Why 8 out of 10 Customers Abandon Your Ecommerce Cart? 6 Causes + 3 Strategies to Recover them

Did you know that cart abandonment affects 8 out of 10 people?

Did you know that cart abandonment is one of the first causes of non-conversion of a site ecommerce?

The phenomenon does not only concern small brands: according to a statistic published by Baymard.com, the average shopping cart abandonment rate on big brand ecommerce sites is 68.63%.

Reducing this phenomenon is therefore one of the main challenges that every site of ecommerceregardless of their sector.

According to an infographic published by SalesCycle, the average drop-out rate is even higher, at 76.6%...with sectors spiking, such as:

  • fashion, with a cart abandonment rate of 72.1%;
  • retail, with 73.8%;
  • tourism, with 82.4%;
cart abandonment ecommerce

A phenomenon that shows no sign of diminishing noticeably: according to Baymard.com, over the course of the last few years, the In recent years, people are increasingly leaving products in their shopping carts:

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates
 Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

The abandonment of the cart has produced a overall loss, according to one estimate for 2015, of nearly $5 trillion:

 Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

Do you understand the scale of the phenomenon?

7-8 potential customers, arrived at the final stage of your sales funnelInstead of completing the transaction and making a conversion, they abandon the site.

In this guide we try to analyze in depth the problem of cart abandonment, proposing some possible solutions, in particular we will see:

  • what makes a user arrive at the cart and abandon it;
  • some strategies to prevent and combat the phenomenon.

To know the diagnosis you need to know the causes: why do people abandon the cart?

Why do people abandon the cart?

According to a study published by Statista.com on the reasons for cart abandonment in 2015 in Europedifferent causes emerge:

  • 24% abandons the cart because, while wanting to complete the purchase, is inattentive;
  • 23% abandons the cart due to a policy for the reso unclear;
  • 22% can't proceed because he doesn't remember username and password;
  • the 20% chooses to buy in store;
  • the 20% abandons the trolley due to lack of payment method and international shipping.
Europe reasons for abandoning online shopping carts 2015 statista

According to VWO's 2014 ecommerce survey (software we talked about in our guide to the AB Test), the causes of cart abandonment are caused:

  • for 28% from unbudgeted shipping costs;
  • for the 23% from the need to create a new account, then from the need to recording;
  • for the 16% from users who "they're just having a look."
  • for the 13% from doubts about security of payment;
  • for the 12% from a confusing checkout process;
  • 8% finally abandons because it sees the space related to the coupon... and goes looking for it, abandoning the cart.
Wingify eCommerce Insights 2014 Trends and Insights to Find and Convert Buyers

BusinessInsider looked at the causes of cart abandonment in 2014 research, finding out how:

  • a 58% quits due to the fact that the shipping costs make the total higher than expected;
  • a 57% wants get the idea, a quote compared to other sites;
  • a 55% is not ready to buybut use the cart as a wishlist;
  • a 50% doesn't buy because he hasn't reached the threshold where he can get the free shipping;
  • a 37% only finds out about shipping costs at the end;
  • a 28% considers that the shipping times are too long;
  • another 28% doesn't want to register;
  • one last 25% can't find its preferred methods of payment.
Chart Shipping Costs Are A Top Reason People Abandon Their Shopping Cart Business Insider

Finally, ainfographic by Invesp published on Savypanda, finds the most typical causes of cart abandonment in factors already seen, such as shipping costs too high or not mentioned, the fact that it is not the time to buy, the use of the cart as a bookmark, the registration procedure is too long (12%) or complex (11%) or the site is not up to standard because it is slow (11%) or unreachable (5%).

Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics infographic

What emerges from these 4 statistics? It emerges that shopping cart abandonment can be traced back to 6 macro issues, which can be traced back to:

  • shipping costs;
  • registration requirement;
  • usability of the site;
  • payment methods;
  • it's not the right time to buy;
  • risk management: returns and security of payments.

The 6 causes + 3 strategies for cart abandonment

Let's try to analyze these causes one by one.

Shipping costs

Shipping costs are one of the main reasons why your prospects don't become customers.

This happens for various reasons, for example:

  • shipping costs are too high;
  • added to the product give a cost too high;
  • shipping costs are communicated only at the end or not clarified;
  • shipping costs... simply exist..

So? What can you do to manage the problem of cart abandonment due to shipping charges? Here are 3 strategies.

#1 Offer free shipping always and to everyone

Obviously the first option is to take the bull by the horns and offer free shipping.

Yes, because according to some statistics, zeroing out shipping costs can help you deal with the problem:

  • A study by 2011 Comscore  suggests that 61% will not complete the order unless offered free shipping;
  • The average order value with free shipping is  30% Upper compared to orders where you pay for shipping. In short, free shipping incentivizes buying;
  • A Retention Science report reveals that people who shop online are 2 times more likely to buy if shipping is free;
The Mega Guide to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

#2 Offer free shipping at certain times

A second strategy may be to offer free shipping only at certain times, e.g. during holidays or on random days, as Day and Maison du Monde do.

This is how Dayshop.it, ecommerce of food stamps, does it:

Free delivery from 20 to 22 January order now day

Here's how Maison du Monde, a furniture ecommerce, does it instead:

Free delivery on all furnishing accessories take advantage now emanuele.chiericato gmail.com Gmail

As you can see:

  • In the first case, that of Day, free delivery is only for 48 hours once a month;
  • In the second case, free delivery only occurs at certain times, such as Christmas.

Both ecommerce notify their newsletter subscribers the possibility of free shipping.

#3 Offer free shipping only to certain customers

The most famous application of this strategy is Amazon Prime, a service that has managed to duplicate Amazon's online spending;

#4 Offer free shipping above a certain amount

This mode is one of the most used. Here are some examples, in Italy, of the application of a threshold in the field of ecommerce of books:

  • Amazon ships for free starting at £19;
  • Hoepli and Giardino dei libri ship for free from 29 euros;

Be careful though: Setting a threshold within which the user has free shipping can also result in most orders being set within that threshold.

At a furniture products ecommerce I worked for, lowering the free shipping threshold resulted in most orders settling within that threshold.

This is because, like it or not, people are looking for either free shipping or the cheapest:

The Mega Guide to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

Registration requirement

People don't want to register.

What can you do to prevent registration from becoming one of the main causes of abandonment of your ecommerce?

Here are some ideas.

#1 Give the ability to log in as a guest

A first suggestion may be to log in as a guest, without registering in the first place.

That's how Rayban and Apple do it, respectively:

6 Ways To Improve Your Online Checkout Process Forbes

#2 Make recording short and easy

As we have seen in the statistics for the contact form, fewer fields usually means more conversions.

The first step to take to optimize your recording is therefore limit the required fields.

A second may be to have as few steps as possible to your user in the registration process.


For example:

  • you can have as the username the email address, so that the username and email fields are reduced to one;
  • you can make automatically generate the password, giving the user one less choice, and send it to him by email.

In this way you can make the first registration easier by doing at the same time a lead generation.

Site Usability

As we've seen in the stats above, among the causes of cart abandonment is a poor user experience in ecommerce.

This can happen for various reasons, such as a non-responsive or too slow site, but also if the checkout process is too long or complicated.

A tip to add usability to the checkout process is to add a bar that indicates the user's progress.

Here's an example:


Don't forget that many people abandon the checkout in search of a coupon: I recommend that you only point to it as a landing page for users who actually have a coupon;

Payment Methods

Very often people abandon the cart because they can't find a payment method that works for them.

A typical example may be the lack of Paypal, now synonymous with fast and secure payment, or at the other extreme, the lack of payment in markin the case of users not accustomed to buying online.

It's not the right time to buy

One of the causes of cart abandonment is the fact that many users use an ecommerce cart as a wishlist.

According to a Seewhy statistic published by econsultancy.com, 99% of ecommerce visitors will not purchase on their first visit:

Nine case studies and infographics on cart abandonment and email retargeting Econsultancy

It 's therefore physiological that, as happens in physical stores, the user wants to "take a look": to address this problem you can use some strategies, including dynamic remarketing, sending mail cart abandonment and the use of the criterion of shortage.

Risk management: returns and payment security

Among the elements that generate cart abandonment, there are some elements that we could bring under the umbrella of risk management.

In every online transaction the user perceives a risk, for example:

  • the product does not comply with the description;
  • that the website steals credit card information;

Free returns and the simple presence of credit card logos can help manage user risk.

3 strategies to recover the user who abandons the cart

We have seen the main causes of cart abandonment in an ecommerce site.

Having made the diagnosis, let's look for the cure: what can be some strategies to recover the user.

#1 Send a recovery mail

A first and effective strategy to recover the user who abandons the cart can be to send him an email reminding him of the product he entered.

When sending a recovery email it is essential to consider 2 factors: what to write and when to send the email.

According to research by Salecycle, ecommerce stores that send an email to retrieve the user who abandoned the cart within 20 minutes have the highest conversion rates:

How to Execute The Perfect Cart Abandonment Email Infographic

Again: according to the same study, in theemail subjectyou should point:

  • the name of the company;
  • the details of the product in the cart;
  • the person's name, which gives an element of personalization that can help in opening rates;
How to Execute The Perfect Cart Abandonment Email Infographic 2.png
  • an element of urgency or it would be better to say scarcity, such as "your product will only stay booked for another 20 minutes":
cart shortage

A strategy in 3 steps to recover the user via email

VWO suggests a strategy of email marketing at 3 steps to recover the user who abandoned the cart:

  • in the first email ask sand there were technical errors that prevented the user from proceeding with the purchase and leaves the contact details of customer service;
  • in the second email, to be sent within 2 days, he communicates trust signals as testimonials and remember any benefits such as free shipping. In short, address the top causes of cart abandonment;
  • in the third email, to be sent within a week, you can give a "ultimatum" of 2-3 days to get the product, after which it will become available again, and convey any promotions.

Sending targeted emails in the event of cart abandonment, which we remember is one of the first causes of non-conversion in ecommerce, is a widespread practice used by 25% of the 1000 largest retailers and can lead to renewed revenue, according to a statistic published on Rejoiner:

 Remarketing vs. Retargeting What's the difference Rejoiner Blog

Here you can find 3 examples of how 3 big brands including Fossil and Dell manage cart abandonment with email.

#2 Use Dynamic Remarketing

We have already talked about remarketing in a previous article, dedicated to the Remarketing and Retargeting in Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising.

Here's how Google Ads summarizes the process behind dynamic remarketing:

  • customers visit the site and browse the products;
  • customers are added to remarketing lists;
  • customers are shown ads related to the very products they viewed;

#3 Use Facebook Advertising's Custom Audiences

We've already talked about Facebook Ads custom audiencestogether with the Customer Match by Google Ads can allow you to show an ad to people who have signed up for Facebook with the email you have.

How to analyze cart abandonment in Google Analytics

We've reached the end, or rather the beginning: now it's your turn.

The starting step is to understand:

  • What is the extent of cart abandonment in your ecommerce;
  • What are the bottlenecks, i.e. where your user abandons.

To do so, simply analyze the funnel by Google AnalyticsStarting from Target/Flow Target:

 Google Analytics Target Flow

You could track cart abandonment and fix it by identifying problems. In this regard, I recommend reading the case histories posted on the Lemonstand blog.

Tracking Shopping Cart Abandonment in Google Analytics.


Shopping cart abandonment is one of the problems that plagues a commerce conversion the most.

How do you deal with it? Let's talk about it in the comments!

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