How to reduce cart abandonment - Must try strategies for DTCs

Understanding visitors' behavior is critical for the health of any eCommerce. DTCs must assess the value of each site visitor and try, by any means, to reduce cart abandonment by engaging and transforming simple clicks into valuable customers and, eventually, brand ambassadors. In this article, we analyze the cart abandonment phenomenon and offer a series of strategic measures DTCs and brands can take to reduce cart abandonment.


What is the cart abandonment phenomenon? 

Every year, eCommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue because of cart abandonment. Cart abandonment on websites is one of the biggest challenges, along with traffic-driving efforts. Reducing cart abandonment can result in increased sales, and statistics indicate that more than 35% of the abandoned merchandise in carts is eventually bought later from the same website. Still, DTCs and e-retailers should be aware that a quarter of all items added to carts are, in the end, purchased from the competition. Mastering the checkout process and re-engaging potential customers can differentiate between a profitable and struggling store.   

Cart abandonment metrics any DTC must know  

Since not every website session ends with a purchase, marketers need to gather and analyze more data than just visits and incoming traffic via various channels. To do so, Admetrics offers a variety of metrics related to visitors' behaviour. The following new cart-related metrics are available on traffic source, campaign, and ad level:


Adds to cart

This metric measures the number of visitors that added at least one item to the cart (unique add-to-cart events).


Add to cart rate

The percentage of visitors that added at least one item to their cart.


Cart abandonment rate

This metric calculates the percentage of visitors that added at least one item to their cart but did not complete the order.


CPATC (Cost per add to cart)

Similar to CPC (cost per click), we calculate the cost per unique add-to-cart event.



Strategies to reduce cart abandonment 

Based on the cart abandonment metrics analysis, marketers can decide to implement strategic measures and re-engage potential customers through promotional activities via other channels such as social media ads, SMS, or email.

Data shows that 69% is the average documented e-commerce cart abandonment rate, but better checkout systems can improve conversion rates by even 35%.

Free Shipping 
Beyond expectations, customers are willing to wait up to 14 days for their packages to arrive as long as the shipping is free of charge. Thus, 85% of online shoppers prefer free shipping over fast shipping. 35% of cart abandonments occur once shipping costs are revealed. Still, the majority of online shoppers are ok with paying more for products or goods. This clearly indicates the importance of shipping fee structures and highlights consumers' responses to these and the perceived value. 

Key value categories and items 

E-commerce and retail often create a perception mechanism of prices that then extrapolate to the entire brand, store, or retail chain. Thus key value categories and key value items drive the price perception and, often, attract the most first-time buyers. Specifically, if prices are perceived as accessible, the cart abandonment rate will decrease significantly. Also, placing such items in each category or even creating entire categories perceived as affordable can turn add-to-carts into sales. 

FOMO and urgency

Creating a sense of urgency and capitalizing on the fear of missing out are among the most powerful strategies any marketer can implement. Especially knowing that FOMO is experienced by 69% of millennials. Adding subtle hints such as limited item numbers or a limited sales period in which a certain product can be acquired with a significant discount is proving to be a very effective method to re-engage potential customers. 


Trust plays a crucial role, especially for first-time buyers. More than 17% of the buyers indicate a lack of trust in abandoning carts. If the e-store is not yet perceived as a well-established brand, retailers must make sure they partner with rightful and trustworthy payment providers. Also, ensuring a privacy policy is in place and customer data is safe is a strong argument for many e-buyers. Creating a community around a DTC is the best way to establish trust. Plus, word of mouth can come as an additional benefit. Reviews and social media presence will help product sales and deter cart abandonment. 

Return Policy

Offering full transparency over the return policy is a crucial part of diminishing cart abandonments. Big retailers like Zara or Shein offer free returns; thus, even when purchasing rare-size fashion items online, buyers can return them anytime. Marketers should remember, though, that it's not necessarily an advantage to offer free unlimited returns due to the environmental impact it can have. Studies show that today, more than 70% of online buyers choose sustainable brands and stores that implement environmentally friendly practices.  


Showing the abandoned cart will not go unseen. 3 in 4 people notice the retargeting ads and purchase. Retargeting on various channels can be very effective, while conversational apps and email promotion can do wonders. Timing is also important. Most people will likely buy if reminded within an hour of their website visit. Advertisers must also keep in mind that the mobile e-commerce cart abandonment rate is the highest among all devices at 86%. Thus, a retargeting strategy should probably avoid aiming for conversions on mobile devices. 

There is a multitude of apps aimed at reducing churn by maximizing engagement with potential customers. Here is a list of the best Shopify app to increase sales.  

Seamless checkout experience

While conversion rate optimization is an entire marketing discipline, optimizing the checkout experience should be one of the first focus when designing a store. Offering the option of saving selected items in a cart or adding them to favorites, continuing with a few checkout steps, and always highlighting the remaining ones are some of the measures any marketer can implement to see a decrease in cart abandonments. Also, page load times play a crucial role in determining a successful checkout. Conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in the page loading. One of the fastest ways to ensure better loading times is by optimizing images for size and quality and deciding on installing only a few useful apps or plugins and traffic analytics. 

Optimizing for add-to-cart instead of purchase

Having access to the new Admetrics cart metrics, brands can optimize for add-to-cart instead of orders and re-engage customers through promotional activities via other channels such as SMS or email. This can be an efficient strategy when selling high-priced products or products that yield longer customer journeys. It takes at least 8 touchpoints before buying, and therefore, optimizing for add-to-cart might speed up the purchasing process, being a more affordable option for brands. Retargeting campaigns reach their conversion goals faster, making them relatively low in price compared to initial prospecting efforts.  


Get started now 

The cart metrics can be accessed in the Admetrics Dashboard, which offers in-depth insights about all marketing aspects helping brands optimize their advertising spending and efforts and ultimately increase sales.

The Admetrics AI-based solution features a complete set of data, including lately added metrics such as POAS (Profit on Ad Spend), New Customer Acquisition Cost, New Customer Revenue, and ncROAS (new customer ROAS), plus deep drill downs into the overall performance online stores. In this article, we explain these metrics in detail and explore why DTCs should optimize for POAS instead of ROAS. 

Brands looking to increase ad performance and outpace their competition can start a free trial here. For a limited time only, Admetrics offers assisted onboarding and a free marketing data audit which aims at helping DTC brands scale advertising for online stores and identify the best-performing marketing channels.