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Calculating Add To Cart Rates

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Last editedOct 20212 min read

Any merchant involved in the world of ecommerce needs to be able to track and monitor exactly how well their online presence is functioning. Some of the statistics that need to be gathered – such as the number of visitors to a website and how high up the rankings it appears when specific terms are searched for online – may seem fairly obvious. 

The add to cart conversion rate is slightly more technical but just as important. It is a figure that shows the percentage of visitors to a site who take the step of placing an item into their shopping cart. More than anything else, an add to cart calculation will enable a merchant to gauge the success of factors such as:

  • The user-friendliness of their website

  • The cut-through of their marketing efforts

  • The success or otherwise of their product selection

A sizable percentage of the visitors who add an item to their cart then go on to make a purchase, which means that increasing the add to cart rate of a website almost automatically means driving the revenue generated by that site higher. 

Making the add to cart calculation

To calculate the add to cart rate of a website, a merchant needs to know how many website sessions – that is, someone visiting and exploring the website – took place over a specific period of time, such as a month. They then need to know the number of those sessions in which a user added a product to their cart. By dividing the number of “cart sessions” by the total number of sessions overall, a merchant will be able to come up with the add to cart rate of the site:

  • Number of sessions in a month = 18,000

  • Number of add to cart sessions in a month = 450

  • The add to cart rate is 450/18,000 multiplied by 100 = 2.5%

What is a good add to cart rate?

According to researchers Littledata, a survey of 1,824 online stores in August 2021 discovered an average add to cart rate of 5.3%. The same survey established that an add to cart rate of more than 8.7% would place an online store in the top 20% of those surveyed, while 10.9% and higher was enough for a place in the top 10%. 

On the other hand, an add to cart rate of less than 2.8% would put an online store in the bottom 20% of those surveyed. It’s probably worth doing some research into the specific sector in which you trade to ascertain what the average add to cart rate being achieved is before deciding whether your site is performing effectively or not. 

Since there’s no such thing as an add to cart conversion rate which is too high, however, it’s worth making note of a few of the steps that can be taken to encourage more visitors to add an item to their cart when they visit:

  • Make sure that the site offers a positive user experience no matter what device a visitor is using. The site needs to be designed to work just as well on smartphones, for example, as it does on desktop or laptop computers. 

  • Make sure that visitors can find the basic information on your products. If a visitor can’t quickly discover details such as what the product looks like, whether it has been given good reviews and how much it costs (with any extras like delivery included), the chances are that they’ll abandon your website before adding anything to the cart. 

  • Make sure that buttons such as “add to cart” and “checkout” are clear and easy to find, and that online payment is made as simple as possible.  

We Can Help

If you’re interested in finding out more about add to cart rates, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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