Defining the difference between basket and checkout abandonment (graphic)

Last week, a former colleague emailed me to ask what the difference is between basket and checkout abandonment percentages.

The definitions I’ve always used are:

Basket abandonment is the percentage of people who add a product to the basket but do not checkout
Checkout abandonment is the percentage of people who begin the checkout process and fail to complete it

To simplify the definition I’ve created the following slide (it’s far too rough to called be an infographic):

Basket and Checkout abandonment calculations

How to use basket and checkout abandonment figures

Adding a product to the basket is a fairly strong “tell” that the visitor is interested in a product. Starting the checkout process is an even stronger “tell”. If they fail to then purchase the basket there will be a reason for it. Typically these reasons including:

  1. Technical issues
  2. Pricing issues
  3. Lack of information creating purchase friction
  4. Hidden costs
  5. Uncertainty regarding availability and shipping
  6. Lacking confidence in the product
  7. Difficulty completing forms
  8. Unwillingness to register
  9. Concerns about the reputation of the store
  10. Concerns that they may find it cheaper elsewhere

Reducing abandonment rates will only happen as you begin optimising each stage in the purchase funnel. Calculate your total basket and checkout abandonment rates and then segment the values by browser (to check for tech issues), traffic medium, language, country and any other segments you feel may be relevant. From this detailed data you can rapidly identify any segments that have a higher than average abandonment rate.

Many years ago I had a very high basket abandonment rate on an ecommerce site. When I segmented the data I realised that Internet Explorer was hiding the checkout form. It was quickly remedied and the conversion rate increased.

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David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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