Cart Abandonment Rate

Tipped over shopping cart full of coins_CardinalCommerceWhen an online customer begins a transaction but leaves the item in the cart and never completes the purchase, a retailer may notice, but brush that incident aside as insignificant. Many business owners are busy and may not think it is a valuable investment of time to track down cart abandonment issues and work to resolve them. Yet, the cart abandonment rate for online business is a sizeable problem for smaller companies, resulting in huge losses of potential sales.

But It’s Not an Actual Loss

Business owners can tend to look at three numbers only: actual dollars spent, actual dollars earned, and the resulting profit margin. But the cart abandonment rates for online retail deserve attention because they continue to rise. Multiple retailers report that over 60% of their potential sales are left as incomplete transactions. It’s a loss of a shopper, a real customer who was considering a purchase at your business site, an actual sale that was in-process. The realization that those revenues could have come in for your business should urge you to take your cart abandonment rate seriously.

Calculating Your Cart Abandonment Rate

Computing the cart abandonment rate for your business is simple. Determine the total number of orders completed — fully placed and finished up  — and divide that number by the total number of items added to carts, finished or not. The answer to this equation gives you your business’s cart abandonment rate. An additional step for determining the potential revenue lost in this cart abandonment process is to total the monies represented by those “still in cart” items.

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Specific Research

Research is valuable for understanding cart abandonment rate and its significance for your particular business. Your industry may have specific issues with completing transactions—certain buying styles or purchase habits that tend to either support purchasing or support abandonment somewhere during the process. Certain days of the week show trends for cart abandonment. Device differences can also reveal issues for your site and the rates of successful or incomplete sales: mobile completion rates differ from desktop or tablet rates.

Do Something

Cart abandonment rates won’t disappear anytime soon, but you can lessen yours by taking actions concerning your site setup and checkout process. Analysis of the details of item listings, customer input of payment and shipping details, and even site speed can be informative. Customers leave transactions unfinished for a variety of reasons, and anything an online retailer can change to encourage sale completion will increase revenues.


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