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Cart Abandonment in the Cross Device Era



A mini whitepaper by Barilliance based on an international online study of more than 98,000 website visits that originated from clicks on cart abandonment emails. The study was conducted on April 2014.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                .  For additional information contact:


Do you have a smartphone in your pocket? Or a tablet on your desk as you read this? If you answered yes, then you’re part of the trend that’s happening. Google is reporting that over 77% of search activities are done from the office or from home which suggests that people can access a desktop but many choose to use their mobile device. Additional research from Google suggest that over 90% of users are completing their online activities while switching from one device to another.


According to the research data, smartphones are fast becoming ubiquitous – with penetration of 80.6% in the US.

As you’ve probably already experienced as a
marketer, the growing usage of mobile devices poses a real challenge. You have to adapt marketing solutions to the ever changing cross device environment.

The challenge:

As cross device shopping becomes more popular, marketers who use cart abandonment software have problems where shopping sessions don’t transfer between devices.

Cart abandonment emails contain items from previous shopping sessions. The emails include a link that should lead shoppers back to the site to complete the purchase. However, those links sometimes lead to an empty shopping cart page, which can get the customer “lost in the cracks” of your website and to get frustrated. The reason for these ‘broken’ links is that the visitor added items to the cart on a different device. Therefore, the current device is not aware of the cart items, because of a different session cookie.

The solution:

Recognize the shopper across devices

To address the device-hopping trend, Barilliance has developed a Cross Device recognition technology.

When customers click your cart abandonment email, the Barilliance system identifies if the email is opened on a different device from the device originally used for the shopping session. In cases the device is different, the system still presents customers with their original shopping cart. This allows your customers to seamlessly continue the shopping session across devices. Ultimately this leads to higher conversion rates, revenue and more satisfied customers.

Methodology and definitions:

This study utilized data from the Barilliance e-commerce personalization suite. The study is based on 98,140 website visits that originated from clicks on cart abandonment emails, during April 2014. The emails were automatically triggered following a session on a Computer, Tablet or a Smartphone.

We defined the following parameters:

  1. Visits – Website sessions that originated from clicks on cart abandonment emails.
  2. Conversion rate – the percentage of sales out of the total number of visits.
  3. Browsing Origin – The device on which the original browsing session happened (Computer, Tablet, Smartphone).  The cart abandonment emails were triggered following a browsing session that started on one of these devices.
  4. Conversion Device – the device on which the email was opened and resulted in a purchase (Computer, Tablet, Smartphone).


From the 98,140 visits, 19,204 converted into a sale. A total conversion rate of 19.6%. 

In other words our study showed that 1 in every 5 shoppers who opened and clicked on a link within a cart abandonment email, made a purchase.

1 in every 5 shoppers who opened and clicked on a link within a cart abandonment email, made a purchase


Conversion rates on the various devices were as follows:


Looking at shoppers who clicked on a link within a cart abandonment email for individual devices, for both Tablet and Computer, 1 out of 5 people made a purchase while for a smartphone 1 out of 10 did.


2016 data  From 1-January – 10- December

Device Conversion rate
Overall conversion15.24%

Cross Device Trends

We decided to look even closer into the shopping habits of device hoppers and examine the differences in the browsing origin device and final conversion device used.

First we look at the conversion device and examine the number of the conversations made that are attributed to different browsing origins. Then, we examined the origin device used and how it impacted the type of device used in the final conversion.

1) The Browsing Origin Device Used for Different Conversion Devices

graph-1 graph-2

(December 2016 Data)

Our findings show that for most conversions, the browsing origin and conversion devices are the same.  Shoppers who originally used a Computer most often preferred to finalize their purchase on the same computer (95%). However, when it comes to mobile and tablet conversion devices the proportions are much lower, meaning the device-hopping habit is more prevalent. Of the shoppers who finalized their shopping session on a smartphone, 41% began it on a different device. Likewise, 21% of shoppers who finalized their purchase on a Tablet, began their session on another device

41% of shoppers who finalized their shopping session on a smartphone originated it on a different device.

2) The Impact of Different Browsing Origin Device on Conversion Devices

Browsing Origin = Smartphone

18.1% of visits that occurred following a session that started on a Smartphone, were converted into a sale.  


From those conversions:

70% – converted on a Smartphone

7%– converted on a Tablet

23% – converted on a Computer  

What’s interesting is that 30% of the people, who opened a cart abandonment email after a shopping session on a Smartphone, actually finished their purchase on a different device.

This emphasizes the previous point that showed the prevalence of device-hopping consumers. As the previous graph showed, 41% of the shoppers who finalized their purchase on the Smartphone had started their shopping session on a different device (Computer or a Tablet).  

December 2016 data:


Browsing origin = Tablet

20.1% of visits that occurred following a session that started on a Tablet were converted into a sale.  

From those conversions:graph-5

7% – converted on a Smartphone

66% – converted on a Tablet

27% – converted on a Computer

When you add that up, it’s interesting. 34% of customers, who started a shopping session on a Tablet and converted through a remarketing email, finalized their purchase on a different device (Computer or a Smartphone).

December 2016 data:


Browsing origin = Computer

19.6% of visits that occurred following a session that started on a Computer were converted into a sale.

From those conversions:graph-7

3% – converted on a Smartphone

2% – converted on a Tablet

95% – converted on a Computer

It is not surprising that 95% of customers, who started their browsing session on their computer, completed their purchase on the computer.  This finding correlates with the custom of computer users to have longer sessions online, than when using a mobile or tablet “on the go”. Thus, when a cart abandonment email is sent an hour after browsing, computer users are still likely to be on their computer to complete their purchase.

December 2016 data:



The study shows that device hopping is rife among mobile shoppers. Almost 1 of every 3 shoppers who started their shopping session on a Smartphone or a Tablet completed their purchase on a different device (30% in the case of Smartphone users and 34% of Tablet users).  The hopping trend intensifies in the case of Smartphone users, where 41% of customers who performed a purchase on their Smartphone did so following an initial browsing session that was conducted on another device.

Another interesting finding of this survey is how confident tablet users were to finalize a purchase on their Tablet. 19.5% of shoppers, who clicked on a link in a cart abandonment email on their Tablet, ended up converting. This is almost as high as the conversion rate on Computers which stood at 21%.

This study also proves the effectiveness, and revenue-enhancing potential of cart abandonment emails. The overall conversion rate of visits from cart abandonment emails was 19.6% (almost 1 in 5 emails converted into a sale) – extremely high by any marketer’s standards.


As we have mentioned earlier, with an increasing device-hopping habit it becomes easier for customers to get lost between the cracks. Shoppers can get frustrated if they lose their carts, or can’t continue a session.

Common recommendations to address device hoppers are to implement responsive design and website testing on multiple platforms. However, more can be done in the marketing space. Barilliance recommends the following actions:

  1. Make sure your triggered emails provider offers a solution for cross device emails. A solution should present the abandoned products when the customer arrives to the site on a new device. This will allow the consumer complete their purchase seamlessly.
  1. Increase conversions on Smartphones by adding a ‘click to call’ button specifically on emails that are opened on Smartphones. This allows the user to finalize the purchase, on the spot, with one click that initiates a call to your store. Again, this overcomes any resistance to shopping whilst using another device.
  1. Be more proactive with email capture tactics on mobile devices. Since mobile shoppers are likely to finish their purchase on a tablet or computer, offer to save their cart or send a visit summary email to them.

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