Cart Abandonment vs. Checkout Abandonment: Do You Know the Difference?

November 1, 2020
Rishi Shah

Cart abandonment is often confused with checkout abandonment, and many cart abandonment solutions are actually just checkout abandonment solutions. Learn the difference, and how you can prevent them.

It’s frustrating when would-be shoppers leave your site without finishing checkout.

While you can’t run after them to rescue the sale, you can send them follow-up emails. That is, if you manage to capture their email.

ecommerce conversion funnel with browse, cart, and checkout abandonment
An eCommerce conversion funnel, showing the difference between cart and checkout abandonment.

Before we go into the “how”, it’s essential to clear up an often-misused term. If you look at an eCommerce conversion funnel, there are various potential drop-off points.

Browse vs. Cart vs. Checkout Abandonment

First, you have a bounce, where a visitor doesn’t move past the landing page. If they browse a few pages and leave, that’s “browse abandonment”.

If a visitor adds an item to their cart, but they leave before making it to the checkout page, that’s “cart abandonment”. Once they’ve made it to the checkout page, any exit from that point is “checkout abandonment”.

The problem: cart abandonment is often used synonymously with checkout abandonment. And many “cart abandonment” solutions are actually just checkout abandonment solutions.

However, if you can trigger cart recovery emails when a visitor actually abandons their cart, you have the potential to recover a lot more sales.

Capturing Emails for Cart or Checkout Abandonment Campaigns

To send an abandonment email, you need to capture the email address first. Here are a few tactics to try.

Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

A popular way to collect emails from abandoning visitors is with an exit-intent pop-up, which appears on screen when your visitors move their cursor out of these browser pane. You can use these CTAs to grab user attention, keep visitors on your site a bit longer, and convert them into email subscribers if they do choose to leave your site.

exit intent popup example

To increase your chances of conversion, use exit-intent pop-ups to promote a discount that visitors can access if they provide their email address. The exit-intent pop-up in the example above invites visitors to provide their email address in exchange for free shipping.

Many eCommerce brands use free shipping thresholds to drive sales and increase average cart values. If you offer free shipping after visitors spend a particular amount, you can add dynamic content to your pop-up that updates automatically based on how much more a shopper must spend to unlock free shipping.

dynamic free shipping pop-up example
This dynamic free shipping pop-up automatically shows visitors how much they need to spend to unlock free shipping.

Coupon Pop-Ups

Everyone loves a discount! That makes coupon codes a great way to convert abandoning visitors.

Use cart abandonment pop-ups to show a coupon code after visitors submit their email address.

pop-up with a unique coupon code
This cart abandonment pop-up shows a unique coupon code to every visitor who submits their email address.

If you're worried about coupon code abuse, you can use one-time-use coupon codes, or even limit visitors to one code per IP address.

eCommerce Quizzes

One of the most effective tactics for growing your email list is with interactive content. Product recommendation quizzes are a great way to get visitors involved and provide value in exchange for the email address.

product recommendation quiz pop-up
This CTA promotes a product recommendation quiz that helps visitors find the perfect furniture.

Not only do quizzes capture the email address, they can provide tailored recommendations that increase your chances of making the sale.

Prevent Abandonment at Any Step of the Funnel

Digioh specializes in increasing eCommerce conversions with targeted pop-up forms, website personalization, and cart abandonment features.

cart abandonment pop-up example
With a cart abandonment solution, you can trigger abandoned cart pop-ups and personalized cart abandonment emails.

A true “cart abandonment solution,” Digioh can capture the emails of abandoning shoppers, even before they reach checkout.

Here are some of the ways Digioh can capture emails from abandoning shoppers.

For returning visitors:

  • We can retrieve emails of logged-in visitors from their account to trigger a cart recovery email or browse abandonment emails.
  • If returning visitor is not logged in, we retrieve their email address from a cookie/local storage.

For first-time visitors, we can use a mix of strategies to capture their email:

  • Exit-intent pop-up with a special gift or coupon offer.
  • JavaScript event listeners that capture emails entered into the first step of checkout, even if the user doesn't submit.
  • Other forms on your site, such as product quizzes.
  • If the visitor arrives via your email newsletter, Digioh can capture email addresses that are appended to the URL.

Digioh can also capture the contents of a visitor's cart, along with the items they browse, enabling you to send personalized abandonment emails that recover more sales.

Choosing a Cart/Checkout Abandonment Tool

As you choose a cart abandonment solution, there are a few more considerations to keep in mind.

  1. Does it integrate with your marketing stack? How flexible and customizable is the integration? Can you collect custom field data and pass it directly to your ESP?
  2. Can you use an array of tactics to capture visitor information, such as quizzes or other multi-step forms?
  3. Can you control the timing of the cart recovery emails, so there’s a delay that allows shoppers to come back and finish shopping?
  4. Does your solution offer a one-click cart rebuild feature?
  5. Does your solution offer mobile cart and checkout abandonment?
  6. Can you trigger unique, one-time-use coupon codes to incentivize sales while preventing coupon sharing?
  7. And important: if you’re in the EU, does your solution have GDPR-compliant settings?

Digioh has 400+ built-in integrations, plus we build completely custom back-end integrations. Whatever your setup, we’re happy to help you.

We also give you full control over your cart abandonment campaigns, including:

  • Timing: control exactly when your cart recovery emails are sent
  • GDPR-compliant cart abandonment settings
  • Mobile checkout and cart abandonment
  • One-click cart rebuild feature

With all these strategies in place, Digioh’s clients see 10% increase in revenue, on average.

Want to learn more about our Digioh’s eCommerce solution? Check out our shopping cart abandonment features. We’d be happy to answer any questions (even if they’re not Digioh related)!

Rishi Shah
Co-Founder & CEO
For over a decade, Rishi Shah has been a noteworthy leader in the digital marketing space. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Digioh and is passionate about helping businesses increase their marketing ROI by converting more website visitors to subscribers and customers. He currently resides in San Francisco, California, and enjoys hiking on the weekend with his wife and 2 kids.

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