2 in 3 Shoppers Have Recently Abandoned An Online Cart. Why?

May 3, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Industries | Retail & E-Commerce

Almost two-thirds (65%) of adults surveyed in February reported having abandoned an online shopping cart in the previous month, according to a State of Retail presentation [download page] presented by Comscore. So what’s behind this widespread cart abandonment?

At a time when rising prices have soared as consumers’ most important economic issue, the study reveals that cost-related reasons are the chief drivers of cart abandonment behavior.

To wit, among the 65% of respondents who said they had recently abandoned an online shopping cart, the leading reason – cited by 36% – was unexpected shipping costs. This has long been the main culprit behind cart abandonment, with studies as far back as 2013 also finding it to be the top reason.

Beyond unexpected shipping costs, other top reasons given were that a coupon code or promo code did not apply to the intended purchase (26%) and that the final fees were too high (e.g. sales tax; 25%). Of note, one-quarter said that they abandoned a cart simply because they were conducting research to buy later.

Rounding out the top 5 reasons was availability, with 1 in 5 cart abandoners saying the items they wanted were out of stock or on back order. Brands and retailers should be wary of this, as it often leads to a breakdown in brand loyalty.

Although none of the reasons listed for shoppers to abandon a cart were device specific, it’s worth noting that cart abandonment rates appear to be higher on mobiles than desktops. Indeed, recent research indicates that while the majority (55.5%) of checkout starts occur on mobile, only half (50.1%) of checkout completes do, implying greater abandonment rates on the smaller devices.

About the Data: The results are based on a February survey of 2,939 US adults (18+).


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