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EMAC 2022 Annual

Online Shopping Cart Abandonment: Placing Self-Expressive Products in the Shopping Cart Reduces Product Interest

Published: May 24, 2022


Liat Hadar, Tel Aviv University; Yael Steinhart, Tel Aviv University; Gil Appel, George Washington University; Yaniv Shani, Tel Aviv University


We propose that online shopping cart abandonment is more likely for high self-expressive products than for low self-expressive products because cart placement diminishes the enjoyment typically derived from shopping for high self-expressive products. Results from four controlled experiments show that, indeed, cart placement of high self-expressive products reduces shopping enjoyment and subsequent product interest, relative to when these products are chosen but not placed in the cart. These effects do not occur in the case of low self-expressive products. Field data further show that, for items placed in the shopping cart, purchase frequency is higher for high compared with low self-expressive products. Importantly, these effects are attenuated when placing an item in the shopping cart becomes exciting. These findings contribute to the theoretical understanding of cart abandonment and point to practical ways in which marketers can mitigate such behavior.