Log In
Clock 7 Min Read

How to Reduce E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

A potential customer found your website. Great!

Even better, they found what they were looking for and added it to their cart. Awesome!

But wait, why did they leave their cart at the last minute? Ugh.

Unfortunately, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. This number is painfully high, especially when you consider how much potential revenue was lost.

The good news is that shoppers aren’t leaving due to a lack of interest or not finding what they were looking for on your website.

The great news is that there are simple steps your businesses can take to reduce abandonment rates and move customers through to the finish line.

Here’s what you need to know.

Why Do Online Shoppers Abandon Shopping Carts?

The number one reason for shopping cart abandonment is due to shipping. Nearly half of all shoppers who abandon their carts do so because of shipping-related issues, such as:

  • High shipping costs.
  • Shipping costs more than the items in their cart.
  • Complicated return policies or no return policy at all.
  • Limited shipping options (e.g., no expedited delivery options).
  • Not offering international shipping.
  • Foreign duties, fees, and taxes aren’t calculated, leaving the customer with the potential for extra charges (which can also cause delivery delays, another sticking point).

How to Calculate Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

The formula is simple: 

Divide the number of transactions completed by the number of shopping carts initiated. Subtract that number from 1, then multiply by 100.

For example, let’s say 100 out of every 400 shopping carts initiated results in a completed transaction.

100 / 400 = 0.25
1 - 0.25 = 0.75
0.75 x 100 = 75%

You can also track abandoned shopping cart rates using Google Analytics or apps that sync with your storefront.

Once you’ve calculated your shopping cart abandonment rate, be sure to consider the following:

  • Look at abandonment rates for both mobile and desktop. If you notice that mobile abandonment is higher than desktop, there’s likely an issue with how your website is optimized for mobile (specifically the checkout process).
  • Compare your shopping cart abandonment rate to industry averages and aim to get your rate down to or below the industry average. For instance, the fashion industry has an average abandonment rate of 68%, whereas travel-related products average nearly 82%.
  • Prepare for higher shopping cart abandonment in December, when holiday shopping is at its peak.

Don’t worry if your abandonment rate is higher than average. There are four easy ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and increase revenue.

4 Ways to Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

1. Optimize the Checkout Experience

First, conduct a thorough audit of the checkout process. For example, how long can customers hold items in their shopping carts? If carts empty within a short time, consider extending the time. Some consumers like to put items in a cart for purchase in a few weeks while they shop for other items, read reviews or wait for payday.

When auditing your checkout process, consider these ideas:

  • Ensure customers feel safe sharing their financial information with your business. Add trust badges, verifications, logos and copy that establish your business as a legitimate and trustworthy entity.
  • Mobile abandonment rates tend to be higher, so you’ll want to make sure the checkout process is seamless on both desktop and mobile.

Next, consider offering free shipping.

Keep in mind that free shipping doesn’t have to be a blanket offer for all orders. You can set parameters around who qualifies for free shipping, such as:

  • Free shipping with reward or loyalty programs.
  • Free shipping for first-time customers.
  • Free shipping with a minimum purchase requirement.
  • Free shipping for small, lightweight items that cost less to ship.
  • Limited-time free shipping during holidays or seasonal peaks that correspond to your merchandise (or lulls when you need to attract more customers).

You’ll want to set a clear goal when aiming to reduce abandoned carts, so crunch the numbers to figure out how to offer free shipping while staying within your desired profit margins.

2. Use Retargeting 

Retargeting is a type of paid advertising that targets shoppers who abandon their carts. Banner ads related to the merchandise left in the cart are displayed across Facebook and other websites, reminding shoppers of the products left behind, keeping your brand top of mind.


With an ROI as high as 1,300%, retargeting is an easy, affordable and effective tactic to reduce cart abandonment.

3. Try Direct Mail Marketing 

Another marketing tactic that works extremely well at reducing abandonment rates is direct mail marketing.

Per USPS, retargeting shoppers through direct mail decreased abandoned cart rates by 14% and increased the average order size by 8%.

There are two reasons why direct mail is so effective at reducing abandoned cart rates.

First, advanced digital printing technology, such as variable data printing, allows for the personalization of every printed piece in a single print run. Text, colors and images can easily be switched out from one printed piece to the next.

Since variable data printing speaks directly to the interests of the individual shopper, businesses can tailor the content of each mail piece to reflect the items left in the cart. Direct mail delivers a tangible piece of your brand directly into the hands of interested customers, keeping your business top of mind long after shoppers have forgotten about emails or banner ads.

The second reason direct mail works so well is because of its high open rates. On average, 90% of mail is opened, compared to the average email open rate of 20%.

4. Work with an E-Commerce Fulfillment and Logistics Partner

The more you can streamline the end-to-end order fulfillment process, the more you save in the long run. Partnering with an e-commerce fulfillment and logistics company can help reduce shipping costs and expedite delivery times.

An e-commerce fulfillment and logistics partner is essential for etailers looking to ship internationally.

While selling products to the international market can be lucrative, it’s not without its challenges. International shipping can be fraught with headaches, high costs and delays if you’re not prepared and well-versed in global logistics.

Look for a fulfillment and logistics partner that specializes in all of the following:

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment

If you’re looking to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and boost revenue, you're looking for GLF. With 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment and logistics, we take the time upfront to learn your business, work with you as a proactive partner and create custom solutions that align with your business goals. For more information about our services, contact us today.

Don’t forget to share this post!