Shopping Cart Abandonment And How You Can Stop It

The Challenge: According to recent research done by Fireclick/DigitalRiver, online retailers are experiencing shopping cart abandonment at a rate of about 74%. What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?

Shopping CartIn 2009, Forrester asked nearly 3000 web buyers why they abandon online purchases. In a recent study, Bronto analyzed the top reasons and classified them into 4 categories:

1. User Experience
The biggest problem customers had here was retailers asking for too much personal information upfront. People want to shop without unnecessary complications on the purchase path. These complications include required registration, too many pages, and poor site functionality.

2. Indecision
Abandoners who are on the fence about purchasing are usually the most responsive to post-abandonment messaging. However, understanding the behaviors that surround purchase indecision is required to shape post-abandonment marketing strategies.

3. Technical Issues
Technical issues that turned shoppers off included lack of online security, difficulty in redeeming promotional codes, lack of customer support, and constant redirection away from the cart, all of which ultimately lead to dissatisfaction. In order to keep customer interest, good customer service must be maintained along the entire purchase path. is a great example of this, constantly placing high on various “best of” lists for ease of use and customer service.

4. Product Cost & Additional Fees
Customers often drift away from their cart to compare prices with another product or site. Even if they¹re not lured away, this can still cause distraction at a crucial moment in the buying process. Many customers also leave their carts when they see shipping costs, having been spoiled by free shipping elsewhere, as in the case of Amazon.

Bronto also studied 100 companies, including, and how they reduced cart abandonment. Most companies who got customers back post-abandonment did so via follow-up e-mail. And here are some of their best practices.

Key Takeaways for Marketers

1. Test to determine the optimal timing for email follow-up.
Other than the obvious, which is that sooner is better, there¹s no magic time interval for email follow-up(s) after a customer abandons their cart. Conduct tests to measure response across different intervals; same day, 1 day, up to three days. Measure and evaluate.

2. Test incentives and promotions.
Everyone loves a discount. Test a percentage discount or free shipping when they complete their cart purchase. This provides incentive to complete the transaction. Also test a warm "thank you" and confirmation of next steps.

3. Avoid repeat abandoners.
Set controls on your program to keep shoppers from receiving abandoned cart reminders every time they abandon. This can result in customers being trained to abandon carts so they can receive free shipping or discount.