Abandoned Shopping Carts: Reasons and Solutions

Veröffentlicht am 22 March 2019 | von Lisa Marie Lindemann


The phenomena of buyers who put products in their shopping carts but never end up buying it is omnipresent in the web shopping world. This has many reasons but it isn’t always easy to identify them correctly. This would, however, be necessary to prevent those reasons. But to calm you down, studies like one by SaleCycle show that shopping cart abandonment stays on the same average level over time and therefor seems to be a belonging part of the online shopping world.

You don’t always need to worry

Another further study by SAP goes more into detail about who abandons their cart and when. If you, for example, buy new clothes in a store (offline), you often see more than one item you like. But before you buy it you might also go to other stores and compare assortment and price of your desired products. You then have the opportunity to reserve the clothes at the checkout until later.

With online shopping it’s just the same. The follow through (completions of a “begun” purchase) reflect this very “offline shopping behaviour” in the online world. Follow throughs are mostly at only 25% of begun purchases. But as always, there are exceptions. When it comes to concert or general event tickets, average follow throughs are at 85%. This is due to the fact that there ist only a limited number of items available and buyers mostly know for sure that they want to see the act. That’s why they fill their shopping carts with a clear intention of buying.

You see – abandoned shopping carts are nothing unusual and a part of the purchasing process so you can’t always prevent or avoid them.

Avoiding things that lead to shopping cart abandonments

Anyway, of course there are some situations that can be avoided and here are three of them:

  • First, one of the most common reasons for not finishing a purchase are unexpectedly high shipping fees. Clearly, sometimes high fees cannot be avoided but the important thing here is to keep it transparent and clear from the beginning. This way customers see what they can expect and they can decide if they want to go on browsing your shop. If you surprise them at the very end of the process with a sum they didn’t expect is likely to irritate them make then search for their desired product elsewhere.
  • A second reason for abandonment can be problems with your website. If there are broken links leading to landing pages that don’t exist, your site is overloaded, loads very slow, or maybe even crashes during the purchasing process this can lead to lost shopping carts. Many customers do not have the nerve to collect all their items again and add them to a new shopping cart. If you site is not available for a longer period people might even forget to come back or change to one of your competitors.
  • Lastly, there’s online shoppers who do not want to create an account with you but still want to buy from you. So if you have made it a condition to create an account before checking out and purchasing you are risking to lose all those customers and their shopping carts. Of course, you can generate leads through obligatory registration and this makes it easier to ensure customer loyalty trough other digital marketing actions, but you should consider giving them the opportunity to buy as a guest. This will lower the hurdles and you might even gain them as registered users later on if you make the advantages clearly visible.

Those are aspects you can easily improve or adapt in you shop to avoid at least part of the shopping cart abandonments.

Use remarketing to remind customers of their shopping carts

Some abandoned shopping carts are just part of the process but others can definitely be avoided. Many customers fill their shopping cart and then let it lay for a while and don’t revisit your shop even if they might still be interested in their selected products. This can be because of uncertainty if they really need the product or maybe they wanted to compare prices intensively. You can win these customers back with automated remarketing mails. After a certain amount of time a product stays in a shopping cart, a trigger is initiated that leads to the sending of said remarketing mail. But that’s still not it. You have further options of reminding your customers of their left carts. One of those options is to give your customer the information that a certain product he was interested in has only few items left in stock. Thus you signalise an urgency and you trigger fears about being “to late” the need to react now.

Even more useful tips about remarketing for abandoned shopping carts can be found in our blogpost: 6 Tips for Email Remarketing After Abandoned Shopping Carts

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