Measure the Shopping Cart

For online retailers, there is perhaps nothing more important than measuring visitor flow and abandonment through the shopping cart. Your use of metrics and measurement in these pages can make or break your business.

In retail web analytics, measuring the shopping cart is analogous to gazing into a crystal ball. Each visitor interaction with the shopping cart is a measurable activity that generates data useful for sales and demand forecasting, promotion planning, and shopper behavior analysis. This hack introduces measurement approaches for key shopping cart interactions and also discusses factors that can degrade the accuracy of shopping cart measurement.

Measuring Products Being Added to the Cart

Think of this interaction in terms of distinct products (line items or SKUs), item quantities, and visits or visitors. More importantly, think of each of these metrics in relative terms to arrive at meaningful conversion rates for the add-to-cart action, often termed shop action and expressed as a percentage:

  • Item-Based Shop Action Conversion = Items Added to Cart / Total Item Views (for a specific product)

  • Visit-Based Shop Action Conversion = Visit Adding Items to Cart / Total Visits

  • Visitor-Based Shop Action Conversion = Visitors Adding Items to Cart / Total Visitors

As an online retailer, one of your primary objectives is to drive shop action conversion through effective product selection, presentation, pricing, and messaging on availability, shipping costs, and ...

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