Shopping cart abandonment is when a potential customer starts a check out process for an online order but drops out of the process before completing the purchase. Any item that enters the shopping cart but never makes it through the transaction is considered to be “abandoned” by the shopper. Shopping cart abandonment is an important aspect of the online shopping process that retailers pay careful attention to.

Shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of transactions that were initiated. This rate will identify what percentage of a site’s users signal purchase intent by adding an item to the cart, but don’t complete the purchase.

The shopping cart abandonment rate is an important metric for e-commerce sites to keep track of because a high abandonment rate could signal a poor user experience or broken sales funnel. Reducing shopping cart abandonment leads directly to more sales and revenue, so optimizing the checkout flow a core area of focus for many online retailers.

Common Reasons For Shopping Cart Abandonment

Every site is different, but the following are some common issues faced by many sites that result in cart abandonment:

Lack of trust – Web users aren’t always comfortable providing credit card info online. Improve conversions by building more trust.

High shipping costs – Customers often abandon shopping carts when they get sticker shock after seeing how much their order costs with shipping. Avoid this by offering free shipping promos.
Complexity – Online shoppers have a short attention span and will abandon the checkout flow if it is too complex or time consuming. Avoid this by making the checkout process as easy and painless as possible.

Browsing – Many users who add items to the cart but don’t complete are just browsing with low buying intent. Incentivise these users to purchase immediately by offering limited time promos.
Lack of payment options – Customers often have strong preferences of how they would like to pay, and only complete a purchase if their preferred method is presented. Reduce this problem by offering the most popular payment methods for your target audience such as Amex and PayPal.

Price too high – Users on the web often comparison shop to find the best deals. You can help prevent customers from jumping ship by offering special discounts or better service in order to keep competitors from luring them away.

Technical problems – All technology is susceptible to technical issues and glitches. Be sure to monitor your analytics and do regular reviews of the checkout process to ensure there are no show-stopping bugs.