Commerce Essentials

How to Calculate Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

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It’s rare that you see half full shopping carts lying around department stores, supermarkets, or other brick and mortar establishments, just abandoned by their shoppers. So then why is shopping cart abandonment such an issue for e-commerce sites?


Well, truth be told, there are a lot of reasons. And a lot of things you can do about it. But what we want to talk about today is the cold, hard numbers. After all, understanding the basic data of how many people are leaving your site mid-purchase is the first step to figuring out how aggressively you need to combat cart abandonment. If the goal is to lower your cart abandonment rate, we should probably know what our starting point is. So let’s do it–let’s figure out how to calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate.


What is My Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate?

Let’s start by defining “cart abandonment rate.” At its bones, this is the ratio of the number of abandoned shopping carts to the number of initiated transactions. Or in other words….


Take an online clothing store. Say it finds out that of the 45,000 customers who added merchandise to their shopping carts, only 15,000 actually purchased. That leaves 30,000 incomplete purchases.


Cart abandonment rate=not completed/ initiated customers = 30,000/45,000 = about 67%


Which is pretty standard compared to the norm, as the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.53%.


A more simple, and common way of viewing this formula is:

AR=(1-Transactions Completed/Transactions Initiated)


Is That All I Need to Know?

Well…not really. The truth is, that’s the simplest way to calculate your cart abandonment rate, but far from the only piece of information you need to fully tackle the issue of cart abandonment.


You should also understand your site conversion ratewhich is the ratio of the number of total site visitors to the number of completed orders over a given period of time.


And in addition to your cart rate, you should calculate your checkout conversion rate, or the ratio of the number of people visiting the first checkout page to the number of completed orders.


I know–it’s a lot to digest. But there are also a ton of tools to help you along the way. For example, the Goals and Funnel features in Google Analytics are great in helping you define and track conversion rates at various points. Or, if you prefer a one-stop shop, use their Ecommerce Tracking function. All the information gleaned from these tools will help you calculate your cart abandonment rate, and keep on top of other crucial back-end data.


You can also use cart abandonment tools that will not only track this very important data, but will also help you lower your cart abandonment rate forever by combatting this perennial problem. If you need a recommendation, we happen to know a really great one…easy-to-use…proven success…just saying….


So now you know–go calculate your site’s shopping cart abandonment rate, and take the first step to recovering sales long-term.

This entry was posted in Cart Abandonment Rate, Ecommerce, Online Retailers, Online Shop Owners.