Secrets to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment -
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Secrets to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

The bad news about shopping cart abandonment? It’s high—70 to 80 percent of all carts on ecommerce sites are abandoned, according to a study by Bronto and Magento, Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes on Shopping Cart Abandonment. The good news? There’s a lot that ecommerce retailers can do to combat that statistic. Here’s some of what Bronto/Magento found and what the data means to your ecommerce business.

The study looked at three different types of online shoppers:

Frequent Shoppers (25 percent of sample) who shop online daily or weekly; Occasional Shoppers (40 percent of sample) who shop online every couple weeks/at least monthly; and Infrequent Shoppers (34 percent of sample) who shop online less than once per month. The study found different levels of sophistication among the groups, and several options for converting or reducing abandoned shopping carts.

  1. Offer a wish list option. Some sophisticated Frequent Shoppers make it a practice of abandoning carts because they use their carts as a “wish list” to hold items they’re considering. To avoid this, the study suggests offering shoppers an option to save the items to a wish list. This can occur at the checkout process to forestall shoppers from abandoning the carts when the order is totaled and the costs are higher than expected. Although Frequent Shoppers are more likely to build wish lists, all groups will do it to some degree if offered the choice. Another plus: In order to create a wish list, shoppers have to register with your site, and if they also agree to receive marketing messages from you, you’ve now got another way to reach them.
  2. Make mobile shopping easier. Mobile devices are still not widely used to place products in shopping carts, but about two in 10 frequent shoppers do so, which means you could gain more conversions by increasing customer awareness of the ease of mobile shopping. In addition, 58 percent of Frequent Shoppers report say they regularly or occasionally use a mobile device to view an online shopping cart while in a physical store. Make sure your customers know how easy it is to buy from you on a mobile device (and make sure it really is easy!)
  3. Use reminder emails. Conversion rates from abandoned shopping cart reminder emails can reach 20 percent or more, making this an essential tool in your email marketing plan. Overall, shopping cart abandonment reminder emails were viewed as either neutral or helpful—in other words, they don’t hurt, and they can often help, your efforts to make the sale.

If you assume that online shoppers are so jaded that your reminder emails need to have a discount or free shipping offer, think again. Just 13 percent of respondents say they expect a reminder email to have a coupon or discount code and only 8 percent expect free shipping. Simply reminding the consumer of the abandoned cart is likely to be enough in itself. After receiving a reminder email about abandoned items in the shopping cart, 32 percent of consumers are likely to complete the order.

That said, when asked what the biggest influence was in getting them back to an abandoned cart, 56 percent of respondents said highlighting savings or discounts worked best. Including an expiration date after which the cart would be emptied was also a positive influence for a fair percentage of shoppers.

For Occasional Shoppers, offering a discount worked best (cited by 47 percent) and showing product photos was close behind (cited by 44 percent). For Infrequent Shoppers, offering an alternative way to make the purchase worked best (29 percent).’s ecommerce solutions can create the perfect online store for you.


Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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