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 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.

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.)

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 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, 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.

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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