How to Track Shopping Cart Abandonment with Google Analytics

How to Track Shopping Cart Abandonment with Google Analytics

Are you wondering how many people add items to their shopping cart on your website but then leave before checking out? Learning how to track shopping cart abandonment helps you optimize the checkout process and get more of those sales.

With Google Analytics eCommerce tracking in WordPress, you can track your cart abandonment rate and come up with measures to reduce it and boost your revenue.

In this article, we’ll show you how to track shopping cart abandonment rate with Google Analytics and the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, MonsterInsights.

What’s Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment occurs when customers add products to an online cart, but then fail to complete their purchase. Cart abandonment is a huge challenge for eCommerce retailers to overcome.

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It’s especially frustrating to sellers because those site visitors were so close to buying. Why do so many people leave at this critical point, right before submitting their payment?

According to OptinMonster, cart abandonment varies across different devices. On desktop/laptop, the abandonment rate is around 67%, while on mobile it’s 78%.

There are several reasons why people leave shopping carts without making a purchase. A majority of people, 55%, abandon carts because of unexpected costs like shipping and taxes. Another 34% abandon carts because there is no guest checkout option.


Why You Should Track Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

If you’re looking to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate and regain some of these lost sales, you need to get more insight into exactly why people aren’t completing the checkout process.

Here are a few benefits of tracking cart abandonment:

  • Understand Customer Behavior – You get to see how people navigate your online store and where they are leaving the checkout process
  • Correct Errors in Your Checkout Process – A high cart abandonment rate might be due to errors in your checkout process, such as the payment option not working
  • Measure Changes on Your Website – If you’ve made changes, like using a different checkout page design, then cart abandonment rate can help measure if your changes are an improvement or not
  • Optimize Your Sales Funnel – You can look at your sales funnels and see which paths lead to high cart abandonment, then fix issues like optimizing your marketing message or promoting to a different audience

Now, are you ready to track cart abandonment using Google Analytics?

How to Track Cart Abandonment

The easiest way to track shopping cart abandonment on your site is through MonsterInsights. It’s the best Google Analytics WordPress plugin and helps you track user behaviors such as cart abandonment without having to touch a single line of code.

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To get started, just follow these steps…

Install MonsterInsights and the eCommerce Addon

The first thing you need to do is to install the MonsterInsights plugin and connect Google Analytics with your WordPress website.

In order to get advanced eCommerce tracking and reports, make sure to grab MonsterInsights at the Pro level or above!

Then, you’ll also have to install the eCommerce addon. To do that, just go to Insights » Addons and then navigate to eCommerce. Click Install and the addon will automatically activate.


And that’s it, eCommerce tracking is now active on your website. MonsterInsights will automatically detect your eCommerce store (like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads) and start tracking its data.

If you don’t have it yet, go grab MonsterInsights now!

Create a Cart Abandonment Funnel in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics 4, select the Explore tab from the left sidebar. The Explorations screen opens. Now we’ll click on the + sign to create a new, blank exploration.


In the Explorations screen, type in a name for your custom exploration. Let’s call ours “Abandoned Carts.”

Then select Funnel exploration from the Technique drop-down list.

Next, you’ll create a list of steps that represent your checkout process. Click the pencil icon next to the Steps item.


Now, type in a name for your first step. We’ll call the first step of our funnel exploration “Add item to cart.”


Click on Add new condition and choose Events » add_to_cart. This is going to show you the number of website visitors that added an item to their online shopping cart.


Add Steps to Track Cart Abandonment

We need to add more steps to our funnel exploration at this point. Your checkout process might be a little different if it’s custom, but most will follow these same steps. Let’s add two more steps to our example.

All you need to do is repeat the process above for as many steps as you’d like to track. Buyers abandon carts at different stages of the checkout, so each step will give you a little more detailed information.

To add a step, click the Add step button below the Step 1 box.

Add funnel step

Now, we’ll name our steps and select the matching events like we did above.

In this case, we want to find out how many people added items to the cart, how many of those moved on to begin checkout, and finally how many actually completed a purchase.

So, we named the second step “Begin Checkout” and chose the event begin_checkout, and we named the third step “Purchase” and chose the event purchase:

Cart abandonment funnel in GA4

We’re done with our funnel, so click the Apply button to see your cart abandonment data.

Funnel abandonment rate

What does the table show? It shows each of your funnel steps and how many people entered that step. In the last column of the table, you can see the percentage of visitors who didn’t move on to complete the next step.

So in this case, 62.9% of people added items to their carts, then left the site before beginning checkout.

Of all the people who actually began checking out, 49.1% left and didn’t purchase their items.

As you can see, this is critical information. It might alert you to experiment with the checkout and payment process, considering 63% of potential customers are abandoning their carts at that point.

So that’s it for tracking cart abandonment in Google Analytics 4. It’s pretty easy to do, and extremely insightful!

Now, use the data to plug gaps in your website. There are many different tactics depending on where the abandonment is occurring.

You may need to improve product descriptions, make the checkout process simpler, or add an exit-intent popup, for example. Experiment and try different methods to reduce cart abandonment, and get more revenue from those lost sales!

For more details, check out our guide on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate.

That’s it!

We hope you liked our article on how to track shopping cart abandonment with Google Analytics. You might also want to check out our post on how to set up WooCommerce conversion tracking.

Not using MonsterInsights yet? What are you waiting for?

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