Do they need extra time to decide? Did they find a better deal somewhere else? Have they changed their mind? These are just some of the questions and assumptions that surface when retailers encounter shopping cart abandonment.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

We all do it from time to time – you see a product you like (or think you like), you click ‘add to cart’, and then for one reason or another you decide not to proceed with the purchase. As a consumer, you don’t give it a second thought, but for online retailers, shopping cart abandonment can mean sales losses of up to $18 billion per year.

What causes shopping cart abandonment?

While some shoppers abandon their shopping cart because they are simply ‘window shopping’ or intend to return later to complete their purchase, in many cases, abandoned carts indicate a poor user experience. Recent statistics show that 24% of online customers abandon carts because they don’t want the hassle of creating a new account on the retailer’s site, 17% of customers fail to complete their purchase due to long and complicated checkout processes, 22% defect if the retailer does not offer a speedy delivery, and 9% call it quits when payment options are limited.

By identifying, improving, or removing the pain-points in the shopping experience and implementing a recovery strategy, retailers can work toward mitigating shopping cart abandonment. This is where CDP technology can help.

How a CDP can help reduce shopping cart abandonment

A CDP gathers customer data from multiple sources to build rich and contextual customer profiles. These profiles provide real-time insights into customer behavior (including whether a customer has abandoned their cart), as well as historical information such as products they’ve purchased, ads they’ve engaged with, and store locations they’ve visited. But that’s not all. Along with identifying customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, a CDP can also help you to figure out why they bailed on their purchase by pinpointing their exact drop-off point. Using this valuable data, you can move forward with the most effective recovery plan.

Simplifying the checkout process

Based on analysis of where and why customers drop out of their session, marketers may decide to scrap extra registration steps, optimize the checkout process for mobile, or add a guest checkout to cancel out the need to register an account.

Abandoned cart recovery strategies

Along with pinpointing the causes of shopping cart abandonment, a CDP also helps you to encourage customers to complete their purchase by improving the relevance of retargeting campaigns on email, mobile, social, and web ads. Seamless and intuitive retargeting campaigns that reach your customers on the most relevant channel, at exactly the right time increase the likelihood of conversions, especially when the messaging is tailored to reflect the customer’s preferences — studies show that 52% of customers expect offers to always be personalized.

Cart abandonment emails

A well-timed, carefully crafted cart abandonment email is one of the most effective ways to sway on-the-fence customers. According to statistics, 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened. Of these emails, 21% receive click-throughs and 50% of users who engage with the email content complete their purchase.

Ad retargeting

Ad retargeting is another successful recovery tactic. By leveraging the CDP’s segmentation capabilities and reliable first-party data, you can tailor your ads according to why the customer abandoned their cart – for example, provide free delivery if shipping costs were a deciding factor, or there’s also the option to create special discount codes for first-time shoppers or repeat customers to entice them back to the checkout.


Reducing shopping cart abandonment is not something that happens overnight. Whether you’re focused on improving the checkout process or creating a personalized retargeting campaign, iteration is key. This is where A/B testing helps to confirm which minor tweaks or major changes deliver the best results. Using a CDP, you can gather, verify, segment, and feed accurate, up-to-date customer data to an A/B testing platform, then test, refine, and roll-out the best-performing solution.

Sitecore CDP and shopping cart abandonment

Sitecore CDP’s intelligent cart recovery solution allows retailers to track products abandoned in an online cart, activate advanced decisioning and re-engage with the customer by sending a triggered experience — for example, a highly personalized email or ad that features the products that were added to their cart and reminds them that their items are still waiting for them. Depending on the customer’s preferences and previous purchase history, there’s also an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell other products they may also like, offer special discounts, or provide free delivery as an incentive.

Curious to learn more about how a personalized approach can help recover an abandoned cart? Find out more about how to connect all your customer data with Sitecore CDP or book a demo with our team and discover why the world’s biggest brands trust Sitecore to deliver relevant and impactful customer experiences.

Fiona Hilliard is a Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.