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Alarming Cart Abandonment Stats for 2019 — And How Pushnami Can Help

Alarming Cart Abandonment Stats for 2019 — And How Pushnami Can Help

Man and woman working on a laptop.
Cart abandonment has been a consistent problem in e-commerce. New reports confirm it’s only getting worse, with rates in some sectors as high as 75%. Push notifications, such as Pushnami’s browser-based system, can help reduce cart abandonment. But to prevent cart abandonment properly, it first must be understood.

Alarming Cart Abandonment Stats for 2019 — And How Pushnami Can Help

Posted on Thursday, February, 7 2019

For every active customer, there are more to convert.

Cart abandonment has been a consistent problem in e-commerce. New reports confirm it's only getting worse, with rates in some sectors as high as 75%. Push notifications, such as Pushnami's browser-based system, can help reduce cart abandonment. But to prevent cart abandonment properly, it first must be understood.

Why Are Carts Abandoned?

Surveys of consumers have found several common reasons for abandoned carts. From most common to least, they are:

  1. “Window shopping,” or otherwise had no firm decision to buy (34%)
  2. Shipping costs or timing (23%)
  3. Price-checking (18%)
  4. In-store purchase (15%)
  5. Inflexible payment options (6%)
  6. Technical problems (4%)

Also of interest are which sectors see the most abandonment. Women's clothing in various forms dominates the top ten: Knitwear, lingerie and hosiery, sportswear, skirts, and tops all hold places in the top ten. Men's pants, headphones, watches, and books take up the rest of the list. It's important to note that these are all products with high volume, low margin, and an unusually high number of options. Any e-commerce retailer selling these items is not only competing with every e-commerce and brick-and-mortar seller, but also the individual items themselves. It's easy for a potential customer to wander away and never return.

Some of these are back-end issues that should be addressed through site design. Adding diverse payment options, upgrading your available shipping choices, and incorporating easier price comparisons will all reduce abandonment. Also useful is reducing the “friction” of buying. The fewer steps a customer has to go through to buy the item in question, the more sales you'll see. And for organizations with both a brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presence, “in-store purchase” should not be considered an abandonment as such, but rather a purchase made through another channel.

Others, however, can't be resolved so easily. Conversion of a “window shopper” to a loyal customer, in particular, is difficult and makes up approximately one-third of all abandoned carts across the entire e-commerce space. These customers should be seen as leads to be cultivated, rather than potential customers who have simply abandoned a cart. They are interested, but they're not sure about their level of commitment. This is where communication, through methods such as push notifications from Pushnami, is key.


Why leave money in the cart?

Cultivating Loyalty

The same data on abandoned carts has shown that follow-up with consumers is effective to the degree that surprises even seasoned marketers. An average of 43% of communications concerning cart abandonment receive a response in some way, across all industries. This is consistent regardless of the overall open rate of other communications. It should be remembered that if someone got as far as putting items into a cart before not following through with the sale that these are customers who you've almost sold on your product.

Push notifications are a particularly strong tool to re-engage with customers who abandon a cart. If they opt into notifications from your site, it's a signal that they're interested in engaging with you, but they may not be sure to what degree or how much. This can be vital information for reducing cart abandonment. One retailer, in particular, had dramatic results.


Following up with a prospective customer regarding their abandoned cart often pays off.

A women's clothing company began addressing abandoned carts with push notifications in 2011. This retailer specialized in “flash sales,” sales where strong discounts are applied for very brief periods of time, in this case to luxury goods. They found themselves with a serious cart abandonment problem, however, as customers would second-guess their purchase as they got to the cart check-out.

The retailer solved the issue with a push notification campaign. The campaign, which is still running, is designed to be polite, conversational, and clear. Users who have filled and abandoned a cart receive an alert a few hours before the sale ends with sample copy such as:

“We noticed you haven't checked out yet! Click here to finish your sale!”

This simple communication decreased abandoned carts by nearly 25%. It illustrates that following up with potential customers gets results, provided the effort is sincere. Best practices and smart decisions help drive those results.


Turn an idle thought into a firm action.

Reducing Cart Abandonment With Push Notifications

  • Set goals before beginning your campaign, and make them realistic, but ambitious. Double-digit reductions are more than possible and should be aimed for. Remember as well that this can be used for B2B as well as B2C products, although at small enough scale you may want to consider tightly personalized content.
  • Remember the power of push notifications lies in a crisp, single idea. A good notification tells the person receiving it what you want to do. A great notification tells them why they should take action.
  • Segmenting remains important. Look closely at what you know about the person you're pushing to. Segmentation will also be key to sort which items are most likely to see abandoned carts, so that you can begin addressing the issue in other ways. For example, if a certain product is consistently and repeatedly abandoned, you may need to drill down further to see if it's an issue with the product's features, its pricing, its shipping, or other concerns. Among other things, this may indicate a problem with the value proposition or pricing.
  • Personalization will also be a central feature of your cart abandonment campaign. Featuring the item left behind is a good start, but the campaign should also reflect the need behind the item. An item of clothing for the workplace will require a different campaign than lingerie. Ask yourself what need or want the item fulfills and how you can meet it.
  • Design your call to action to fit platform and time. Few people have the time to buy something for a future weekend during work hours. However, personalization data will play a role here. Some shoppers buy on their lunch breaks, others over coffee, still others after dinner. Look at what timing makes the most sense for your potential customers. Similarly, platform is crucial to consider. Mobile users may not be able to enter payment information, for example, so integrate easy payment options such as Google Pay or Apple Pay, if possible.
  • The link you push out should limit friction in other ways. If possible, configure the link so that just clicking on it completes the action you're asking of your list. Otherwise, limit steps as much as possible.
  • Constant reminders that a cart has been abandoned will lead to opt-outs. Limit notifications to two, maximum, tied to a milestone such as a sale ending or a price dropping on an item.

A good deal is just the beginning.

Reducing Abandonment Over Time

Reducing cart abandonment rates will be a long-term campaign. While your campaign will likely begin returning results almost immediately, the real value of it will only be seen in the long term, as cart abandonment begins to drop more and more potential customers are converted into actual sales. As a result, this should be treated as a campaign, with multi-channel approaches, surveys, data analysis, and both short and long-term goals with clear steps for reaching them.

Remember that you will not change everyone's minds. No amount of thoughtful marketing can put more money in a potential customer's pocket or remind every prospect that wanders away to return and buy their item. However, with a carefully designed cart abandonment campaign, you can reduce your overall numbers and increase your sales. And for customers who can't buy, you'll keep your business foremost in their minds, so that when they can make a purchase, they'll return to you. To see the power of push in action, sign up for a live demo!