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Jul 10, 2019 | 2 minute read

How to leverage real-time data to solve for shopping cart abandonment

written by Kristin Schepici

After dealing with lingering disjointed legacy systems, an ecommerce practitioner's next biggest gripe is most likely, shopping cart abandonment. But we have the answer to solve for this challenge, which negatively impacts ecommerce at a rate of about 70%.

By using real-time shopper data, organizations can predict cart abandonment before it happens. Compared to email reminders—a post-abandonment action is proactive and can engage shoppers while they’re still on the website, before they abandon their cart. 

The folks over at Metrical have examined this further by investigating “how quickly shoppers abandon their carts after the first item is added to cart.” According to Jin Su, Data Scientist at Metrical this information indicates the time you have to convert a visit into a purchase.

Here is a breakdown of how Su and team sought to answer this ecommerce challenge. (Original source for article can be found here, Abandoned Carts: A look into shoppers' time spent on site)

Based on first quarter shopper activity data of their clients, they segmented all shopping carts into two types: the new carts created during the first visit, and the re-visited carts—existing carts created in the previous sessions; they then analyzed the session duration from the point of cart creation to the time of abandonment for both types of carts.

Session Duration Statistics for New Carts_Get ElasticSession Duration Statistics for New Carts

For new carts Su found that after the first item was added to a cart, on average 25% of shoppers abandoned their carts within one minute and 50% of shoppers abandoned the carts within three and half minutes. “We also validated something we suspected: shoppers on desktop devices stayed on websites 65% longer than those on mobile devices,” said Su. 

“For the re-visited carts, we found that on average, 25% of the shoppers abandoned their carts within one minute and 50% of the shoppers abandoned the carts around five minutes, which is one and half minutes longer than that of new carts. For a typical session for re-visited carts, shoppers stayed on the website 140% longer when shopping with a desktop than with a mobile device.”

Session Duration Statistics for Re-visited carts_Get ElasticSession Duration Statistics for Re-visited carts

The research and information extrapolated from this study can help retailers act quickly to engage shoppers that have created carts but are likely to abandon. However, retailers need to determine what their own site’s abandonment behavior looks like and not just act on the data Su has provided. There are some further questions of interest, Su stresses such as: Do shoppers stay longer when they add multiple items to a cart? And, is there a correlation between how long it takes for the shoppers to add the first item to a cart and how long it takes them to abandon the cart?