Unpacking the key reason why 84% of online shopping carts are abandoned

In retail eCommerce, the average cart abandonment rate is 84.24%. That’s an alarming figure. But to truly appreciate the loss, Business Insider calculated the financial cost to retailers—$4.6 trillion.

What exactly is an abandoned cart? An abandoned cart is the term when a high-intent shopper visits an eCommerce website and adds one or more products to their shopping cart, but does not complete the transaction. 

In this article, we examine in-depth why cart abandonment rates are so high and what companies usually do to lower them. We then introduce a tool to help retailers significantly reduce their cart abandonment rate. 

YouPay is a safe, secure and free way to let someone else pay for you. If a shopper can’t afford what’s in their basket, their parents, partner, or a friend can easily pay for them. 

Why are online shopping carts abandoned?

Analysing SalesCycle’s report, key details indicate the underlying reason that so many shopping carts are abandoned. Firstly, abandoned carts are 3 times higher at the end of the month, as shoppers await payday to afford the purchase. Secondly, January has the lowest abandoned cart rate, indicating the holiday sales make products more affordable. It’s apparent that online shopping carts are abandoned because shoppers lack sufficient funds to make the purchase. 

While it’s not obvious at first glance, the SalesCycle’s research supports this conclusion. In retail, these are the most common reasons for cart abandonment: 

  • 34% were ‘just looking’ i.e. not ready to buy.
  • 23% had an issue with shipping.
  • 18% wanted to compare prices.
  • 15% decided to buy in-store instead.
  • 6% abandoned due to a lack of payment options.
  • 4% experienced a technical issue.

In total, we can attribute 81% of cart abandonment being related to the lack of access to sufficient funds:

  • It’s highly likely the 34% ‘just looking’ would have made the purchase if they could afford to.
  • For the 23%, as the research company Forrester reported, the shipping issue is “the amount of shipping costs”.
  •  The 18% wanting to compare prices and 6% abandoning the cart because of insufficient payment options are directly stating the access to funds is the primary concern. 

When we consider the research in total, it’s evident the underlying reason for abandoned carts is access to funds. Despite this reality, companies usually don’t address that issue when they attempt to lower their abandoned cart rate. 

What do companies usually do to reduce cart abandonment?

Overwhelmingly, the majority of companies respond to abandoned carts with the same tactic. They send a follow-up email to remind customers of their abandoned cart. How effective is that tactic? 

At first glance, the high open rate is positive. SalesCycle reported the average open rate and click-through-rate was 40.26% and 28.64 respectively. However, the ultimate conversion rate is far lower. Barillence reported that the conversion of abandonment cart emails is only 8.24%. 

The high open rates and click-through-rates clearly demonstrate high purchase intent, while the conversion further demonstrates a lack of sufficient funds. 

How YouPay can help retailers significantly reduce cart abandonment

YouPay addresses the fundamental cause of cart abandonment—insufficient funds. How? YouPay is a safe, secure and free way to let someone else pay for you. When someone can’t afford what’s in their shopping basket, a parent, partner, or friend can pay for them instead. 

For example, imagine a concerned Mum wants to help out her daughter who recently moved out of home, by paying for her groceries. Here’s how she can use YouPay:

  1. Retailer (seller) sends the daughter (recipient) an email with a YouPay link. 
  2. Daughter sends the link to Mum (payer). 
  3. Mum checks the link and pays for the groceries. 
  4. Retailer ships the groceries to the daughter. 

While YouPay will help reduce the cart abandonment rate and increase sales for retailers, it is set to have a far broader impact. This new payment tool is incredibly powerful for those without sufficient funds or access to payment options, such as children, low-income individuals, and charities. 

YouPay is simple, effective, and will significantly reduce cart abandonment rates. If you’re a retailer who wants to empower your customers while increasing sales, apply to become a seller