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Ecommerce Abandonment: Looking Beyond Abandoned Carts
Michael Hall
February 17, 2022

We’re all familiar with the term abandoned cart, but in reality, most shoppers today don’t even make it that far. Given the scroll culture and the never-ending proliferation of alternatives, ecommerce abandonment is commonplace and can take place at any point in time in the online shopper’s journey.

Search abandonment costs online retailers $300 billion per year.

In this quick guide, we’ll get down to the brass tacks on ecommerce abandonment. We’ll cover:

  • What is ecommerce abandonment?
  • 3 types of ecommerce abandonment to be aware of
  • Strategies and solutions to tackle abandonment

What is ecommerce abandonment?

Ecommerce abandonment can be defined broadly as the point at which a customer leaves your website without taking a desired action, and it can take place at any point in your ecommerce funnel.

Interruptions (both online and offline) distract the customer and cause them to leave your online store without making a purchase. This is ecommerce abandonment.

According to a report by Nosto, it could take at least 3–5 visits for a customer to finally make a purchase from your online store. Be it lack of intent, inconvenience, or simply the inability to decide — ecommerce abandonment is a real problem that needs to be dealt with.

It could occur at any point during the conversion process. It could be right at the beginning when shoppers set out to search for their product, while they’re scrolling and browsing through your product pages, while they’re adding items to their cart or when they have finally reached the checkout page (this has got to be the most painful of all).

Ecommerce abandonment of any type can be a heartbreaking ordeal for online store owners. Customers dropping off during search or leaving behind a loaded shopping cart without making a purchase, is dreaded by ecommerce retailers.

Types of ecommerce abandonment

We’re diving into three types of ecommerce abandonment — Search abandonment, browse abandonment, and the most infamous of the trio, shopping cart abandonment.

Search abandonment

An online shopper visits your ecommerce site and searches for a product. Your site then pulls up the products matching the search criteria — but the shopper decides to leave the site without clicking on any product.

Why it matters:

According to, ecommerce retailers lose $300 billion a year from search abandonment! In fact, 94% of consumers surveyed in a Harris Poll received irrelevant results while searching on a retailer’s website in the last 6 months, and 85% say they view a brand differently after experiencing search difficulties.

Browse abandonment

The website visitor has already searched for the product they want, they continue to browse through your product pages, clicking on different products but then end up leaving the site without making a purchase or even adding products to the cart.

With Google Cloud Retail Search, big techs like Google are rolling out search-centric solutions to overcome this challenge.

Source: Zoovu

Cart abandonment

Visitors are looking through your product pages, they add items to their shopping cart, some even make it to the checkout page but instead of completing the checkout, they end up ditching the cart and leaving the site.

Now, these are high-intent shoppers that you’re dealing with — they almost made it past the checkout flow. It’s unlikely that the appearance of your website or other distractions on the net could have stopped them from proceeding.

With 60–80% of shoppers abandoning their carts — complicated checkout processes, surprise costs, payment failures or high shipping charges are some of the main reasons that could drive your shoppers away.

94% of consumers received irrelevant results while searching on a retailer’s website in the last 6 months, and 85% say they view a brand differently after experiencing search difficulties.

Reducing ecommerce abandonment: Top solutions to fix it

Ecommerce abandonment has only gotten worse over the years and it’s critical to address this problem at all stages and not just at the cart abandonment stage.

We’ll now look at key strategies that you could implement to tackle all types of ecommerce abandonment.

How to prevent search abandonment

Here’s how you can elevate your website visitor’s search experience and bring down the abandonment rate.

Product quizzes

This one’s quite interesting — a study of behavioral marketing reveals that including product quizzes in your shopper’s journey is a great way to help them find what they’re looking for.

You can use product quizzes to ask visitors about their tastes, interests, and traits so that you can recommend products that they need. Not only do product quizzes offer a personalized shopping experience but they also help you collect valuable data about your customers.

AI-based shopping assistant

Conversational search using AI-based shopping assistants has been all the rage of late. AI-based assistants can help customers with their search — they do this by optimizing the conversion flow based on contextual analysis of how the customer started their journey.

AI improves conversions by pulling up the most relevant products for the customer along with add-ons or similar products.

Product finders

Product finders are digital assistants that help customers find what they are searching for in an ecommerce store.

Product finders use AI and natural language processing to have intelligent conversations with shoppers, answer their questions, and optimize in real-time to display new products or alternatives to the shopper.

Read more: What’s the difference between a Product Finder and a Product Quiz?

Product recommendations

Product recommendation takes the cake for being one of the most efficient and personalized ways of getting shoppers to buy from your online store. This explains why ecommerce companies are heavily investing in product recommendation apps.

Skafos was built from the ground-up to guide shoppers to quickly find what they need with interactive product recommendations. The world’s first AI-powered product discovery app can be installed as a smart widget on your homepage or product pages.

Acting a lot like an in-store sales assistant, Skafos understands your online store visitor’s intent and showcases product recommendations that they will LOVE! You can also use Skafos to boost your sales by cross-selling and up-selling products to shoppers with interactive elements.

Intelligent site search

It’s important to help shoppers drill down and find exactly what they came looking for. Using an intelligent site search is another great tactic to help push your customers further down the funnel.

No matter how complicated the search query is, intelligent site search employs advanced filters and features such as sort orders to offer relevant search results to customers.

How to prevent cart abandonment

According to Baymard Institute, shopping cart abandonment rates have been on an all-time high, currently averaging at 69.8%. The highest abandonment rates are reported to be coming from mobile devices.

Let’s look at how we can fix this.

Source: Jilt

Communicate shipping costs clearly

High shipping costs can be a dealbreaker at the checkout point. Ensure that you clearly state the shipping costs — whether it’s free shipping thresholds or additional charges to select regions, make it a point to specify this in the product pages as well.

Use retargeting campaigns

Using cookie-based retargeting is a great strategy to bring back shoppers to your ecommerce store. Connect with your customers using personalized Ads based on their past searches and show them what they’re missing out on. This is a trusted strategy to get shoppers to come back and check out their carts.

Send timely cart recovery messages using Email and SMS

This is a powerful technique to remind customers about what they’ve left behind in their carts. Send timely notifications via Email or SMS using top-notch tools like Klaviyo, PostScript, and Cartloop.

Sending out such personalized reminders with more details on the product, better alternatives or offers can bring back customers who had wandered away.

Fix bad checkout experience

A complicated checkout experience is another blocker that could hamper conversions. Understand what you could do to make the checkout process a breeze for your customers. Is the flow currently confusing or slowing them down? Or are you asking for too many details on the checkout page?

Offer your online shoppers popular payment methods and keep your checkout process easy, simple and quick.

Add live chat/FAQs to answer further questions

Ensure that you offer brilliant support services throughout the customer’s journey. Add a chat widget to your online store and enable website visitors to get their concerns addressed quickly. You also need to include FAQs so that shoppers can quickly look up answers to their queries.

Combat ecommerce abandonment with personalization

With these solutions at your disposal, you’ll be able to keep your customers and help them complete their purchases without dropping off! Your search capabilities need to be advanced and your checkout process has to be simple.

Sign up on Skafos today to delight customers with personalized product recommendations and help them buy the products they are most likely to buy, turning window shoppers into loyal customers.