Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics (2021)

Updated on December 16, 2020

Overview: Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics

  1. 69.57% is the average documented ecommerce cart abandonment rate.
  2. 35.26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout design.
  3. $260 billion are recoverable through checkout improvements.
  4. 85.6% is the average mobile ecommerce cart abandonment rate.
  5. 55% of online shoppers abandon their cart because extra costs were too high. 
  6. At 87.87%, airline cart abandonment rates are the highest.
  7. The ideal checkout flow has 12-14 form elements.
  8. But the average US checkout flow contains 23.48 form elements.
  9. Crutchfield scored the highest for cart and checkout usability. 
  10. The average ecommerce site has 39 potential areas for checkout improvement.
  11. Conversion rates can increase by 45% if you offer guest checkout.
  12. Cart abandonment rate can increase by 75% if your site loads slowly.
  13. Cart abandonment rates are highest from 8-9 pm.
  14. Cart abandonment rates are highest on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. 

 

Cart abandonment plagues every ecommerce business out there—from the largest, most optimized online shopping giants to the smallest, homemade internet business on the web. No matter what brand they’re shopping with, online shoppers consistently fill their carts only to abandon them during the checkout process. Why do they do this? What part of the checkout process makes them do this? And, most importantly, what can your ecommerce business do to calculate and improve its cart abandonment rate?

Cart abandonment statistics can help you answer these questions and more. So, we’ve compiled 14 of the most pertinent and useful numbers on cart abandonment to date. Here are the top cart abandonment statistics for shaping your ecommerce strategy:

14 Cart Abandonment Statistics Online Businesses Need to Know

As mentioned, cart abandonment is a universal challenge. Though you might feel uniquely frustrated with customer dropoff through the checkout funnel, you’re not alone. Though cart abandonment rates will fluctuate between brands, industries, and business sizes, every business that offers online shopping experiences cart abandonment. 

And shopping cart abandonment statistics can help you realize that. Even more, these numbers will help you learn how to address this common frustration. Here are the numbers behind the checkout dropoff that every ecommerce brand has to face:

1. 69.57% is the average documented ecommerce cart abandonment rate.

Cart abandonment rates will vary widely—and this is the case even amongst studies that claim to find the average cart abandonment rate among all ecommerce stores. As a result of this wide range, a Baymard Institute study looked at the average of each global cart abandonment rate that 41 different studies found. The average of all of these average cart abandonment rates came out to be a whopping 69.57%. [1] This means that an average over two-thirds of all online shoppers abandon their carts at some point before or during the ecommerce checkout process.

ecommerce cart abandonment rate

2. 35.26% increase in conversion rate is accessible through better checkout design.

The Baymard Institute also found that many of these abandoned carts are avoidable. Over nine years have research, the Baymard Institute found that certain checkout usability issues that caused cart abandonment were solvable, while others weren’t. We’ll dive into the details of these issues later, but for right now, it’s useful to consider them as a whole. Because when businesses solved all of these solvable checkout usability issues, they saw an average of 35.26% improvement in cart abandonment rate. [1] 

This means there’s room to lower your conversion rate by over a third if you pay attention to why users are abandoning your checkout flow and what exactly you can do to address those reasons.

3. $260 billion are recoverable through checkout improvements.

Based on this 35.26% cart abandonment rate improvement that came from improving controllable checkout usability factors, the Baymard Institute also calculated how much clunky and hard-to-use checkout experiences are costing ecommerce businesses total. The $738 billion of ecommerce sales in the US and EU alone could have been $260 billion more had improvable checkout imperfections had been addressed. [1]

So, in the US and the EU alone, more than a quarter of a trillion dollars could have been recovered through strategic checkout experience optimizations like the ones we’ll highlight in our cart abandonment rate improvement section.

4. 85.6% is the average mobile ecommerce cart abandonment rate.

The more mobile the device a customer is using, the less likely they are to make it complete a purchase. According to Forbes, the cart abandonment rate increases in notable increments from desktop shoppers to tablet shoppers to shoppers. Indeed, for desktop shoppers, the average conversion rate is 73.1%. Meanwhile, the cart abandonment rates for tablet shoppers and mobile shoppers are 80.7% and 85.6% respectively. [2] 

The explanation for this increasing cart abandonment rate with mobility could come from multiple causes. While mobile users are perhaps less intentional about making a purchase then and there, many mobile checkout experiences are less optimized than desktop experiences, as well.

5. 55% of online shoppers abandon their cart because extra costs were too high.

Cart abandonment statistics from the Baymard Institute also indicated the reasons that shoppers cited for abandoning their carts before fulfilling an online purchase. Granted, most shoppers—exactly 58.6%—that abandoned their cart did so because they were just browsing. 

However, when you segment out that unavoidable customer fall-off, the most cited reason for abandoning an online shopping cart was the extra costs—like taxes, shipping, and convenience costs—being too high. Online shoppers citing this reason rounded in at 55% of the study participants. 

This was followed up by the following reasons, in descending order:

  • 34%: The site wanted the user to create an account
  • 26%: The checkout process was too long or too complicated
  • 21%: Couldn’t see or calculate the total cost upfront
  • 17%: Didn’t trust the site with their credit card information
  • 16%: Delivery would take too long
  • 11%: Return policy didn’t work for them
  • 6%: There weren’t enough payment method options
  • 4%: Their credit card was declined [1]

6. At 87.87%, airline cart abandonment rates are the highest.

Cart abandonment statistics from Statista indicate that, at 87.87%, cart abandonment rates for airline ecommerce experiences are the highest of any industry. [3] To better understand this sky-high average industry cart abandonment rate, the Sale Cycle blog took a look into why this is the case. Apparently, 39% of shoppers abandon travel bookings because they need to do more research. This reasoning is trailed by 37%, who said they abandoned their cart to compare prices, followed by:

  • 21%: Needed to check with other travelers
  • 13%: The booking process was too long or complex
  • 9%: Experienced technical issues
  • 7%: Wanted more payment options [9]

Beyond the typical checkout inefficiencies and everyday “browsing” drop-off, the careful coordination that travel booking requires makes for astronomical cart abandonment rates.

 

airline industry cart abandonment rate

7. The ideal checkout flow has 12-14 form elements.

According to the Baymard Institute—and the nine years of researching they did—the ideal checkout experience only has 12 to 14 form elements. This means that, in a perfect world, each checkout flow would have no more than 14 blanks to fill out and buttons to press. [1] 

If your ecommerce business whittles down your checkout experience down to 14 or fewer form elements, then you’ll better serve and convert that 26% of customers who abandoned their cart because the checkout process was too long and complicated. The fewer steps a customer has to take before they press that “confirm order” button, the fewer junctures they have to think twice about their purchase—it’s as simple as that.

8. The average US checkout flow contains 23.48 form elements.

Despite the 12 to 14 form element sweetspot they found for the ideal checkout experience, the Baymard Institute also found that the average US checkout flow contains 23.48 form elements. [1] 

Odds are, your online business’s checkout flow has way too many steps for customers to take before making a purchase. How can you streamline your site’s checkout process and convert more customers in the process? Do an audit of each blank to fill out and each button to press in your checkout flow—is each one totally necessary? If any of these form elements can be removed, consolidated, or automated, then you should jump on that opportunity.

9. Crutchfield scored the highest for cart and checkout usability.

If you’re looking for a model to work toward, the electronics company Crutchfield earned the highest score for cart and checkout usability in a study run by the Baymard institute. In this study, the Baymard Institute evaluated 60 of the top performing ecommerce sites based on 727 different user experience factors. Though Crutchfield only earned #10 for overall usability, its score in the cart and checkout section earned it first place. The overall winner, B&H Photo, was close behind Crutchfield in cart and checkout usability, but beat them out in the six other usability sections. [4]

10. The average ecommerce site has 39 potential areas for checkout improvements.

In its nine years of research, the Baymard Institute also found that the average ecommerce site—even including large companies who have run multiple optimization audits—has 39 areas for potential checkout improvements. [1] If you’ve yet to run a checkout optimization audit for your ecommerce site, you could very well have many more areas for improvement. We get it—it can be hard to know where to begin in putting these cart abandonment statistics to action. Don’t worry, though: The next section will include a checklist of checkout improvements for you to implement, but more on that later.

11. Conversion rates can increase by 45% if you offer guest checkout.

As a reminder, 34% of online shoppers said that they abandoned their carts because the ecommerce site required them to make an account. Why not get rid of this customer pain point altogether by offering guest checkout?

According to Inc, conversion rates can increase by 45% if you simply offer the option of guest checkout. With a guest checkout option, users would be able to move forward with their purchases without being diverted into a signup flow. And you can offer them the option to signup and become a member after they complete their purchase. [5]

12. Cart abandonment rate can increase by 75% if your site loads slowly.

Design Advisor shares that cart abandonment rates can increase by a shocking 75% if your site loads slowly.  [6] Remember, a solid 26% of customers said they dropped off from the checkout process before making a purchase because it took too long. With every extra loading second for each step of your checkout flow, you’re making customers wait that much longer to complete their purchase. And, unfortunately, that extra waiting time means not only extra impatience but also extra second guessing.

13. Cart abandonment rates are highest from 8-9 pm.

Cart abandonment statistics from EY Studios report that most carts are abandoned between 8 and 9 pm. [7] Perhaps the end of the day sees more people browsing and, as a result, more people abandoning carts. Even more, the evening after the work day is high time for ecommerce shopping, anyway, so a higher number of shoppers means a high number of drop-offs as well. [10] 

Despite this cart abandonment statistic, don’t be so certain that 8 to 9 pm is the worst time for pushing your ecommerce site through marketing channels. Though the abandonment numbers are high, so are the total numbers of shoppers. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re willing to invest in attracting large numbers of shoppers that might drop off, or whether you’d rather play it safe and keep your marketing spend for other, less busy times.

14. Cart abandonment rates are highest on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.

Average cart abandonment rates shoot up to 89% on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, according to Formisimo. Compare this to average cart abandonment rates of 85% on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, and you’ll see that the weekends have online shoppers hesitant to make purchases. [8]

This cart abandonment rate weekday trend doesn’t correspond to the total ecommerce shoppers. In fact, Monday is the most active day for online shopping, and is 10% higher than Sunday, which is the second most active day for online shopping. [10]

Calculating Your Cart Abandonment Rate

Now that you’ve waded through all of the numbers surrounding cart abandonment, it’s time to start thinking about how you can improve your business’s cart abandonment rate. If you haven’t already, you should definitely calculate your cart abandonment rate so that you have a benchmark to measure your improvement off of. Doing so will take a bit of work and tech knowledge, but it will definitely be worth getting to the bottom of just how many of your customers are getting close to converting but aren’t pulling the trigger. Plus, finding this data will require setting up systems that will help you in many other ways—like, for instance, sending out abandoned cart emails.

How to Decrease Your Cart Abandonment Rate

Now that you’ve calculated your current cart abandonment rate, let’s talk about how you can improve that number. Remember, there are likely around 39 elements of your checkout experience that you can improve, so it’s worth it to take a detailed look at what imperfections and inconveniences your checkout flow currently features. 

Though all ecommerce sites will have unique areas of improvement to address, there are themes to where most online businesses can optimize their checkout usability. Here are 13 steps that most ecommerce businesses can stand to take while improving their checkout experiences in order to decrease their cart abandonment rates:

1. Attract Desktop Users

Remember, desktop shoppers have an average  cart abandonment rate of just 73.1%, which is 12.5% lower than the average cart abandonment rate for mobile users. The more desktop users you attract to your ecommerce site, the more customers you’ll see completing purchases.

2. But Optimize Mobile Experiences

But don’t forget—mobile cart abandonment rates round in at 85.6%, are they aren’t that high simply because mobile users are low intent, as some might assume. Generally speaking, ecommerce stores turn a blind eye to the mobile checkout experience they send their customers through. Many mobile shoppers will drop off before completing a purchase simply because the checkout experience is just too hard to use. 

Over half of traffic now is mobile, so you need to make sure that you’re making your mobile checkout experience is just as easy as—if not easier than—your desktop experience. [11] Hopefully, doing so will help your mobile cart abandonment rate dip below this high average.

3. Offer Free Shipping

Aside from lack of intent, too-expensive extra costs was the main reason that customers abandoned their ecommerce carts before making a purchase. One straightforward way to get around this pain point is by offering free shipping to customers. Sure, offering free shipping will likely be a considerable cost for your business. But how many more customers will you be able to convert by whittling down on this cost? If the potential gains significantly outweigh the costs, then we suggest you give free shipping a shot.

4. Offer Express Shipping Options

Though it wasn’t a top reason that customers abandoned their ecommerce shopping carts, too-long delivery still accounts for 16% of customer drop-off. Customers will often shop online for a good that they need for a certain event with a strict deadline. If you’re not able to get that good to them by that event, then there’s really no point in them making the purchase at all. Hence, they abandon their cart after viewing the estimated delivery date. 

If you don’t already, you should seriously consider offering multiple express delivery options for your customers. You might be surprised how much customers will be willing to pay to receive their purchases as soon as possible.

5. Calculate Total Cost

If you walk away from this article learning one thing, let it be this: Your ecommerce business needs to be upfront with the total cost of a purchase. If you don’t add up and boldly display the total cost of a good, plus shipping, plus tax, then customers will become confused or even skeptical. Keep in mind, 21% of shoppers dropped off specifically because they weren’t able to find or calculate the total cost of making a purchase. This checkout improvement is easy to implement and won’t take major testing or tech intervention, so be sure to be upfront and accessible with the total cost of a customer’s order.

6. Streamline Necessary Form Elements

At the end of the day, there are certain form elements that you won’t be able to carve out of your checkout process. You will always need to know a customer’s address and billing information, and there’s no skirting around that. However, do your very best to streamline all of these necessary forms. Consider adding a map plug-in that can autofill addresses, and certainly provide an option for customers to indicate that their billing address is the same as their shipping address. Be sure to provide the option for them to save this information, as well, and that will make these form elements old news for future purchases.

7. Allow Autofill

Your checkout experience will run much more smoothly for your customers if you allow them to use autofill for their shipping and billing information. Many browsers, like Chrome and Safari, will store addresses and card numbers for easy checkout experiences. That said, some online businesses don’t allow these features to populate their checkout forms. Those online businesses will need to wave goodbye to the 26% of customers that abandon their carts because of a lengthy and complicated checkout forms. The easier you can make checkout for your customers, the more purchases they’ll follow through with—and autofill is a sweeping improvement that could make your cart abandonment rate plummet.

8. Integrate Multiple Payment Options

We risk repeating ourselves, but it bears reiterating—making your checkout process as easy as possible for your customers means more fulfilled purchases. And catering to your customers’ payment preferences will make the purchases that much easier for them to make. Though only 6% cited limited payment options as a reason for not going through with a purchase, payment options are beginning to become more and more intertwined with the total cost of the purchase, which accounted for 55% of abandoned carts. 

Payment method options are expanding far beyond credit vs. debit these days. If a customer is able to pay with their PayPal balance, they might be more willing to swallow the cost of shipping and tax. Even more, if a customer is able to pay in installments with AfterPay, they shipping and tax might seem like small change to them.

9. Don’t Require an Account

It’s simple—requiring customers to create an account for your ecommerce business will keep many of them from fulfilling their purchases. Remember, 34% of polled online shoppers said they abandoned their online shopping carts because the site required them to create an account. Though this tactic of requiring an account to checkout is a well-worn ploy to get customer emails and stored information, it’s keeping many ecommerce businesses from actually converting customers in the first place. Require an email for order confirmation, but don’t divert a customer who’s about to check out through an entirely new signup flow. Give them the option to create an account after the purchase, but don’t force them into it to make a purchase on your site—they could very well decide it’s not worth it.

10. Sweeten Your Return Policy

11% of online shoppers abandoned carts because they didn’t like the sound of a company’s return policy. If your return policy isn’t very lenient, then you might be robbing yourself of potential customers and making your cart abandonment rate worse than it should be. Of course, being lenient with returns could prove to be an extra cost for your business. Do a cost-benefit analysis weighing the potential costs with the potential revenues of adjusting your return policy to improve cart abandonment rates. If the projected revenues far outweigh the projected costs, then you should give a more lenient return policy a chance.

11. Build Trust

Last but certainly not least, you should work on building trust. Improve your brand visibility, and be sure to include eye-catching customer testimonials on your site. 17% of online shoppers left the checkout flow because they didn’t trust the business with their information. You want customers to know that their card and shipping details are safe with you. Make sure your site design and overall branding are hospitable to customer trust.

Cart Abandonment Statistics: The Bottom Line

There you have it: 14 of the most pertinent and actionable cart abandonment statistics, plus 11 action items to move forward with. Though each ecommerce business will have specific facets of their checkout experience that they can improve on the most, every ecommerce business out there has room to decrease their cart abandonment rate. Where will you start with your cart abandonment rate optimizations?

References:

  1. https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2018/06/27/why-cart-abandonment-rates-arent-falling/#6b094d207bb6
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/457078/category-cart-abandonment-rate-worldwide/
  4. https://baymard.com/ux-benchmark
  5. https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/7-simple-ways-to-decrease-shopping-cart-abandonment.html
  6. https://designadvisor.net/blog/shopping-cart-abandonment-stats/
  7. https://eystudios.com/2016/09/2016-state-ecommerce-cart-abandonment-recapture-statistics-infographic/
  8. https://www.formisimo.com/blog/shopping-cart-abandonment-rate/
  9. https://blog.salecycle.com/featured/10-fascinating-stats-cart-abandonment/
  10. https://blog.workarea.com/trends-when-do-people-shop-online
  11. https://www.statista.com/statistics/241462/global-mobile-phone-website-traffic-share/

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Maddie Shepherd
Contributing Writer at Fundera

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

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