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Methods That Lowered Your Abandoned Carts %?



4:58 am on Jan 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I've been doing some research online about "abandoned carts" on websites. I'm sure we all heard the below reasons why carts are abandoned:

- High shipping prices (72%)
- Comparison shopping or browsing (61%)
- Changed mind (56%)
- Saving items for later purchase (51%)
- Total cost of items is too high (43%)
- Checkout process is too long (41%)
- Site requires registration before purchase (34%)
- Site is unstable or unreliable (31%)
- Checkout process is confusing (27%)

My question is to the people who were able to lower their abandoned carts percentage; what methods did you use that worked on your website?

Thank you,



8:38 pm on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Last commercial site I ran (albeit 4 years ago!) was looking at about a 60% abandonment until the step-by-step order process came down from 5 page-steps (bespoke click-cart pro install) to 2 (got a tech guy to hack it down!). Dropped then to about 30%, which by things I've read seemed to be very good.

Hope that helps!


11:42 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Some of the most trusted brands in volume business' I look at are getting 5% conversion rates. They have relatively poor SEO and PPC presence .

Similar sites with similar site designs and workflow in the same industry , but poor branding , relying on SEO & PPC , struggle to obtain 1.5 to 2% conversion rate.

The key may be in the brand building rather than focusing too heavily on improving the process. Both would be ideal.


2:55 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Did anyone say those percentages don't add up to 100?


3:44 pm on Feb 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Now we didnt say we could all count......


6:14 pm on Feb 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, I noticed that too...

I'm guessing maybe each "abandoned cart percentage" is just being compared to itself; so each one is a 0%-100% check against itself.

Well this is the only thing that makes sense to me. ;-)


1:33 am on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree, there's not really a set of standards which don't give the statistics much accuracy, but I'm guessing if your cart has "high shipping prices" 72% of shoppers will leave, etc.


6:31 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just picking up on what people are measuring (and perhaps whe the numbers don't add up!)

There are different numbers being used in this thread which can confuse:

* Cart abandonment rates (ie within the shopping cart)
* Site conversion rates (ie Visitor to Sale)

One good source of basket conversion numbers is the fireclick index (I am not associated with the company). They track conversion and abandonment each week for a variety of sectors: These are their latest aggregate numbers:

Conversion Rate: Global 2.40%
Conversion Rate: First Time Visitors 2.30%
Conversion Rate: Repeat Visitors 2.50%
Cart Abandonment Rate 71.80%

This is not perfect but is based on the aggregated stats of their cuustomers.

Even so it is very difficult to compare like with like. Perhaps a much more meaningful comparison is with your own abandonment / conversion rates. Tracking your progress over time is essential to improving the picture. The majority of web teams that I advise do not have a good handle on their own abandonment rate, but rather track conversion.

Benchmarks are always interesting, but they rarely hold the answers.


6:49 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

In terms of techniques you can use to reduce abandonment, following up by email to abandoners is very effective, particularly if coupled with a promotional offer (such as free shipping).

We've generally seen results from 25% through to a massive 46% conversion of those that had abandoned as a result of sending a follow up email. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to 'reconvert' one third of those that abandon, as long as you do the follow up quickly. Response rates tail off rapidly the longer that you leave it - a 3x reduction in 24 hours, and a 7x reduction in 36.

Some customers may feel that it is an invasion, so we always advise that the tone of the follow up email is 'service' based not sales. An overt sales pitch at this point will annoy, but a service reminder can be very effective.

So as a rule we do not advise using promotional offers in these follow up emails:
(1) the tone is wrong
(2) you can train the customer to expect a free shipping offer if they abandon.

There is also a free tool now available for capturing shopping cart abandoners. If you do a search on 'Free website abandonment tracker' it should come up on the front page of Google.


7:00 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

One good source of basket conversion numbers is the fireclick index

Excellent find. Looks like 2-3% is typical conversion rate except for electronics where conversion is very low. I guess a lot of people use electronics sites for research.

Stats don't include phone-in or store visit conversion.

I guess catalogers get very high conversion because many customers shop from a book and enter their purchase online.

FastSpring CEO

6:15 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's key that your order page be branded with the look and feel of the rest of your site or else there's a site flow disconnect that leads to cart abandonment rates higher than they need to be.

Also, your order page should automatically display currencies and language in line with the location of your customer through IP detection.


7:13 am on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I made a big improvement in checkout rates in the past week. My cart has a "you may also be interested in ..." page that comes up after someone puts an item in the cart. It shows up below the big red "you just put your widget in the cart" thing that tells them they did something. The "you may also be interested in.." page is automatically generated and I thought it might help with related items sales.

Well - I turned it off without thinking about it. It was a mistake almost. Now when a user puts something in the cart it takes him straight to the checkout - bypassing the "you may be..." screen. Checkout rates have doubled. Sales are up and I am happy. So back to the old mantra - test, test, test.


9:37 am on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Fireclick index is excellent, I've been looking for something like that for ages.

I'm in the middle of totally redeveloping my cart. It's osCommerce and the default 5 step checkout process is a joke but still the site seems to be in line with Fireclicks benchmarks in terms of abandoned carts and conversion rates.


9:26 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"I have "free shipping" and "$X.XX including free shipping" and "price includes free 2-3 day shipping" all over the place. But I still get calls on my toll-free line from customers asking if the price includes shipping. "

Yes, and these are the customers that then want to place a $3.00 order for one of something....by phone, of course, because they don't want to put their information on the internet.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43

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