New Data unveils Top Reasons Shoppers Abandon Online Carts

  • US and UK consumers report abandoning their online shopping carts mostly due to shipping costs, looking for better deals, and waiting for sales to hit
  • Higher-earning consumers are looking for the best possible deals across online retailers, while lower-income households are waiting for products to go on sale

Budget consciousness is driving many online shoppers to abandon their shopping carts, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by commercetools, the global leader in composable commerce.

The survey, which had over 4,500 respondents between the United States and the United Kingdom, found that shipping costs were the most frequently cited reason at 19.6%, followed closely by wanting to find a better deal elsewhere (19.5%). Rounding out the top five were waiting to see if the product might go on sale (14.9%), getting distracted (9%), and wanting to see the product in person before purchasing (8%).

This budget-conscious mindset is reflected across household income ranges in the US, with higher-earning consumers ($80,000+ HHI) looking for the best possible deal (21.5%) across online retailers, while lower-income households (below $40,000 HHI) are waiting for the product to go on sale (17.7%).

Additional key findings include:

  • Male shoppers in the US and UK are more likely to look for a better deal elsewhere (21%), while females’ top concern is paying for shipping (23%).
  • Consumers in the US are more likely than those in the UK to abandon their cart because they’re waiting to see if a product goes on sale (17.6% vs 11.9%).
  • For the majority of shoppers in the US and UK, privacy concerns seem to play a minor role, as 98% of UK consumers and 96% of their US counterparts do not identify privacy as their primary reason for cart abandonment.
  • Consumers aged 55 and up cite shipping costs (24%) as the number one reason they abandon their carts, whereas Gen Z (ages 18-24) are looking to find a better deal elsewhere (21%).
  • The majority of shoppers in the US and UK do not seem to prefer in-store experiences, as 92% of consumers did not cite a preference to see a product in-person before purchasing as a reason for abandoning their cart.

Such thrifty tendencies this holiday shopping season are no surprise, as earlier this month commercetools revealed that 65% of consumers, including 71% of women, plan to leverage their loyalty programs to save money when holiday shopping.

“When carts are abandoned, revenue is lost. Given higher interest rates and slowed –– not halted – consumer spending across the US and UK, retailers need to focus on offering a wide array of payment options, investing in easy-to-use loyalty programs that provide distinct financial benefits, and personalization in engagement from product discovery to post-purchase,” said Jen Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for commercetools. 

With forecasts pointing towards a lower peak season compared to 2022 and commercetools’ data overwhelmingly indicating the need for a discount-heavy season –– retailers are revising their 2023 holiday approach. commercetools advises retailers to invest in technology that enables flexibility and innovation at speed, such as composable commerce and generative AI, and/or adjust production calendars and supply chains to address early gift buying.

Jones added, “Brand loyalty cannot be sustained in an environment where cost is a significant barrier to entry coupled with a subpar end-to-end customer experience. Consumers have more options than they ever did before and you can bet that they will take advantage of that. The retailers that do well this holiday season will be the ones that don’t solely focus on discounts, but also the experience. That means confidence in data privacy, how discounts and loyalty benefits are communicated and marketed, price matching, shipping options, etc.”

Brands that have the agility and flexibility to drive competitive differentiation through composable commerce are best positioned to create more revenue-generating opportunities and streamline the customer journey by quickly and easily integrating new features and offerings.

To learn more about commercetools and how the company helps brands and retailers decrease cart abandonment rates through its composable commerce platform, please visit

Survey Methodology
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4581 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th – 27th September 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US and UK adults (aged 18+).

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