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Customers abandon online shopping carts for these reasons

buy button with shopping cart
Shoppers abandon carts for a variety of reasons.

New data provides insight into what causes an online shopper to ditch their cart before making a purchase.

Shipping costs were the most frequently cited (19.6%) reason as to why shoppers abandon their carts, followed closely by wanting to find a better deal elsewhere (19.5%), according to a survey of some 4,500 respondents in the U.S. and U.K. conducted by YouGov for composable commerce solutions provider Commercetools.

Rounding out the top five overall reasons for abandoning an online shopping cart before making a purchase were waiting to see if the product might go on sale (14.9%), getting distracted (9%), and wanting to see the product in person before purchasing (8%).

Nine in 10 (92%) respondents did not cite a preference to see a product in-person before purchasing as a reason for abandoning their cart. 

In the U.S., higher-earning respondents with household income of $80,000 or more ranked looking for the best possible deal (21.5%) across online retailers the top reason for cart abandonment, while lower-income households below $40,000 were most likely to cite waiting for the product to go on sale (17.7%). 

Additional key demographic findings include:

  • Male respondents are more likely to look for a better deal elsewhere (21%), while females’ top concern is paying for shipping (23%).
  • Respondents in the U.S. are more likely than those in the U.K. to abandon their cart because they’re waiting to see if a product goes on sale (17.6% vs 11.9%).
  • Almost all respondents (98% in the U.K. and 96% in the U.S.) do not identify privacy as their primary reason for cart abandonment. 
  • Respondents aged 55 and up (older Gen X and all Boomers) cite shipping costs (24%) as the number one reason they abandon their carts, whereas Gen Z respondents ages 18-24 are most likely to be looking to find a better deal elsewhere (21%).

Another recent consumer survey from Commercetools revealed that 65% of respondents, including 71% of women, plan to leverage their loyalty programs to save money when holiday shopping.

"When carts are abandoned, revenue is lost,” said Jen Jones, chief marketing officer for Commercetools. “Given higher interest rates and slowed, not halted, consumer spending across the U.S. and U.K., 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."

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