Cart Abandonment

It is well documented that whilst 2020 was a struggle for many industries, eCommerce was one of the shining lights that outperformed all expectations and for many business owners, marketplaces and online platforms led to record breaking numbers.

Another less exciting statistic is the rise of abandoned carts amongst the eCommerce sector. Back in June last year there was a noted increase compared to the same time in 2019.

“On the whole, the data shows a steep increase in the frequency of cart abandonment in the post-COVID-19 era. Data from the onset of COVID this year show a 94.4% abandonment rate compared to 85.1% in the comparable period last year. This equates to billions of dollars in forgone eCommerce revenue,”

Jordan Elkind, VP of Retail Insights For Customer Data & Identity Platform, Amperity

It turns out that this phenomenon now has a new name, “Filling”, and is an act largely engaged in by the Gen Z shoppers out there.

Is Filling The Online Version of Window Shopping?

Whilst abandoned carts can be annoying for eCommerce business owners whether it be false hope in making a sale, or leading to questions around site usability and checkout flow, the act in itself is not usually damaging to a business.

Filling has been described by many as an online version of window shopping and an outlet for young people to make themselves feel better in the midst of a global pandemic. For many shopping gives people a dopamine hit which makes them feel happy, hence the term ‘retail therapy’

“Every now and again you’re going to cross something that really lights up that brain and excites you,”

“Just the hunting and shopping, without necessarily grabbing, it takes you away from the rest of the lives we’re leading, kind of consuming us so the worries of our days kind of takes a backseat, Because we have such restrictions, people are looking for ways to make their brain feel better.”

Dr. Scott Bea, Clinical Psychologist, The Cleveland Clinic

The Opportunity Filling & Abandoned Carts Brings To eCommerce Sellers

Rather than looking at the abandoned carts as a nuisance to your business or a negative statistic, you can instead try and use this new trend to your advantage as a business owner.

If shoppers are adding items to their carts even without the express intent of checking out at that time, they still are showing an interest in that product. It means that at that moment one of their key variables isn’t right for them to checkout.

This leaves a large opportunity for sellers to use a variety of re-target marketing tools to try and complete the checkout at a later date when might be a better time for the shopper.

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