How to Calculate Cart Abandonment Rate for E-Commerce Store

Brody Hall
By Brody Hall
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published July 3, 2022.

Two women cheering while looking at laptop surrounded by boxes

E-commerce cart abandonment rate is a key e-commerce metric used to quantify the percentage of customers who add items to their online shopping cart but do not complete the purchase. Cart abandonment can be costly for online businesses, as it can mean lost sales and revenue. However, there are ways to reduce the abandonment rate.

We cover these here.

Why Do Shoppers Abandon Carts?

Cart abandonment is a problem for online stores, with an estimated $4 trillion worth of merchandise left in carts in 2021 alone. There are many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts, but the most common are unexpected costs, not being able to find what they're looking for, and shipping costs.

Shoppers may also abandon their carts if they encounter a complicated checkout process or if the site is slow or difficult to navigate. Other factors that can contribute to cart abandonment include high prices, dissatisfaction with the product or service, and fear of identity theft or credit card fraud.

Formula for Calculating Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment can be calculated by using the following formula:

cart abandonment rate = (the number of initiated sales/total number of completed transactions) X 100

This equation allows retailers to determine the percentage of carts that are abandoned, which can provide insights into customer behavior and help inform future strategic decisions. For example, if a retailer notices that many customers are abandoning their carts, they may need to reconsider their checkout process or delivery fees in order to keep more customers from leaving.

How to Find Abandoned Cart Rate in Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be used to monitor many e-commerce analytics, including tracking cart abandonment rates. To find the abandoned cart rate in Google Analytics, from the dashboard homepage, navigate to "Conversions" > "E-commerce" > "Shopping behavior". Under "Abandoned Carts," you'll see the total number of abandoned carts and the percentage.

Can You Recover Abandoned Carts?

There are some ways to increase your chances of recovering at least some of those carts.

One method is to send automated abandoned cart emails. These emails remind customers of the items they left in their cart and offer a discount if they return to complete the purchase. Automated emails have been shown to be effective at recovering abandoned carts, with an average conversion rate of around 30%.

Another method is retargeting customers who abandon their carts. This involves using cookies or other tracking methods to identify customers who have left items in their cart but have not completed the purchase.

Even if you don't succeed in getting every customer to come back and buy what they originally intended, you may be able to at least salvage some of the sales that were lost. By implementing some kind of cart abandonment strategy, you can minimize the amount of business you lose due to this problem.