Automation And How Basket ‘Leaves’ Can Be Turned Into Sales

I have a confession to make. I once went shopping to buy food for dinner at a well-known supermarket (I won’t mention which because I still like shopping there), but halfway round I changed my mind and decided to get a takeaway instead. Rather than take everything back, I left my trolley in an empty aisle and sneaked out, feeling guilty.

I don’t think this happens much at real supermarkets but 67.45% of online shopping carts get abandoned before the “buy” step in the purchasing process (source: Baymard Institute). Other sources report an abandonment rate as high as 80.3%.

Why do people abandon shopping baskets?

Here are the top ten reasons people abandon their shopping cart (source: Statistic):

  • Unexpected extra costs (eg shipping)
  • Just browsing
  • Found a better deal elsewhere
  • Too expensive
  • Decided against buying
  • Website navigation too complicated
  • Website crashed
  • Taking too long
  • Excessive security checks and finally, ironically,
  • Concerns about payment security.

We’ve probably all experienced these same online shopping frustrations, but what can you do to reduce shopping cart abandonment? Here at Moxie, we take a two-pronged approached to the problem – cutting the pre-abandonment attrition rate and chasing up afterwards.


If you want to encourage more people to complete their purchase you need to make sure their journey contains as little friction as possible.

  • Show people images of what they’re buying, put their purchases in a simple, itemised list and make it easier to edit the shopping basket.
  • Offer free shipping or at least be up front with the costs.
  • Reduce the number of steps needed and avoid lengthy and complicated registrations.
  • Use security logos to show that your payment system is safe.

Post abandonment

  • Run an email win-back strategy such as Amazon’s wish list, offering discounts for free shipping or money off the product they wanted.
  • Re-market by tracking near-miss customers and display re-targeting ads to them when they visit other websites.
  • Send an “abandoned cart” email, reminding them what they left behind and asking them why. You could even offer a discount to entice them back.

An abandoned shopping cart is as sad a sight online as it is in the local duck pond; and if you work out how much that lost 67.45% would be worth to you then it’d make you even sadder, so do something about it.