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Prevent apparel site cart abandonment with 1-2-1 hyper-personalized deals and offers

Rich Towey
June 21, 2021
9 mins

Cart abandonment is an all too common event for most online retailers. Shopping cart abandonment rates vary by country, category, and target audience, but there is no brand that can’t benefit from getting more customer shopping carts over the finish line.

This RevLifter piece is designed to help fashion and apparel retailers take action against this business-harming phenomenon.

The data surrounding cart abandonment

Data for average abandoned cart rates vary considerably. Our analysis of data reported by various research, trade association, and commercial sources showed customer eCommerce cart abandonment rates ranging from the mid-fifties to the mid-nineties.

A 2020 Statista report showed that unconverted cart rates vary significantly by category, from just under 60% for online insurance purchases to 94% for baby and child products.

Cart abandonment rates by retail category

The fashion and apparel industry has some of the highest abandoned cart statistics in commerce today. The study mentioned above shows that an average of 91% apparel merchant customer shopping carts are abandoned. Even if your own fashion website cart abandonment rate is 10 or 20 points better than that, it’s clear that there would be tremendous upside in improving the stickiness of your checkout flow.

The plot thickens further when looking at the ascendant devices for web access – mobile and tablet – which actually produce 20% higher average cart abandonment rates than desktop. Checkout platform Bolt offers statistics that corroborate these findings, indicating that it’s even easier to leave an online shopping cart behind on a small screen.

For many brands in the apparel industry, rates of abandonment have climbed over the years despite concerted efforts to reduce them. Some of the tactics aimed at keeping users on-site include a streamlined checkout process, an enhanced checkout experience, cart abandonment emails, recovery emails, a raft of exit-intent cart abandonment solution products, retargeted ads, push notification, and permission-based cart abandonment texts.

Given the growing number of these tools, the increased prioritization of shopping experience, and the fact that industry checkout abandonment continues to rise, it’s likely that were it not for these tools, cart abandonment would be even more pronounced today. In other words, popular tactics like abandoned cart emails are helping us blunt the pain of a larger trend toward consumer non-involvement.

Rates of shopping cart abandonment by apparel types

We haven’t seen a great deal of data pointing to different cart abandonment rates by class of apparel sold by a merchant. That said, shopping cart abandonment is known to be an issue for anyone selling apparel. It affects:

Men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel

Rates for children appear to run slightly higher than for other classes of clothing, perhaps because shoppers need to be more careful with their money given the need for so much clothing as kids grow.

Budget, mid and luxury clothing price points

Anecdotally, we’ve seen ‘budget’ retailers drive somewhat lower shopping cart abandonment rates. This could be down to many of the largest retailers being able to offer highly advantageous pricing because of their scale.

Branded vs. house brand

It makes sense for consumers to compare pricing for branded apparel available in multiple locations. House brands, because they are only available from one retailer, do not drive price comparison searches to the same degree, though many users will likely look for similar items.

By global region

Cart abandonment rates are high almost everywhere, with the highest experienced in Asia and less affluent parts of Europe.

Why people abandon carts

An enormous amount of research has been done into cart abandonment causes for eCommerce retailers in fashion and apparel as well as the larger online retail industry.

The top reasons why people leave eCommerce stores include:

  • Bad UX
  • Unexpected or unanticipated costs
  • High overall pricing
  • The availability of better deals elsewhere
  • Account creation requirements
  • Complex checkouts

Here are a couple of great sources for data that point to the severity of each of these challenges:

FOMO – the fear of missing out

At RevLifter, we focus a great deal of attention on the impact that the coupon code input space of a cart page has on conversion rates. As a consumer, you may be fully ready to transact, but the very presence of the coupon code box alerts or reminds you of the opportunity to find a discount with some online searching. Observed shopping behaviors and cart abandonment statistics reflect this phenomenon.

So how does this impact the abandonment rate of your apparel site? The problem is that many of the people who spawn a new browser window and to conduct “brand+coupon” searches on Google end up on coupon sites that barrage their visitors with offers. It’s common for customers to be driven to competitors, delaying their purchase or forgetting to transact. Since cart recovery is always more difficult than preventing the online shopper from abandoning in the first place, it stands to reason that brands should do all they can to maximize their direct traffic.

Voucher and coupon sites are a critical consideration for apparel retailers.

Offers pages mitigate these shopping cart abandonment statistics by creating hyper-personalized deals pages that ranks higher than coupon sites due to living on your own eCommerce site or another high-quality URL. Campaigns then divert traffic away from coupon and voucher sites, and toward your URL, allowing you to increase your direct traffic. This not only drives more visitors to your eCommerce store, but also improves transaction completion and conversion rates.

Importantly, the offers delivered on an offers page are goal-oriented. They can provide ways to reduce the shipping cost for a new customer, supply methods of stretching the cart for a bigger saving, or even a delayed payment option. The key is what will convert that individual user from eCommerce cart abandonment behaviors.

For the apparel industry, increasing direct traffic is a powerful way to boost sales and profit. The high competitive nature of the fashion space makes it essential for the brand to influence the customer journey as comprehensively as possible.

Since most apparel purchases are highly discretionary, we cannot rely on a naturally occurring sense of must-buy to get people through checkout. Instead, we have to use merchandising and intelligent offers to get more people over the line. The high shopping cart abandonment rate experienced by most apparel eCommerce sites reflects this dynamic and the enormous business opportunity it provides.

Faulty/expired coupon codes

According to a recent study, a key cause of cart abandonment is learning that a discount code is not actually valid. The logic is that customers experience a high degree of disappointment, which leads to shopping cart abandonment. Indeed, it’s said that 46% of individuals who enter expired or otherwise invalid coupon codes abandon their purchases.

For many fashion brands, this is a key contributor to their shopping cart abandonment rate. We all know that expired voucher and coupon codes often linger online for many months after they are no longer valid. Additionally, many bad actors create fraudulent codes to drive traffic and then try to manipulate credit for purchases. The more popular the eCommerce site, the more likely it is that there are fraudulent offers available online and a higher incidence of abandoned shopping carts.

Offer-code boxes are an essential part of most apparel checkout pages. But if we can get the shopper to avoid an off-site search for deals, we can prevent them from leaving the site without transacting.

Addressing this undesirable customer behavior is one of the reasons why many RevLifter clients leverage our . T enables the delivery of hyper-personalized deals and offers throughout your site. Offers can be delivered in overlays, light boxes, in-line formats, and innovative applications like wallets.

Many brands use overlays in part to deliver customer offers in key moments of checkout flows. We offer a specific solution called Invalid Code Offers that delivers a small discount to the customer if they submit an invalid or expired voucher code.

In the apparel industry, Invalid Code Offers can drive large conversion rate increases, even if the consolation discounts are relatively modest. By presenting an offer to the customer in this manner, we reduce their level of disappointment and develop a stronger sense that we care about them as an individual.

Also, keeping a user in the buyer flow is definitely more effective and efficient than any abandoned cart recovery solution available. After all, there’s no need for abandoned cart emails if the user gets through the checkout unassisted in the first place.

Bad checkout process

Nothing can pop the balloon of excitement a customer feels around great pieces than a hard-to-navigate store. Bad checkout is a top driver of shopping cart abandonment. A great checkout is becoming more and more important as UX king Amazon begins to take a larger and larger share of online sales. According to CNBC, Amazon claims to now control 35% of the online apparel industry. That’s seven times more than the next largest competitor, Macy’s.

Marketplace Pulse also reports that Amazon is now driving 9% of sales from its private-label brands, a new threat to leading apparel merchants and one where outstanding values might contribute to increased shopping cart abandonment for other online players. The reality in 2021 is that your core customer is likely an Amazon shopper as well. If that doesn’t make you want to invest in a great checkout, perhaps nothing will.

At RevLifter, we are big believers in creating urgency and excitement throughout the online shopping experience. That’s the key inspiration behind overlays. By presenting appealing offers throughout your eCommerce store, including in the cart, product, and homepage, we can dial up customer involvement and get more shoppers over the finish line.

A few of the most popular overlay tactics


Our platform can trigger offers if a customer shows signs of abandonment before they actually take that ill-fated step. Those signals include CTRL-C, which indicates that the user is copying a fashion product’s name for a Google search.

We also flag instances of mouse movement toward the upper right (PC) or upper left (Mac) corner of the screen, and low levels of mouse engagement. Based on these signals, we can rekindle interest with discreet offers delivered in a host of formats. This drives the user to engage and complete the checkout process, which serves as a great way to prevent abandonment, and with it the need for tactics like cart abandonment emails.


Here we show creative with a countdown clock to indicate the timely expiry of an offer. This stimulates more interest in buying now, rather than leaving anything to chance. It’s an incredibly effective way to drive completed purchases.


These offers provide an incentive if the clothing shopper buys more, using a threshold somewhat above their current basket size. We often add a progress bar to these units to add even more urgency to the proposition.


This powerful, AI-enabled offering prevents cart abandonment by making previously presented offers easy to find. The solution is dynamically populated with offers that sweeten the pot or suggest items that the user is likely to be interested in, based on their interactions with the retailer’s site. RevLifter’s Offers Wallet can become a useful part of the clothing shopper’s entire experience, especially on the product and shopping cart pages.

High costs/unexpected charges

Many people abandon shopping carts because the cost is much higher than they expected, potentially due to unexpected charges like high shopping and handling fees.

Thankfully 1-2-1 personalized deals are a great way to soften the dreaded ‘sticker shock’. Using overlays, these can be delivered in a variety of ways, including in-line, overlays, and more.

Account creation requirements

We all know the value of a logged-in user. Having someone log in to their account enables us to customize the apparel shopper’s experience, and build a richer profile of that individual for future personalization. However, many users object to the requirement to create an account prior to making a purchase.

Some customers view it as daunting, time-consuming, and possibly as an invasion of their privacy. Having an easy-to-use guest checkout experience can make a big difference to the abandoned shopping cart instances on your eCommerce site.

One way that RevLifter can help is by providing an extra incentive for account creation, if the brand heavily values logged-in users. For example, imagine a 10% discount on sportswear with guest checkout, or a 15% discount for a logged-in user. This type of offer can be a boon for account creation rates as it provides compensation for the investment of time.

Learn more

If you found this discussion of fashion and apparel eCommerce site cart abandonment rates valuable, check out our blog on The Past, Present, and Future of eCommerce Promotions.

For more information on the topic, visit the RevLifter website, head to our learning section for free downloadable content, or request a demo now. With the right approaches, you can reduce the need for messy tactics like cart recovery emails by ensuring that far more of your apparel shoppers complete their purchases in the same visit.