Improving Cart Abandonment through Better Funnel Visualization

- April 26, 2016

Cart abandonment visualizations allow the owner of a website to deeply explore the blocks in the conversion funnel instead of a flat conversion rate. There are multiple elements within Google Analytics that will allow deep insights about their users’ conversions, but in this blog post we will explore which metrics and visualizations are optimal for understanding the user goal flow, that are simple to implement.

Measuring Abandonment

Below is the general flow of the cart abandonment process. You can select any traffic metric you like. Traffic should be decreasing in volume as users move through each step of the conversion funnel. In order to reduce this whole visualization to a simple metric, we take the traffic that completes the goal/checkout and divide it by the traffic that initiates it (by either adding an item to the cart or viewing the cart page.) This creates the “cart abandonment metric” or CAR.

Cart Abandonment Metric graph

Cart abandonment can be derived from Google Analytics by enabling the funnel steps for your goals.

Google Analytics - Goal Funnels Steps

This configuration will enable the Funnel Visualization Report available in the Conversions > Goals reports in you Google Analytics sidebar.

Google Analytics - Goal Visualization

If you want to get a more granular breakdown of cart abandonment in Google Analytics, then you can create customized reports that key into the new cart abandonment metric using the Goal Abandonment Metric. This allows you to skip the process of calculating CAR.

Google Analytics - Goal Abadonment Rate

Now you can review your abandonment rate for channels, landing pages, devices, new/return status and even hour of day. Channels with very low abandonment or very high abandonment can be explored using the goal flow reports (a newer addition that works similarly to the funnel visualization tools we reviewed earlier, but allows for more granularity.)

Google Analytics - Goal Flow Report

 

Caveats

The following reporting is achievable with minimal technical setup and will work for most conversion funnels. As a caveat, it is worth mentioning that funnel reporting can only work for destination goals, so if your checkout events are being pushed as events and not pageviews, then you will need to consider using virtual pageviews to collect the data into the above reports.

As a final thought, remember that CAR is very valuable for informing UX teams, AB testers, and ecommerce managers and that data is only impactful when it is shared with the relevant stakeholders and followed up with action.

 

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