When starting in eCommerce, it is hard to keep track of all the metrics that can help you improve your sales and customer retention. However, there are a few important benchmarks that you can use as tools to ensure that your business is utilising every opportunity. Your add-to-cart rate is one of the most useful metrics in your toolbox.

In this post we will look at what an add-to-cart rate is, how to calculate it and what the average is, and how to increase yours.

What is add to cart rate?

An add-to-cart rate is the percentage of visitors that add at least one product to their shopping cart during their session on your eCommerce site. This is an important metric to track and stay on top of, as it is an excellent indicator for a number of things. It can show you the success of your product selection, your site's usability, and your marketing campaigns.

For example, if you’ve run a campaign to promote your products, but see no increase in your add-to-cart rate, that can be an indicator that the campaign was unsuccessful. For this reason, amongst others, it is important to keep constant track of this metric, so that you can compare data.

How to calculate add to cart rate

In order to calculate your add-to-cart rate, first determine a given period. Then divide the number of sessions where a user added a product to their cart by the total number of site sessions during that period. Multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage, and you have your average add-to-cart rate.

The formula for the above calculation looks like this: (Sessions with cart item viewed) / (total sessions).

What is a good add to cart rate

A good add-to-cart rate is determined by which sector you operate in, and a number of other factors. However, data from eCommerce professionals indicates that an average add-to-cart rate is between 3 - 4%. A good add-to-cart rate would lie above this average and is generally considered to be 8 - 10%. If your business falls into this category, you’re doing something right.

How to increase add to cart rate

If your eCommerce business does not fall into the above-mentioned category, you may want to try a few techniques to improve it. After all, a good add-to-cart rate indicates whether or not your tactics are working for your bottom line. Here are a few ways to improve yours:

  1. Optimise your product pages: These pages should have relevant information for your audience and should include properly expressive product descriptions. Including good images and customer reviews are also an excellent way to optimise your product pages.
  2. Offer free shipping: Free shipping is a very powerful motivator for customers. Shipping costs make a big impact on shopping decisions, and offering this for free can have a big impact on your sales. If you’re unsure about the financial viability of free shipping, calculate a minimum order value, and offer it as a promotional incentive for orders above that value.
  3. Send abandoned cart messages: Sending abandoned cart messages reminds the potential customer of the things that they were interested in. Including coupons or other promotional material can also encourage the customer to follow through with the purchase.
  4. Make use of an exit pop-up message: While these exit-intent pop-ups can be somewhat intrusive for the customer, their benefits outweigh this concern. Offering promotions through sign-ups on the pop-up may not earn you a sale right then and there, but it can increase your customer lifetime value, and they will then be part of your database for marketing efforts in the future.