Ecommerce glossary > Cart abandonment rate

Cart abandonment rate

What is cart abandonment rate? 

Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of digital shopping carts that are abandoned by customers prior to completing the checkout process. This metric is calculated by dividing a business’s total number of completed purchases by its total number of created online shopping carts. Cart abandonment statistics can provide key insights into the health of an ecommerce business, particularly around issues with the checkout process. 

What causes a high shopping cart abandonment rate? 

Cart abandonment can occur for many reasons. Depending on the ecommerce site, a confusing checkout flow, unclear return policy, lack of payment options or discount codes, unexpected shipping costs, and requiring customers to create an account to check out can all contribute to cart abandonment stats. 

Marketing strategies for improving conversions 

Through data analysis studies and A/B testing, businesses can collect information on the causes of abandonment, then optimize the user experience accordingly. Depending on the issue, solutions like providing a guest checkout option, clearly communicating shipping costs and return policies, and offering discount codes can all improve checkout flows, optimize the ecommerce experience, and reduce abandonment rates. 

Additionally, when shoppers provide their email address prior to abandoning their shopping cart, marketers can send cart abandonment emails to increase their number of completed purchases. These emails contain a direct link to the customer’s shopping cart and checkout page as they left it, and often further incentivize the completion of the purchase through promo codes and shipping discounts. Cart recovery emails can reduce cart abandonment rates, improving conversion rates and increasing customer lifetime value.