Alarming Cart Abandonment Statistics for 2019

Cart abandonment has been a consistent problem in ecommerce. 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 the phenomenon properly, it first must be understood.
Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cart abandonment has been a consistent problem in ecommerce. 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 the phenomenon properly, it first must be understood.

Why Are Carts Abandoned?

Consumer surveys have found several common reasons for abandoned carts. From most common to least, they are:

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

These shopping cart abandonment stats provide businesses with several insights into how they can increase conversions. For example, getting rid of shipping hassles and offering more irresistible deals could help prevent, or reclaim, the abandoned carts in the top two categories.

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 on the list. Men’s pants, headphones, watches, and books take up the rest of the top ten. It’s important to note that these are all products with high volume, low margin, and an unusually high number of options. Any ecommerce retailer selling these items is not only competing with every ecommerce and brick-and-mortar seller, but also the sheer variety of the individual items themselves. It’s easy for a potential customer to wander away and never return.

Some of these problems 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 ecommerce 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 ecommerce 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 is key — and where methods such as abandoned cart push notifications from Pushnami can provide a crucial edge.

Cultivating Loyalty

The same cart abandonment statistics show that follow-up with consumers is effective to a 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 statistic is consistent regardless of the overall open rate of other communications. Remember, if someone got as far as putting items into a cart before leaving the site, that’s a customer 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-in to notifications from your site, it’s a signal that they’re interested in engaging with you but may not be sure how much they want to invest. This can be vital information for reducing cart abandonment.

Want proof? Let’s look at just one example: A women’s clothing company that began using push notifications in 2011 dramatically reduced cart abandonment and saw tremendous increase in profit from this simple method. This retailer specializes in “flash sales” for luxury goods, a tactic in which strong discounts are applied for very brief periods of time. They found themselves with a serious cart abandonment problem, however, as customers would second-guess their purchase as soon they reached the cart check-out.

The retailer solved the issue with a campaign using abandoned cart push notifications. 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%. The story illustrates that following up with potential customers gets results, provided the effort is sincere. Best practices and smart decisions — including using push notifications for abandoned carts — help drive those results.

Why Use Push Notifications for Abandoned Carts?

Sometimes, shopping cart abandonment notifications simply remind users who intended to buy that they filled a cart and never checked out. You may even find your notifications are used as a “warning system,” in which customers use it to learn if their order went through. This use alone makes push notifications effective.

But push can also help you serve those who intentionally left the site. Start with a gentle reminder that a cart has been abandoned. If you do not receive a response, consider following up with a short survey asking why the cart was left behind. Of course, not everyone will answer the survey, but statistics show that some will — enough help you form a picture of why your marketing is or isn’t working. Customers like to know that you are listening, and giving them an opportunity to weigh in is often far more valuable to them than any discount or gift card.

Tips for 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 your aim. Remember as well that push can be used for B2B as well as B2C products, although at a smaller scale that may encourage you to consider more tightly personalized content.
  • Remember the power of push notifications lies in a crisp, single idea. A good notification tells the receiver exactly 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 sorting which items are most likely to end up in abandoned carts, allowing you 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 there’s an issue with the product’s features, pricing, shipping, or other concerns. Among other things, repeated abandonment may indicate a problem with the value proposition.
  • 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 shop 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 simply clicking on it completes the action you’re asking of your audience. Otherwise, limit steps as much as possible.
  • Constant reminders that a cart has been abandoned will lead to opt-outs. Limit shopping cart abandonment notifications to two, maximum, and tie them to milestones such as a sale ending or a price dropping on an item.

In some cases, you might want to consider offering a discount on the product or shipping cost. If those discounts net a strong reaction beyond your usual sales offers, you may need to consider making a permanent adjustment. Similarly, be sure to prompt potential customers if the product in their cart is about to be discontinued or go out of stock. Often, scarcity is the best shopping incentive and helps people move past certain challenges such as shipping.

Reducing Abandonment Over Time

Reducing cart abandonment rates will be a long-term campaign. While you will likely see returning results almost immediately, the real value of this communication will only be seen over time as cart abandonment begins to drop more and more potential customers are converted into actual sales. As a result, your push notification strategy 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 strategy will convert every customer, and no amount of thoughtful marketing can put more money in a potential customer’s pocket or remind every prospect who wanders away to return and buy their item. However, with a carefully designed cart abandonment campaign, you can reduce your overall abandonment numbers and increase your sales. Plus, by reviewing shopping cart abandonment stats, you’ll gain valuable information about why carts are abandoned and how you can better tempt customers. 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.

Better Push Notifications for Abandoned Carts

As you can see, push notifications are a major asset in the battle against abandoned carts. No other push platform provides a comprehensive notification solution like Pushnami does. Across browser push, SocialPush, and app notifications, your brand can reach out to customers in the most effective way possible. Pushnami makes it easy to conduct unified, AI-optimized push campaigns and bring customers back to their shopping carts with irresistible, personalized calls to action.

Need to build a better push notification strategy? Sign up for Pushnami for free.