Abandonment is an e-commerce term that refers to a situation when a visitor accesses a website but terminates any actions by leaving the page. The abandoned activities the Web host desires may include purchasing a product or service, or completing an online survey. Online retailers lose profit when potential customers fail to follow through on a transaction. Abandonment may also be referred to as shopping cart abandonment.[1]

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment Cart abandonment is a problem. The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. Some industries experience average cart abandonment as high as 83.6%. Given that cart abandonment is such a problem, it is no surprise that there have been countless studies as to why visitors add items to their cart just to leave your site without making a purchase. Two of the most cited resources are below.

Cart Abandonment US
Source: Barilliance

Cart Abandonment Reasons
Source: Barilliance

As a result, there are some implications that can be applied to online retails.

  • Organizational use of cart
    • Users often abandonment not because of dissatisfaction but as an organizational method. Even abandoned carts serve as a source of useful information for both consumers and retailers. Retailers can collect interest info of shopper's and use that information to better present purchases and improve throughput in the future.
  • Entertainment Value
    • Consumers who use carts for fun or to alleviate boredom may still spread positive words about the online retailer and their experience, despite not completing the purchase.
  • Concerns about price and overall cost
    • Concerns about cost may not necessarily equate a lost sale, but rather an opportunity to make the sale in the future by offering a discount reminder whenever possible. A flat shipping rate may also positively influence the throughput versus a variable rate. Users will be more inclined to purchase more in one sitting as they no longer fear the need to pay excessive shipping.[2]


  1. Defining Abandonment Techopedia
  2. Implications of Cart Abandonment Wikipedia

Further Reading