As an eCommerce store owner, the main aim is to convert visitors into paying customers.

Whenever a visitor adds items to the cart, they show their interest and intent in purchasing the items. 

This is a critical step to measure this purchase intent and convert it into a definite purchase.

Because not everyone who visits your online store will turn into a paying customer. Some of them will be adding items to the cart (unsure of purchase), randomly googling your store, and visiting for experience, window shopping, some may apply for a job as well on the career page.

So what affects the add-to-cart rate? And what measures might you take to improve it?

What is the add-to-cart rate?

Add-to-cart can be defined as the percentage of visitors’ sessions to a website that involves the addition of at least one item to their cart.

According to the survey conducted by Littledata, the average add-to-cart rate is 5%. 

Online stores with 8-10% of the add-to-cart rate are considered to be in a good market position while the stores with less than 2.5% of the add-to-cart rate are the worst-performing stores.

You need to measure your add-to-cart rate to get better insights on product selection on your website, pricing strategy, traffic acquisition tactics, merchandising, and user experience.

So that you can wisely strategize to convert these add-to-cart visitors into paying customers and surplus your business.

Why do customers abandon their shopping carts?

Ever wondered, what might suddenly happen that the customer had to leave their shopping cart full of items without purchasing?

If only 30 of the 100 visitors purchase from your online store, that means 70% of them abandon their filled shopping cart.

There are many possible reasons for the customers’ to leave their shopping cart full either mood or behavior of low buying intent or maybe some technical reason such as complex check-out process, etc.

How customers’ experience affect the add-to-cart rate?

There may include many aspects in customers’ experience that might influence not to purchase from your online store. For e.g., high shipping costs, high product price, slow loading of web pages, website crash, no guest checkout option, complex check-out process, etc.

All these things matter a lot when it comes to customers’ user experience, if they don’t feel the connective vibe from your store they will definitely not make a purchase.

You need to focus on the details of your online store. The first thing that customers want is easy and simple findability, they desire to easily look for the product they want. That means as an online seller you need to increase findability on your store, provide excellent search tools, and the ability to sort and filter items in the most available categories.

There are many more ways you can increase the add-to-cart rate in your online store.

Ways to increase add-to-cart conversion rate

Looking at our clients and hearing the solution they opted to tackle the problem. We have compiled a list of current best practices to increase the add-to-cart conversion rate.

– One-page check-out process

Although single page and multiple-page check-out processes both have their own importance for different shopping modules. When compared, notice that the single page check-out process has a higher conversion rate of 32%.

Many eCommerce sellers still use the multi-page check-out process and miss out on several benefits of the one-page check-out process, such as:

  • A shorter process influences people to complete the transaction process.
  • Avoid complexity with maximum fields on a single page.
  • Require fewer clicks to complete the check-out process.

– Avoid compulsory sign-up

Most people avoid sharing their personal details on every site or till they have built enough trust. 

Once visitors’ like your products enough to purchase them they don’t have a problem sharing their details or registering themselves on your site. But few of them will still hesitate to do so.

Approx. 30% of the customers abandon their shopping cart when asked for compulsory check-out.

So, if you also practice pushing the mandatory sign-up over your customers then you are devastating your conversion rate yourself.

Else you can ask for sign-up after they make a purchase on a “Thank You” page, as till this time they must have filled almost every information you need, at this stage all they need to do is sign-up and get a password.

– Provide free shipping, free returns, and secure payment methods

Customers are not going to trust you blindly with their debit/credit card details, they have a valid reason behind it. They have heard enough stories where websites and applications have failed to secure their customers’ data and details.

The latest news was of Domino’s India, where the application was hacked and 1 M credit card details, phone numbers were compromised.

You have to assure your customers that their details and personal information are invulnerable, make them believe in you, trust you to complete the check-out process and make a purchase.

– Improve customers’ user experience

Your interaction with your visitors (to be customers) through your website makes an impact +ve or -ve.

It may cheer them enough to purchase some products or shatter them to not even visit your site again.

You have to be very careful what experience you deliver to your customers through your eCommerce website.

Provide them an Amazon-like experience, 

  • Give a chance to buy the product immediately when details are opened. Allow them to add-to-cart as well as buy now option to increase the purchase chances.
  • Enable in-app notifications or pop-ups to tell your customer that they have added few items to their shopping cart and recommend them with similar items or other products that customers must have purchased before with the selected item(s).

– Provide everlasting shopping cart

Provide your customers with an everlasting shopping cart, remember their choices for an open time.

If they add items to their shopping cart and abandon it then let them decide what they want, make a purchase, or remove the items from their cart. Whenever they revisit your site their car should be waiting for them as they left it.

Make your customers feel special, and allow them to continue from where they left.

Give them huge offers, discount codes for the check-out to increase the chances of conversion.

– Provide big discounts

Discounts, cashback, gift cards, coupons, always work to charm the customers and also makes them feel special.

Offer them heavy discounts or score points on the abandoned cart, genuine offers to 1st visitors or on the 1st purchase, etc.

Also, you can carry off discounts as Amazon provides to their customers. Heavy discounts on limited products for just 24 hours along with the countdown as a reminder, tend to have a huge conversion rate.

– Send shopping cart recovery emails

Shopify, the most user-friendly eCommerce platform, also supports other solutions such as dropshipping, multi-channel sales, shopping cart recovery emails, review collection, etc. making it the best solution for most online stores.

Give your customers a little push by sending them shopping cart recovery emails.

Remind them that they’ve left a few items behind in their shopping cart in your store. Offer them discounts, coupons, free shipping, etc. to increase the chances of purchase.

As there are huge chances of purchase if a cart recovery email is sent within 6 hrs of abandonment and this potential chance decreases as time passes.

The cart recovery emails are very successful and have a conversion rate of 10.7%.

What converts a shopping cart recovery email into a successful purchase?

  • A reminder of the abandoned shopping cart.
  • Email sent within 2-3 hrs of abandonment.
  • Include discounts and offers, product-wise or on the total amount.


There could be more possible ways to increase the add-to-cart rate but these discussed above are the most used with highly successful conversion rates.

Practice these ways and you will definitely notice a drastic change in your sales and business growth.

Here’s a quick scan on takeaways from this blog:

  • One-page check-out process for better conversions.
  • Avoid compulsory sign-up to decrease complexity for your customers.
  • Provide free shipping, free returns, and secure payment methods for a better experience
  • Improve customers’ user experience for better engagement and relationship.
  • Provide an everlasting shopping cart and show that you care.
  • Provide big discounts to increase quick purchases.
  • Send shopping cart recovery emails to convert customers who abandoned their carts.