Two Reasons Consumers Abandon Bookings

by Ian Maier

On average, an astounding 69.23% of online visitors initiate checkout, but leave before they complete their booking.

In other words, for every $3,000 the average business makes online, they could be missing out on another $7,000 in “almost revenue”.

Revenue lost due to abandonment

Luckily, booking abandonment can be reduced. And revenue can be recovered.

But to understand how to recover lost revenue from abandoned bookings, we need to understand why people abandon in the first place.

There are many reasons someone might abandon. Some big, some small. But at the end of the day everything boils down to two main reasons.

Here are the two main reasons consumers abandon their bookings…

41.4% of Consumers Abandon Carts Due to Checkout Related Issues

Website and checkout related issues are reported as reasons for a whopping 41.4% of all cart abandonments. That’s almost half of the abandoned bookings.

If we only look at the checkout issues that cause abandonment, we get the following distribution:


Checkout Related Reasons for Abandonment

Most of the reasons cited for cart abandonment can be resolved. In fact, many of these issues revolve around usability and can be addressed purely through design changes. This is possible using a rigorous testing process called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

CRO allows usability experts to test different layouts, design elements, and psychological triggers to make your checkout more intuitive, less complex, and more likely to generate revenue.

The Baymard Institute conducted research across 272 major websites to develop 134 specific guidelines to improve checkout usability and decrease abandonment. The Institute claims that improvements in checkout usability can boost conversion rates by an average of 35.26%.

If you have an abandonment rate of 69.23% (the average in 2017) their suggested improvements could reduce your abandonment rate to 58.38% and help recover an extra $1,080 for every $10,000 that enters your checkout.

At Xola, we have developed our responsive checkout based on rigorous usability testing to provide a beautiful, optimized checkout on any device. As a result, Xola’s checkout conversion rate is an astonishing 48% higher than the average and nearly 10% higher than the average Baymard Institute optimized checkout (as of July 2017).

Conversion Rates by Checkout Type

58.6% of Consumers Abandon for Normal Reasons

A large portion of cart abandonment is a natural consequence of how people shop online.

Many website visitors are window shopping, comparing prices and booking options, or collecting information to relay back to a group before making the final booking. These are largely unavoidable reasons for booking abandonment.

The Baymard Institute found that 58.6% of American online shoppers abandoned a cart because they were “just browsing” or “not ready to buy.”


Nearly half of all abandonment is avoidable, and can be fixed by improving the checkout experience. On the other hand, some booking abandonment is a natural part of the buying process. But just because it’s natural, it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.

What we can do is change our perspective to see booking abandonment as an opportunity for revenue recovery and customer engagement.

An abandoned booking recovery program is designed to do exactly that. By following up with high-intent buyers via email, you increase the likelihood that they book with you and not your competitor. You can also use remarketing ads to engage potential customers over the long term, until they are finally ready to book with you.

Read More: How to recover abandoned bookings

Download The Complete Abandoned Booking Guide