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Benefits of Monitoring your Add-to-Cart Rates

Your e-commerce business only generates earnings when someone purchases an item from your site. Monitoring your add-to-cart rates can help you identify problems with your sales process and improve your conversion rate, and a higher conversion rate means increased revenue and profit.

The add-to-cart metric monitors the percentage of visitors to your site that add one or more items to their shopping cart. In conjunction with the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting a single page) and cart completion rate (the percentage of visitors who purchase something), monitoring these metrics will give you an insight into the behaviour of both customers and potential customers and allows you to troubleshoot your online business. In particular, your add-to-cart rates tell you a lot about your prices, product selection and marketing efforts.

Prices and products

If your site has a low add-to-cart rate (below 5%), you may have problems with site navigation, products offered, product pricing or product presentation. For example, your site may be difficult to navigate, so customers may have difficulty finding the products they wish to purchase, or your product selection and pricing may not compare favourably with your competitors, so your potential customers make their purchases elsewhere. Any improvements you can make in these areas should cause your add-to-cart rate to improve and improve your conversion rate.

Marketing campaigns

Your add-to-cart rate can provide valuable information about the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For example, say your average add-to-cart rate for the past year for customers who visit your site by clicking a link in a marketing email is 10%. After you launch a new email campaign, you can monitor your add-to-cart rate and see if it changes. An increase means that your campaign is effective, and you should continue to use that type of campaign.

Likewise, you can conduct the same type of analysis for any SEO strategies or search engine marketing campaigns. If your add-to-cart rate from search engine traffic generated by your new SEO strategy is below your long-term average for SEO-generated traffic, you’ll know that you should tweak the new strategy to make it more effective.

Checkout process

Unfortunately, e-commerce industry studies show that only between 30% to 40% of items visitors place in their shopping carts are purchased. Of course, not all sites experience such a low cart completion rate, but if your site is one of them, even a 5% improvement in the difference between your cart completion rate and your add-to-cart rate can give you a substantial increase in revenue.

It’s worth taking the time to analyse customer behaviour in your shopping cart to see how you can increase your conversion rate. There are many possible ways to improve performance. For example, you can look at the completion rates for first-time customers and repeat customers. Logic would tell you that returning customers would be more likely to complete their purchases than first-time customers. If this is not the case, perhaps you have inadvertently made it more difficult than it needs to be for returning customers to reorder items. By tweaking your reorder process, you might be able to generate more sales.

Analysing metrics can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort.

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