The Epidemic of Abandonment

December 20, 2019 by Susan Paige

Shopping is a dynamic process. Though most of the time, we go into a physical store or visit an online storefront with a specific product (or products) in mind, and many times we leave with more than what we originally intended to purchase. Conversely, many of us have also visited stores and have planned to buy items, but at the last minute, something might have changed our minds.

When the latter of these scenarios occurs, this is considered cart abandonment. This term is most often applied to online storefronts where a consumer has spent time looking and placing items in an online cart, and just before heading to checkout, they abandoned their shopping cart, leaving it full of items.

This abandonment is actually a concern of many online businesses, for several reasons. Here, we’ll explore why customers sometimes abandon their cart and why businesses are concerned with it.

The Shopping Experience

We all know of, or have experienced firsthand, the following scenario:

You’re in a new store shopping, and you have already picked out a handful of items. As you’re shopping, a friend calls and you get word of another store with a sale on the items you’re about to buy. Instead of heading to the checkout counter and paying for your items, you leave your cart and walk out of the store. 

Though many of us have seen a full shopping cart seemingly abandoned in a store and left in a random aisle, this is not as common in physical stores. But, believe it or not, this is quite common in online storefronts. 

Consumers, for one reason or another, when shopping online, will fill their carts and never proceed to the checkout process. 

This cart abandonment has become a metric of which many online retailers pull data to see where they can adjust, modify, and streamline the online shopping experience to reduce the percentage of abandoned carts.

Why Does it Matter?

It is estimated that 65 percent of online retailers have a cart abandonment rate of over 50 percent. This is a reason to concern for many businesses because if consumers aren’t completing the purchase, it generally means that part of the shopping process wasn’t satisfactory.

The reasons for this dissatisfaction can vary widely from shoppers getting distracted with other things in their lives, or the reasons could be directly linked to the shopping experience itself. 

Finding out why this abandonment takes place has online marketing teams working overtime since abandonment contributes to nearly 18 billion dollars in lost revenue annually, according to CPC strategists.

Data has shown that shoppers, by and large, like to consider full transparency of the total cost of a purchase. This decision includes transaction security, hidden fees that pop-up upon checkout, coupon codes, shipping, and the entire checkout process itself. 

A few other reasons why shoppers abandon carts might include the overall customer service experience and return policies. 

Correcting Abandonment Rates

As the digital age progresses, consumers are spending more time shopping online than ever before. With this in mind, businesses must entice customers and keep them engaged throughout the entire buyer’s journey. This decision includes streamlining the buying process from cart to checkout

It has become necessary for businesses to divulge full transparency, review website and marketing strategy, and optimize the buying experience for consumers of all demographics.

With gaining the consumer’s trust and keeping them engaged, hopefully, abandoned cart percentages will fall to acceptable levels.

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