Report: Online Shopping Cart Abandonment Still A Big Issue

online shopping cart abandonment statsDespite the rising popularity of eCommerce channels, shopping cart abandonment rates continue to plague online retailers. A recent report from SaleCycle shows that, in the second quarter of 2013, abandonment rates averaged a whopping 75%, meaning online retailers still have their work cut out for them when it comes to fixing the factors that contribute to abandonment.

A Closer Look At Shopping Cart Abandonment Stats

The SaleCycle study includes a breakdown of shopping cart abandonment statistics by industry, including fashion (74.2%); home retail (73.91%) and travel (80.94%).

online cart abandonment by industry

What’s especially interesting about these findings is that they’re not exclusively tied to typical influencing factors like unexpected shipping costs and long delivery times. Travel purchases, for example, have no delivery involved, yet abandonment rates are highest in this category.

Here’s another couple of findings that I found particularly interesting: most shopping cart abandonments happen between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and Thursday is the most common day for abandonment.

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Take a look at SaleCycle’s infographic for a more complete look at the study’s results.

shopping cart abandonment infographic

Online Retailers: How To Fix The Problem

It’s clear that online retailers are facing an uphill battle—yet there might just be a way to fix the problem (or at least improve abandonment rates). If you don’t already have one, consider implementing a system that lets you capture customer contact information (most importantly, an email address) so that you can send a follow-up email.

According to SaleCycle’s research, the CTR of shopping cart abandonment emails is significantly higher than traditional marketing emails (14.2% compared to 4%). What’s more, nearly half of all shopping cart abandonment emails are opened, which means you have a greater chance to hook your customer and influence them to complete their purchase.

Of course, capturing customer contact information is only half the battle—you’ll also want to create a strategic, effective email message that compels your customer to return to your website and finish the transaction. Dominic Edmunds, SaleCycle president, recommends emails with “clean, responsive designs, which incorporate strong brand imagery along with full product details.”

This is also where ongoing testing becomes more critical. If you’ve worked with email marketing campaigns, you’re likely no stranger to A/B testing. And shopping cart abandonment emails are an area that’s ripe for additional data analysis. Try comparing send times, subject lines and message content to see what parameters perform best, then use that data to optimize and refine future messages.

If you work with an eCommerce platform, I’d love for you to weigh in. Have you noticed high shopping cart abandonment rates? Do you notice more at any given time during the day and/or on a particular day of the week as the study points out? I do so love nuances like that. Have you tried experimenting with cart abandonment emails to try and influence purchases? If not, I hope you will—it works when I’m shopping online!

Image: jenni from the block via Compfight cc

Comments: 2

  • Alon Even says:

    Great infographic.

    I think it’s important to know WHY customers abandon your shopping cart. One way to do it is utilizing visual customer analytics tools both for websites and mobile apps (Appsee is a good example for tracking mobile app). These tools enable to you to see and understand exactly how customers interact with your wensite/mobile app and improve the customer experience. By improving the customer experiece within your app or on your website,retailers will decrease the abandonment rates and improve the conversions and engagement.


  • Kevin D says:

    To truly understand why customers are abandoning from your site or mobile application you need good analytics and visibility into customer behavior. How can you understand WHY they do anything on the site if you can’t see the site, and their visits, from the customer’s point of view? Solutions like Google Analytics, Coremetrics and Omniture give you visibility into WHAT happened during the visit of segments of your visitors. This gives you the critical analytic insights necessary to manage your sit. However, this insight is incomplete. As valuable as analytics are to fleshing out aggregate understanding of your site, they are not terribly insightful into WHY the outcomes occurred. For example, analytics will tell you your customers DID abandoned in greater numbers today than they did yesterday, but they cannot tell you WHY. For that kind of insight you need a CEM solution that can give you individual AND segment visibility; especially visibility into customer struggle. Being able to replay the actual session for any visitor, as the visitor experienced it, is key. If the solution also allows aggregating groups of like users into ad hoc segments this gives you immediate understanding of the relative significance of the struggle as it relates to conversion or abandonment. You can quickly and easily identify other users who exhibited the same behavior to determine the significance of the struggle experienced by the segment (i.e. # of visitors impacted, revenue lost, etc.). As sites increasingly deploy more complex and visually stimulating technology, I suspect abandonment will continue to expand. Only sites deploying CEM technologies like Tealeaf will be able to ascertain where their visually appealing designs are enabling customers, or where the sites are frustrating them. I expect these organizations to be the ones bucking the current trend.

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