Dumping The Cart: Why Shoppers Are Abandoning Purchases This Holiday Season

Digital brands face twin dangers as the holiday season approaches. 

For one, 19% of all shoppers say they have abandoned a purchase because a website page was broken or loading too slowly, according to a new study by Akamai.  

Moreover, 18% searched for a new brand after quitting a purchase due to poor website performance.  

In addition, 29% abandoned or avoided a purchase entirely because they had concerns about data privacy and perceived website security issues, an Akamai blog post states.  

And another 24% say they have been hit with holiday themed email scams. 

The challenge for brands is to determine which of these issues have led to cart abandonment, and to address them in triggered emails. But you would have to ask the shoppers what was bothering them, and that may be difficult to do at scale.

A personalized email can reassure shoppers — subtly — about all those issues while reminding them of the virtues of the product they almost bought. 



Second, 73% of consumers have already begun their gift buying, and are doing half of it online. Of  those who have not finished, 85% will do half of their shopping online.

This surge also proves that you have to be vigilant with your online platform, the study notes. 

What’s going to prompt opens and clicks this season? 

Price. One third of consumers say they will buy a product they found on one brand’s site on another site if the price is lower. 

Despite that, 78% plan to shop with the same brands they patronized before the pandemic. Yet, 10% are less loyal to those firms and are now simply looking or the best deals due to COVID-19.  

Another big selling point is convenience, with 64% of shoppers choosing home delivery, 26% preferring in-store pickup and 23% wanting curbside pickup or a contactless method.  

What’s the takeaway? 

“Retailers must provide shoppers with fast, reliable, and secure digital channels in order to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers during this critical sales period,” Akamai’s Tara Bartley writes in a blog post. 

Akamai, a web performance and security platform, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers between October 31 and November 2. 


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