What is Shopping Cart Abandonment? Online Shopping Cart Abandonment Guide | Part 1

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For eCommerce businesses, online shopping cart abandonment is a sad reality. You put in hours of work, blood, sweat (maybe even some tears) to grow your business. You get as far as customers adding items to their online shopping carts and then… nothing.

Customers abandon carts for all kinds of reasons, but the bottom line is that you’re left with no sale and no explanation. As a business owner, that’s a bad place to be. That’s why so many tools and strategies have sprung up to help us understand and fight the abandoned cart epidemic.

We put together this blog to do just that to help you discover the reason for shopping cart abandonment on your online store and give you the tools and know-how to turn the tables.

Simply put, cart abandonment means someone placed an item in their online shopping cart and then left the site without buying it. There are as many reasons for abandonment as there are stars in the sky. The key takeaway, though, is that more than 68% of all online shopping carts aren’t completed.

Abandonment is even higher in industries like fashion, travel, and home retail – where it can reach as high as 81%.

That means online merchants lose out on more than half of their potential sales.
By understanding and addressing shopping cart abandonment, you can recapture some of those ghost sales that would otherwise be lost to the ether.

Why It Happens

reasons of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Why do consumers abandon online shopping carts? There are millions of reasons someone might abandon a purchase. To name a few:

  • Price discrepancy
  • Confusing checkout process
  • Payment concerns Distractions
  • Competitors offering a lower price
  • Discounts and promo codes that don’t work or apply

You can’t account for every single potential blocker, so let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of abandonment.

According to Statista’s 2017 survey, the number one reason for abandoning an online shopping cart is expensive shipping. Sixty-four (64) percent of respondents noted this was the most common blocker for them.
Other top answers included:

  1. The consumer was only browsing (57%)
  2. Researching a later purchase (48%)
  3. No free shipping (44%)
  4. Unaware of shipping cost (35%)

While there are a million reasons for cart abandonment, it’s clear that a few common denominators stand out. Making a push to cut out these factors can help you reel a nice chunk of your abandoned carts back in.

Cart Abandonment and Mobile Devices


We’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on how the device users choose affects abandonment rates. While the average cart abandonment rate of 68% is troubling enough, Barilliance found that as screens get smaller, abandonment climbs even higher. Their data showed mobile shopping carts were abandoned nearly 86% of the time.

Some of the discrepancies can be attributed to varying user intent between mobile and desktop devices. And many of the reasons for abandonment, in general, hold regardless of the device customers use.

But it’s undeniable that smaller screens compound the effect of long checkout processes, slow load time, and poor design – creating that 18% higher cart abandonment. As online shopping shifts more and more toward mobile devices, it’s important to keep them in mind when you design your online shopping cart and mobile user experience.

Getting a Handle on Abandonment Numbers

Cart-abandonment rate

Before we dive into how to fight shopping cart abandonment in your online store, we need to have a handle on what we’re up against. In your 3dcart Admin Dashboard, you can check how many orders have been abandoned. Multiply this by your average order value and you’ll see how much revenue you’re missing out on. Track this number for at least a few weeks to understand what your average abandonment numbers look like.

While it’s good practice to drop anything wonky in your checkout process, we want to address the factors causing the most abandonment first. To figure out where users are falling out of the sales funnel, turn to Google’s Enhanced Ecommerce tracking. If you’re not familiar with the tool, Kissmetrics has a handy guide to help you get started.

Once you’ve collected some data, it should be easy to find your biggest problem area. Fixing the leakiest section of your funnel (the one with the highest abandonment rate) is your number one task.

Ameer Hamza

Ameer Hamza

Passionate and motivated digital marketer, Ecommerce Manager - Amazon FBA, PPC Expert - Amazon Strategy & Brand Manager. Completed BBIT Degree Marketing specialization.

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