Why eCommerce Stores (Still!) Have No Cart Abandonment Solution

by Dena Goldberg of Aidalicious

If you were the owner of a retail store, and it was your lifeblood to get sales, you’d be pretty freaked out if you routinely saw more than half of your potential customers line up at the register and then suddenly leave without any discernible explanation as to why. In fact, if you saw this happen frequently enough, you’d probably push every person you could to drive sales harder and to close those deals; you’d want to follow up with those customers and make sure, at the very least, that you knew why they were leaving; and, if you were given a way to guarantee that you could keep at least 20% around to finish paying when they otherwise might not have, you’d do it without batting an eyelash.

Since it’s common sense that you’d do that for a physical retail store, you might assume that it’d be the same for eCommerce stores. Yet, while everyone running an eCommerce store knows that “cart abandonment” is potentially a big issue, very few eCommerce store owners tell you what their exact abandonment rates are, how much they’re losing every day, or, perhaps, most importantly, why carts are being abandoned in the first place.

In fact, according to Forrester Research, 88% of web buyers abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction, which is the same percentage as five years ago. So, while the average site experiences cart abandonment rates of up to 74.6%– a HUGE number when you think about all the sales that could’ve happened but have just been otherwise lost — 88% of these eCommerce stores still have no cart abandonment solution.

How is this possible? Why do these eCommerce stores still have no cart abandonment solution?

This may seem shocking from a marketer’s perspective — and actually a very urgent issue — but, ultimately, it mostly comes down to the “out of sight, out of mind” issue — just a very big one.  The reason for this is actually surprisingly simple: most analytics programs offered to many of these eCommerce retailers don’t provide abandonment information very easily (or at all). Worse, even the ones that do offer inaccurate abandoned orders details, because those require customers to sign-in to track them, and, let’s face it, you’re probably not signing in (let alone registering) unless you’re going to buy. Bottom line: unless you’ve been paying a few thousand a month for the premium suites, which might overwhelm you with more data than you know what to do with, you might just very well be up the creek without any paddle.

There are, however, new, easy ways of approaching cart abandonment to guarantee that you can understand what’s going on with your site’s actual abandoned carts. With specific tools designed to enable you to actually see exactly and precisely how much is being lost each day; which products are left behind; and times and locations in the checkout process people leave; the normal problems associated with addressing the issues of cart abandonment (especially the one of “out of sight, out of mind”) evaporate. Plus, some solutions even include in their plans the option of implementing automatically triggered abandoned cart emails, which serve the function of that sales owner chasing after his would-be customer to see what went wrong.

Finding a smart cart abandonment solution is crucial to moving eCommerce businesses forward. As they say, knowledge is power, so with the proper tools in place to access that valuable cart abandonment data, eCommerce merchants can finally tackle cart abandonment effectively.


Dena manages the Aidalicious community at www.abandonaid.com/blog. She <3 eCommerce, fine food, and awesome infographics. Follow her on Twitter @abandonaid for updates.




  1. Posted July 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s a fair analogy. When people abandon carts, they’re not always at the register. Many people just add stuff to the cart for fun without any intent to buy at that time. For every person who does this — in their underwear, at home — there is another who didn’t go to the store in the first place.

    But yes, reminding them twice or so is a good idea. I just don’t know if many of the datapoints I see are not people windowshopping or comparison shopping, using the cart as a bookmark feature.

  2. Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the shameless self advertising, but at Granify we can help Ecommerce stores to solve this problem! We determine the shoppers who will leave the site without buying, and we change their mind before they leave! Dena, I love that you compared Ecommerce stores with brick and mortar stores, because I personally think, that bringing the offline shopping and service experience to online stores is what helps to not lose these at-risk shoppers.

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