In our latest SaleCycle Academy video, Freddie Wood looks at the reasons for cart abandonment.

Cart abandonment happens when visitors to an ecommerce site add items to their shopping carts and leave without completing a purchase.

On average, around 78% of shoppers will abandon a site without completing a purchase or a booking, but this does vary between different types of sites.

Fashion retailers, for example, generally have lower abandonment rates while travel sites have much higher rates. This is primarily because the average travel purchase is more complex and expensive, so people are more likely to take longer to decide.

So why do people abandon carts? Let’s look at a few of the reasons people leave without buying.

The most common reason for abandonment is that people are just doing some browsing, or maybe researching something they’re thinking of buying later on.

They may have no intention of buying on their first visit, but retailers can help by giving them the information they need, or saving their choices so they can return and complete a purchase easily.

The next reason people give for abandoning purchases is problems with shipping. The speed and price of delivery is a big part of the decision when people buy online. If shoppers enter checkout only to find that delivery is too expensive, many will abandon.

Retailers can address this problem by providing different delivery options and making costs and options clear before customers check out.

Other shoppers will abandon because they want to compare prices with other retailers. It’s understandable that people want to get the best deal, but it’s a tricky challenge for retailers.

If your prices are competitive, customers will often return, or you can tempt them back with a cart recovery email. Other sites, like Curry’s, have found creative ways to persuade customers to stay on their site.

There are other reasons people abandon sites – some people prefer to buy in-store for example, while others want to be able to pay using PayPal or other credit card alternatives.

Cart abandonment is a fact of life for online retailers, but with good design and customer experience they can minimize abandonment rates and use email to recover these sales once customers have left the site.