Basket Recovery

British shoppers alone abandon online shopping carts worth almost £30 a month. which is equivalent to over £18 billion in lost sales every year. Globally, this number is even more shocking. The annual worldwide cost of abandoned baskets has been estimated at between $2 trillion and $4 trillion (£1.7 - £3.3 trillion).

Reducing Shopping Basket Abandonment

Luckily, there’s plenty of techniques businesses can use to try to reduce cart abandonment, including many Conversion Funnel Optimisations. For an ecommerce business, for example, these are initiatives that can be implemented during the customer checkout process, where even a small increase in conversion rate can correlate to significant revenue for the business.


Implementing a guest checkout, for example, can significantly reduce customer drop-off during the checkout process. In fact, 34% of shoppers said they had abandoned their purchase on discovering they had to create an account. Shortening registration forms, and generally making the registration process more enjoyable can also be effective in reducing drop-off here.

However, the flipside of this is that any decrease in conversion rate during the sign-up/checkout process can be catastrophic. Consequently, it’s absolutely crucial to assess the impact of these changes with A/B Testing. This should be the core of any business’s Conversion Optimisation Strategy, as it’s always dangerous to make assumptions about what your customers want. In fact, in one case study, they counter-intuitively found that shortening their registration form actually decreased completion! The only way to find out is to test.

But as vital as checkout optimisations are, they’re not the only technique businesses have at their disposal to reduce cart abandonment. Another effective technique is to use email retargeting to bring the prospective customers back to your site, and encourage them to complete their checkout journey. This is typically known as Abandoned Basket Recovery (or Abandoned Cart Recovery, in the USA).

Basket Recovery Emails

Basket Recovery emails refer to emails that are automatically sent when a prospective customer adds something to their product or cart, but does not complete their purchase. The goal of the emails is typically to entice the customer to return to the website and complete their order.

These emails can use a variety of techniques to encourage the customer to complete their purchase. One of the most techniques is to remind the customer of the item or items they have in their basket, typically including the product image, product name and a call to action to complete their order.

However, it’s essential to remember that the customer in question was already on your website, and was already in that checkout flow. Of course, reminding them of that - and making resuming that journey as easy as possible - is better than nothing. But in order to reclaim as many abandoned baskets as you can, you need to consider what made the customer abandon the checkout process in the first place.

Now, without question, the people best placed to answer that question are your customers themselves. By talking to your Customer Service team, and seeking out user feedback, you can start to ascertain the various pain points that your users encounter during the checkout process.

Your Data Analytics software will also be able to tell you exactly what page of the checkout journey your customers typically exit from, and can provide you with plenty of other useful data too. There might be demographic differences in how your users interact with the checkout, for example. Alternatively, an unusually high time-on-page on your Delivery Information page might indicate that the information there is too dense, or that you are providing too many options and thereby confusing your prospective customers.

Only by combining your data, user feedback and your team’s collective insight will you be able to establish your customers’ various pain points, and only then will you be able to tailor a basket recovery strategy that successfully addresses them. But, that being said, there are numerous pain points that come up time and time again across all industries, so let’s look at the most common reasons for cart abandonment globally.

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Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment

According to a Baymard survey of over 2,500 shoppers, these are the top ten reasons for cart abandonment:

Chart by Visualizer