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The Difference Between Abandoned Carts and Abandoned Checkouts

Brody Hall
By Brody Hall
Davor Štefanović - Editor for KeepShoppers
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Updated May 11, 2023.

The difference between Abandoned cart and abandoned checkout

Abandoned carts and abandoned checkouts are two issues that every e-commerce store owner must know and deal with.

Abandoned Checkout vs. Abandoned Cart

What Is an Abandoned Checkout?

An abandoned checkout occurs when the customer adds items to their cart, proceeds to the checkout page, captures all of their personal information, but decides to abandon the order just before proceeding to make payment.

What Is an Abandoned Cart?

An abandoned cart is when a potential customer visits your store, adds items to their cart, and then leaves your store without progressing to the checkout page.

» Learn about the impact of abandoned carts and how to reduce their rates with WATI's WhatsApp Chat & Abandoned Cart

The Fine Line Between Abandoned Carts and Abandoned Checkouts

The main difference is that abandoned carts are generally much harder to recover than abandoned checkouts, especially if you're dealing with a first-time customer. Unlike abandoned checkouts, where customers leave your store after submitting their email address and other information that enables you to reach out to them when customers abandon their cart, they leave without even submitting an email address.

Dealing With Abandoned Carts

The best way to reduce cart abandonment rates is to get some information from customers as soon as possible, for example, their email address. Store owners typically do that by enticing their visitors to signup for newsletters, submit their email to get special offers, or any other "excuse" that convinces the visitor to share their email address early in the flow.

Another option is to use a cart-saving technique that shows a popup for the customer to save their cart if they attempt to leave your site without ordering the item in their cart.

As we can see from the examples above, the main principle behind abandoned cart recovery is to capture information about your potential customer as soon in the customer journey as possible. Having a sufficient amount of information will allow you to re-market to them effectively and increase the chances of eventually converting potential customers into paying customers and increasing your store's revenue as a result.

Final Thoughts

Every e-commerce store faces this challenge. That's why Shopify store owners should form an abandonment strategy to prevent abandoned carts and checkouts from happening in the first place, when possible, and to recover them when they happen. Merchants that put an abandonment strategy in place before launching their online store can benefit from it immediately from the fact that you've planned for this.