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Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics

Conversion Rate Tracking

The average rate of cart abandonment in 2015 is 68%. That means two-thirds of the time online shoppers add to their basket only to leave the items there.

Put another way, shoppers spend hours browsing, picking out just the right clothing or software package, add it to their basket and are ready to buy. But they don’t. Something halts the buying process.

To start optimising your checkout process now, read 7 ways to decrease your abandonment rate.

Shopping cart abandonment online continues to plague ecommerce. Rather than trying to sell more we should look at what all those unfulfilled purchases are telling us.

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Abandonment rates

In the past four years abandonment has consistently stayed above 68%, reaching an all time high in 2012 of 71.98% on average.

Below is a chart showing the fluctuations in shopping cart abandonment over the past eight years. This is based on 29 studies aggregated by Baymard Institute.

Shopping cart abandonment chart by year
Year Average Abandonment Rate
2006 59.8%
2007 61.36%
2008 62.01%
2009 66.08%
2010 64.76%
2011 68.87%
2012 71.98%
2013 71.16%
2014 68.07%

Consumer electronics has one of the highest abandonment rates online, calculated at 74.1% by SaleCycle in a 2013 survey of 500 global retailers.

What do we lose through cart abandonment?

Money down the drain

Global annual revenue from ecommerce amounted to $1.3 trillion in 2014. So, does cart abandonment even matter?

Well, when you consider that abandonment rates are so high that means you’re losing out on more money than you’re making. In fact, you can work out how much you’re losing in cart abandonment with this simple equation:

Your total monthly revenue/0.32 = Your lost monthly revenue

Applying this maths to ecommerce revenue figures for 2013 and 2014, as well as predicted figures for 2015, leads to staggering estimated losses:

Year Revenue Value of Abandoned Carts
2013 $1.077 trillion $3.365 trillion
2014 $1.316 trillion $4.112 trillion
2015 predicted $1.592 trillion $4.975 trillion

Source: eMarketer


Baymard Institute’s study scored the top 100 grossing ecommerce sites against 63 usability guidelines. They found that usability scores dropped for the top 23 highest grossing sites.

Poor usability is a known factor in cart abandonment, as you’ll see below. The top 23 sites all gross over $1 billion per year but have a 44% worse checkout user experience. At the average abandonment rate of 68% each of these sites could be losing $3 billion, if not more.

Reasons for abandonment

Why shoppers abandon their carts is no mystery. We can clearly link it to specific reasons, which most often relate to a flaw in the checkout process. Take a look at this pie chart:

pie chart: top 7 reasons for cart abandonment

Source: VWO Ecommerce Survey 2014, 1000 US consumers, gathered online in Oct 2014

The second biggest cause of checkout abandonment is forced account creation (23%). Baymard’s study revealed that 24% of top grossing sites still require shoppers to create an account.

Further facts and figure’s from Baymard Institute checkout usability study show where shoppers may be getting tripped up by complicated checkouts (which account for 12% of drop offs):

  • The average number of steps in a checkout is 5.08.
  • 50% of sites ask for repeat information.
  • Of those sites that provide postcode validation (41%), only 12% allow manual override.
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Mobile device vs desktop shopping

Mobile traffic to ecommerce sites is rising but globally still only accounts for one third of visits. The conversion rates are also slightly lower, as is the average order value (AOV).

Device Traffic Add to cart Conversions Average Order Value
Desktop 67.82% 8.08% 2.76% $141.51
Tablet 15.13% 8.22% 2.62% $121.40
Mobile 16.55% 4.66% 2.1% $135.17

Problematic forms are exacerbated on mobile devices due to the smaller screen size and the way we interact with them i.e. with our imprecise fingers. The highest conversion rate seen in Monetate’s study was 6.44%, showing that it is possible to influence conversions in a big way.

Isolating Checkout Performance

We go deeper in conversions and look at just the checkout stage itself. Below is data drawn from Formisimo, of 2 billion data points, tracking user behaviour in checkouts in 229 countries.

Our data shows that the problem of cart abandonment lies with the final stages of the checkout process -when users are prompted to enter data the fall-off rate is heightened.

Of all shoppers who are motivated enough to head to the online checkout only 12.2% of them complete the process. This conversion rate changes based on buying cycles (e.g. are you a site that sees a traffic increase around pay-day), seasonality (Christmas is often a busier period for e-commerce sites) and events (Read more on how Black Friday adjusts shopping cart abandonment rates)

Global checkout conversions starting in checkout

You can see in the illustration below that mobiles perform even worse; only 8.5% of online shoppers complete their purchase.

Checkout completion rates by device

Average cart abandonment at the checkout stage is 87.8%. Break this down by day of the week and you’ll see abandonment ranges between 85% and 89.8%.

Cart abandonment rate chart by day of the week

This tells us that midweek shoppers are more motivated to get through the checkout. The drop off rate dips down to 85% on Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday and Sunday, despite the added leisure time, have the highest drop off rates, above 89%.

Although cart abandonment rates are still consistently high they aren’t impossible to influence. The most common reasons behind abandonment, should provide you with a list of actionable changes. Using Form Analytics will help you understand why potential customers abandon.

To start optimising your form now, read 7 ways to decrease your abandonment rate.