January 25, 2019

Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics

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Online shopping carts are abandoned 75% of the time. Decrease abandonment rates and reclaim revenue with these simple tips.

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What Is Online Shopping Cart Abandonment?

If you've ever filled an online shopping cart to the brim, only to change your mind for some reason and close your browser, that's online shopping cart abandonment.

It happens more often than you might think. According to SaleCycle, the average cart abandonment rate is 75.6%.

Shopping carts are abandoned for a number of reasons, such as a long checkout process or hidden fees, like extra shipping costs.

Sometimes, carts are merely wish lists—and customers never intended to purchase the items at all.

Read on to learn why shopping cart abandonment really happens, how it can hurt your business, how you can prevent it, and how you can reconnect with potential customers.

Why It's a Problem for Retailers

As a retailer, every abandoned cart is a missed—or delayed—opportunity for revenue.

For all online retailers combined, $4 trillion in shopping carts are abandoned—and $260 billion of that is likely recoverable.

For your business, shopping cart abandonment might affect you more than you think.

For example, as a business owner, you have 100,000 monthly visitors to your site. Your average transaction is $50. Your conversion rate is 0.75% (or 750 customers).

By increasing your conversion rate by just 0.25%, you could earn an additional $12,500 each month—or $150,000 each year.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics Across the Globe

Online shopping cart abandonment rates across the globe are estimated at 75.2%. Most areas hover right around that number, but there are some small differences.

  • APAC (Asia and the Pacific Islands): Includes Japan and China, sees the highest cart abandonment rate at 76.3%.

  • The Middle East sees a slightly lower rate at 76.1%.

  • Latin America, including South and Central American countries, drops down to a 75.3% abandonment rate.

  • North America (US & Canada) is one percentage point lower than the global trend at 74%.

  • Europe enjoys the lowest rate of cart abandonment at 70.9%.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics by Industry

The travel industry sees the highest percentage of abandonment.

Why? The more research a customer must do before purchasing a product, the more likely they are to "just browse" and shop around.

Here's an Example:

Think of planning a trip to London. First, you may add two flights to your cart. But before purchasing, you might confirm the layovers with your friend.

The next day, you might comparison shop on other sites, and then wait to see if the prices go down.

Later, you might visit a different site entirely to book the final seats.

The time it took you to make a decision is called a consideration cycle. Industries with long cycles, like travel and finance, have higher rates of online shopping cart abandonment.

Product type matters, too

A Barclaycard survey breaks it down, listing the top items left in carts. Most are clothing items.

  1. Women's knitwear
  2. Leather goods.
  3. Women's lingerie & hosiery
  4. Headphones
  5. Watches
  6. Women's sportswear
  7. Women's skirts
  8. Books
  9. Men's pants and jeans
  10. Women's tops and shirts

Abandonment Statistics by Device

Small screens can equal big problems. According to Forbes:

  • Desktop: Users abandon their carts 73.1% of the time
  • Tablet: Users abandon their carts 80.7% of the time
  • Mobile: Users abandon their carts a whopping 85.6% of the time

Why? Often, sites aren't optimized for mobile, meaning a clunky, glitchy checkout experience that leaves customers running.

Statistics by Browser

According to Invesp, the sites from which you get your customers matter when it comes to shopping cart abandonment rates:

  • Google: Responsible for 71.2% of all e-commerce site organic traffic, but it only averages a 1.9% conversion rate.

  • AOL: Brings in the highest conversion at 2.9%.

  • Yahoo: Conversion rate of 2.6%.

  • Bing: Has a conversion rate of 2.4%, also higher than Google.

  • Facebook and Twitter: Result in 1.2% and 0.5% conversion rates, respectively.

When Cart Abandonment Is Happening

  • Customers are most likely to abandon carts between 1 pm and 2 pm, according to SaleCycle data.

    One possible reason: office workers may shop on their lunch breaks, but abandon their carts to return to work.

  • 6 pm to 9 pm also sees a high rate of cart abandonment.

  • As for day of the week, the weekend is prime time for cart abandonment. Other studies show that cart abandonment is high on Thursdays, too.

Read on to find out why customers say they abandon their carts most often.

Top 10 Reasons Customers Abandon Shopping Carts

Now that we know where, how and when online shopping cart abandonment is happening, it's important to understand why.

Unfortunately, a lot of customers are just window shopping.

58% of customers admitted to abandoning a cart within the last three months because they were "just looking" or "weren't serious about buying."

Reasons Customers Didn't Buy:

  • 55% said that the add-on costs are too high. These include shipping, taxes and other fees that the customer may not be aware of until checkout.

  • 34% said they were prompted to create an account.

  • 26% said the checkout process was too long or too complicated.

  • 21% said they couldn't see or calculate their total order cost upfront.

  • 17% said they didn't trust the website with their credit card information.

  • 17% claimed the website had errors or crashed.

  • 16% said that product delivery was too slow.

  • 11% said that the returns policy was unsatisfactory.

  • 6% said the site didn't offer enough payment methods.

  • 4% said their credit card was declined.
Source: Baymard

For the customers just browsing, there's little retailers can do. But for the other reasons, each includes at least one deliverable that retailers can fix.

In fact, retailers can increase their conversion rates by 35% just by improving the checkout process.

Read on for data-backed ways to change the online buying experience to reduce your site's shopping cart abandonment rates.

Prevent Online Shopping Cart Abandonment

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These tips are data-backed ways to help lower your site's online shopping cart abandonment rates.

Start from the Top

There are two other types of abandonment that happen even before the shopping cart. It's important to dig into these too.

  • Browser Abandonment. This is when customers look through multiple items, but never add anything to their cart and then leave the site. There could be many reasons, including:

    • The customer is simply just looking
    • The website is hard to navigate
    • Shipping and return information is not clear or hard to find
    • Product descriptions are vague
    • Website is slow

  • Form Abandonment. This is when customers try to sign up for an email newsletter, free offer, or fill out any other form on your site, but they don't complete the form.

    If your site sees a lot of form abandonment, it could be a sign that:

    • Your forms aren't optimized across devices.
    • Your forms have glitches, much like checkout.
    • You're requiring too much information.

Start by analyzing add-to-cart rates: the percentage of site visitors who place an item in the shopping cart in the first place.

Add-to-cart rates vary across devices. According to eMarketer Retail, that means:

  • 12.0% for desktop
  • 11.5% for tablet
  • 7.6% for smartphones

Comparatively, conversion rates average between 2% and 3% across all devices, but only 1.6% for smartphones.

Checkout Pain Points

A long, clunky checkout process is a huge turn-off for customers.

26% of customers said the checkout process was too long or too complicated.

Is your checkout process easy for customers to complete?

  • Do they need to create an account?
  • Provide both billing and shipping addresses?
  • Enter some information twice?
  • Enter a CAPTCHA?
  • Is all the information necessary or helpful?

Analytics can help you determine exactly how long your customers spend at checkout.

For qualitative feedback, you can also ask a small number of people not intimately familiar with your checkout process to review it and give you feedback.

Here are the most common checkout pain points:

  • Number of Elements. The average U.S. checkout process, Baymard found, includes almost 24 elements (such as form fields, checkboxes, drop-down menus, etc.). That's a lot. Luckily, Baymard also found that an ideal checkout can be reduced to as little as 12 form elements.

  • CAPTCHAs. 1% or more of users may abandon a cart entirely just because they don't want to attempt to enter the CAPTCHA. While that doesn't sound like a lot, reclaiming just 1% of abandoned carts could result in big bucks.

    Did you know?
    8.8% of users will fail a CAPTCHA on the first attempt. That number can climb up to 29.9% if CAPTCHAs are case-sensitive.

  • Account Creation. 34% of customers said they abandoned a cart because they were prompted to create an account. To create an account, users typically need to:

    1. Create a username or enter their email address
    2. Create a password
    3. Check a disclosure box

    That adds three additional elements to the checkout process. Sometimes, account creation even requires users to check their email to confirm their address, taking them off-site.

    Customers are understandably fatigued by account creation, and that can cause them to abandon ship (or cart).

    Is it necessary that your customers create accounts before they checkout? And if it's optional, is checkout the best time to ask them to create the account? Customers are already busy trying to find their wallets and fish out their credit cards. Creating an account is just one more hassle that can turn them away.

    Consider asking customers to create an account only after they've already checked out. Let them know the benefits of creating an account, like tracking their order.

  • Forgetting Username and Passwords. 18% of customers at retail sites like Amazon and ASOS abandon their carts just because they have issues retrieving their username and password.

    Sometimes, they're forced to enter into a "forgot username/password" cycle that can include account locking. That can lead to a rise in shopping cart abandonment rates.

    Consider how many attempts you give customers who incorrectly enter their login credentials. Early lockouts can lead to decreased sales, so weigh the revenue potential against your specific security requirements.

Website Optimization

Other times, it's problems with the website itself that cause users to give up. 17% said they abandoned their carts because the website had errors or crashed.

Pay attention to these common issues:

  • Website Speed: Can make a big difference to customers going through the checkout process. According to ReadyCloud, cart abandonment increases by 7% for each second your site takes to load.

    Speed-test your website, particularly your checkout pages. Compare them against industry benchmarks.

  • Mobile-Specific Optimizations: Is your website optimized for mobile browsing? With such a higher rate of shopping cart abandonment, it pays to optimize mobile sites.

    • Overlays, like pop-ups that encourage customers to sign up for email newsletters, can be difficult to click out of on mobile browsers.

    • Customers visiting your site directly from social media sites, like Facebook or Instagram, might face additional constraints because they're viewing your site in that platform's app. Your analytics can tell you this.

    • Headers and footers that look nice on desktop sites can be distracting on a smaller mobile screen.


17% of customers claim they abandoned their cart because they didn't trust the website with their credit card information. Security is clearly important to customers.

Six in 10 customers also say they've abandoned their cart because the site did not display a security badge, like Norton Secured or Verisign, according to WordStream.

Choose a security badge that's familiar to customers.

Review Your Payment Methods

6% of customers say they abandoned their cart because the retailer didn't offer enough payment methods.

Consider popular payment methods such as:

  • Third-party stand-alone payment companies like PayPal
  • Device-based wallets like ApplePay
  • Retailer-based wallets like AmazonPay; 20% of customers choose AmazonPay over any other digital wallet

Digital wallets can help reduce cart abandonment rates. One key benefit? Customers don't have to physically leave their device to pull out their credit card.


55% of customers claim they abandon their carts because add-on costs were too high. Those add-on costs include shipping, fees and taxes.

Free shipping has become an expectation in the online world:

  • High shipping fees account for at least 25% of all abandoned carts.
  • 16% of customers abandoned their carts because shipping speed was too slow.
  • 93% of shoppers say they are more likely to make a purchase when retailers offer free shipping.

So what can retailers do?

  • Some retailers choose to offer free shipping, but pass the cost along to the consumer by raising prices slightly.

  • Other retailers offer free shipping to most customers, and only charge shipping costs for faraway locales. Analytics can tell you where you ship the most.

  • Another strategy, made famous by Amazon but also popular with retailers like Sephora, is to offer an annual membership that includes free shipping.

Return Policy

11% of customers abandoned their cart because they didn't like the return policy.

  • After the 2015 holiday season, retailers reported that free returns led to additional online purchases.

  • Again, retail giants lead the way: Zappos and Nordstrom perennially use free returns as a unique selling point.

Reclaim Abandoned Carts

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Even if you make all the necessary adjustments to reduce your online shopping cart abandonment rate, customers will still abandon their carts.

That doesn't mean it's over yet.

You can follow up with customers to lure them back to their abandoned carts.

This strategy is effective, too.

70% of online customers are more likely to convert after being retargeted.

Reclamation campaigns are great for converting customers who:

  • Didn't even want to abandon their carts. Remember that 17% of customers cited website errors or crashing as their reason for abandonment.
  • Had trouble finding their usernames and passwords.
  • Left because the process was too long. They may come back to their carts when they have more time, but they might need a reminder.

To follow-up with customers who abandoned their carts, you can use one or both of two popular methods:

Email Campaigns

Yes, it takes resources to craft an email that is personal, on-brand and convincing. But it might be worth it. This tool is proven to be effective.

  • Nearly half of all cart abandonment emails are opened. That's huge—only 22% of all marketing emails are opened.

  • Anywhere from 6% to 13% of cart abandonment emails are clicked, and over 33% of those clicks result in a purchase on the site, according to SaleCycle.

  • The average order value (AOV) of purchases from abandonment emails is 19% higher than average purchases.

  • Every cart abandonment email sent results in $5 in revenue.

  • The best time to send cart abandonment emails is within three hours of abandonment. These emails have the highest open and click-through rates. If your product has a longer consideration cycle, testing email tactics can help determine the best time to send.

Effective emails are:
  • personalized, often using the customer's name
  • integrate seamlessly with your brand
  • remind users of what they left behind
  • often offer an incentive to return, like a discount or free shipping
  • Different sectors see different email success rates, though, as seen in the chart below:
    (Source: eConsultancy)

    The cart abandonment rate for finance products is among the highest of all industries, but email open rates are also high at 56%, with a 6.6% conversion rate.

    Clothing retailers aren't so lucky. Their open rate hovers below 40%, and their conversion rate drops to 3%.

    Tip: Watch out for web-savvy return customers who purposely abandon items in their carts to wait for better email offers.

    Remarketing: The Ads That Follow You Around

    The second method is known as remarketing ads.

    If you've shopped for a product online, only to abandon your own cart, you might see an ad for the same product when you check Facebook or another site. That's a remarketing ad.

    Remarketing ad campaign considerations:

    • Cost:Remarketing ads are typically inexpensive, but pay attention to the cost-per-click.

    • No Email Necessary: Remarketing ads don't require an email address, so they can reach more customers than email campaigns. You can reach customers who never got to the step of providing an email.

    • Not all customers will receive retargeting ads. Google allows users to mute remarketing ads on their site (even across multiple devices). The Firefox browser also allows users to mute remarketing ads on any site they visit with the browser. Other platforms and browsers may follow suit by adding their own mute buttons.

      Because these are recent developments, it's still unknown how many users will proactively mute remarketing ads.

    However, even though remarketing ads are increasingly muted, they still account for 27% of ad clicks among Google Search users.

    The Bottom Line

    Online shopping cart abandonment rates can mean missed revenue for your business. Now that you understand why customers are abandoning their carts, you can take steps to fix it. Optimizing your site, especially your checkout process, can produce big results. Check your own analytics to see where customers drop off. Reclamation campaigns are also effective to recover customers who have abandoned their carts.

    Write to Emily T at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

    Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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