Abandoned Carts: A Look into Shoppers’ Time Spent on Site

At Metrical, we use real-time shopper data to predict cart abandonment before it happens. Compared to email reminders—a post-abandonment action—our solution is proactive: engaging shoppers while they’re still on the website, before they abandon their cart.

One question we are investigating is how quickly shoppers abandon their carts after the first item is added to cart. This information indicates the time you have to convert a visit into a purchase.

Here is how we sought out the answer: Based on the shopper activity data from the first quarter of this year, we segmented all shopping carts into two types: the new carts created during the first visit, and the re-visited carts—existing carts created in the previous sessions; we then analyzed the session duration from the point of cart creation to the time of abandonment for both types of carts.

For new carts we found that after the first item was added to a cart, on average 25% of shoppers abandoned their carts within one minute and 50% of shoppers abandoned the carts within three and half minutes. We also validated something we suspected: shoppers on desktop devices stayed on websites 65% longer than those on mobile devices.

Figure 1 - Session Duration Statistics for New Carts


For the re-visited carts we found that on average, 25% of the shoppers abandoned their carts within one minute and 50% of the shoppers abandoned the carts around five minutes, which is one and half minutes longer than that of new carts. For a typical session for re-visited carts, shoppers stayed on the website 140% longer when shopping with a desktop than with a mobile device!

Figure 2 - Session Duration Statistics for Re-visited carts


This information will help retailers to act quickly to engage shoppers that have created carts but are likely to abandon. Of course retailers should determine what their own site’s abandonment behavior looks like and not just act on the data in this post. There are some further questions of interest, such as: Do shoppers stay longer when they add multiple items to a cart? And, is there a correlation between how long it takes for the shoppers to add the first item to a cart and how long it takes them to abandon the cart?  

If you’re interested in finding out the answers to these questions, then stay tuned for our next analysis of shopper behavior.


Don’t let your online customer experience fall by the wayside. Metrical helps online merchants and retailers figure out how to deliver targeted messaging that improves the buying experience, converts shoppers into buyers, and be better positioned to build a loyal customer base. Interested in knowing more? Drop us a line!