Cart Abandonment Rate

cart abandonment rate

What Is Cart Abandonment Rate?

Cart abandonment rate is a critical metric in the e-commerce and digital marketing realms, referring to the percentage of online shoppers who add items to their shopping cart but exit the website without completing the purchase. This phenomenon represents potential sales that are not realized, making it a pivotal concern for businesses operating online. 

Understanding and analyzing cart abandonment rates can reveal insights into customer behavior, identify obstacles within the purchasing process, and highlight areas for improvement in the user experience.

By meticulously addressing the factors contributing to high cart abandonment rates, such as complicated checkout processes, unexpected shipping costs, or payment security concerns, businesses can enhance their conversion rates, optimize their checkout experience, and ultimately boost their revenue.

How to Calculate Cart Abandonment Rate

To calculate the cart abandonment rate, a straightforward formula is employed: subtract the number of completed purchases from the number of shopping carts created, then divide the result by the total number of carts created, and finally, multiply by 100 to express the outcome as a percentage. 

Mathematically, this can be represented as [(Number of Created Carts – Number of Completed Purchases) / Number of Created Carts] * 100. 

Imagine an online retailer has noticed a large number of users adding items to their carts but not completing their purchases. To calculate the cart abandonment rate for a specific period, such as a month, they would follow these steps:

  1. Total Carts Created: First, they tally the total number of shopping carts that users started. Suppose this number is 1,000 for the month.
  2. Completed Purchases: Next, they count how many of these carts led to completed purchases. Let’s say 250 carts resulted in successful transactions.
  3. Calculate the Difference and the Rate: They subtract the number of completed purchases (250) from the total number of carts created (1,000), which gives 750 carts that were abandoned. To find the abandonment rate, they divide the number of abandoned carts (750) by the total number of carts created (1,000), resulting in 0.75. Multiplying by 100 to express it as a percentage, they get a 75% cart abandonment rate.

This calculation provides a clear percentage indicating the proportion of potential transactions that were initiated but not finalized. 

Tracking this metric over time allows businesses to identify trends, assess the effectiveness of changes made to the checkout process, and understand better how user experience impacts sales. It’s a vital measure for pinpointing lost sales opportunities and refining the online shopping experience to minimize barriers to completing a purchase.

Good and Bad Cart Abandonment Rate

The concept of a “good” or “bad” cart abandonment rate is relative and can vary significantly across different industries. However, a general benchmark suggests that an average abandonment rate is around 65-70%. 

A “good” cart abandonment rate is one that falls below this average, indicating that a higher proportion of shoppers are completing their purchases. For instance, if an e-commerce store has a cart abandonment rate of 60%, it’s performing better than many of its peers, suggesting an effective checkout process and a positive user experience.

Conversely, a “bad” cart abandonment rate is one that significantly exceeds the industry average, pointing to potential issues in the purchasing process. For example, if a retailer experiences an 80% abandonment rate, this is a clear signal to investigate and address factors deterring customers from finalizing their purchases, such as hidden fees, a complicated checkout process, or lack of preferred payment options.


Good Rate Example: An online bookstore specializes in rare and collectible items. Through user-friendly design and transparent pricing, they’ve managed to achieve a cart abandonment rate of 55%. This rate is exceptionally good, considering the niche market and high item value, which typically lead to higher abandonment rates due to longer decision-making processes.

Bad Rate Example: A fashion e-commerce platform, despite offering competitive prices and a wide range of products, struggles with an abandonment rate of 85%. This high rate suggests significant barriers in the shopping experience, such as slow website loading times, a convoluted checkout process, or insufficient payment methods, necessitating immediate attention to improve conversions.

Understanding the nuances of what constitutes a good versus bad cart abandonment rate within the context of one’s industry, customer base, and product type is crucial for devising effective strategies to enhance the shopping experience, reduce abandonment, and increase sales.

How to Improve Cart Abandonment Rate

Improving the cart abandonment rate is crucial for boosting sales and enhancing the customer experience in e-commerce. Here’s a structured approach to effectively reduce cart abandonment:

  • Streamline the Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout to make it quick and easy. Minimize the number of steps and required information fields to reduce friction.
  • Offer Multiple Payment Options: Cater to diverse preferences by providing a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and newer options like Apple Pay or cryptocurrency, where appropriate.
  • Transparent Pricing: Clearly display all costs upfront, including shipping, taxes, and any additional fees, to avoid surprises at checkout that might deter customers.
  • Enhance Security Measures: Implement and highlight robust security features. Use trust badges and SSL certificates to reassure customers about the safety of their personal and payment information.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure the shopping and checkout experience is fully optimized for mobile users, considering the growing trend of mobile commerce.
  • Use Clear Calls to Action: Implement compelling and clear calls to action (CTAs) throughout the shopping process to guide users towards completing their purchase.
  • Offer Guest Checkout: Allow customers to complete purchases without creating an account to accommodate those who prefer not to commit to registration.
  • Retarget with Email Campaigns: Implement targeted email campaigns to remind customers of their abandoned carts. Personalize these messages with product recommendations and exclusive offers to encourage a return to the website.
  • Address Customer Concerns: Use customer feedback to identify and address specific concerns or barriers within the checkout process. This could include adding FAQs, live chat support, or simplifying shipping options.

This structured approach not only reduces abandonment but also can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty in the long run.


Cart abandonment occurs when online shoppers add items to their cart but leave the website without completing the purchase. It’s a significant concern for e-commerce businesses because it directly affects revenue and highlights potential issues in the shopping process. Understanding and reducing the cart abandonment rate is crucial for improving sales, optimizing the checkout experience, and enhancing customer satisfaction. This metric serves as a vital indicator of how effectively an online store engages and retains customers during the checkout phase.


Viktoria Arsenteva

Marketing Manager at Lira Agency. I enjoy creating valuable and informative content for our clients and visitors. I spend my free time reading books on marketing and psychology.