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Cart abandonment rates remain high

27 March 2017 - 11:26 by Graham Miller

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The proportion of consumers who begin the process of carrying shopping online but ultimately give up before completing a purchase currently sits at 74 per cent, according to a new report published by SaleCycle this month.

Cart abandonment is something which all e-commerce sites attempt to combat, although in many cases this is difficult because shoppers’ habits vary significantly, even across different product categories.

Health and beauty outlets are less likely to have to put up with shopping carts being abandoned, with rates sitting at 68.2 per cent for this segment. Conversely, abandonment rates for consumer electronics sites are significantly higher than average, reported to be 78.8 per cent.

This suggests that the higher the cost of the item, the less likely that a customer will buy it via safe shopping online after adding it to their basket.

The study also looked at the reasons behind cart abandonment, with a third of respondents stating that they simply use the cart as a way to catalogue items they are browsing during an e-commerce spree, without ever actually intending to make a purchase in the first place.

Twenty three per cent said that they were put off completing a transaction after adding products to the cart if they encountered unexpected delivery fees or other complications at the point of passing through the e-commerce checkout.

Consumers in the UK are especially savvy when it comes to shopping online and although retailers are generally eager to win over shoppers on their first visit to a site, the reality is that this is impossible when there are so many rival outlets available and the option to compare prices with ease.

Improving the experience of using a site and making sure that the checkout process is seamless can lower cart abandonment rates, if not completely eliminate this practice.