Ecommerce Cart Abandonment: Trends, Statistics, and Strategies



Empty shopping carts is akin to window shopping: a customer peruses through your website, adding items to the online cart system. They finish shopping, proceed to checkout, and then, for a number of reasons, decide to stop there.

An average of over 70% of online shopping carts are left before a purchase is made.


This can be especially frustrating if you are a small or mid-sized company. You may have gone out of your way to promote your website because of a special promo or time of the year. Your data analytics show that your efforts have worked: your website is showing increased traffic. But your sales, for some reason, remain low.

Latest Shopping Cart Trends

The reasons vary, with some coming from time restraints or unexpected conversion rates, but most are due to shopper expectations:

  • Many shoppers are turned off by company policies preventing free returns.
  • Shoppers expect web pages to load fast.
  • Shoppers expect a smooth checkout process and no processing issues.

Abandonment can also happen because some shoppers are doing price comparison and expect your prices to be competitive. They may also be simply doing research to see how much items cost before making a decision.

One of the top trends, coming from over 70% of shoppers, seem to be cart abandonment due to high shipping costs. More importantly, most shoppers are looking for free shipping.


Depending on the sources, the numbers vary, but retailers lose anywhere from $20 billion - $4 trillion annually from shopping cart abandonment. The rate of shopping cart abandonment has also been increasing over the years, with 69% in 2011 and 74% in 2013.

Fortunately, all is not lost. With some effort, 63% of that could be recovered, and shoppers who have previously abandoned a shopping cart often spend 55% more when they return. At least three-fourths of shoppers who have abandoned a cart return at a later date.


An abandoned shopping cart is normal and nothing more than part of the process of acquiring loyal customers. You can implement several strategies in your business to make sure you're making the most out of this phenomenon, including:

  • Ensuring a smooth checkout process, with transparent prices and no hidden fees.
  • Re-targeting shoppers with follow-up emails, which have an average of 20-40% click-through rate.
  • Making it easy for shoppers to return to their shopping cart and see the items they have previously picked.


About The Author

Patrick Moulton specializes in logistics and marketing with 15 years of industry experience. He is currently enrolled in the USC Marshall School of Business Executive MBA program.