45 Shopping Cart Abandonment Stats that Will Boost Your Sales in 2019

by Anna Moss

Online shoppers leaving their loaded carts midway through the checkout process is a common problem in ecommerce. As these carefully put together shopping cart abandonment stats show, not converting potential customers who are already on your site into paying ones is like leaving money on the table.

At the same time, as these stats also show, there are a handful of common issues that force shoppers to abandon their carts, and it is not very difficult to address these issues provided you know what they are.

Must-Know Shopping Cart Abandonment Stats

  • The global cart abandonment rate is 75.52%.
  • 61% of shoppers report leaving a transaction due to an extra cost.
  • Mobile shopping cart abandonment rate is 85.65%.
  • 35% of transactions were dropped because the website required the user to create an account before checkout.
  • A 65% cart abandonment trend leaves a 97.9% gap in conversions.
  • Abandonment is most common between 6 and 9 pm.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 carts get abandoned on Saturday and Sunday.

We are sure these statistics will help you understand these issues more clearly, which, in turn, will make it easier to tackle them. For easy reading, these data points are divided into three sections. The first is meant to familiarize the reader with the scale of the problem; the second enlists the most common reasons why shoppers abandon their carts; and the third section covers some simple measures to egg you along the path to resolve these issues at your own store.

General statistics

What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, let’s look at the size of the problem.

1. Abandoned carts cost e-marketers about 2 to 4 trillion dollars per year.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

That’s a massive figure by any standard! So, what is an abandoned cart exactly? It’s a phenomenon particularly common to ecommerce, where a potential customer leaves the webpage without completing the purchase. The check-out process typically moves through different stages, and cart abandonment can happen at any of these.

It’s difficult to arrive at an exact amount that ecommerce loses to this phenomenon, but various studies have indicated the need to plug this hole.

2. Brits abandon online baskets worth almost £30 (£29.37) a month, potentially resulting in more than £18 billion of lost sales each year.

(Source: Barclaycard)

In one of the more well-known studies in this regard carried out in the UK in 2018, it was found that an average loss of potential sales of less than £30 per customer could total up to an annual loss of more than £18 billion across retailers. And UK is only the third-largest ecommerce market in terms of annual sales.

3. 41% of British shoppers have abandoned a transaction at a virtual check-out in 2018, compared to 24% who have walked away from a purchase in-store.

(Source: Barclaycard)

The same study also compared the abandonment rate between online and in-store shoppers. For somewhat obvious reasons, cart abandonment was found to be a lot more common in online shopping where shoppers tend to be more fickle.

Interestingly, the seemingly high figure of more than 4 customers out of 10 leaving the shopping process incomplete in this study is actually on the lower side compared to global standards.

4. The global cart abandonment rate is 75.52%.

(Source: Annex Cloud, Baymard Institute, Statista)

Almost every fresh study comes up with a slightly differing cart abandonment rate, with variations attributable to factors like sector and geography. Most shopping cart abandonment statistics in 2018 tend to be in this range, though.

To help get a better picture, the Baymard Institute averaged out rates from 40 different studies, which give rates from as low as 55% to as high as 81%, to arrive at a global average of 69.89%. But, since these 40 data points also include rates from as far back as 2010, the average is bound to be lower than the actual rate being seen today.

According to Statista, the average abandonment rate was around 62% a decade ago.

5. The best optimized checkout process has an abandonment rate of 20%.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Note that even after applying every conversion rate optimization method you can think of, you cannot completely eliminate cart abandonment. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying to minimize it.

Then, what is a good shopping cart abandonment rate? Experts say anything in the 30-40% range today is remarkable.

6. 6 in 10 merchants are unable to identify the average abandonment rate on their website.

(Source: Barclaycard)

Despite the seriousness of the issue, most merchants lack access to crucial customer insights and do not or aren’t able to track the metrics needed to understand how to convert more visitors to their sites. Just 27% analyze the browsing behavior of shoppers who abandon their baskets.

45% of merchants are also unable to pinpoint lost sales by gender and 41% by age group. 31% struggle to name the month when their website sees the highest level of shopping basket abandonment, while 37% are unable to identify the time of day when drop-outs peak.

7. Studies show that abandonment is most common between 6 and 9 pm.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Again, different shopping cart abandonment case studies might come up with slightly different time slots (say, between 8 and 9 pm or between 7 and 8:30 pm), but, generally speaking, the evening period is when cart abandonment rates begin to peak.

8. Saturday and Sunday have the highest cart drop off rates. Nearly 9 out of 10 carts are abandoned during those days.

(Source: Formisimo)

Weekends seem to be the time when people indulge more in window-shopping and less in serious purchasing, with abandonment rates climbing to as high as 90%! Midweek shoppers tend to be more motivated to get through the checkout, with abandonment rates taking a dip on Wednesday and Thursday.

9. December is the month with the highest checkout abandonment rate.

(Source: Barclaycard)

December is followed by November and January, as shoppers browse Christmas present ideas and the Black Friday and January sales. This is, of course, truer for the US, the UK, and other Western markets; not so much for other large ecommerce markets like China and India.

10. Gaming sites experience the lowest abandonment rates; finance sites the highest.

(Source: Smart Insights)

These figures are based on a global average cart abandonment rate of 75.6%. Gaming sites witness gamers leaving new purchases in their cart at a rate of just 64.2%. While fashion sites experience lower than average rates at 68.3%, abandonment in the finance sector is much higher at 83.6%.

For travel sites this figure is at 81.7%. After finance, most shoppers leave items in their carts in the non-profit sector – a staggering  83.1%. Retail clocks in a close-to-average 72.8%.

11. APAC countries have the highest rate of cart abandonment; Europe has the lowest.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

APAC countries, including Japan, have the highest rate of cart abandonment at 76.3%. Middle Eastern countries fall just behind APAC with an abandonment rate of 76.1%.

Latin America has a cart abandonment rate of 75.3%, which is the third highest after APAC and the Middle East. 74% of North American shoppers abandon their carts.

European ecommerce sites have a 70.9% rate, which is actually the lowest in the world.

12. Mobile shopping cart abandonment rates are higher than those for desktop carts.

(Source: Barilliance)

Mobile shopping carts are the most likely to be abandoned, with an 85.65% ditch rate. Tablet users have an abandonment rate of 80.74%, only slightly lower than those experienced on cell phones. About 73% of desktop customers abandon their carts. Therefore, the smaller the size of the screen, the more likely a customer is to not purchase.

This is problematic considering that more digital buyers use smartphones than desktops to shop now. ecommerce stores are still not optimized for mobile, with issues like slow load times very common. Many stores remain unresponsive, forcing customers to zoom in and out to navigate a page.

Pop-ups that might be tolerable on desktop just don’t work on mobile. Many other inconveniences driving cart abandonment on desktop, such as mandatory registrations and long checkout processes, are intensified in case of mobile ecommerce.

13. Retailers identify millennial shoppers (aged 25-34) as the most indecisive online, followed by 18-24-year-olds.

(Source: Barclaycard)

As might be expected, the younger shoppers, who are the most coveted by brands, tend to be more fickle than their older counterparts. These shoppers are known to be impatient, highly web savvy, extremely price conscious, and contemptuous of shipping costs.

They are also more intolerant of technical issues that cause delays and expect concise, useful information. They are inured with the practice of using their digital shopping cart as a virtual storage unit.

14. 66% of millennials prefer waiting for a product to go on sale before purchasing it.

(Source: Mindshare)

Shopping cart abandonment statistics show that price consciousness is the key defining characteristic of shoppers aged 18 to 34. 26% fake their birthdates in the hope of landing a better discount when they get to the checkout.

36% have offered up multiple email addresses to land additional deals. 39% go to the extent of clearing their Google search history when visiting ecommerce sites in an attempt to land the best price. The corresponding figures for older shoppers are notably lower.

15. 39% of retailers say women are more likely to abandon their online shopping carts.

(Source: Barclaycard)

Of those retailers who capture demographic data, two in five say women are more likely to abandon their online shopping basket, versus one in five (19%) who say men do, while two in five (42%) think men and women are equally indecisive. There does not seem to be a clear verdict in terms of the sex of the online shopper here.

16. 99% of new visitors won’t buy on their first visit.

(Source: SeeWhy)

It takes multiple visits and even multiple abandonments to complete the order. On the bright side, three quarters of those leave shopping carts intend to return, so it depends on the online store owner and marketer to figure out how to get them back. Wishlists are one excellent way to tackle the high shopping cart abandonment rate of new visitors.

17. 81% of the organic traffic of ecommerce sites comes from Google.

(Source: Invesp)

One of the more important bits of information that you need to know as an online business owner or digital marketer is the source of the traffic coming to your store. Google continues to rule the roost, accounting for more than four out of five shoppers who arrive at your store organically. Bing accounts for 13.6%, Yahoo 9.6%, and AOL 1.7%.

18. The average conversion rate across different traffic channels is highest for AOL at 2.9%; the average order value is highest for Twitter at $121.33.

(Source: Invesp)

The average conversion rates and average order values can vary quite a bit among the more prominent traffic channels. For instance, Google’s average conversion rate is about 1.9%, with average order value of $100.16.

Shopping cart abandonment reasons

Why do shoppers have second thoughts about their purchases? Some of the reasons may surprise you.

19. Insecure checkout is the top conversion optimization problem faced by customers.

(Source: Invesp)

Other critical and easily resolvable issues faced by shoppers include not allowing for guest checkout, loss of customer input when a submission causes an error, and displaying discount code box late in the checkout, among others.

20. 61% of shoppers report leaving a transaction due to an extra cost such as shipping fees.

(Source: Annex Cloud, AB Tasty)
Among the many reasons that force consumers to abandon shopping carts, while the exact percentage of people citing a particular issue might differ slightly across surveys, the underlying problems remain more or less the same. Marketers would do well to focus on these issues.

For instance, about 55% to 61% of consumers surveyed confessed to leaving a transaction when presented with an extra shipping cost. According to another study by Forrester Research, shopping cart abandonment by 40% of visitors can be attributed to shipping not being free.

21. 35% of transactions were dropped because the website required the user to create an account before checkout.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

It is understandable that merchants want to collect the contact details of their buyers. However, it’s not smart to do this at the cost of the buyers’ convenience.

Many checkout processes require buyers to interrupt their movement to the checkout stage – only so they can fill a registration form. As we mentioned in the section on cart abandonment solutions, there is a way for merchants to get around this.

22. 27% of carts were dropped because the checkout process was too complex or because the site was slow.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Your consumers desire simplicity, and the quicker you make the process of checking out, the higher your conversion will be. While simplifying your interface is important, you might also want to ensure the system your store runs on is fast enough to minimize waiting times as much as possible.

23. A slow website can increase abandonment by 75%, and loyalty drops 50% when your site is slow.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

In fact, Internet users have become increasingly intolerant of slow-loading websites.

Shopping cart abandonment stats have shown that even if you get everything else right, the mere fact of a few seconds’ delay in your pages coming up could make your potential customers leave your store.

What’s more, many of those would never come back again.

24. For each passing second that your website takes to load, cart abandonment climbs by 7 percent.

(Source: ReadyCloud)

There has been research to even quantify the negative effect for every second you’ve made your sales prospects wait. As it turns out, every second counts in the hypercompetitive world of ecommerce.

25. The ideal number of checkout form elements is 12.

(Source: HW Creative Marketing)

According to research on the effect of complexity of the checkout form on the average cart abandonment rate, it has been found that the number of elements is best kept to an easily manageable number of 12. Once you get over 12, you are already beginning to test the patience of most of your customers.

26. On average, checkout flows in the US have 23.48 elements.

(Source: Spot Studio)

Little wonder then that a complex checkout process is the bugbear of so many online shoppers. Even today, the average checkout process in the US has nearly twice the suggested ideal number of elements.

Much of the information collected is not necessary or can be automated to minimize the effort on the part of the shopper.

27. 35% of individuals will abandon a site if it does not appear to have a security badge.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Shopping cart abandonment statistics show that trust is another extremely important factor for online shoppers, considering they are parting with private information in the course of their purchase. Security badges, also referred to as trust logos or site seals, are the most common way to convey security.

28. 42% of online shoppers are familiar with the Visa-Mastercard logo.

(Source: ConversionXL)

More shoppers are familiar with the Visa and Mastercard logos than with any other, so having these on your site gives a sense of familiarity and security to your customers. These are followed by Norton Secured at 15% and Google Trusted Store at 6%.

29. 25% of shoppers say PayPal gives them the best sense of security.

(Source: ConversionXL)

However, the greatest familiarity is not the same as the highest sense of security. According to research on ecommerce cart abandonment, even though PayPal scores relatively low on familiarity, it gives a higher sense of security to shoppers.

Interestingly, age plays a role in the badge shoppers consider more secure. PayPal is trusted more by older shoppers, while millennials repose greater faith in the Google Trusted Store badge.

30. 80% of shoppers will not make a purchase unless there is a hassle-free return policy.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

With improvement in ecommerce logistics, more and more shoppers expect a better service from their online merchants. This includes the guarantee that if the purchased product is not to their liking, they will be able to return it with a full refund.

31. Nearly 40% of surveyed consumers responded that they abandoned their shopping cart because they had been just browsing in the first place.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Shoppers tend to window shop more often in online stores than they do in physical ones. This includes the times when they just want to collect information on a product they are interested in or want to compare prices, but do not have any intention to complete the transaction.

32. 25% of shoppers abandon a cart because the item or the total cost is too much.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Budgetary constraints, of course, have an effect on the cart abandonment rate, even though this is a relatively less important issue. Another problem that shoppers face in this context is that they do not have an easy method to keep track of the total billable amount till they finally arrive at the checkout page.

By this time, if they have exceeded their budget, they leave instead of buying part of their shopping list.

33. A 65% cart abandonment trend leaves a 97.9% gap in conversions.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Cart abandonment, obviously, has a direct bearing on your store’s conversion rates. If businesses want to improve their overall conversion, implementing ways to lower abandonment rates is critical.

Cart abandonment solutions

So you know what causes the problem. Now let’s see some of the possible solutions.

34. The average large-sized ecommerce site can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout design.

(Source: Baymard Institute)

The benefits of a better checkout design have also been calculated by researchers. If you look at the combined ecommerce sales of $738 billion in the US and EU, the potential for a 35.26% increase in conversion rate translates to $260 billion worth of lost orders.

In the ideal case, these would have gone through as actual sales – if only the checkout pages had better flow and design! That is as clear an indication as any of the importance of online shopping cart abandonment.

35. The average site has 39 potential areas for checkout improvements.

(Source: Baymard Institute)

Improving the checkout process can help stores reap substantial rewards, both in terms of lower cart abandonment rates and higher average purchase values. A study has found that the average online store has nearly 40 areas that could use improvements in terms of the checkout process.

36. About 45% of emails sent to follow up on an abandoned cart are opened by consumers.

(Source: Annex Cloud, Barclaycard)

What are abandoned cart emails? These are automated email reminders sent to customers who exit a website after adding items to their shopping cart without checking out. Abandoned cart emails or follow-up emails are one of the most common ways to get users who have abandoned their carts to get back to the store and finish the purchase.

This number varies across sectors, though, with the best rates for fashion and travel sectors and the lowest for finance and retail.

37. 21% of the opened follow-up emails are clicked on.

(Source: Annex Cloud)

Of the people who receive follow-up emails, a little less than a quarter click on them. Even if all of these do not return to your store, you are managing to get your message across to a substantial number of users if you make the effort of sending follow-up emails.

38. 10.7% of individuals who receive emails return to make a purchase.

(Source: Annex Cloud, Barilliance)

Depending on the study you choose to believe in, between 10 and 20% of the users who receive follow-up emails come back to your store to purchase a product. If you can improve this conversion rate by working on your messaging, you are well on your way to master the art of how to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

39. Follow-up emails are best sent between one and three hours after the user leaves the store.

(Source: Barclaycard, Business Insider)

Many retailers agree that they normally send follow-up emails around an hour after the user leaves the store as it has been shown to generate the best results. In any case, you should not wait longer than three hours if you want to enjoy relatively high open rates and click-through rates. Those who send abandoned cart emails within this time period get an average of a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

40. Among different options that online shoppers would like made available, 81% choose free shipping.

(Source: Design for Founders)

How do I stop a shopping cart abandonment?” – That’s one question most online business owners ask themselves some time or another. Making more options available to your shoppers is one way to do this. Of course, you need to balance this with keeping the process confusion-free.

After free shipping, 63% would want the option to get an estimated delivery date early on in the shopping process. Other desirable features include multiple payment options, ability to save your shopping cart and/or purchasing preferences, as well as having access to one’s order history.

41. 93% of consumers report that they would be motivated to buy more products if the retailer offered free shipping in some form.

(Source: Shopify)

Free shipping is one of the simplest shopping cart abandonment hacks to encourage shoppers to complete their purchase. Retention science found out that customers react much better to free shipping offers than they do to percentage-based discounts.

42. Visitors spend an average of 30% more when there are no delivery charges.

(Source: AB Tasty)

Free shipping doesn’t just get you lower shopping cart abandonment rates. A UPS study showed that when merchants occasionally offer free shipping, their sales jump 10 to 20% during those periods. People actually spend more with free shipping than they would normally if they had to pay shipping charges.

43. Sales rise by up to 45% after removing mandatory registration of shoppers.

(Source: Aionhill, AB Tasty)

Studies on the overall  cart abandonment rate in 2018 have showed that eliminating the compulsory account creation step enabled some e-merchants to boost their conversion rate by 45%. You can, for example, make registration optional, but remind shoppers of the benefits of creating an account (order tracking, invitations to private sales, etc.).

This allows you to satisfy as many visitors as possible–those who do not want to sign up, those who do not care either way and those who like the loyalty program concept.

44. 7 out of 10 online consumers are more likely to convert if they are retargeted after leaving their cart behind on other websites that they visit.

(Source: TB Media)

Smart shopping cart abandonment retargeting is another high-yield method to increase sales. Most people who have come to your store but abandoned the cart have already given an indication of their interest in your products. There are a number of tools available these days that allow you to retarget these users during their regular online browsing through strategically placed ads.

45. 72% of all people aged 25-34 were very likely to buy a product they left in their carts if offered again at a discounted price. 

(Source: VWO)

While across all age groups, discounts are likely to work for 54% of the people who abandoned their shopping carts, younger shoppers appear to be more price conscious and eager to give you another chance if they can manage to get the same products at lower prices.

Key takeaways from shopping cart abandonment stats:

  • Shopping cart abandonment is a much more serious issue in ecommerce than it is in physical stores, accounting for billions, if not trillions, of lost sales dollars.
  • There are a few critical issues, like shipping costs, confusing process, lack of trust, which force shoppers to abandon their carts.
  • There are ways to tackle these issues, either through direct removal or through options like follow-up emails and retargeting.

References:

  1. Annex Cloud
  2. Barclaycard
  3. Barclaycard
  4. Annex Cloud, Baymard Institute, Statista
  5. Wikipedia
  6. Barclaycard
  7. Annex Cloud
  8. Formisimo
  9. Barclaycard
  10. Smart Insights
  11. Annex Cloud
  12. Barilliance
  13. Barclaycard
  14. Mindshare
  15. Barclaycard
  16. SeeWhy
  17. Invesp
  18. Invesp
  19. Invesp
  20. Annex Cloud, AB Tasty
  21. Annex Cloud
  22. Annex Cloud
  23. Annex Cloud
  24. ReadyCloud
  25. HW Creative Marketing
  26. Spot Studio
  27. Annex Cloud
  28. ConversionXL
  29. ConversionXL
  30. Annex Cloud
  31. Annex Cloud
  32. Annex Cloud
  33. Annex Cloud
  34. Baymard Institute
  35. Baymard Institute
  36. Annex Cloud, Barclaycard
  37. Annex Cloud
  38. Annex Cloud, Barilliance
  39. Barclaycard, Business Insider
  40. Design for Founders
  41. Shopify
  42. AB Tasty
  43. Aionhill, AB Tasty
  44. TB Media
  45. VWO

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