For the majority of the last decade, the average checkout abandonment rate had been on a steady decline until beginning to rise again in 2013. From 2013, we have seen a continued increase in the abandonment rate up until May this year.

Baymard Institute has averaged 31 studies on e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rates, from 2006 up until May 2015. Over the course of the last nine years, the average abandonment rate was 68.53 percent. If you take the last five results, dating from 2014 to May 2015, the average rate has risen to 70.66 percent.

What does this mean?

Put simply, e-commerce stores are losing money.

What are the most likely factors?

There are hidden charges until the checkout.

The checkout process needs to be as transparent as possible. Hidden charges are thought to have the most impact on cart abandonment rates. In 2012, a Statista survey found that 56 percent of consumers abandoned the checkout process when they were faced with unexpected costs.

Hidden charges that only come to light just before the transaction will frustrate most shoppers and may result in you losing the sale. These additions come in the form of shipping costs, the cost of returning goods or additional credit card fees.

You have to be open with your costs. Product pages should explain what additional costs a customer will be paying before the checkout is reached.

The checkout process is slow.

In recent years, online competition has only been a few clicks away. Any displeasing experience may result in consumers looking elsewhere.

With the high quality of new websites, shopper’s expectations have risen. Akamai now believe that 30 percent of e-commerce consumers expect a page to load in one second or less. Slow performing checkouts face the risk of being abandoned in the search for better alternatives.

The are many factors that can cause a website to process slowly. Poor performing servers will results in slow loading speeds and site crashes. Websites that are not regularly updated or are poorly designed will also have performance issues.

The Pingdom Tools speed checker provides free insight into website performance.


The user is not ready to make the purchase.

Consumers often browse e-commerce stores without making a purchase. WVO found that 37 percent of shoppers they analysed abandoned a shopping cart because they were “just browsing.”

Consumers often use the shopping cart as a place to evaluate potential goods. This is usually unavoidable but creates a lot of opportunities for a store.

There is a long list of potential opportunities that can influence a user to return to your e-commerce store. You can allow consumers to create wish lists of products, and then remind the user via email to return to the site to purchase those products. Discount codes are also an incentive for consumers to purchase.

WVO’s survey also showed that 72 percent of people between the ages of 25-34 were likely to purchase the product if a discount was offered after the product was left in a shopping cart.

Website navigation is too complicated.

The survey also found that 25 percent of users abandoned a shopping cart because it was too difficult to navigate.

Consumers want a simple purchasing process. They want to quickly find an item or group of items and then proceed to the checkout — all with minimal searching and clicking. To achieve this, a website must be consistent by maintaining the same navigation style throughout each of its pages.

Crowded pages with hundreds of outgoing links can give users too many options. This can often lead to frustration and confusion and which may lead to the user leaving your website.

ITS Insights

ITS Insights is a great way to monitor and gain feedback from your users. You can evaluate your conversion funnel and find out where your website is being abandoned.

Through detailed analytics and using a variety of tracking tools, you can visually see where your website is working best and where there is room for improvement.

Use mouse tracking and page heat mapping for specific insights into how individual users come to the decision to either purchase from you or leave your online store.

You can also construct surveys to gather responses from consumers and use that information to improve your store’s user friendliness.

Find out more