Now that we’ve covered the cart abandonment basics in our first installment, we’ll go over how to calculate your cart abandonment rate, how to measure it accurately, and how to use this data to improve your shopping cart and capture more conversions.
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Your cart abandonment rate is a key metric for understanding why customers leave your store without buying after they’ve considered an item. It can help guide decision making when making adjustments and improvements to your shopping cart experience, abandoned cart recovery emails, and your abandoned cart email flow.
The shopping cart abandonment rate is the percentage of customers that add items to a shopping cart and leave before completing checkout. A high shopping cart abandonment rate is an indication of problems with your shopping cart design, layout, and functionality. This value is the inverse of your conversion rate.
The difference between shopping cart and checkout abandonment is how far along the process customers get before they leave. Customers that do not advance to the checkout stage are only abandoning their shopping cart.
Regardless of what your cart abandonment rate is, you should optimize to reduce its impact on your ecommerce store. Your cart abandonment rate is an important metric as it shows you how many customers are poised to buy and interested in your products, but fail to convert. It reflects the number of customers you have been able to funnel through to purchase with your marketing efforts, store design, and product development. By addressing your abandonment rate, you can get more value out of the effort it took to funnel customers to the point of checkout, drastically increasing ROI.
The cart abandonment rate on your ecommerce store can be calculated by dividing the number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts created by customers. Then subtract this value from one and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. This represents potential interest that did not result in a sale.
The cart abandonment rate can be represented by the following formula:
For example, 245 completed purchases out of 1,000 shopping carts created means your shopping cart abandonment rate is 75.5%. This metric can be used to view abandonment as a whole on your store. It can also be segmented by device type, regions, and more to get deeper insights into the behavior of customers using your shopping cart.
According to a collection of 41 cart abandonment rate statistics between 2006 and 2018, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. Over this time, the average abandoned cart rate has fluctuated between 60% and 80% depending on the year, industry, and more. This range is a common average to fall between.
Your cart abandonment rate will never reach zero, as customers will still abandon due to research and browsing, declined payments, and other reasons beyond your control. Accounting for variation based on industry, product, and more, a good cart abandonment would be anything lower than 40%. It is hypothesized that the best optimized cart abandonment rate is close to 20%.
These can be used as a basic guideline for determining whether your cart abandonment rate is good or bad, but it is always important to put this within context, as rates can vary significantly between industries and product types. Use your own metrics as a baseline and consistently work to reduce the cart abandonment rate you are experiencing to drive conversions.
Each device has its own unique process. Desktop users will click while mobile and tablet users are tapping their screen. The size of the screen has a big impact on how content is displayed, formatted, and styled.
Accordingly, customers interact and engage with each experience differently. Monitor metrics specific to each device type so you can adjust each process according to the problems that are unique to them. In general, it’s important to focus on mobile-first, as more customers abandon using mobile devices.
Below are the average cart abandonment rates across device types from 2015:
With the increase in mobile shopping – accounting for over 50% of all online shopping – you lose a major segment of your audience by not optimizing your shopping cart and checkout for mobile devices. Make sure your mobile design is responsive and give customers a standard process across device types. Be sure to test the performance and user experience for each unique device experience.
Cart abandonment statistics involve the collection of data that reveals trends and patterns for cart abandonment, including volumes, reasons, and more. These cart abandonment statistics can be used as benchmarks to compare against your own data, will help you set goals, and can help you predict future trends and get ahead of the curve.
Cart abandonment rates vary across industries and product types, so expect even more variation and fluctuation for specific businesses and online stores. Use the industry and product averages below as benchmarks, but track, test, and adjust according to what your analytics tell you:
As you can see, there is a drastic difference between some of the average abandonment rates across industries, with the highest being a nearly 20% gap between gaming and finance. While the overall average may be approximately 70%, that average would be a poor average for ecommerce sites in the gaming sector.
Product types have an even more significant difference, with food, fitness, and jewelry/accessories extremely low. As food and fitness items are more essential than other products, it’s no surprise that these items have a low abandonment rate online. Clothing – with multiple styles, sizing, and other options – has more reasons for abandonment than other products.
Your cart abandonment rate is a key metric for improving your ecommerce experience and increasing conversions. Beyond this core metric, there are a number of related, valuable KPIs to track, measure, and compare against your cart abandonment rate.
Below are key metrics to substantially improve your shopping cart and checkout experience:
Average order value is the average total price of all items in a customer’s shopping cart. This represents the average value lost to cart abandonment for each customer leaving your store, showing you potential revenue you missed out on.
You can use this metric to develop strategies for improving the average order value on your platform. Increasing your average order value can offset cart abandonment on your platform, helping boost your revenue.
The number of items left in a customer’s shopping cart is a key metric for understanding the impact abandonment has. The more items customers are leaving, the more potential sales – and revenue – you are missing out on.
Keeping track of the number of items abandoned gives you insight into customer behavior. Use this to understand how to motivate larger orders to complete purchase, increasing the revenue you earn on conversions.
The ecommerce conversion rate, the percentage of completed orders, is an integral metric to track and use for the full picture of shopping cart and checkout success. Monitor how many conversions you garner and identify strategies you do well and areas for improvement. Over time, you will be able to optimize to increase your conversion rate.
Collecting emails is the most efficient and simplest way of collecting contact information and communicating with your customers. Your email capture rate reflects your ability to connect with customers after they have abandoned their cart.
By collecting emails, you ensure that you can follow up with customers that have abandoned their checkout. You can then use these as part of your email recovery efforts. Learn how to create a flawless abandoned cart recovery email, map out a cart abandonment email flow, and start to recapture lost sales.
To be able to track ecommerce store metrics in your analytics tool, you will need to integrate the two. To integrate your ecommerce store with Google Analytics, you first need to set up an account and get started with Google Analytics. Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you’ll need to enable ecommerce tracking on your ecommerce site and connect it to Google Analytics.
To enable ecommerce reporting, you will first need to be in the “Admin” menu. Under the “View” column, click on “Ecommerce Settings.”
From the Ecommerce Settings page, click the “Enable Ecommerce” switch to “ON,” enabling ecommerce tracking for your store in Google Analytics. You may optionally click the “Enable Related Products” toggle to “ON” to get data on products that are commonly purchased together. This can greatly help with your remarketing and retargeting efforts.
Once done, click “Next step” and then “Submit.”
You’ve now enabled ecommerce tracking and data communication between your ecommerce site and Google Analytics, and you can begin tracking ecommerce metrics.
Google Analytics allows you to set up tracking funnels for various purposes by building metric tracking around end goals. You can create a cart abandonment rate funnel by creating an end goal of getting customers to an order confirmation page. Add each URL along the checkout process to track how far customers get along the conversion funnel.
Once signed in to your Google Analytics account, click “Admin” in the top right corner of the interface.
Choose the profile that you will be setting up the conversion funnel for, and then click on “Goals.” This will take you to the list of existing goal-oriented funnels.
From the Goals menu, click “+ New Goal” to start building out your funnel.
Select “Custom” to create a unique goal-oriented funnel specific to your needs. Then click “Continue” to proceed.
PRO TIP: For a pre-set, goal-oriented funnel that will help you track conversions and cart abandonment choose the “Checkout Complete” funnel template. You can find this under the “Revenue” templates.
Define your funnel by naming your funnel under “Goal Description.” For this guide, we’ll label it Purchase Completed. On this screen, you’ll also be able to choose the Type of goal you will be tracking. To track a cart abandonment funnel, it is good to use a Destination goal, as you can measure who reaches the end point and converts (and those that move along this funnel but do not convert – cart abandonment). Select “Destination” and click “Continue” to proceed.
Under Destination, set the drop-down to “Equals to” and then enter the URL of the final page in your sales funnel in the empty field. A good destination to set is your Confirmation page, as customers that have completed their order will reach this step, marking the completion of the sales funnel.
PRO TIP: There is a known error in which the URL displays a number at the end of the confirmation page. If you are experiencing problems with the destination being set properly, try setting the drop-down to “Begins with” and then enter it again.
To turn the funnel on, click the “Funnel” switch so it says “On.” Add each individual step in the funnel, naming them and entering the URL for the pages. Leave the “Required” option switched to “Off” on the first URL in the list.
PRO TIP: Setting the first URL in the sequence to be “Required” will restrict the sales funnel to track only customers that enter the sales funnel listed in step one. In most cases, you want to track anyone that hits this page, but also those that start on other pages before advancing to this step.
Click “Save” to apply and store the settings you’ve chosen.
Google Analytics will now start tracking your goal-oriented funnel. Within 24 hours, you will begin to see analytics data on your funnel.
To view the funnel report, click on “Conversions” on the left sidebar of the Google Analytics dashboard. From there, select “Goals” and then “Funnel Visualization.”
Google Analytics will then display a visualization of the sales funnel, like this:
This is extremely useful because data visualization of the funnel makes it accessible and easy to grasp at a glance. It also provides details on the number and percentage of customers that visit a page or step.
PRO TIP: It’s important to note that the Funnel Visualization report will consolidate multiple pageviews on the same page during a single visit from the customer into a single, unique pageview. If a customer views the landing page multiple times in one visit, this will only count as one page view in the Funnel Visualization tool.
This helps you draw faster, more meaningful insights, as the fact that a customer views the page at least once prior to converting or abandoning is more valuable than how many views they perform in a single session in most cases. For more detailed data, you can use more detailed methods of segmenting the data.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you may benefit from a video breaking down how to set up Google Analytics tracking using micro and macro conversions.
Segmentation (whether you call it audience, user, or customer segmentation) involves categorizing aggregate data based on specific dimensions or variables, such as age, gender, income, location, etc.
This lets you identify trends and patterns in the data based on different user characteristics. You can then use this data to better understand your core audience, develop user personas based on the common types of customers you get, and understand why customers are converting and leaving your checkout.
When setting up a funnel, the dashboard will automatically segment customers by new and returning visitors. This is only the start, and further segmentations will be valuable in drawing meaningful conclusions about the analytics you have at your disposal.
The only downside to the Funnel Visualization report is that it does not enable advanced segmentation options. Unfortunately, this means that you aren’t able to draw insights about what different types of visitors are leaving, limiting the information you can gain on customer behavior from your analytics.
A great way of segmenting data and visualizing it in an efficient way is using a horizontal, segmentable funnel. While the standard Google Analytics goal funnel report will show the number of visits to each step of the funnel, the percentage of visits that continued to the next step, and where the exiting visits went, the Horizontal Funnel displays:
While you are unable to see where customers go when they exit using this type of funnel, you will get abandonment rate data clearly displayed at each step of the funnel. You can then apply advanced segments to your funnel and display multiple segments of the funnel in one report so you can easily compare.
First, create an individual goal for each step in the funnel you are trying to map. This lets you develop a flow of goals, tracking the customer as they follow the conversion funnel. You can break these down into micro conversions, which all lead to the main macro conversion that is your end goal. When visualized, each goal will give you the number of people that touched that step, as well as abandonment rates between each step.
To make the most of this horizontal funnel, we also want to show the abandonment rates between each goal, allowing you to easily visualize how many customers you lose at each step. To set this up properly, each funnel you create should contain a single step: the goal URL for the preceding goal. This way, you create a chain of goals, with each being a core step in your checkout process.
After setting up the goals for your funnels, you can create customized reports to visualize your analytics the way you want. To create the horizontal conversion funnel we recommend, you will be using the Goal Completions and Abandonment Rate metrics. These metrics track the following:
You can use these metrics to create a flow, tracking conversions and abandonment for each step in the process. For example, you would set Goal 3 to start with the completion of Goal 2, and the abandonment rate for Goal 3. In this case, the funnel would start with someone completing Goal 2 (Goal 2 Completion), track the abandonment between Goal 2 and Goal 3 (Goal 3 Abandonment Rate), and end with them successfully completing Goal 3 (Goal 3 Completion).
You would then repeat this for every individual step in the process, creating a horizontal data visualization for conversions and abandonment rate for your entire checkout funnel.
Now that you’ve set up your goals, you can set up the Dimensions for your metrics. There are a number of options you can choose from that give you different insights into customer behavior:
PRO TIP: It’s important to note that this custom, horizontal visualization may give you different metrics from the Funnel Visualization report you get standard. This is because the standard report assumes that those that completed Goal 3 have completed Goal 2, etc. However, this method only gives you metrics for customers that complete the step prior.
This is extremely useful if you have points in the checkout process that customers can enter, as it will not automatically count those late entries towards the earlier goals.
Universal Analytics is an analytics tracking and visualization tool that offers more capabilities and more detailed tracking than Google Analytics. Flexible tracking codes allow you to easily measure mobile, desktop, and other digital device data separately. Universal Analytics also has more configuration options, so you can make the tool do more for you.
To turn on enhanced ecommerce reporting, you will first need to have Traditional Ecommerce Reporting enabled. From the Ecommerce Settings page, click “Admin”, and then click the “Enable Ecommerce” switch to be “ON.”
Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting gives you access to more ecommerce metrics so you can get more from the data you collect. These reports give you different types of abandonment data and other indicators of negative performance such as:
This data can be viewed from the Shopping Behavior Analysis report. This report can be found by selecting the “Reporting” tab, clicking on “Conversions,” then “Ecommerce,” then “Shopping Analysis,” and finally “Shopping Behavior.” This report will now distinguish between cart and checkout abandonment and give you more information about lack of performance.
If you are collecting analytics data, you can use Google Sheets to calculate your abandonment rate and visualize cart abandonment analytics. While it has limited data visualization options, it’s easy to use and extremely accessible.
To create a Google Sheet focused on cart abandonment analytics, you will need to use a few main metrics:
While you can get cart abandonment with simply the number of shopping carts initiated and the number of conversions, the other metrics will help you gain deeper insights quickly. Average order value lets you gain more insight into the revenue you earn (which is a valuable metric to see when looking at your cart abandonment rate), as well as information on the average revenue you’ve lost to cart abandonment. Seeing the actual amount you are losing to cart abandonment will help put the significance of the problem in perspective for you.
By using dynamic formulas, you can create a spreadsheet that will automatically calculate values based on the few fields you need to input data into. This will make it easy for you to plug in the necessary values and get your conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, revenue, and more.
The downside to using Google Sheets is that you have limited data visualization capabilities. You can use data visualization to view analytics in a simpler way, but the data is stored in a simple spreadsheet format and needs to be entered that way to calculate
If creating your own Google Sheet to dynamically calculate these analytics seems challenging, then you may benefit from downloading a template. There are a number of examples, but Metrical provides a great cart abandonment calculator via Google Sheets.
We’ve covered the basics of setting up and viewing reports, and even configuring and customizing them to your preferred settings. To get your checkout to the next level, you will need to implement best practices for setting up cart abandonment and checkout abandonment metrics so that you get accurate, reliable data and make useful adjustments to your checkout.
When tracking ecommerce metrics in Google Analytics, you first need to plan out the metrics that will be most useful to your business and help you improve your checkout the most. Break up the different steps in the checkout process, which teams work on these efforts, and brainstorm all relevant metrics.
From here, select metrics that can be measured accurately and reliably so that you can trust the data and confidently make decisions based on your data.
Event tracking lets you track customer interactions with content on your web page or during the screen load. There are four main components to event tracking in order to specify the data you collect, including:
This lets you define different tracking parameters. For example, you can track all users that download a specific file type by setting the components as follows:
PRO TIP: You can also use a parameter to define an event as “non-interactional,” which stops it from being counted towards bounce rate calculations. This is valuable because you can still monitor these actions without counting them to your bounce rate when they don’t apply.
To get the most of your data, you want to be able to track – and visualize – as much useful information as you can. Consolidating your data in one place can help you visualize more analytics and draw comparisons that help you improve your ecommerce site.
Use landing page dimensions to integrate search console data with Google Analytics. You can then view pre-click data (queries and impressions) and post-click data (bounce rate and transactions). Using this data, you can make comparisons about pre and post-click actions taken on your site and look at how multiple factors impact the overall performance of your ecommerce site.
Using three standard Google Analytics views is a good idea to ensure you don’t lose data and can view data easily in a few ways. We suggest creating the following three standard views in Google Analytics:
While you can label these how you want, their main function will be the same. The Master view is the working view. You can use this view to work out of regularly, applying and removing filters as you need and setting up modifications to ensure you collect accurate, actionable data.
The Test view will be your test environment, in which you can test how useful and accurate your filters are. This is a great way to identify problems with using a particular filter and limitations you may not have thought of before trying it. As applying a new filter can impact other applied filters and data collection, it’s important to test how the filter affects data collection before using it regularly.
The Raw Data view is where you keep raw, unmodified, and unfiltered data. This ensures that you always have the raw data to go back to, especially if there are errors with the data collection modifications you’ve used. In some cases, you may just want to view raw data without the filters you’ve applied. Without this data view, you won’t have raw data available.
Using Google Analytics, you can filter what data is displayed, helping you further customize data visualization on your platform. Filters can be used at the account level, so that all data is filtered this way, or to a specific view, so that only the individual data set is filtered. There are eight ways of filtering data available:
Many ecommerce site platforms have built-in analytics tools that give you basic data on customer behavior. Most of these are relatively basic, and to get more analytics data – especially data specific to cart abandonment – you may want to use a more sophisticated tool.
While Google Analytics is a popular, reliable option, there are other means. Depending on the platform you operate your ecommerce store through, different analytics tools may give you better reporting options. See what functionality you have and what your best options are for the major ecommerce platforms (Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify) below:
Magento Business Intelligence is ready right out of the box, with ecommerce dashboards designed to give you the most from your data. Their data pipeline and data warehouse technology integrates directly with your Magento database to give you centralized access to your analytics. Their cloud-based system makes it easy to use and access for all stakeholders, wherever you need it.
Their tool lets you create calculated columns and join tables to customize and standardize ecommerce metrics for your business. The report builder makes creating accessible, useful data visualizations easy. Export data seamlessly and use powerful dashboards to make impactful decisions about your business.
You can access Magento’s cart abandonment from Magento admin, by clicking “Reports,” “Shopping Cart,” and “Abandoned Carts.”
The report will show important information about abandoned carts, including:
To get further details on the specific abandoned cart, you can view each individual “Customer record.” To view these reports, click “Customers,” “Customer Name,” and then “Shopping Cart.”
The Abandoned Cart Report displays statistics about abandoned carts on your BigCommerce store from all users, including guests. For customers that have left you contact information or are registered members, you can send them automated abandoned cart recovery emails using the Abandoned Cart Saver tool.
To view the Abandoned Cart Report, click on “Analytics” and “Abandoned Carts.”
This report has three main components:
The top-line statistics displays the core metrics related to cart abandonment, including abandoned revenue, abandoned carts, abandonment rate, total revenue, and orders. This will display these values as well as the percent change. It is recommended that you check in on these regularly, as drastic changes can point out major problems with your checkout, such as technical issues.
The abandonment rate graph displays a line graph of your cart abandonment rate for a selected period of time. When displaying data for a single day, the abandonment rate will show hourly values; when displaying data for more than one day, the abandonment rate will show daily values, calculating the averages for the hours or days respectively.
The abandoned carts section displays information on the products being abandoned the most, including how many carts they were abandoned from, the total lost revenue, the rate of abandonment, and the visits each product got. This data helps you dig deep into which products are affected, and move beyond simply improving your checkout process, affecting product development, marketing, and more.
WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce tool built on WordPress. It’s designed to be lean, with limited features to ensure it remains responsive. It easily integrates with other tools so that you can customize your ecommerce store’s features without wasting performance on features that aren’t needed.
While WooCommerce does not have built-in analytics, you can easily integrate it with an analytics tool. Google Analytics can be integrated for free, and you can upgrade to Universal Analytics if you will benefit from the additional analytics capabilities. If you aren’t sure you will need advanced metrics, use the standard Google Analytics tool to start, upgrading later. If you know you will need advanced analytics data, start by setting up a more advanced analytics system to begin with so you won’t have to transition later. This way, you’ll collect all relevant data from the start.
You can easily connect your WooCommerce store to Google Analytics using the WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin at no cost. For enhanced analytics, you will need the WooCommerce Google Analytics Pro plugin. You can set these up by downloading and installing the plugin to your WooCommerce store.
Download the plugin you wish to use from the “Downloads” section under “My Account.”
Go to “Plugins” and click “Add New” and then “Upload.” Select the ZIP file for the extension and click “Install Now.”
Next, click “Activate Plugin.”
Next, click the “Connect WooCommerce to Google Analytics” link and follow the instructions on how to setup the plugin and configure it to your preferred settings.
You will also need to Enable Traditional Ecommerce Reporting, which we covered above.
If you’d prefer to use another analytics tool, you can choose from other analytics integration options.
Any Shopify store on the Basic Shopify plan or higher will have access to behavior reports. To have access to the website cart analysis report, you need to be on the Shopify plan or higher.
To view your behavior reports, you must first be in the Shopify admin section of your store. From there, click “Analytics” and then “Reports.”
Under the Behavior section, click the specific report you wish to view.
PRO TIP: If you are accessing analytics from a mobile device (iPhone or Android), you will need to tap “Store” from the Shopify app before completing the rest of the steps.
There are a number of different reports available that allow you to view different sets of data:
The Online store conversion over time and Website cart analysis reports gives you the most relevant information for reducing checkout abandonment and understanding shopping cart behavior.
The Online store conversion over time report will give you conversion data, and has the following columns of information: time grouping, sessions, added to cart, reached checkout, sessions converted, conversion rate. With this, you can calculate your overall cart abandonment rate and checkout abandonment rate separately, and get the main metrics related to cart and checkout abandonment.
The Website cart analysis report gives you statistics on paired products that have been added to the same cart within a 30 day period. This can greatly help with your remarketing, retargeting, and recovery campaigns.
Many of the other metrics help segment the data, by online store searches, online store searches without results, sessions by landing page, and sessions by device. All of these help you dive deeper into customer behavior at the shopping cart and checkout steps. Compare this with conversion rate data to identify where you can improve your checkout the most.
Bolt’s checkout experience comes optimized with best practices in mind to offer a seamless, convenient checkout that is twice as fast as competitors. With a clear understanding of the impact cart abandonment has on your platform, our checkout experience comes optimized to combat abandonment and get more customers through to order completion.
Give customers the security they deserve with a top-tier fraud management system that detects and protects against fraudulent chargebacks. To give you peace of mind, Bolt offers a 100% guarantee on fraudulent chargebacks so you can worry about developing a great product and giving customers an ideal experience. To learn how to properly combat abandoned carts on your ecommerce store, check out the next installment of our Cart Abandonment Guide on Cart Abandonment Strategies that will help you reduce cart abandonment and its impact on your platform.
Headless isn’t just a buzzword anymore. It’s a full-fledged solution that helps future-proof an ecommerce stack, enabling retailers to easily and quickly deploy site experiments, and optimizations at scale. The headless approach opens the door to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which significantly improve load times—leading to increased page ranks and subsequently, more conversions.
Join ecommerce expert, Loren Kelly, for an informative conversation about building an optimized checkout experience on a headless commerce system.
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