More consumers are turning to their smartphones for shopping, and while many of them start a mobile purchase, most of them don’t finish it.
Shopping card abandonment has been an issue for online shopping for years, but it looks like mobile makes it even worse.
While the abandonment rate for desktop purchases is 70%, on smartphones it’s 78%, based on a new shopping card abandonment report by BI Intelligence.
Overall, $4.6 trillion worth of merchandise will be left unpurchased in online shopping carts, according to BII.
By industry, travel had the largest (80%) cart abandonment rate, with retail (74%) and fashion (69%) not far behind, based on a study of 500 leading global grans conducted by SaleCycle.
There are plenty of reasons why consumers change their mind about completing a purchase they started. Chief among them is when they see the extra costs, such as from shipping fees or taxes, according to estimates from the Baynard Institute. Here are the reasons for abandonments during checkout:
Over the years, with the frequent switching between apps and websites on mobile devices, it’s gotten easier to add something to a shopping cart. And because mobile allows consumers to shop anytime and all the time, adding to a shopping cart has become more frequent.
That same consumer who adds an item to a cart may not go back to that cart for weeks, if ever, as they move on to other things in their daily lives.
This matters, since large dollars are involved. Global ecommerce sales will reach $1.9 trillion this year, according to the BII study. Any percentage of that left on the table can translate to big money.
As growing numbers of consumers gravitate to smartphones for browsing and buying, mobile is seen impacting the overall abandonment rate even more.
Retailers may have more mobile shopping success if they can move more customers to their apps.
A recent study of purchase data from 3,000 global online retailers conducted by Criteo found that mobile apps generate higher conversion rates than other digital portals. App users also view more than four times as many products on average, add items to their shopping carts about three time more often and move to the checkout page more frequently.
This is good news for retailers, since the majority (54%) share of mobile retail transactions is by app, based on the Criteo report.
In another potential upside, those abandoned shopping cart items may provide retailers with insight into consumer interests.
A large majority (81%) of holiday shoppers this year are expected to check out products online or through their smartphones and then buy in a store, based on the annual Accenture holiday shopping survey. Not known is what percentage of those shoppers add products in a shopping cart and leave it there.
This means that while the purchase may not make its way out of a smartphone shopping cart, that same product could be bought later in physical store, giving retailers yet another incentive to closely link and track all sales channels.
Some of those retailers may find that abandoned shopping carts on smartphones predict or impact in-store sales.