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Do you call it add-to-cart or add-to-basket? It depends where you are based - cart is most common in the United States, basket is more common in the UK and Australia.
Regardless of what you call it, adding an item to the cart is an important micro-conversion step to measure and benchmark for retailers. While it is common to compare conversion rates, naturally this measures the efficiency of the overall process including both category or product views, basket adds and checkout.
Add-to-basket rates give additional information about how appealing individual products are based on description and visuals on the product page. It shows intent to purchase by interactions with the site (Act in the Smart Insights RACE Planning conversion funnel). Google has several definitions in its Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and they neatly avoid the use of basket or cart. These measures include:
Of course, the overall conversion may take place over several sessions in practice.
As with all KPIs, we have to be careful to define add-to-basket rates since it can vary by the type of analytics system you're using. As with Ecommerce conversion rates, it can be stated as the ratio of adds to visitor sessions or unique visitors. Because of the difficulty in identifying unique visitors, it's common, as with Google Analytics to measure conversion to visitor sessions. We also have to think whether it's based on views of the basket or cart rates, or clicks on the button. Since it's easier to measure clicks, it's generally the case that it's based on button clicks, but that does vary by system.
So we can define add-to-cart conversion rate as:
The percentage of visitors sessions to a website that involve a click on the add-to-cart or add-to-basket buttons.
The most recent compilation from Monetate shows that:
The much lower add-to-cart rate on smartphone compared to desktop is similar to the pattern for conversion rate. Why is this? Well it has to be a combination of user preference to purchase on desktop and usability challenges on smartphone. Perhaps the difference between the United States and UK in the chart shows how this can be optimised.
By Dave Chaffey
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
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