All major web analytics software companies are reporting year-over-year increases in cart abandonment rate. Many brands are simply washing their hands of this issue by blaming the dramatic rise in ‘browse-centric’ mobile traffic. Many more are just simply ignoring the issue like it doesn’t exist.

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is cart abandonment rate a canary in a digital commerce mine-infographics

What is cart abandonment rate?

It is a negative metric used in e-commerce to measure lost revenue potential. It is typically calculated as the percentage of visitors who added the product to the cart but never made a purchase:

CAR = 1 – CCR

A variation of this metric is the ability to track abandoned revenue associated with the value of all products that were added to the cart.

Measurement of the cart abandonment rate

Traditional web analytic solutions do not report this metric out-of-box. Instead, brands need to perform additional site tagging and metric calculation provisioning before being able to track this metric. It is quite unfortunate, but a great majority of companies do not track cart abandonment rate at all.

One of the common mistakes in provisioning the cart abandonment rate metric is the assumption that the abandonment funnel starts with the first page of the checkout funnel. The correct setup requires ability to track all visitors who added any product on any inside page of the site.

Why cart abandonment analytics?

Cart abandonment rate by itself is not actionable. It only tells you how bad your situation is but it does not guide you in the direction of finding a solution for your challenging situation.

That is why you need the ability to dig deeper into cart abandonment  to better understand the contributing aspects of the problem:

  • Visitors: Can you identify common attributes of the visitors who are abandoning your cart? For example, if your suspicion is that mobile visitors are only window shopping on the mobile device and then purchasing on the desktop or tablet device, you should be able to compare the abandonment metrics among different device form factors.
  • Journey: What is the normal buying pattern? Are you visitors making purchases during the first visit? If not, what is the normal distribution of site visits before they make a purchase?
  • Content: Are visitors more likely to abandoned at certain specific web pages than at others? Or, does engagement with certain page elements correlate with high abandonment?
  • Offering: Is the cart content itself any indicator of future abandonment? Are visitors using your online shopping cart as a wish list for future online or in-store purchases?

Why would you care about your cart abandonment metric?

In short, any reduction in cart abandonment directly translates into new revenue. All other marketing or website activity is significantly enhanced by any improvements in the overall cart conversion rate.

Start your own customer experience optimization journey

An essential starting point is the development of ‘customer experience views’ through customer experience web analytics. Knowledge about customer experience friction points will help your brand intelligently allocate resources and help you commit to a customer experience optimization plan from a holistic point of view.

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