Graham Charlton
Graham Charlton 5 February 2018

Why fashion sites have the lowest cart abandonment rates

Fashion retailers enjoy the lowest abandonment rates across five sectors we tracked, so I'm looking at the reasons for this, and the lessons other retailers can learn.

The average cart abandonment rate for online fashion retailers in Q4 2017 was 65.9%, much lower than the overall average of 77%. 

Fashion sites also have the highest conversion rates of three sectors we looked at – 3.7% compared to 3.3% for retail and 3.1% for travel.


So why do fashion sites seem to be out-performing other sectors? Here are a few possible reasons: 

Faster purchase decisions

Of course, some fashion buys will take some time to research, outfits for special events could be one example. 

However, it's generally a relatively fast process from research to purchase when people are looking to buy some jeans or a pair of shoes. 

It's normally a simple task to buy clothing too, which helps to reduce abandonment. 

Mobile commerce

Fashion sites have seen the potential of mobile as a sales channel, and have generally been quick to adapt to the growing use of smartphones for shopping. 

In terms of converting mobile traffic into mobile sales, fashion retailers out-perform other sectors

Mobile accounts for 65.4% of traffic to fashion retailers, and 57.1% of sales. It's a closer gap between traffic and sales than any other sector. 


This success on mobile is partly due to the simplicity of purchase, but retailers have also worked hard on creating responsive mobile sites which provide a good user experience on mobile. 

Factors such as ease of checkout make a difference, and anything which makes buying easier and speeds up the process helps to reduce abandonment rates. 

For example, payment shortcuts like Apple Pay can be used to make buying via mobile much easier. 


Easy returns

Many fashion retailers realise that returns are a key factor in the decision to buy online. People buying clothing may have doubts about size and fit, so they need to know they can return items easily if they aren't quite right. 


For this reason, many fashion sites offer free and flexible returns, and are keen to make this clear to visitors. 

For more cart abandonment data, see our Q4 Remarketing Report

Nic Nouvion
Nic Nouvion

Very interesting article!
Fashion can be more of an impulse buy, and with ease of returns it might not feel like a commitment. Comparing with other sectors, where it's almost impossible to cancel a flight, it seems only natural that Fashion retail has a higher conversion rate.
Fashion retail also has the highest rate of return.
What would be interesting is to see the Net Sales (total minus returns) for all sectors to better understand ecommerce. No?

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