The consumers behind online shopping cart abandonment. A research of the motivations, behavior and consumers behind online shopping cart abandonment

  • Daan Wildeboer Daan Wildeboer

The abandonment of used online shopping carts has become a common phenomenon in online retailing. With abandonment rates close to 70% this behavior perplexes e-commerce businesses.While research and literature on the topic focuses mostly on checkout abandonment, the real shopping cart abandonment is left somewhat underexplored.This research identifies the key motivations and behavior underlying shopping cart abandonment that occurs even before the checkout stage. A dichotomy in online shopping motivation between functional and hedonic shoppers provides the framework for this research. It reveals that hedonic shoppers view online shopping as an experiential, fun and adventurous activity, rather than a means to acquire a product. Their shopping behavior is characterized by the search for entertainment, motivated by the need to have fun, escape boredom or for self-gratification. Hedonic shoppers find this entertainment in the shopping experience itself.An important component of the hedonic online shopping experience is the placing of desired items in the shopping cart. This placing of items in the online shopping cart provides an enjoyable substitutefor buying. The (mouse)clicking and active interaction of placing products in the shopping cart provides the consumer with a sense of control and makes the shopping experience enjoyable and entertaining. The placing of the product in the cart is therefore not a means to obtain a particular product, but an experiential activity.The study in this research shows that hedonic consumers have a different shopping search behavior than functional shoppers. It confirms that functional shoppers are far less likely to use the shopping cart for entertainment than hedonic shoppers. This entertainment use of the shopping cart is significantly less likely to lead to a purchase and more likely to lead to an cart abandonment.The findings in this research offer an explanation for online shopping cart abandonment. For online retailers the research provides additional suggestions to deal with online cart abandonment and toimprove shopping-to-buying conversion rates.

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