According to Internet Retailer, the average cart abandonment rate is 50-70%. Conversion On Demand claims that this number is even higher – 68%, 71% and 72% in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Of course there are multiple factors that affect shopping cart abandonment (e.g. lack of payment options, security concerns, unclear pricing, etc). However, I would say that those factors can be categorized into two main groups; those related to your eCommerce site and those that are not. So let me explain what I mean.

Based on an Xtreme article, 57% of consumers who abandoned their shopping cart didn’t have an intention to purchase anything in the first place! They are the so called ‘window shoppers’; people who just check out stuff out of curiosity; sometimes to compare prices on different websites, and sometimes just to kill time.

How do you know that people who didn’t complete the check out process abandoned the cart because of issues with your website? How do you separate shopping cart abandonment stats for those who wanted to buy but changed his/her mind from those who never had an intention to purchase from your website? Surprisingly, ‘wish lists’ can help you answer those questions.

Having an ‘Add to Wish List’ and an ‘Add to Cart’ buttons gives your customers an option. If they are not going to buy anything they might just add items to the wish list to view  later instead of creating a shopping cart (that will definitely be abandoned). For you, this is a great way to exclude ‘window shoppers’ from the list of factors that affect your shopping cart abandonment stats and subsequently improve them!

After setting up a ‘wish list’ on your website you might still have a high % of customers who have not completed the check out process (albeit less than before). However, the difference is that you now know that it is something you can change as those online shoppers actually had an intention to buy but probably didn’t like something about your website. Try to make it more customer-friendly and you will see an increase in customer satisfaction causing an even lower cart abandonment rate.