9 Shocking Cart Abandonment Statistics and the Nitty-Gritty Behind Them (1 of 2)

Struggling with conversions? Dive into some startling cart abandonment statistics - and understand why it's happening to you.

miniature shopping cart next to computer illustrating digital cart abandonment

1. eCommerce businesses lose $18 billion in sales a year.
2. Shoppers abandon their carts at a rate of nearly 70%.
3. Mobile shoppers abandon their carts at almost 86%.
4. Less than a third of cart abandoners return to the site.
5. High extra costs trigger 49% of abandonments.
6. 24% of abandonment is due to required accounts.
7. Complicated checkout processes cause 18% of abandonments.
8. 53% of customers leave pages that take more than 3 seconds to load.
9. Optimizing checkout processes can boost conversions by almost 36%.

Do you have an eCommerce business? I don’t know you and I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know this is happening to you: 

You’re saying goodbye to sales before you can even say hello to them.

How do I know? The data is clear - and numbers don’t lie. 

Astonishing numbers of online shopping carts are getting abandoned by customers every single day, making your profits go “poof” faster than those donuts your coworker brought in for her birthday last week.

I heard that sigh that just escaped you because you know I’m right. Don’t fret, you’re not alone! Cart abandonment is quite the prickly thorn in the side of all online shops. 

But do you know just how prickly of a thorn it is? 

Many business owners don’t. And the reality is…unsettling, at best. In this article (part 1 of 2) we’ll share with you 9 startling cart abandonment statistics, and uncover the reasons behind them.

Make sure to check out our upcoming part 2 article, where we explore just how you can leverage today’s knowledge to transform your cart abandonment rate - and turbocharge your bottom line.


What is Cart Abandonment?

Have you ever been making your way around the aisles at your local grocery store, filling your shopping cart with items…then just walked out of the store, leaving your cart filled but lonely in the middle of the dairy aisle?

While this doesn’t happen (hmm, at least very rarely…) at brick-and-mortar stores, the eCommerce world is rife with cart abandonment. 

This happens when an online shopper adds an item to their cart on a retail website, but then leaves the website before completing the checkout process. 

Online customers have virtually no barriers to simply clicking away, closing the browser, powering off the display…essentially abandoning their carts. 

This happens for a multitude of reasons, and can affect many businesses in a multitude of ways. What’s going on?

Let’s jump in.


#1: eCommerce businesses lose $18 billion in sales revenue a year.

It’s staggering, but true - according to Forrester, sales lost to cart abandonment each year come to a whopping $18 billion. As content strategy writer Meir Fox puts it,

“...cart abandonment has become a burning issue that eCommerce organizations can no longer afford to ignore.”

Okay, there’s a massive amount of money being left on the table every day. How often is this actually happening?


#2: Shoppers abandon their carts at an average rate of nearly 70%.

This means for every 10 users who visit your online shop and put something in their carts, almost 7 will leave your site without actually buying anything.  


Graphic showing that 7 out of 10 people abandon their carts.

This average is from the user experience research focused Baymard Institute and represents 46 studies. The data ranges from 55% to a startling 84% measured in the last couple years.

…either way, ouch.

 But hey, don’t take it personally - there’s a lot to unpack here, and we’ll get into what’s happening. 

First, let’s take a closer look at how shoppers abandon carts when they’re using different devices.


#3: Mobile shoppers abandon their carts even more frequently at almost 86%.

Peeling back the layers to break out the abandonment rate data by device tells an even more interesting story. 

Bar chart showing cart abandonment by device with mobile highest at almost 86%

With an abandonment rate of almost 81% on tablets and an even lower 73% on desktop, we can see that the smaller the screen size, the higher the likelihood of the customer dropping out of the purchase process before completing it.

In an age where our phones are becoming more and more tightly integrated into our daily lives - including our shopping activities - this is a troublingly sobering fact.


#4: After shoppers abandon their carts, less than a third return to complete their purchases.

Out of every 10 customers who leave your website, more than 7 ultimately they won't end up buying from you.

Statista’s research in the UK found further that 26% of consumers who abandoned their carts later bought the same item - but from a competitor.

In their study, they even found that cart abandonment rates had gone up from the previous year. 

The takeaway here?

If you don't want to lose customers to your competitors, do what you can to keep them on your site - and if they bounce, you have a lot of sales potential in working to bring them back.


The Impetus Behind the Exodus

“Okay, these numbers sound pretty compelling. You’ve convinced me this is a problem - color me concerned!”

I’m glad I caught your attention - this is a monumental problem! 

But hey - that means it’s also a monumental opportunity.

There’s a myriad of ways you can turn your abandonment numbers upside down - don’t worry, we’ll do a deep dive and lay them out for you. Stay tuned for the next article to discover them. 

But anytime you build an attack strategy, it’s important to build understanding first. In order to take meaningful action in addressing cart abandonment, we need to examine the “why” of cart abandonment - the impetus behind the exodus.

#5: High extra costs trigger 49% of abandonments.

As you might imagine, a sizeable chunk of abandonment instances were caused by natural progression of shoppers who were “just browsing.” Aside from making sure you’ve optimized your website user experience, these abandonments are virtually unavoidable.   

After analyzing the data without this “just browsing” abandonment reason, a clear winner emerges: extra costs at checkout that are just too high. 

Bar chart of top cart abandonment reasons showing extra costs highest at 49%

Taxes, shipping, extra fees (customs, currency conversions, etc.) - many businesses don’t make it so clear to the customer up front what these fees are. Catch them off guard with these extra costs at checkout, and they’ll catch the next ride to Competitor Town.

#6: 24% of shoppers abandon carts due to required customer accounts.

It’s your first time checking out a new retailer and you’ve even found something you like! Your anticipation builds as you hit that exciting button: “Go To Checkout.”

…oh, no. The inevitable groan escapes you.

You have to create an account to proceed.

Another account? Another daily email, another password to keep track of…? 

You just can’t be bothered today.

Click. Exit.

We’ve all been there before. So many of us, in fact, that it’s the number 2 reason why shoppers abandon their carts. 


Bar chart of top cart abandonment reasons showing required accounts second at 24%

Nobody likes the hassle of entering personal details into a number of time-consuming form fields - especially if it’s a one-time purchase.

Customers want a streamlined, friction-free experience when making their purchases, even if they’re first-time visitors. 

Eliminating these kinds of checkout roadblocks is a surefire way to see your conversions soar while your abandonments drop. 


#7: Long and complicated checkout processes cause 18% of cart abandonments. 

Yes, it’s important to have key information about your customers when they purchase products on your website. This facilitates the transaction and helps you serve them more effectively.

But you’ll never get the chance to serve your customers more effectively if your detective-level interrogation of a checkout drives them off your page first. 

This is why complicated or extensive checkout processes are the number 4 reason shoppers abandon their carts.


Bar chart of top cart abandonment reasons showing complicated checkouts as number 4 with 18%

The average checkout flow for eCommerce businesses contains almost 12 form fields!

No customer wants to feel like they’re taking a pop quiz just trying to make a purchase - even if it’s an easy one.

Checkout is significantly annoying for customers if the form-filling hoops they have to jump through include repetition.

Research from Statista found that 30% of shoppers abandoned their carts if they had to re-enter credit card information, and 25% abandoned their carts if they had to re-enter shipping information.


#8: Page loads lasting more than 3 seconds lose 53% of customers.

It’s a well known fact; we live in a world brimming with instant gratification. Among this finger-snapping culture is an abundance of blazing fast load speeds, which means your page will stick out like a sore thumb if you’re behind the times. 


Graphic showing almost 6 out of 10 people leave long loading websites and 80% do not come back

As if the fact that more than half of visitors bounce after 3 seconds wasn’t enough, it’s also worth considering that 80% of those visitors who leave will find greener pastures (i.e., other retailers) - and never look back. 

#9: Optimizing checkout processes can boost conversions by almost 36%.

Okay, now we’ve got a better understanding of the cart abandonment situation - what’s happening and why. 

Yes, the numbers are pretty alarming - but all this to say, there’s hope! 

Considering over 10 years of large-scale checkout testing, experts estimate that conversion rates can be lifted a mighty 35.6%! 

This sweet, sweet conversion uplift can come just from implementing the right checkout designs, adding a touch of the right personalization, and optimizing usability for customers. Now that’s what we call promise.


Conclusion

Yes, businesses - including yours - are losing billions of dollars in sales each year to cart abandonments.

Nearly 7 out of every 10 visitors will bounce away from an eCommerce page before completing a purchase, and the mobile space is particularly affected. 

But with this great loss comes great opportunity - a large portion of these abandonments simply come down to the customer experience.

Visitors plagued by hidden costs, complicated checkout procedures, and slow websites simply bounce away…80% of them never to return.

An intentional, user-centric approach to your website experience that leverages today’s technology can keep visitors from leaving those carts in the aisle - and even bring some of those wanderers back.

The best news?

There’s an even bigger box of approaches at your disposal than just your website experience. Your marketing and outreach strategy is also a great opportunity to shepherd more customers into your funnel - and to lose less of them.

What are these ways you can turn those abandonment rates upside down?

How do you actually optimize your checkout experience?

What other marketing tools are out there to hook more customers, and keep them?

Find out in the next article, part 2 of our cart abandonment series!

Want more time for your checkout optimization strategy, and your high level marketing approach in general?

Xanevo can help you automate your content and get it in front of the right people with personalization! 

Our texts are indistinguishable from manually written content and save you up to 80% of your typical content creation time - time you can spend on other activities like turning those cart abandonment rates on their heads.

Stacy Yee content marketing specialist

Timo Tzschetzsch

CMO & CFO

Timo is one of the founders at Xanevo and he is responsible for marketing. This mainly includes the web presence, the marketing strategy, and the social media presence. Due to his business background, he is also responsible for financial planning.

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