The Mystery of the Increasing Abandoned Carts (and how you can recover them)

The rate of cart abandonment in E-commerce stores is an increasing problem. Read on to learn about the different marketing channels that help solve cart abandonment.

E-commerce has been booming in the past few years, growing 3 times faster than traditional retail. It has enjoyed a growth rate of about 15% as compared to the 5% growth that is seen with brick and mortar stores.

This growth has prompted many traditionally brick and mortar businesses to take their products online. With several marketing channels available, it’s easier for businesses to grab attention and bring people to their online store.

However, bringing in visitors to their store doesn’t cut it. Turning these visitors into customers is a whole new ball game. Despite the many processes and conversion funnels created to drive a visitor to complete a purchase, conversion rates are lower than ever.

website conversion rates on different devices


An online shopper is constantly distracted. Comparing prices, choosing from numerous options available, and hunting down better deals – there’s a lot of information that a shopper needs to process about just one product. Many times, shoppers add products to their cart on one store only to end up purchasing from a different online store or even picking up the item in-person from a traditional offline store.

Online store owners have many problems but, arguably, there’s nothing as difficult to deal with as abandoned carts.

The Current State of Cart Abandonment

The average abandoned cart rates are a whopping 75.6%. In perspective, for every $1000 made, an online store loses $3098 in abandoned carts. That amounts to a whopping $161,096 worth of lost sales in a year!

shopping abandonment rates in retail

Abandoned cart rates differ according to the store’s industry. Some stores have more loyal customers and lower abandonment rates. Meanwhile, other stores have expensive products and in turn, difficulty in decreasing their abandoned cart rates-

  • The health and beauty industry enjoys the lowest cart abandonment rate, at 65.7%.
  • Sporting goods have an abandonment rate of 69.1%.
  • Home furnishing industry is close, with a 69.8% abandonment rate.
  • Fashion brands have lowered their abandoned cart rates, going from 71.9% to 68.3% in 3 years.
  • With its high-ticket products, consumer electronics see high abandonment rate, at 74.1%.
  • With a higher preference for in-person purchases, food and drinks witness the highest abandoned cart rates, at 75.7%.

Abandonment rates vary according to the devices as well.

abandoned cart rates across devices


Why visitors are increasingly abandoning carts

It’s late, almost midnight, and it’s been an hour since this visitor has been scrolling through a collection of activewear on an online store. It started on Instagram and after admiring the many ways that this store had styled their fitness wear, the shopper couldn’t resist her urge to make a purchase or two.

So, she dives into the store’s collections. An hour passes, but there are just too many options to pick from. The visitor makes a choice (a few, actually) and she excitedly adds 3 items to her cart. Then she sees the cart total and pauses. The shipping fee is a bit too much and her hesitation kick in. Hoping that another store would be cheaper, the visitor leaves without checking out.

She browses a few other stores, scrolling as the clock strikes 2am. She finds one of the products in another store. The cherry on top? No shipping fees! She completes the purchase on this store and calls it a night.

Sounds painful if you’re the store that she ends up abandoning, doesn’t it?

In this scenario, you lose a potential customer because of the high shipping fees. But shipping fees isn’t the only reason shoppers abandon their cart.

A research by Statista found several convincing reasons that drive shoppers to abandon their cart.

primary reason for digital buyers to abandon their carts in the United States by Statista

Let’s dive into the most common reasons that cause cart abandonment.

1. Extra costs

Costs like high shipping, taxes, and other unexpected fees are the most cited reasons for abandonment. Shoppers like to know upfront about any extra costs and finding out about these costs during checkout can be an unpleasant experience.

You can tackle this by including the tax amount within the product’s price. Insert a sticky announcement bar within the header to mention the shipping fees and any offers on free shipping.

2. Didn’t want to create an account

Customers want to checkout with their selected product immediately. According to the survey, 35% of the participants said that they abandoned their cart because the store required them to create an account. This goes to show that any task that deviates the shopper from their goal of purchasing is likely to make them abandon their cart entirely.

Allowing shoppers to shop as a guest or log in with their Gmail or Facebook account can speed up the process. Once they have completed the purchase, you can use the details given to send them an email and persuade them to create an account.

3. Too long/complicated checkout process

People are constantly distracted online by the continuous information that pops up on their screens. This means that shoppers can get distracted when completing a purchase online, especially if the checkout process is time-consuming.

Simplify the checkout process and ensure the shopper has fewer steps to go through when making their purchase.

4. Concerns about security

Many shoppers didn’t complete their purchase because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information. Additionally, many shoppers don’t want to share their contact information to avoid receiving unnecessary messages.

You can address this obstacle by providing alternative payment methods which are more secure, like online wallets. Allow visitors to choose the number of marketing emails and messages they would like to receive. Giving them an option makes them more willing to leave their contact details with your store.

5. Conducting research to buy later

Often, shoppers are just researching and checking out the price of a product they plan to buy later. Even if they add the item to their cart, they were never intending to checkout.

Since the shopper plans to buy the item, providing an enticing offer, like a discount or free shipping, can persuade the shopper to opt for your store.

Besides optimizing your store to avoid these problems, it’s crucial to set up channels to retarget and bring back visitors who have abandoned their cart. Unless you’ve created a strong remarketing funnel, your store isn’t reaching its maximum sales potential and you end up losing more revenue than you gain.

Recover Abandoned Carts – like a boss!

With different marketing channels available to target visitors within specific audience segments, it’s easier than ever to talk to

One of the challenges in reaching out to visitors who abandon their carts is getting their contact details. Shoppers don’t share their contact information with online stores, limiting businesses from getting in touch with them. But, newer communication channels in the market are allowing stores to reach their anonymous visitors as well.

Let’s deep dive into the different channels you can use to recover your abandoned carts.

Abandoned Cart Emails

The most common way that stores reduce abandoned carts is by setting up an automated email sequence. Abandoned cart emails are proven to yield great results since they have an average click rate of 9.50%. If you’ve captured your visitor’s details, this is the best way to solve your cart abandonment problem.

abandoned cart email sequence to recover abandoned carts

Get started:

Social Media Retargeting

Since most online shoppers live on social media, it’s only obvious that targeted ads on these platforms will get great visibility. It’s no secret that people use social media on a daily basis. Surveys report that 74% of Facebook users and 60% of Instagram users are active on these platforms everyday. By setting up remarketing ads on Facebook or Instagram or any other social media platform, you can leverage the space that your visitors give more attention to.

social media remarketing using Facebook Messenger to reduce abandoned carts

Get started:

Google AdWords

The Display Network reaches over 90% of global Internet users and so, ads that are set up on AdWords have high visibility. It’s no surprise that many store owners focus their remarketing efforts in search ads. When a shopper who has abandoned their carts does a Google search or goes to a website, they will see an ad persuading them to go back to the store and complete the purchase.

You can also set up remarketing ads within Youtube using AdWords.

google search ad as a remarketing tool for abandoned cart recovery

Get started:

Where traditional methods fail, you can try push notifications, a marketing channel that sends promotions straight to your customer’s screen.

Desktop Push Notification Reminders

While people are spending more time shopping on smartphones than on any other device, desktops still see their fair share of online shopping. Shoppers prefer to research about high-ticket products using their desktops.

When someone abandons their cart, the browser captures this data. If you have the Abandoned Cart Reminder feature set up on your store, the automation will send a sequence of 3 notifications at regular time intervals to maximize your store’s ability to bring back the visitor and turn that abandoned cart into a purchase.

Mobile Push Notification Reminders

Amazon does an effective job of sending an app notification when you leave an item in the cart. Similarly, using web push notifications, it’s easier to send notifications to your visitors directly to their phones, even without an app!

Web push notifications work on desktop as well as on smartphones. Using push notifications, you can send automated reminders to visitors who have abandoned their cart on their phones and bring them back to the store to successfully complete the purchase.

Note: iOS devices don’t support web push notifications but Apple will be rolling out this feature soon.


ALSO READ:  Push Marketing: Optimize Your Abandoned Cart Recovery

Get started:

Some stores use multiple channels to ensure they are covering all their bases in bringing back the visitor.

For instance, Headphone Zone, a Shopify Plus store that uses PushOwl, has enabled multiple remarketing channels. If a visitor abandons their cart, they receive a push notification within 20 minutes. Moreover, they are shown ads on websites that they browse and on social media platforms they use. If the visitor has created an account with the store, they also receive emails reminding them to finish checkout. So, if the store has missed out on getting the visitor’s attention with an email, a search ad or a push notifications might do the trick.

Can you really recover carts?

Capturing those wandering visitors and ensuring your store recovers more carts is easier when you’ve set up remarketing channels that do most of the work in bringing your visitors back. Create a well-rounded remarketing strategy using multiple channels to maximize your reach.

Push notifications have helped 8000 Shopify stores to reduce cart abandonment and recover revenue that they would have lost. With web push notifications, you can reach your visitors with just their browser details. Since push notifications don’t breach on a user’s privacy, your visitors will be more comfortable opting into your notifications and you don’t have to break a sweat to solve the abandoned carts on your store.