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The Science of eCommerce: New Research Looks at Cart Abandonment by the Numbers

Written By: Ross Haskell | Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013

Abandoned Shopping Carts

A new research report based on a survey of over 1,000 US-based online shoppers looks deeply at consumer behavior related to shopping cart abandonment.  We’re big fans of research and consumed this document eagerly.  We all come to data interpretation with our own set of filters so we encourage you to download the report and read it for yourself.  That said, our set of “live-chat-focused-goggles” made three things stick out.

To do this stuff right, you need to approach it like a science.
The report highlights a seeming imbalance between consumers expectations of after-abandonment communication timing and known best practices that drive results.  This fact, combined with the reality that cart abandonment rates range from 70-80% might cause businesses to simply despair. But the report points out that the seeming disparity is “…fertile ground for testing. “  We agree.  Live chat is similar in that to do it right, it constantly must be tested – especially proactive live chat.  And speaking of proactive chat…

As with any science, there is controversy.
We are constantly asked if the practice of inviting someone into a chat conversation (proactive chat) annoys visitors.  This new cart abandonment report tackles the same annoyance question – but related to post-cart email messaging.  74% of consumers are open to receiving them, squashing the myth of annoyance.   Our research is amazingly similar – we find that 2/3rds of the shopping population is open to being proactively invited into a chat.  Despite both reports  however, the debates are likely to continue.

As with any science, something new always comes along to muck things up.
Just when scientists get close to cracking the code, more often than not, something pops up to throw a wrench in the system.  That thing in eCommerce? Mobile.  Mobile is changing everything for all of us.  The cart abandonment report stated that, “Being the most connected, nearly two-thirds of Frequent Shoppers (64%) own a smartphone and over half (54%) own a tablet.”  A frequent shopper was defined in the report as a shopper making online purchases daily or weekly.  That these high-value consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices is a game changer across industries and technologies.  BoldChat recently released some new mobile live chat features with the intent to make customers more successful in reaching the mobile shopper.


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