How payments can help you beat abandoned checkout benchmarks in 2023

The cost of checkout abandonment can add up for large enterprises. Learn the top reasons for abandonment and how payments can help.

Conversion rate. Average order value. Customer acquisition cost. Lifetime value. When a new year comes around, many large enterprises like yours re-evaluate their priorities and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Accelerating growth and driving revenue are always the focus, but you may not know just how much your payment processor can help you hit your goals. And there’s one payment-related metric that could be especially important in 2023: abandoned checkout benchmarks.

What is abandoned checkout?

Abandoned checkout is when a customer abandons a purchase after they have started the process of entering their personal and payment information. Your organization’s abandoned checkout benchmark can help you identify customer pain points and solve problems in your checkout flow, for example too many form fields or lack of payment options.

In 2023, abandoned checkout benchmarks may become even more important as ecommerce competition increases and customer expectations rise. The checkout process can be a major point of friction for customers — and a source of lost revenue for large enterprises like yours.

Abandoned cart vs. abandoned checkout

Abandoned checkout rate is the percentage of customers that place an item in the cart, then abandon their purchase after beginning the checkout process. Abandoned cart rate is the percentage of customers that place an item in the cart, then abandon their cart at any point in the buyer’s journey, including while they are still browsing.

To understand abandoned cart vs. abandoned checkout, it’s helpful to learn the steps involved in payment processing and the buyer’s journey, particularly what happens when the customer checks out.

  1. Site visit: A customer lands on your website via a search engine, advertisement, or directly typing in your URL.
  2. Browsing: The customer begins to engage with your website, browsing products or performing searches.
  3. Adding items to cart: The customer finds something they like and adds it to their cart. They may continue adding, removing, and changing items before checking out.
  4. Checkout: The customer clicks “Check Out” or a variation, and is taken to a form page where they begin to enter their information.
  5. Payment: The customer clicks “Confirm Purchase” or a similar variation, and the payment is processed.
  6. Confirmation or decline: If the payment is approved, the customer receives a confirmation notice. If it is declined, they may be prompted to enter different information.

Abandoned checkout is any time a customer leaves the site after step four above. An abandoned cart can occur any time after step three. Your abandoned cart rate in 2023 will be just as important as your abandoned checkout rate, so we’ll discuss both here.

What is a good cart abandonment rate?

Abandoned cart and abandoned checkout benchmarks in 2023 will vary by industry, as well as business size. For example, the cruise and travel industry has one of the highest abandoned cart rates, at 98%.1

While it is difficult to predict the cart abandonment rate for large enterprise in 2023, we do have data from the second quarter of 2022 on the overall abandonment rate for desktop and mobile platforms:2

  • The ecommerce desktop abandonment rate was 72%
  • The mobile abandonment rate was 84%

Both of these percentages were slightly down from the previous quarter but up from the previous year.2 The year-over-year rise could mean that after the ecommerce boom in 2020, the changing economic landscape means customers have once again begun abandoning carts, causing rates to rise in 2021 and 2022. However, the quarter-over-quarter decline may mean that businesses are beginning to get a handle on their abandoned carts.

To continue to recover lost carts and encourage conversion in 2023, you may want to focus on making minor improvements to payment checkout pages and overall checkout flow.

This graphic shows abandoned checkout benchmarks for 2023 and the top reasons for abandonment, which we’ll discuss next.

Top reasons for high abandoned cart rates in 2023

Normal abandoned checkout rates for enterprise can vary, but customers’ reasons for ditching their carts typically remain constant. If you’ve begun to dig into your own abandoned checkout benchmarks in 2023, don’t forget to take a look at these customer pain points — and consider how your payment platform could help you solve them.

Lack of preferred payment methods

Simply offering the payment methods your customers want could help you seal the deal: In one survey, 59% of respondents said their customers have frequently abandoned a shopping cart when their preferred payment is unavailable.3

While many large enterprises offer traditional debit, credit, and ACH payments, they may be missing out on customers who prefer digital wallets and buy now, pay later (BNPL). On average, around half (46%) of digital wallet users are likely to abandon a purchase if they cannot use a digital wallet on a merchant's website.4 Plus, 66% of BNPL users have abandoned a purchase due to not seeing a BNPL option.5

To help prevent abandoned checkout, payment methods, including BNPL and digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, could be essential. PayPal can connect you with all those payment methods, plus Venmo (available in the US only), which has 90 million active accounts6 and 2 million merchants7 that accept it.

Additional fees and inconvenient returns

Perhaps the most common reason for abandoning a cart has to do with cost: 48% of U.S. consumers abandoned online purchases during checkout due to additional costs, such as shipping, taxes, or fees.8 And half of surveyed shoppers say they’ve abandoned their cart because there wasn’t a convenient return method.9

In 2023, abandoned checkout benchmarks like these may reflect growing economic concern among consumers. Real hourly earnings, which are adjusted for inflation, are declining,10 and Americans’ savings accounts are at their lowest levels in years.11 When customers see unexpected fees or feel they won’t be able to easily get their money back, they may abandon their cart.

You can help mitigate these losses by leveraging abandoned cart emails to offer discounts to lost customers. Our Store Cash feature sends an offer email to PayPal customers who abandon their carts. You choose the discount amount, and it’s automatically applied when they complete their purchase with PayPal.

Complicated checkout processes

Many customers desire frictionless shopping and checkout experiences. For some, adding steps or obstacles to your checkout process may be enough for them to leave your site — and increase your abandoned cart rate in 2023.

In fact, 24% of consumers report abandoning their cart because a site asked them to create an account,8 a process that may add precious time to the checkout process. Another 17% of consumers report abandoning their cart because the checkout process was too long or complicated.8 In today’s always-on, ultra-connected world, customers may simply not have the patience or time to fill out long forms or create accounts they feel they don’t need.

PayPal helps make the process as frictionless as possible with fast, easy checkout through the PayPal Wallet, Venmo, and many other payment methods. In fact, PayPal buy button checkout flow facilitates 43% faster checkout compared to those that do not use the feature.12

Lack of trust

Lack of trust ranks just as highly as long, complicated checkouts: 18% of consumers report abandoning their cart because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information.8 In another study, 79% of consumers rated “trust that their financial information is secure” as the number one factor when paying online.13 But how can an organization gain customers’ trust, especially in the digital age?

Offering the payment methods customers want can help: 71% of consumers are more likely to trust businesses that offer their preferred payment method.13 PayPal could help you gain that trust: We’re one of the most trusted brands across all payment providers.13 Beyond the PayPal button, we also offer Fraud Protection Advanced on eligible transactions to help large enterprises like yours mitigate fraud, protect yourself from illegitimate chargebacks, and keep customers’ data secure.

Poor mobile experience

The rise of mobile is a top payment technology trend: 65% of all US consumers made a purchase using a smartphone in 2022.14 But this shift to mobile could also be a top contributor to abandoned checkout benchmarks for 2023. The problem may lie in websites and checkout flows that aren’t optimized for mobile: buttons that are too small, form fields that are difficult to fill out, and slow load times that frustrate customers.

Payment processors like PayPal can help you optimize your checkout flow for mobile. We have scalable checkout solutions for web and mobile, and integrating streamlined payment methods like digital wallets, PayPal, and Venmo can help make mobile checkout even easier by requiring less customer information.

You don’t have to accept the normal abandoned checkout rates for enterprise. This year can be the year you help recover more abandoned carts, drive conversion, and create an experience that keeps customers coming back. Get our infographic, “5 ways to reimagine the customer experience to help drive online conversions,” to unlock more checkout best practices for enterprise organizations.

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