Abandoned Carts Still Litter the Net


EMarketer reports that according to DoubleClick, consumers are carting items at a slightly higher rate this year compared with last -- 9.4% in Q2 2004 compared with 8.3% in Q2 2003. Still, cart abandonment rates are higher, too. Consumers abandon more than one-half of the shopping carts they fill up while shopping online. In the second quarter of 2004, 57.0% of carts were abandoned, compared with 45.9% one year ago, an increase of 24%. It should be noted, however, that the cart-abandonment rate was higher in Q1 2004, reaching 60.3%. Another negative trend in online shopping carts is a decline in the number of sales resulting from a previous carting. Just above one-quarter of sales in DoubleClick's poll resulted from items previously carted by shoppers, a slight increase from the first quarter of 2004, but a 26% decline from Q2 2003. DoubleClick determines that cart abandonment results in $4.51 of lost revenue for every $1.00 of revenue made from sales. Obviously, reducing abandonment is an important goal of online retailers, and luckily for them, doing so is within their control. By tweaking their sites to make the shopping experience smoother, clearer and comprehensive, and then testing the results, Internet retailers should see shopping-cart abandonment rates decline.

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