4 minute read
This year $4 trillion worth of merchandise is predicted to be abandoned in online shopping carts, 63% of which is potentially recoverable. While it is critical ecommerce merchants take preemptive measures to encourage conversions such as ensuring their website is optimized for usability, post-abandonment strategies must also exist. However, you must first know why customers are not converting before taking action to retarget abandoned carts. By tracking checkout abandonment in Google Analytics, ecommerce merchants can pinpoint the stage in the checkout process where customers are abandoning orders. Only after identifying these stages can online merchants take action to recover abandoned carts and create a more seamless checkout.
To successfully track a sales process and any abandonment that occurs, merchants must follow the process of 1. Creating and goal and 2. Setting up a funnel. Depending on the actions you are encouraging customers to take, conversions may resemble a number of activities including newsletter sign ups, lead generation form submissions and inquiry form submissions, among others.
Creating a Goal
For ecommerce merchants tracking online shopping cart abandonment, your goal will most likely be a completed purchase. However, goals are not limited to a confirmation page. They can exist on thank you pages, newsletter sign up pages or any other section of the website where a customer is shown a page after the conversion is made.
To setup a goal for tracking the abandonment of completed purchases, online retailers will need to sign up for a Google Analytics account and follow the steps below.
- Choose the profile you would like to create the goal for and access your admin panel.
- Click the ‘Goals’ tab underneath the profile you would like to make the goal for and select ‘Create Goal’.
- Choose a template that best suits your goal- for cart abandonment you will want to select ‘Checkout Complete’ underneath the ‘Revenue’ section.
- Fill out the goal description. For this exercise, the type of goal will be ‘Destination’.
- Enter the URL of where the customer will end up in the ‘Destination Equals to’ field. This URL is attached to the last page of the sales funnel. For product purchases this will most likely be your thank you page or confirmation page.
Please Note: Not all confirmation page URLs are static. If your website attaches a number to the end of your confirmation page that changes with each customer, you will need to select the ‘Begins with’ option as opposed to the default ‘Equals to’. Then, enter the static portion of the URL that remains the same with each customer who completes a purchase.
Setting up a Funnel
While goals provide merchants with useful key performance indicators in order to accumulate more actionable data, online retailers will need to set up a funnel within Google Analytics. By doing this, merchants will be able to isolate problems throughout the sales path and optimize pages accordingly.
- To begin, you will have already needed to create a goal in order to attach a sales funnel to it.
- At the bottom of the ‘Goal details’ section, the toggle that asks merchants if they wish to create an optional funnel must be turned on.
- Once the toggle has been switched on, form fields will appear which allow you to fill out the steps of your checkout process. For some, this may only be the cart page and the checkout page. Other retailers may want to track the conversion process from the time their customers enter on to their home page, through to the product page, cart then checkout.
- After filling in the URLs that correlate with each page description you can select ‘Create Goal’.
Please Note: The ‘Required’ function, seen as a toggle next to the first firm field indicates that customers can only enter the sales funnel through the page listed in step one. If you have a three step funnel with the first being the home page and the last being the checkout, any purchases or cart abandonments made by customers who did not initially enter your website through the homepage will not be tracked.
Utilizing Your Data
After tracking your goals over a number of days or weeks (depending on your sales volume) the funnel visualization option will give you insight as which section of the sales process is providing the most friction for conversions. Optimization efforts can then be put in place to create a more seamless checkout and shopping experience for customers, reducing abandonment. Techniques may include anything from changing the colour of your call to actions to redesigning the forms on a checkout page for greater usability and efficiency. In a study by Baymard Institute, the online usability research institute found that average shopping cart abandonment based on 29 separate studies was 68.07%. By remaining vigilant in tracking conversion metrics and optimizing their website, savvy ecommerce merchants can develop a combination of proactive and reactive strategies to significantly reduce cart abandonment in their online shop.