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Top 5 Reasons Why Shoppers Abandon Online Carts

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A new survey by Commercetools and YouGov reveals the five reasons why consumers abandon online shopping carts.

Understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment is crucial for online retailers.

This is why commercetools, the global leader in composable commerce, teamed up with YouGov, to survey over 4.500 online shoppers across the United States and the United Kingdom.

The survey results show the multifaceted nature of consumer behavior, influenced by factors such as income, gender, age, and regional variations.

5 Reasons Shoppers Abandon Carts

According to the survey, the primary reason why consumers leave shopping carts is due to shipping costs, followed by the desire to look for a better deal.

  1. Shipping costs (19.6%);
  2. Desire to find a better deal elsewhere (19.5%);
  3. Waiting for a potential product sale (14.9%);
  4. Getting distracted during the shopping process (9%);
  5. Preference to see the product in person before making a purchase (8%).

Income Variations in Budget-Conscious Behavior

Budget consciousness is driving many online shoppers to abandon their shopping carts. Interestingly, the budget-conscious trend is pervasive across household income ranges in the US.

  • Higher-earning consumers (with a household income of $80,000 or more) were found to prioritize finding the best possible deal (21.5%)
  • Lower-income households (below $40,000 HHI) often waited for products to go on sale (17.7%).

Gender Differences and Regional Variances

Gender differences were observed in the survey results:

  • Male shoppers in the US and UK were more likely to seek better deals elsewhere (21%);
  • Females were more concerned about paying for shipping (23%).

Additionally, US consumers were found to be more inclined than their UK counterparts to abandon their carts while waiting for a product to go on sale (17.6% vs. 11.9%).

Privacy Concerns and Age-Related Trends

Surprisingly, privacy concerns seemed to play a minor role in cart abandonment. 98% of UK consumers and 96% of their US counterparts did not identify privacy as their primary reason.

Age also played a role, as consumers aged 55 and above cited shipping costs (24%) as the top reason for cart abandonment, while Gen Z individuals (ages 18-24) were more likely to abandon carts in search of a better deal (21%).

Holiday Shopping and Loyalty Programs

As the holiday shopping season approaches, the survey reflects the thrifty tendencies of consumers, with 65% planning to leverage loyalty programs to save money.

Jen Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for commercetools, suggests that retailers focus on offering a wide array of payment options, invest in easy-to-use loyalty programs, and prioritize personalization in engagement.

“When carts are abandoned, revenue is lost. Given higher interest rates and slowed –– not halted – consumer spending across the US and UK, retailers need to focus on offering a wide array of payment options, investing in easy-to-use loyalty programs that provide distinct financial benefits, and personalization in engagement from product discovery to post-purchase,” says Jen Jones.

As the holiday season approaches, retailers are also urged to adopt strategies that go beyond discounts and prioritize the overall customer experience to ensure success in a competitive market.

The retailers that do well this holiday season will be the ones that don’t solely focus on discounts, but also the experience. That means confidence in data privacy, how discounts and loyalty benefits are communicated and marketed, price matching, shipping options, etc.”, Jen Jones adds.  

The Role of Technology in Reducing Cart Abandonment

With forecasts indicating a potentially lower peak season, commercetools advises retailers to invest in technology that enables flexibility and innovation, such as composable commerce and generative AI.

Brands that have the agility and flexibility to differentiate themselves through composable commerce are better positioned to streamline the customer journey and generate more revenue.

To learn more about commercetools and how the company helps brands and retailers decrease cart abandonment rates through its composable commerce platform, please visit commercetools.com.

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