The Importance of Add-To-Cart Rates

In the ecommerce world, add-to-cart rates sometimes get a bad rap. They’re not as sexy as cart conversion rates—which measure cold-hard cash. Plus, you might think most people just use their carts as shipping-threshold calculators, anyway.



While all that stuff is true, it doesn’t mean that add-to-cart rates aren’t important. They actually can help you troubleshoot and optimize the checkout flow, since they measure your ability to help customers find the products they want. Let’s take a closer look at a few other reasons why you should care about your add-to-cart rates.

Add-to-Cart Rates are the “First Base” of Shopping.

Why think of add-to-cart rates as the “first base” of shopping? Well, because if you don’t make it past first, there’s no way you’ll make it to home. (Which would be conversion rates, in this tortured analogy.)

A good add-to-cart rate means your shoppers are finding products that are relevant to them quickly. A poor add-to-cart rate suggests there’s room for improvement regarding product navigation, search, and more. The reason tracking add-to-cart rates is important is because they can tell you if users are finding what they need and if certain areas of your site need to be optimized.

Previous Add-to-Cart Rates

We took a look at add-to-cart rates by platform going all the way back to Q3 2013. Here’s what we found.

Add-to-cart rates (by platform) from Q3 2013–Q3 2015:

Add to cart rate by platform

As you can see, desktop computers are actually seeing increases in add-to-cart rates, while mobile remains steady.

We think that makes sense, since we still haven’t met peak maturity with mobile commerce. (It’s still way easier to add stuff to a desktop cart than a mobile cart, in general.) Your company should be optimizing the shopping cart experience to make it easier for users to add items to their cart no matter the device. Optimizing the shopping journey includes matching the user intent to your website messaging and checkout experience, as these may also be different on desktop and mobile. Today’s consumer journey spans devices, and the experiences you supply to users should too.

Email: Add-to-Cart’s Superpower

Want to make the most of your email campaigns? One way to do that is email-to-website consistency. Make sure that if you’re promoting leg-warmers in your email, you’re not showing them tights on the website! Total fashion/marketing faux pas. By creating emails that are consistent with what you are showing on your site, you can create a personalized customer experience that will boost both add-to-carts and conversions.

To learn more about cross-channel consistency to increase conversions and add-to-cart rates, take a closer look at how UK fashion brand Missguided dramatically improved their retention rates through personalization. Or, feel free to contact us today to speak with an expert.