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Here’s How to Measure Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate

Find out what an abandoned cart recovery rate is, how to calculate it for your e-commerce store, and how to improve it.

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Picture the scene:

You’re throwing a dinner party, and you’ve spent a lot of time getting ready — preparing the food, making the playlist, shoving clutter in the upstairs closet. 

But after 30 minutes, you notice that some of the guests have slipped out without eating dinner or even saying goodbye. 

Now imagine that scenario with customers in your e-commerce store.

If you run an e-commerce business, it’s disappointing to look at your store’s analytics and realize that a chunk of people came this close to buying — only to leave their online shopping cart untouched without explanation.

We’re firm believers that you can only improve what you can measure. And in the case of improving your abandoned cart recovery rate, you can recapture lost revenue from customers you’ve already spent marketing dollars on.

Once you know what your recovery rate is (I’ll dig into that shortly) and whether it’s higher or lower than the average for your industry, you can figure out the reasons why customers abandon their carts. 

Then you’ll know what changes you need to make to give customers that final nudge. 

What is an Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate?

An abandoned cart recovery rate is made up of two things. Let’s break that phrase down and define it.

  • The term “abandoned cart” refers to the number of people who add items to their online basket but don’t complete their purchase.
  • The recovery rate is the number of people who later return to their cart to finish their purchase, usually as a result of abandoned cart recovery text messages or emails.

Here’s a quick example of how you would calculate your abandoned cart recovery rate:

Let’s say 100 shoppers abandoned their carts. If you send an SMS reminder to those people and 20 of them return to complete their purchase, your abandoned cart recovery rate is 20%.

After that, you can figure out the value of the strategy you used to bring customers back with a simple formula. Multiply the number of customers you win back by your average order value (AOV) to get an idea of how much revenue you’ve generated.

(Total abandoned carts/number of recovered orders) x 100 = abandoned cart recovery rate

Abandoned cart recovery rate x average value order = average revenue generated

Why Should You Measure Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate?

illustration showing the formulas for abandoned cart recovery rate and average revenue generated from abandoned carts

It’s easy to rationalize that abandoned carts are just a part of e-commerce, but why would you want to miss out on sales if there were an easy way to avoid it? 

Calculating your abandoned cart recovery rate gives you a benchmark to measure what is and isn’t working in your marketing strategy. 

With the help of some extra feedback and review processes, you can even find out exactly where in the process (and why) your buyer originally dropped off.

When optimize your user experience for the drop-offs, you can start to reclaim the lost potential revenue from abandoned carts.

How Do You Find the Number of Abandoned Carts for Your Store?

To find your abandoned cart recovery rate, you’ll first need to know how many abandoned carts your store has generated. Finding this number is pretty simple if you have a Shopify store or if you’re familiar with Google Analytics..

 In Shopify, all you need to do is:

  1. From your admin, go to Orders.
  2. Click Abandoned checkouts.

Not on Shopify? You can set up and view your checkout processes funnel in Google Analytics. (Yieldify has a helpful guide to setting this up.)

Both sources tell you how many people are leaving your store without making a purchase, which is half the equation. These tools won’t be able to tell you how effective your efforts are to bring customers back.

How Do You Find the Conversion Rates of Your Abandoned Cart SMS or Emails?

If you want to see if your abandoned cart recovery efforts are helping, here are two ways to calculate your abandoned cart email or SMS conversion rates.

1. Use a Unique Promo Code

While you may not know why customers abandoned their cart, adding an incentive to help buyers engage is a good way to move the needle for customers who may be on the fence. 

You can then track the number of people who redeem these promo codes and compare them to the number of people who abandoned their carts from your previous view.

2. Use Google’s Free UTM Builder

If promo codes aren’t your style, we recommend using Google’s free UTM builder to track your recovery rate. 

With UTM parameters, you can see the traffic your abandoned cart recovery texts or emails drive to your site and how many people come back to buy because of your messages. 

This tool allows you to add parameters to URLs you include in your abandoned cart marketing, which is then visible in Google Analytics.

If the last sentence sounds like gibberish to you, we recommend reading this guide on how to track your SMS campaigns in Google Analytics.

Once you’ve got a good view of your campaigns in Google Analytics, you can more accurately compare the number of purchases in your store to the number of shoppers abandoning their carts. 

Average Abandoned Cart Rate Statistics and Benchmarks

So, now you know how to find the abandoned cart rate for your store. You may still be wondering, “…is that good?”

That depends on many factors, including your customers’ demographics, the devices they use to shop, your industry, and more. 

According to Baymard Institute, the average abandoned cart rate is 70%. But if we drill down further, we see that:

Tips For Improving Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate

Not crazy about the abandoned cart rate you calculated? Here are some proven ways to improve your numbers. 

  1. Use Personalized Follow-up Emails: Send personalized follow-up emails to customers who abandon their carts. These emails should include a reminder of the items left in the cart (so they can remember how gorgeous that sweater is and why they need it). Sweeten the deal with a promotional offer or discount to encourage the customer to complete their purchase.
  2. Send Timely and Relevant SMS Reminders: Use SMS to send reminders to customers who have abandoned their cart. SMS has an average open rate of 98%, so it’s almost guaranteed that your customers will see your reminder (compare that to email’s average open rate of 17% for retail).
  3. Set Up Remarketing Ads: Use remarketing ads to retarget customers who have abandoned their carts. These ads can be customized based on the customer’s browsing history and shopping behavior to increase the likelihood of completing their purchase.
  4. Offer Incentives: Offer incentives, such as discounts or free shipping, to customers who have abandoned their carts. This can encourage customers to return to their cart and improve your abandoned cart recovery rate.
  5. Simplify Your Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout process to make it easier for customers to complete their purchase. This can include reducing the number of steps they have to take, simplifying any forms they have to fill out, and providing clear and concise instructions.

Focus Your E-commerce Marketing Strategy on Cart Abandonment

Unfortunately, you can optimize your checkout process until you’re blue in the face and people will still abandon their carts. 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t focus on the user experience and do everything you can to limit friction, but you will reach a ceiling at some point.

That’s where a strong strategy to recover abandoned carts comes into play. By targeting abandoned carts, you can recover close to 33% of those shoppers. That’s a whopping $7,157 in extra revenue.

That kind of impact is why your abandoned cart recovery rate matters.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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