Login to eSurveysPro.com

Online Survey Software


Shopping Cart Abandonment Surveys

Learn all about Shopping Cart Abandonment Surveys

How many people abandon shopping carts on your website? Website and shopping cart abandonment is a significant issue for many e-commerce companies as well as traditional companies that rely on online registration. Understanding why people abandon carts and registration pages, and developing ways to address their concerns can help you increase your conversion rates considerably, thereby cutting costs and improving sales.

Using eSurveysPro to survey your website visitors is easy and effective. When the visitor leaves your site, survey them on the next webpage they see, or use a separate pop-up window. With eSurveysPro, you will get real-time results, giving you the information you need to make any necessary changes to your website.

Some Factors Influencing Abandonment Rates

According to various research reports, abandonment rates can be as high as 67%. What contributes to such high rates? According to a research study performed by Global Millennia Marketing in 2002, the reasons are:

  1. Cost of shipping too high and not shown until checkout (69%)
  2. Changed mind and discarded cart contents (61%)
  3. Comparison shopping or browsing (57%)
  4. Total cost of items is too high (49%)
  5. Saving items for later purchase (47%)
  6. Checkout process is too long (44%)
  7. Out of stock products at checkout time (39%)
  8. Checkout requires too much personal information (35%)
  9. Poor site navigation and long download times (31%)
  10. Lack of sufficient product or contact information (31%)
  11. Checkout process is confusing (27%)
  12. Site requires registration before purchase (23%)
  13. Site unclear on delivery times (17%)
  14. No order tracking options (16%)
  15. No gift certificates (11%)

These statistics, however, represent a number of different sites, and may not be applicable to your site. You need to ask your site visitors why, just after they abandon your purchase page. To evolve your website in a way that improves your visitors' experiences, implement ongoing shopping cart abandonment surveys to understand where the issues lie and if any trends exist.

How to Implement Abandonment Surveys

The best time to find out why a shopping cart is abandoned is when that visitor leaves the purchase page without pressing the "Purchase Now" or "Submit" buttons. A short pop-up survey could gather valuable information. With eSurveysPro, you can pass information from the visitors' online activity to the survey file as hidden fields so that the number of questions you ask can be minimized and the data you have available in the survey file can be more valuable.

Since you may not have contact information from a visitor who hasn't completed the purchase or registration process, you cannot send an email invitation. Even if you do have contact information and are able to send an email invitation, the visitor may not remember the circumstances of abandonment or be concerned about the privacy of their activities on your site.

What Questions to Ask

The two major questions you want to answer through your abandonment survey are:

  • Why did the visitor choose not to complete the purchase?
  • What can the company / website change to encourage future purchases?

By including data from the visit through hidden fields, such as shopping cart total and types of products abandoned, and by asking a few demographic questions, you will build a good set of profiles for who abandons and why.

Limit the number of questions each visitor answers to fewer than seven. Why? The visitor has already shown a tendency to abandon your site, so keeping the survey short will make them more likely to complete it!

Your survey might start out:

Thank you for visiting MySite.com today. I notice that you didn't complete your purchase today. Could you answer four quick questions to help us understand why?

I chose not to complete the purchase today because: (select top 3 reasons)

  Order total was higher than I expected
  Cost of shipping too high
  Products out of stock
  Too much personal information requested
  Concerned about the website's security
  Changed mind about products
  Comparison shopping
  Will purchase later
  Checkout process is too long
  Checkout process is confusing
  Poor site navigation
  Insufficient product information
  Site unclear on delivery times
  No order tracking

These responses fall into four categories: cost, security, no true purchase intent, and user experience. The follow up questions could branch to other questions, based on which category(ies) of responses they chose, or you could pipe their responses to your next question(s). For example, if the respondent was concerned about pricing issues, you might ask:

Compared to similar types of websites, how does MySite.com compare:

   Much Better       Better       Not as Good       Much Worse   
Shipping charges
Shipping charges
Product prices

If you use a matrix question such as this one, keep the number of items down to three or four. Matrix questions are easy to answer, and you can compare responses across items. If they are too long however, visitors may abandon the question altogether.

Alternately, you could ask about online purchasing behavior. There are many people who are just browsing that choose never to buy online. Other visitors may be regular online purchasers, but still do not purchase from your site. Implementing this type of question can be extremely valuable when you compare other responses based on their response to this question.

Next are your demographic questions. Keep these simple and brief. What you ask is driven by the types of buyers who visit your site. Here are a few demographic questions that may be useful for you to ask:

Example Business Demographic Questions
Example Consumer Demographic Questions
  • What industry are you in?
  • What department do you work in?
  • What size is your company?
  • What is your job title?
  • Where do you live? (City, state or country)
  • What are your gender, age-range, education level and household income?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?

You may also find it valuable to ask how they first heard about your website. If you are advertising or running promotions, knowing which of these activities result in abandonment rather than purchases can help you choose which method to continue.

Last, ask what changes you could make to encourage future purchases. You may choose either a single or multi-select format, or even an open-ended question. Over time, however, you may want to use the responses from an open-ended question to develop single or multi-select formats. They are much easier and faster to interpret, and facilitate cross-tabulation and filtering.

How to Review Results

Set up a review schedule for your survey results. Depending on your organization and the level of site traffic, you may find it valuable to review results once a week. If you are planning a significant change in your website, be certain to track how responses change as the site changes.

Step one: Look at each question independently. Do you see specific trends or obvious areas of concern? If you are using the four categories for abandonment mentioned above, or if you have developed several discrete categories that better fit your website, identify which category is represented the most.

Step two: Use eSurveysPro's filtering feature to select particular demographic groups. Are there specific areas of concern for these groups? From earlier website visitor surveys, you may have developed several user or purchaser profiles. Refer to these demographic sets to see if there are trends.

Step three: Compare results based on hidden field data. You might find specific trends based on the type of product abandoned, the order total or date / day of the week. You may also find it valuable to look at this data filtered by visitor profiles.

What to do Next

Now that you have identified why visitors are abandoning carts, and which visitors are most likely to do so, you can prioritize website changes. You will have clear data about which changes are most likely to result in the best improvement in conversion rates.

After you make any updates to your website, do a comparison study of survey results before and after the change. eSurveysPro makes it easy to filter your responses by date so you can see if there are any issues or trends that emerge as a result of the changes.


Knowing why visitors leave your website is critical. This knowledge will give your company insight into what they can do to keep visitors from abandoning your website thus improving the chance of securing their business. eSurveysPro gives you the tools to survey your visitors to find out who they are and what their interests are. This data is powerful as it will help you learn how to improve their overall website experience.

Survey Templates

Customer satisfaction surveys

Take a look at our survey samples related to customer satisfaction. 5 templates are available right now.

Human resources surveys

Take a look at our survey samples related to human resources. 5 templates are available right now.

Marketing research surveys

Take a look at our survey samples related to marketing research. 2 templates are available right now.

Services evaluation surveys

Take a look at our survey samples related to services evaluation. 2 templates are available right now.

Academic questionnaire templates

Take a look at our academic questionnaire samples. We have 2 templates available right now.

Tips & tricks

Steps in preparing an online questionnaire

Learn how you can prepare your online questionnaire. How to conduct an online survey.

10 Easy Ways To Increase Response Rates

It's never easy to have people answering your survey. Check out this article about how to increase your response rates.

Survey Design - Writing Great Questions for Online Surveys

The design of your questionnaire is very important. This is a guide that will point out the common problems.

Measuring Customer Loyalty and Customer Satisfaction

Are you interested in what your customers think about your products? Create a survey and study that.

Most Effective Ways To Invite Survey Participants

See which are the most effective ways to invite people to answer your surveys.