Orphaned Carts: Why Shoppers Give Up On The Buying Process

Cart abandonment is a serious issue worldwide, and nowhere more than in the U.S. 

North America has the highest cart abandonment rate in the world:82.29% — compared with 80.01% for Europe and 80.48% for the Asia-Pacific region, according a recent study by SaleCycle.  

But cause and effect are not always clear. Just what makes people halt a sale that is already in progress?

A study last year by Brandwatch found that shoppers often abandon carts for emotional reasons — for instance, financial fears, procrastination and wishful thinking in the first place. 

But a new report from BigCommerce shows that they have a much more hard-headed concern: Shipping. 

This study focuses on customers in Australia and New Zealand, but we bet it’s the same here in the U.S. 

It starts with small items. For 69%, even a charge of $5 to $10 would cause them to abandon a cart, up from 62% last year. But fewer would quit over a charge of $4 or less.  



For large products, 28% would leap for a charge of $100, but that’s down from 33% last year. And 38% would jump over a cost of $50-100, versus 36% last year. 

In addition, the following percentages are also likely to abandon in instances of:

  • A checkout process that is too difficult — 36% 
  • Poor returns process — 35% 
  • No product reviews — 28% 
  • Slow checkout processing — 28% 
  • Being required to register for an account before checking out — 24%
  • Getting distracted — 20%
  • No personalized offer — 16%
  • A website that doesn’t remember me — 13%

On the other hand, 95% say they would shop with a brand again if they are offered:

  • Free delivery — 95%
  • Good-quality products — 89% 
  • Fast shipping — 76%
  • Easy returns process — 69%
  • Good customer service — 70%
  • Personalized offers/discounts — 69%
  • Flexible payment options — 38%
  • Personalized checkout experience — 39%

Email is widely used to reverse cart abandonments: 91% of consumers have received an email reminder. And 35% of emails contained a discount code or voucher to encourage completion.  

Moreover, 32% completed the purchase, up from 16% in 2021.  

In general, email is by far the most popular channel among shoppers: 42.1% have made a purchase after receiving a message. Every channel is in the single digits, although 47.1% have made their purchases without receiving any communications.  

And, 48% of consumers would rather receive delivery updates via email, compared to 28% for SMS. Last year, 42% cited email and 33% SMS.  

BigCommerce surveyed 5,692 consumers in January and February. 

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