Cart Abandonment: A $3 Trillion Opportunity

Shopping cart abandonment – the act of putting something in your basket on a retail website but not completing your purchase. In 2014 we will abandon a whopping $3 trillion worth of products around the globe.

The numbers stack up. In 2013, the average abandonment rate online was 68 percent, with over two-thirds of consumers finding their way to a retailers website, identifying and selecting products they are interested in but not completing the purchase. With online spend in 2014 forecasted to be in excess of $1.4 trillion dollars, there is a huge pile of potential revenue left on the table for retailers who are smart about how they turn these ‘almost customers’ back into sales.

But how do the numbers compare across different areas of retail? And just how successful can email remarketing campaigns be?

Here’s SaleCycle’s 2014 Cart Abandonment Forecast, based on averages from over 500 leading global retailers, including Sony, Lorna Jane and Ralph Lauren – allowing you to see how each category stacks up.

Making Sense of the Numbers

We’ve found that consumers are more likely to abandon their purchase where average order values are higher and there is good reason for further research or ‘sleeping on it’. Consumer electronics illustrates this nicely, with big ticket items ensuring a much higher abandonment rate of 74.1 percent as shoppers take their time before committing to buying the next must-have gadget; while by comparison in health and beauty (at 65.7 percent), shoppers are more likely to be returning to simply restock their favourite items.

Many retailers are aware of the potential that email remarketing has in tempting abandoners back, but the engagement numbers make pretty impressive reading. Staying with health and beauty, and an email open rate of 67.9 percent for cart abandonment emails goes to show just how important the right message, right person, right time really is as two-thirds of those abandoners are at least engaging with the brand again – and just under a quarter finding their way back to site.

When it comes to the all important bit – making money – and style and fashion stands head and shoulders above the rest with an astonishing return of $15.23 for every single cart abandonment email sent. Compare this with the average return on marketing emails of $0.48 and remarketing represents one huge opportunity for retailers in 2014.

With e-commerce set to grow year on year, the value of abandoned baskets will soon exceed $3 trillion. As such, it will be the businesses that innovate and build effective strategies to both prevent and respond to abandonments that will be the biggest winners.

cart abandonment
Infographic courtesy of SaleCycle

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