Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts - eMarketer

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Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts

Many shoppers load up carts with no intent to purchase

June 16, 2015

Retailers that send event-triggered emails know that abandoned carts can be a gold mine. According to Listrak data from 2014, US retailers’ abandoned cart email campaigns had an average open rate twice as high as the average, a click rate four times the average and a conversion rate more than five times the average. The average order value on such email campaigns was higher than for any other trigger except “back in stock” notices.

Reasons for Abandoning Digital Shopping Carts According to US Internet Users, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Triggered emails aren’t the only way retailers can capture shoppers who have abandoned their carts—but enticing them to buy may mean understanding why they left in the first place.

According to comScore research from April 2015, many internet users not only abandon carts, but specifically add items to a cart with no intention of ever making a purchase.

The most common reason for behaving this way was to check on shipping fees—with unexpected shipping costs the No. 1 reason in an October 2014 Wingify survey as well. More than half also said they were looking to find out the total cost of their order, most likely because they were adding multiple items to a cart, or perhaps because of discounts taken in the cart.

Abandoned cart emails, as well as other shopping cart abandonment follow-ups, must provide more than a product image and details. Offering a solution to why a shopper ditched his or her cart, such as a limited-time free shipping offer for those who left upon seeing a shipping total, should also come into play.


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