Abandonment rate

From CEOpedia | Management online

Abandonment rate refers to the percentage of customers or users who begin a certain process (such as starting an online checkout or beginning a phone call) but do not complete it. This can be used as a metric to measure the effectiveness of a website or customer service experience, as a high abandonment rate may indicate that customers are having difficulty completing the desired action. It also called as drop-off rate, bounce rate, or exit rate.

Calculation method

Abandonment rate is typically calculated as a percentage, and is determined by dividing the number of abandoned sessions (or interactions) by the total number of sessions (or interactions). For example, let's say a website has 100 sessions and 20 of them were abandoned before completion. The abandonment rate would be 20% (20 abandoned sessions / 100 total sessions = 0.20 or 20%).

Another way to calculate the abandonment rate is to use the following formula:

Abandonment rate = (Number of Abandoned sessions / Number of Started sessions) x 100

It's important to note that the specific steps or interactions that are considered part of the process can vary depending on the context. For example, an e-commerce website may consider adding an item to a cart and starting the checkout process as the beginning of the process, while a customer service call center may consider the process to begin when a customer is connected with an agent.

Another thing to note is that, if you are trying to measure the abandonment rate of a multi-step process, it's better to use a funnel abandonment rate, which measures the percentage of users who drop off at each step of the process.

Importance of abandoment rate

Abandonment rate is important for several reasons:

  • It can indicate customer dissatisfaction: A high abandonment rate may indicate that customers are having difficulty completing a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. This can be a sign of poor website design, confusing navigation, or other issues that are causing frustration for customers.
  • It can impact revenue: A high abandonment rate can lead to lost revenue, as customers are not completing the desired action (such as making a purchase).
  • It can help identify areas for improvement: By measuring abandonment rate, businesses can identify specific areas of their website or customer service experience that are causing customers to drop off. This can help them make targeted improvements to increase conversion rates and revenue.
  • It can indicate a problem with trust: A high abandonment rate can indicate that customers do not trust a business or website. This can be due to issues such as poor website security, lack of transparency, or other trust-related issues.
  • It can help you understand user behavior: By analyzing abandonment rate in conjunction with other metrics, such as bounce rate and conversion rate, businesses can gain a more comprehensive understanding of how customers interact with their website or service.
  • It can help you compare against industry standards: By comparing your own abandonment rate to industry standards, you can see how your business compares to others and identify opportunities for improvement.

Overall, monitoring and analyzing abandonment rate can help businesses improve their website, customer service, and overall customer experience, which can lead to increased conversion rates and revenue.

Abandoment rate factors

There are several factors that can impact abandonment rate, including:

  • Usability: A website or application that is difficult to navigate or use can lead to customers abandoning the process.
  • Length of process: The longer the process, the more likely customers are to abandon it.
  • Required information: Asking for too much personal or sensitive information can discourage customers from completing the process.
  • Technical issues: Technical problems such as slow loading times or broken links can lead to customers leaving a website or application.
  • Friction: Any additional step that does not add value to the process like a Captcha or additional form fields.
  • Price: If the cost of a product or service is higher than customers are willing to pay, they may abandon the process.
  • Alternatives: If customers have other options to consider, they are more likely to abandon the process.
  • Trust: If customers do not trust a website or business, they may not complete a purchase or other action.
  • Mobile Optimization: If your website is not mobile optimized, users on mobile devices will have a harder time completing the process which increases the chance of abandonment.
  • Personalization: If the process is not personalized to customer's preference, they may not find it relevant and drop off

It's important to note that some level of abandonment is normal, but a high rate could indicate a problem that needs to be addressed.

Similar metrics

Other metrics that are similar to abandonment rate include:

  • Bounce rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website after only viewing one page.
  • Exit rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website from a specific page.
  • Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Cart abandonment rate: This measures the percentage of customers who add items to their online shopping cart but do not complete the purchase.
  • Funnel abandonment rate: This measures the percentage of users who drop off at each step of a multi-step process, such as an online checkout.
  • Engagement rate: This measures how actively users engage with a website, application, or service.
  • Time on site: This measures how long a user stays on a website before leaving.
  • Return rate: This measures the percentage of users who return to a website after their initial visit.
  • Repeat purchase rate: This measures the percentage of customers who make more than one purchase from a business.

These metrics can be used in conjunction with abandonment rate to gain a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior and identify areas for improvement.

Abandonment raterecommended articles
SERVQUALAnalysis of customerPFMEACall systemAd viewRATER modelShopping cart abandonmentActivity measurePost-purchase dissonanceAuthentic leadership theory


  • MUSTER, Robert Florentin. Online shopping abandonment rate a new perspective: the role of choice conflicts as a factor of online shopping abandonment. 2016. Master's Thesis. University of Twente.
  • FEINBERG, Richard A., et al. Operational determinants of caller satisfaction in the call center. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 2000.
  • PRISHCHEPOV, Alexander V., et al. Underlying drivers and spatial determinants of post-soviet agricultural land abandonment in temperate Eastern Europe. In: Land-cover and land-use changes in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Springer, Cham, 2017. p. 91-117.