By Joanna Perry | Head of Marketing

Shopping cart abandonment rates and underlying site visitor behaviour statistics are something we obsess about when running conversion rate optimisation projects for clients. Here we explain how any online retailer can run a quick analysis using Google Analytics.

On average, 67.75% of all online shopping carts are abandoned according to collated data from independent research firm Baymard Institute. Reducing this figure by even a small amount has a significant impact on sales.

You can track your shopping cart abandonment in Google Analytics. This will allow you to understand how and when people drop out during your conversion process, and also to measure your cart abandonment rate over a period of time.

Using this data you can see which areas of your checkout process are ‘leaking’. For example if you had a high drop-out rate at the payment stage this could be down to not offering the right payment options or user concern over payment security. You can then take steps to fix these issues and reduce user drop-out.

To begin to measure your shopping cart abandonment rate you will need to set up a conversion funnel in Google Analytics. The following steps below will show you how this is done:

How to measure your shopping cart abandonment rate in Google Analytics

STEP 1: Sign into your Google Analytics account and click “Admin” in the top right-hand corner

 

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 2: Select the profile that you want to create a funnel for and then click on ‘Goals’

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 3: To set up a new goal, click “CREATE A GOAL”

 

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 4: Next, you will be taken to a screen called ‘Goal setup’ where you can choose a template to start with a pre-filled configuration or start afresh with a custom goal. For checkout abandonment, select the ‘Checkout complete’ template

 

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 5: Give the goal a name, for example ‘Checkout complete’ and select the ‘Type’ of goal you would like to record. For checkout abandonment you will need to select ‘Destination’ and click ‘Next step’

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 6: A) Fill in the destination field on the next screen using the page path - not the entire URL - for your order confirmation page e.g. /thankyou.html instead of www.example.com/thankyou.html

B) Set the Funnel Option to “On”. You will then need to complete an online order, as your customer would, noting the URL of each step in the process. NOTE: if you have the same URL for different stages of your checkout as each stage loads in-page you should use virtual pageviews to allocate a unique URL for each step.

C) Add in the steps of the funnel leading up to your confirmation page

 

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 7: Save your new goal. The data for your funnel report will be available the next day to analyse

 

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

STEP 8: You can access your cart abandonment report in Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualisation. Make sure you select the goal you’ve just set up in goal option. You will now be able to see how customers are flowing through your conversion process

Measuring shopping cart abandonment

The output should provide a clear view of where potential customers are dropping off once they have added items to their online shopping bag.

In 2011 Experian estimated that £1.02bn worth of online shopping transactions were abandoned in the UK, a figure that’s likely to have increased since then as the percentage of shopping done online has continued to rise. Think about how much more revenue could you make for your business if you were capturing those sales instead of losing them?

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