What Does Abandonment Mean?

Abandonment is an e-commerce term that refers to a situation when a visitor accesses a website but terminates any actions by leaving the page. The abandoned activities the Web host desires may include purchasing a product or service, or completing an online survey.


Online retailers lose profit when potential customers fail to follow through on a transaction.

Abandonment may also be referred to as shopping cart abandonment.

Techopedia Explains Abandonment

A common type of abandonment for online retailers is known as shopping cart abandonment, which occurs when the visitor has filled an online shopping cart but leaves the site before completing the purchase. According to Forrester Research, there are several causes of shopping cart abandonment, but shipping costs are a primary factor.

Naturally, online retailers are never pleased when their customers leave their websites. This is why experts advise retailers to ensure that their electronic stores are transparent, use accurate inventory management, are easy to use and that they have secure ordering capabilities for customers.

The issue of online shopping abandonment is on the rise. In June 2011, Forester reported a 71 percent rise in the phenomenon over 2010, which equates to an $18 billion loss in revenue for online retailers. As a result, software companies are emerging with e-commerce solutions to help combat this problem.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.