Cart Abandonment: Meaning and Strategies Explained

Abandoned shopping carts have more than just products in it.  They are a gold mine of customer and product/service data insights that can help you boost revenue! Want to find out how? Here is everything you need to know about cart abandonment and strategies to get the best of it.

What is Cart Abandonment?

Say, you are buying clothes in a mall. The sales rep gives you a basket to put all the clothes that you want to try and buy in. You select a few clothes, try them but don’t buy them. You just leave the basket and walk out.

We bet that’s happened quite a few times. That basket you left right there is an abandoned basket.

When a customer adds a product(s) with the intention to purchase but drops the purchase or doesn’t complete the purchase – that is an abandoned cart.

Why do Customers Abandon Carts?

Why do you decide to not buy the things you put in your cart? While some are obvious, here are the top reasons why customers ditch their shopping plans, according to research:

  • The checkout flow is too complex/difficult and involves too many steps
  • The products are too expensive
  • The shipping is too expensive
  • The design looks shady – no trust
  • Lack of payment options
  • Technical bugs like a broken page link or long page-load time

Why Consider a Cart Abandonment Strategy?

Recent data from Business Insider forecast merchants would lose $4.8 trillion worth of merchandise in abandoned carts! That is a lot of money to lose. Another research showed that 70% of the Indian online shoppers abandon their shopping carts.

The global abandonment rate is also expected go up to 73.4% in 2017.

The good news is, about 60% of the lost money is recoverable.

How to Turn Disadvantage into Opportunity

While cart abandonment is a huge problem in the e-commerce industry, it is also a great opportunity to tap into customer insights and improve your product/service.

A good cart abandonment strategy can help you convert your potential customers into loyal, returning users.

Here are a few ways you can check your cart abandonment rate and use the data to improve your service.

Figuring Out Your Cart Abandonment Rate

If you already have an online store and have a shopping cart enabled, you can easily find your cart abandonment rate with this formula:

Cart Abandonment Rate = No. of orders place / No. of shopping carts enabled

If that gets too hard for you, you can always try using the Free Google Analytics tool to automate cart abandonment data reports. Once you have your cart abandonment funnel ready, segregate the data into two groups for a/b testing.

A/B testing is a method of experimenting with two or more strategies to test its effectiveness.

Strategies 101:

Here are a few strategies you can try to lure back customers that abandoned their purchase on your online store:

Email Marketing:

Using an effective email strategy to get customers to complete their purchase is a business’ go-to strategy. A good cart-abandonment email doesn’t just remind the customer of his/her abandoned purchase but also evokes a string sense of urgency, emotional need to go back and make that purchase.

Here are a few examples of how some big online stores do it:

Myntra makes it easy to order directly from the email:

Getting Emotional!

Happily Unmarried is Giving You a Discount:


BookMyShow wants you too!

Some Good-looking Emails:

Cart abandoned

abandoned cart email


To send a great functional email, you need to use a great subject line. Here’s an example from Postergully:

In-Store Pop Ups:

You can always hard-code pop ups that remind the customer what they did on your online store last time they visited you. A pop up that leads the customer to the cart can help you score a sale.

SMS Marketing:

You can employ a bulk SMS marketing tool to send reminders to customers that abandoned cart. Give a discount coupon to encourage them to shop with you. If you have an app, you can send push notifications to your customers reminding them to complete their purchase.

Planning to start your own online store? Try Instamojo! Set up your online store in just two minutes and start selling instantly. Your online store has a shopping cart enabled too!

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1 comment
  1. Hey Rapti, very nice post indeed. You covered everything about cart abandonment from basics to even recovery method. Your post can be easily understood by a newly entered person in the niche.You gave a direction to our e Commerce store owners and explained both email marketing and SMS marketing very well.

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