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Opportunities to cash in on abandoned carts


Attracting customers is always important. But ensuring they complete their online purchases is absolutely crucial.

By taking steps to reduce online shopping cart abandonment, businesses can capture new opportunities to convert more digital shoppers.

Online shopping accounts for more than $5.2 trillion in sales worldwide and is expected to reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, or nearly one-quarter of all global retail sales.1

The global pandemic brought on a rapid surge in online retail spending. Since then, e-commerce spending has continued to grow, with 43% of consumers planning to increase online shopping during 2023.2 “To a large degree, COVID continues to influence the experiences of consumers and the industries that cater to them,” the survey noted.2

While consumers’ preference grows for online shopping, statistics show a staggering 80% global average cart abandonment rate for all e-commerce sectors.3 Indeed, global cart abandonment rates have gradually increased since 2014.4 For online retailers, this loss of sales can have a dramatic impact on potential revenue. But at the same time, these figures also present a major opportunity to convert digital shoppers.

If retailers could reduce the dropout rate—even by a small percentage—billions in untapped revenue could be gained. Improving the online shopping and checkout experience could salvage $260 billion in potential sales.5 With total e-commerce sales in the U.S. exceeding $1 trillion in 2022, the opportunity to ensure against losing online sales is significant.6

Going forward, how can retailers win more customers and turn an ongoing industry weakness into one of the greatest revenue opportunities for e-commerce?

Your business can start with the following strategies that will help you cash in at the cart

1. Remove unnecessary steps at checkout

A recent study showed that nearly one-fourth of cardmembers will abandon their purchase online if the checkout process is too lengthy.7

Customers cite unnecessary steps, such as:

  • Filling out separate name and address fields
  • Providing separate home and billing addresses
  • Creating an account prior to purchase

One technology that is key to delivering a frictionless online checkout experience is Discover® Secure Remote Commerce (SRC). This globally interoperable checkout solution enables a Click to Pay checkout experience that is more simple, streamlined and secure. By streamlining the customer payment process—eliminating passwords and the need to repeatedly fill in payment and shipping information, for example—studies suggest that the final payment steps can help retailers capture many of the customer transactions that are otherwise lost. In fact, one survey showed that 35% of merchants cited reducing cart abandonment as a primary driver for implementing/enabling SRC.8


2. Provide a variety of payment methods

Online retail is now a global phenomenon even post-pandemic. A recent survey showed that 58% of global consumers plan to spend most of their discretionary income online in 2023.9

So, it’s more important than ever to offer a variety of payment methods to satisfy the needs of not only your local base but international customers as well. In all, 93% of customers in the U.S. and Canada said it was important for online businesses to provide the common payment methods in their country, and 81% said they would frequently abandon their cart if their preferred payment method wasn’t available.10

3. Show customers the cards you accept

When it comes to improving your customers’ payment experience, it’s not just about simplicity and variety, but also transparency.

Among the most important steps to reduce cart abandonment is to let customers know what card brands are accepted. While credit and debit cards remain the most popular payment methods worldwide, the use of mobile wallets is expanding. In fact, 78% of consumers have recently used a digital payment method or mobile wallet.11

By showing acceptance of Discover® Global Network cards, merchants not only conveyed acceptance of Discover Cards from the U.S. and Diners Club International,® but also opened their business to international cardholders, including Troy (Turkey), RuPay (India), BC (South Korea), Elo (Brazil) and more.

4. Remove account creation at checkout

In one study of online U.S. shoppers, 24% said they abandoned carts at checkout because they had to create a new account before they could complete their purchase.12 

Consumers demand speed, simplicity and ease when they are paying for their goods. Creating a new account is the last thing on consumers’ minds, especially as new online offers are abound as the ongoing pandemic pushes merchants online and competition increases.

Instead, merchants should consider innovative UX ideas, such as partial account creation—where only an email and password are needed—or a “shop as a guest” option. These simple changes can play a major role in the potential success of your business.

The long-term gains? Brand loyalty and incremental sales.

5. Seize the potential of autofill to avoid abandoned carts

Just as contactless has revolutionized in-store speed at POS, autofill has transformed e-commerce by creating a faster, shorter and more seamless checkout experience.

It’s not just time being saved. It’s sales, too. Some people use autofill as a way to remember their details when they don’t have their card number readily at hand.

Yet, to benefit from the increased conversion rates autofill can bring, e-commerce sites and
text fields within it need to be set up correctly. A poorly designed form that does not populate in a matter of seconds can be a significant source of frustration–even enough to lose a sale.

Let simplicity be your guide

Creating a simple, intuitive customer experience may lead to big rewards:

  • Streamline steps at the checkout
  • Accept a wide variety of payment methods—and clearly show which ones
  • Don’t force customers to create an account
  • Optimize your site for autofill

If online retailers used just some of these cart abandonment solutions with better checkout design, research shows that overall conversions could improve by over 35%.5

For any global e-commerce business looking for increased sales and improved customer satisfaction, the opportunity is clear. Consumers increasingly prefer convenient and frictionless digital experiences, and encouraging them with a more streamlined transaction journey is essential.


1 Statista, July 2022. “Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2026.” Viewed 22 February 2023.

2 PwC, February 2023. “Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey.” Viewed 22 February 2023.

3 SaleCycle, January 2023. “What is cart abandonment?” Viewed 22 February 2023.

4 Statista, June 2022. “Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide between 2006 to 2021.” Viewed 22 February 2023.

5 Baymard Institute, 2023. “48 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics 2023.” Viewed 22 February 2023.

6 U.S. Department of Commerce, February 2023. “Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales 4th Quarter 2022.”

7 C+R Research Study of 1,805 Discover Cardholders commissioned by DFS Services LLC and completed in February 2022.

8 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, November 2021. Key Findings: Global Merchant & Consumer Payments Survey: Commissioned by Discover Global Network.

9 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, 2022. Voice of the consumer: The global state of digital payments and Fintech.

10 Stripe, 2022. “The state of North American checkouts in 2022.”

11 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, July 2022. Global Consumer Fintech Survey: Key Findings.

12 Statista, June 2022. “Main reasons why consumers abandon their orders during the checkout process in the United States in 2022.” Viewed 22 February  2023

The information provided herein is sponsored by Discover® Global Network. It is intended for informational purposes, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.