Breaking Down Shopping Cart Abandonment Part II: Why Are People Abandoning?


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In my previous post, we quickly profiled a typical abandoner on eCommerce websites. We learned that abandoners are college-educated, well-to-do individuals who actually end up spending 19% more money than their non-abandoner counterparts. Now that you know the “who,” let’s dive into the reasons driving those high percentage abandonment rates.

Why are people abandoning?

Infographic: Why are people abandoning their carts?

In the U.S., 88% of online customers – 136 million people – abandon shopping carts each year. Two primary factors are driving the abandonment numbers. First, customers are becoming more sophisticated buyers. Easy access to competitors and the ability to easily compare prices are changing buyer behavior, both online and in-store.

Forrester Research has found that the top two causes of abandonment are price and timing. Parse the Forrester findings and you’ll find that, among the abandoners:

  • 44% thought that shipping and handling costs were too high
  • 41% were not ready to purchase the product
  • 27% wanted to compare prices
  • 25% found the product price was higher than their budget
  • 24% just wanted to save for later purchase

Other researchers found similar, price-driven reasons for shopping cart abandonment. An e-tailing group study found that 47% of consumers are unwilling to purchase unless a promotion is offers. Likewise, 36% of consumers will not buy unless free shipping is offered, according to comScore.

So what does that mean for your eCommerce website?

Tuning your website to make the checkout process smoother is only part of the answer. To improve your conversion rates, you must also design remarketing campaigns to address price and timing objects.

In the next part of the series, we’ll talk about what can be done to convert abandoners into customers.

Can’t wait to find out more? Download our free eBook on The Science of Shopping Cart Abandonment.

You can also check out our full infographic posted on Multichannel Merchant.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Charles Nicholls
Charles Nicholls is a social commerce expert and board advisor to several e-commerce startups. He founded SeeWhy, a real-time personalization and machine learning platform, which was sold to SAP. Serving as SVP of product, he built SAP Upscale Commerce, an e-commerce platform for direct-to-consumer brands and the mid-market. Today, Charles serves as chief strategy officer for SimplicityDX, a commerce experience company. He has worked on strategy and projects for leading ecommerce companies worldwide, including Amazon, eBay, Google and many others.


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