quarter (26%) will click on the retargeted ad and return to your site.
Facebook is one social platform that makes it easy to retarget shoppers who’ve left items in an online cart. The Pixel is installed on your site and collects data about the shopper—including which items they’ve abandoned. That data is synced with a Facebook profile.
Dynamic product ads show the exact items they’ve left, and nudge them to head back to your website to complete the purchase.
6. Optimize abandoned cart emails
Cart recovery emails are another way to recoup lost revenue. Similar to retargeting ads, they collect product information data—like which items a customer has added to their cart, the size, and color—to deliver an email reminder to complete the purchase.
This type of email marketing campaign has an open rate of 45%—a stark improvement to the benchmark of 18.39% for general retail emails. One in five recipients of a cart abandonment email click it; 11% will purchase something as a result.
So, what makes a good cart recovery email? A reminder of the product they’ve left, along with extra incentives (like free shipping), can be enough to convince a shopper to continue with their purchase.
When reminding people of the items they’ve left in their shopping cart, timing is key. The vast majority (77%) of people who converted from White River’s cart abandonment email did so within the first hour.
“What this translates to is: if you wait too long, they're gone. So any abandoned cart recovery tactic that waits six hours and sends a follow-up has clearly missed the boat, not to mention waiting a day or more!” —John Chao, co-founder of Tresl
7. Offer one-click checkout
The success of your online store depends on the checkout experience. A positive experience will take shoppers to the purchase confirmation page in as few clicks as possible. A negative one will cause them to exit midway through.
Earlier, we touched on the fact that 18% of cart abandonments happen because of a complicated checkout.
An average large-sized ecommerce business can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate though better checkout design. An estimated $260 billion worth of lost orders are recoverable solely through a better checkout flow and design.
One way to do this is to offer a seamless checkout process like one-click checkout. Not only is it essential for fast conversions (Shop Pay increases checkout speed by 4x), but one-click checkout has been proven to increase conversions by 35.62%.
Once a buyer uses Shop Pay for the first time, their information is saved for future purchases. They can then securely speed through checkout with a simple tap.
Checkouts going through Shop Pay give a seamless experience to shoppers. So much so, that our study showed that checkouts going through Shop Pay have an average checkout-to-order rate 1.72x times higher than those going through regular checkouts.
While Shop Pay’s conversion advantage is evident across both mobile and desktop, it is significantly improved on mobile, where Shop Pay checkouts convert at a 1.91x times higher than regular checkouts.
This is a massive advantage for direct-to-consumer brands, where conversion on mobile can be the difference between making money or losing money.
Start recouping lost ecommerce sales
These shopping cart abandonment statistics prove you’re leaving money on the table. People are already visiting your website. More than half of those who like a product enough to add it to their cart exit without buying.
Complicated checkout processes, unclear pricing, and high shipping costs are huge factors in why a shopper decides to exit.
The good news? It’s preventable.