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How Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategies Lower Cart Abandonment

Learn how omnichannel fulfillment helps ecommerce brands manage cart abandonment — and how Rebuy and Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash can drive your strategy.

Cart abandonment is an ongoing struggle experienced by ecommerce brands large and small. According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate in ecommerce is a whopping 69.99%.

That’s a lot of revenue that ecommerce merchants are missing out on.

For this reason, brands dedicate a lot of resources to lowering their cart abandonment rate, from offering free shipping on all orders to accepting a wider range of payment methods.

But other, more complex reasons drive shoppers to abandon their carts - namely, that brands aren’t offering the flexibility they desire.

Omnichannel fulfillment helps to lower cart abandonment rates by providing customers with more options for browsing, shipping, and delivery, therefore creating a more seamless customer experience for shoppers that boosts customer loyalty.

In this blog, we’re going to explore how omnichannel fulfillment helps ecommerce brands to manage cart abandonment - and how Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash and Rebuy can drive your strategy.

What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but decides to leave the website or app before completing the checkout process.

Not surprisingly, cart abandonment is more common in ecommerce than brick-and-mortar retail. Not only is it easier to simply exit out of an app or web browser than it is to return items to the store shelves; it requires far more commitment to visit a physical store in the first place.

As a result, many people adding items to their ecommerce shopping cart are ‘just looking’ and don’t have a clear intent to purchase.

However, there are other, less-than-positive reasons for cart abandonment that have a significant impact on a brand’s revenue and profitability.

If the checkout process is complicated, there are unexpected additional costs, or they have a poor shopping experience, there’s a high likelihood of shoppers choosing not to proceed with a purchase. 

How omnichannel retail reduces cart abandonment

Ecommerce brands use a variety of strategies to reduce cart abandonment, such as simplifying the checkout process or sending reminder emails to customers who have abandoned their carts. While these tactics can be effective when managed well, they don’t address the underlying reasons that push many shoppers away from closing the deal.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped consumer expectations for greater flexibility and choice during the shopping journey. With physical stores shuttered during the pandemic, brands were forced to meet customers where they were, such as online and via social media. While the retail landscape is returning to normal, consumers have grown accustomed to this new level of freedom - and they don’t want to give it up.

According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of customers prefer shopping through both online and offline channels.

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By comparison, just 7% of customers shop online exclusively. If consumers don’t have flexibility and choice between channels when it comes to shipping, delivery, and returns, they’re unlikely to go ahead with a purchase.

By providing customers with more options, omnichannel fulfillment strategies can help lower cart abandonment rates by removing friction from the shopping experience and making it easy for customers to navigate shopping channels the way they prefer.

3 ways that omnichannel fulfillment can lower cart abandonment

So, what omnichannel fulfillment tactics should brands consider to reduce cart abandonment? 

1. BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store)

BOPIS, also known as in-store pick-up, allows customers to purchase products online and pick them up at their preferred store location. BOPIS orders are fulfilled either via store-based inventory or by sending the requested items from the warehouse to the storefront.

In-store pick-up services are major drawcards for online shoppers for many reasons. BOPIS orders can generally be fulfilled much faster than online deliveries, with orders ready for pick-up in as little as 2 hours.

Customers also can pick up their order at a time that works for them, rather than worrying about when a parcel is going to arrive and whether it’s going to be left in a secure place. 

Moreover, in-store pickups make returns and exchanges far more convenient by allowing them to make returns in the same store visit. For example, if a customer orders a dress, they can try this on in-store after picking it up and make a return or exchange for the right size. 

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that 86% of consumers have used BOPIS services. And 50% decide where to make online purchases based on whether in-store pick-up is available. By adding BOPIS to your line-up, you can lower cart abandonment rates by providing customers with a more convenient and flexible fulfillment option.

2. In-store returns

Returns are a major point of friction within the Ecommerce customer journey. While the process of receiving your online might be seamless, the return process rarely is. 

First, customers have to register their return request, which may need to be approved by a customer service representative before they can proceed. Next, the customer has to ship their return back to the warehouse, which involves the hassle of packaging up the order and taking it to the post office. If they also have to foot the bill for return shipping, this may put them off from shopping at that brand again.

In-store returns provide customers with a convenient, flexible option to return items, which increases customer satisfaction and means much faster refunds than when mailing back products. These store visits also present associates with an opportunity to showcase other relevant products that fit the customer’s needs, thus helping to retain revenue.

In sum, in-store returns help to prevent customers from abandoning their carts due to concerns about the length of time it takes to receive their refund or exchange a product.

3. Real-time inventory visibility

Customers don’t always want to abandon their carts. They might put a product in their cart, only to realize that it’s now sold out and not available. Alternatively, they might select the in-store pick-up option, only to find out that BOPIS is not available at their chosen store location. 

When scenarios like this happen, it adds friction to the shopping journey and encourages shoppers to go elsewhere, which increases cart abandonment. Regardless of whether customers want to shop online or offline, they need to have confidence that the items they want are available. If inventory counts are not available or are inaccurate, shoppers will quickly lose trust in a brand’s ability to deliver.

A unified inventory management system is vital so businesses can mobilize all resources to fulfill customer orders quickly and seamlessly. For example, if a residential delivery address is within a 10-mile radius of a storefront with the required products, shipping the order from that store saves valuable time during fulfillment and shortens the delivery window. This reduces cart abandonment because customers have to wait too long to receive their order, and is only made possible by omnichannel inventory management.

Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash + Rebuy: Bringing omnichannel to every stage of ecommerce

An omnichannel strategy is a clear winner when it comes to defeating cart abandonment and offering shoppers a more seamless, cohesive experience. But implementing an omnichannel approach is easier said than done.

To be truly effective, omnichannel retail management has to start at the very foundation of your operation, from your warehousing strategy to how inventory is organized. Otherwise, you cannot introduce superior front-end capabilities that help you convert customers. 

Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash and Rebuy brings together a full spectrum of advanced omnichannel capabilities. Rebuy’s personalization and customizable shopping cart services pair seamlessly with Ryder Ecommerce’s proprietary inventory and order management technology and a nationwide fulfillment network, enabling merchants to reimagine the shopping experience for their customers.

Find out more about the Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash and Rebuy partnership here.

The Rebuy logo and Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash logos on a purple and blue gradient background

About Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash

Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash is one of the nation’s leading omnichannel fulfillment partners. It provides a full suite of fulfillment services, including warehousing, value-added services, pick and pack, and multi-channel distribution.


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