Why you should care about your add-to-cart rates.

By Marc Hummel

December 10, 2015

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

Right?

WRONG.

While all that stuff is true, it doesn’t mean that add-to-cart rates aren’t important. They can help you troubleshoot and optimize the checkout flow, since they measure your ability to help customers find the products they want.

Add-to-cart rates are the “first base” of shopping.

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.

What were add-to-cart rates in Q3 2015?

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.)

Email: Add-to-cart’s superpower

Email add-to-cart rates have always been pretty good, but they actually went from 8.49% in Q3 2014 to 10.23% in Q3 2015.

Want to make the most of your email campaigns? One way to do that is email-to-website consistency. Make sure if you’re promoting leg-warmers in your email, you’re not showing them tights on the website! Total fashion/marketing faux pas.

To learn more about cross-channel consistency for email and beyond, get our just-released Ecommerce Quarterly report for Q3. It features benchmarking data for add-to-cart rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates—plus real-world examples from Bonobos and Missguided.

Claim your free copy of EQ3 2015 today:

EQ3 2015

Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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