What is Cart Abandonment?

What is Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a common issue for online stores. In fact, it’s estimated that about 68% of all carts are abandoned, according to research from Baymard Institute. So, what can you do to reduce the likelihood of carts being abandoned and increase your sales? Check out these tips!

What is Cart Abandonment

Abandonment is an ecommerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action. Examples of abandonment include shopping cart abandonment, referring to visitors who add items to their online shopping cart, but exit without completing the purchase.

Cart, or basket, abandonment may be the most obvious, but there are several types of abandonment across different sectors:

  • Event ticketing – potential customers may start the booking process but not complete it
  • Hotel bookings – customers may browse hotels but not commit to a booking
  • Travel – customers may search for flights or holidays but not book them
  • Subscription services – customers may sign up for a free trial but not convert to a paid subscription

The list goes on. In each case, the customer has started down the path to purchase but for some reason has not followed through.

There are many reasons why this may happen:

  • The customer is not ready to buy
  • The price is too high
  • The website is slow or difficult to use
  • The shipping costs are too high
  • There are no payment options that meet the customer’s needs

Whatever the reason, cart abandonment is a major problem for businesses. It results in lost sales and revenue, and it can be very frustrating for both businesses and customers.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat abandonment and improve conversions. By understanding the reasons behind abandonment, businesses can take steps to address those issues and improve their bottom line.

If you’re ready to learn more about how to combat abandonment, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers everything from the basics of abandonment to advanced strategies for reducing it.

Booking Abandonment

Booking abandonment refers to the act of leaving a travel booking website without completing a purchase. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as not finding the right product, getting distracted, or simply changing one’s mind.

Abandonment rates on travel sites are typically higher than in other industries, due to the nature of travel products being often major purchases that require research and comparison-shopping.

There are a few things that you as a business can do to combat booking abandonment:

  • Make sure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate;
  • Offer a variety of payment options;
  • Provide clear and concise information about your products;
  • Offer customer support in case of any questions or concerns.

By following these tips, you can help reduce the number of customers who abandon their bookings on your site, and ultimately boost your sales.

Form Abandonment

When it comes to online purchases, customers often abandon their shopping carts when confronted with long and complicated forms. This is especially true for financial products, where plenty of details are required.

So, if you’re selling anything online, it’s important to make sure that your forms are as short and simple as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing potential customers who simply don’t have the time or patience to complete them.

Browse Abandonment

There are a number of reasons why browse abandonment occurs. Some shoppers may be simply browsing, with no intention to purchase. Others may have found the products they were looking for, but been discouraged by high prices or shipping costs. In some cases, shoppers may have been confused by the site navigation, or unable to find the information they were looking for.

Whatever the reason for browse abandonment, it’s important to try to convert these browsers into buyers. A conversion rate optimisation solution can help you do this by providing targeted messages and offers at key points in the customer journey. By personalising the shopper experience and addressing their specific needs and concerns, you can increase the likelihood of a sale.

If you’re struggling with high levels of browse abandonment, contact us today. Our team of experts can help you identify the causes and implement a solution that will increase conversions and boost sales.

The Latest Cart Abandonment Stats

As you can see, there are some sectors where cart abandonment rates are significantly higher than others. For example, in the travel sector, the average cart abandonment rate is a whopping 87.36%.

There are a number of reasons why this might be the case. Firstly, people often book travel well in advance, so they may start to research their trip months before they actually make a purchase. Secondly, travel can be a complex purchase with many different elements (flights, accommodation, insurance etc.), so customers may feel overwhelmed and abandon their purchase.

If you’re in a sector with high cart abandonment rates, don’t despair! There are a number of things you can do to reduce abandonment and increase sales. We’ve outlined some of the most effective strategies below.

1. Make the purchase process as simple and straightforward as possible

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. If your purchase process is long, complicated or confusing, customers are more likely to abandon their cart. So streamline your checkout process and make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you.

2. Offer a variety of payment options

Customers should be able to pay for their purchase in the way that suits them best. So offer a range of payment options including credit/debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay etc. The more options you offer, the more likely customers are to complete their purchase.

3. Provide clear shipping information

Make sure customers know exactly how much it will cost to ship their purchase, and how long it will take to arrive. Nobody likes surprises when it comes to shipping costs, so be upfront about them from the start.

4. Give customers the option to save their cart

If a customer isn’t quite ready to make a purchase, give them the option to save their cart for later. This way, they can come back and complete their purchase at a time that suits them.

5. Use abandoned cart emails

Abandoned cart emails are a great way to encourage customers to come back and complete their purchase. You can set up automatic emails that are triggered when somebody abandons their cart, and include a link back to the purchase so they can easily pick up where they left off.

6. Offer discounts or coupons

If you’re struggling to convert customers, offer them a discount or coupon code to incentivise them to complete their purchase. This could be a percentage off their order, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase.

7. Provide customer support

Make sure you have a team in place to provide customer support in case anybody has any questions or problems during the purchase process. This could be live chat, phone support, or email support. Having someone on hand to help will make customers feel more confident about buying from you.

8. Use exit-intent popups

Exit-intent popups are a great way to stop customers from abandoning their cart. These are popups that appear when a customer is about to leave your site, and usually offer them a discount or coupon code in order to persuade them to stay.

9. Improve your website’s design

Your website’s design can have a big impact on conversion rates. If your site is outdated, confusing or difficult to navigate, customers will be less likely to buy from you. So make sure your site is up-to-date and easy to use.

10. Review your pricing strategy

If you’re struggling to convert customers, it could be that your prices are too high. Take a look at your pricing strategy and see if there’s room for manoeuvre. Sometimes, even a small price reduction can make a big difference.

Why Shoppers Abandon Carts?

There can be many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts, and these vary by sector. Our abandonment survey data can provide some of the answers to this question.

For the retail sector, the most common reasons for abandonment are:

  • 34% were ‘just looking’ i.e. not ready to buy.
  • 23% had an issue with shipping.
  • 18% wanted to compare prices.
  • 15% decided to buy in-store instead.
  • 6% abandoned due to a lack of payment options.
  • 4% experienced a technical issue.

Understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment can help businesses take steps to reduce it. By addressing common issues like shipping and payment options, retailers can make it more likely that customers will complete their purchase.

There are a few primary reasons why people abandon their online bookings. Most often, it is because travellers want to do more research (39%) or because they feel the price is too high (37%). Additionally, 21% of potential guests need to check with other travellers before proceeding, and 13% feel that the booking process is too long or complicated.

It’s important to note that technical issues account for 9% of abandoned bookings, indicating that a streamlined and user-friendly booking experience is essential. Finally, 7% of people abandon their bookings due to payment issues or a lack of payment options.

To avoid abandoned bookings, it is important to offer a competitive price, an easy-to-use booking system, and a variety of payment options. Additionally, providing helpful resources and customer support can go a long way in ensuring a positive booking experience for all travellers.

8 Ways Brands Can Reduce Cart Abandonment

There’s no doubt that cart abandonment is a major issue for ecommerce brands. But the good news is that there are a number of things brands can do to reduce the rate of abandonment, or to recover sales after customers have left the site.

Here are 8 steps brands can take to address cart abandonment:

  1. Helping Customers to Research Products: Make sure product pages are clear and concise, with all the information customers need to make a purchase decision. Provide links to reviews and testimonials, and offer live chat or call support to answer any questions.
  2. Shipping, Returns and Payment Options: Be upfront about shipping costs and delivery times, and offer multiple payment options. Include clear return policy information on the site, and make it easy for customers to initiate a return if needed
  3. Form Optimization: Make sure forms are short and easy to complete. Include field validations and error messages to help customers avoid mistakes.
  4. Use Relevant and Timely On-site Messaging: Use on-site messaging to provide relevant information about promotions, shipping, returns, etc. Timing is important – make sure messages are shown at the right time in the customer’s journey.
  5. Improve the Checkout Process: Streamline the checkout process and make it as easy as possible for customers to complete their purchase. Remove unnecessary steps and make sure all forms are optimized for mobile devices.
  6. Cart Abandonment Emails: Send cart abandonment emails to customers who have left items in their shopping cart. These can be highly effective in recover lost sales.
  7. Email Reminders and Callbacks: Use email reminders and callbacks to follow up with customers who have initiated a purchase but not completed it. This can help close the sale and reduce abandonment rates.
  8. Abandonment Surveys: Conduct surveys to find out why customers are abandoning their shopping carts. This information can be used to improve the overall customer experience and reduce abandonment rates.


If you are a business owner, it is crucial to understand what cart abandonment is and why it happens. By understanding these factors, you can take steps to reduce the number of abandoned carts on your site. Additionally, by offering customer support and providing relevant information at each stage of the purchase process, you can further decrease the likelihood of customers abandoning their carts. What steps have you taken to reduce cart abandonment on your site?

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Warren Baldwin

Warren Baldwin

Hi, I'm Warren Baldwin. I'm a full-time writer with a focus on creating helpful guides and reviews for consumers. I love helping people find the best products and services to suit their needs, and I take great pride in providing unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions. I've been writing professionally for over 10 years, and I consider it an honor to be able to help people find the right products and services for their needs. My goal is always to provide unbiased information that can help consumers make informed decisions, and I take great pride in being able to do that every day. Thanks for reading!