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, 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 4 and Universal Analytics.

Video Tutorial

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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.

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: Step by Step

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.

monsterinsights best google analytics plugin for wordpress

To get started, just follow these steps…

Step 1: 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 try MonsterInsights now!

Step 2: Enable eCommerce Tracking in Google Analytics

If you’re still using Google’s Universal Analytics, follow the steps below.

For those who have upgraded to Google Analytics 4, you don’t need to do anything special to turn on eCommerce tracking. Go ahead and skip this step! Click here to see how to track cart abandonment in GA4.

First, log in to Google Analytics and select the property you’d like to enable enhanced eCommerce tracking for.

Next, click Admin in the left taskbar.

click admin

Then click Ecommerce Settings under the column on the right.


Next, click the sliders under Enable Ecommerce and Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting, to turn them from off to on. Then click the Save button.


And that’s all there is to it, you’ve enabled enhanced eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics.

Step 3: View Cart Abandonment Rate in Google Analytics

In this step, you get to see how many of your visitors placed items in their shopping carts, then left your site without making a purchase.

The higher the abandonment rate, the more work you need to do on your sales funnel or checkout.

How to Track Cart Abandonment Rate in Google Analytics 4

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 add 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.


Now, we’ll name our steps and select the matching events as 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 view the cart, and finally how many actually completed a purchase.

So, we named the final two steps “View cart” and “Complete purchase.” And we chose  events from the Add new condition list that match these steps, view_cart and purchase.


At this point, we’re done with our funnel, so click the Apply button to immediately see your data on cart abandonment.

Tracking cart abandonment in GA4

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, 6.1% of people added items to their carts, then left the site before viewing the cart.

Of all the people who actually looked at their shopping carts, 77.4% 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 nearly 80% 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!

Tracking Shopping Cart Abandonment in Universal Analytics

To find your cart abandonment rate in Universal Analytics, go to your Google Analytics account. Then, navigate to Conversions » Ecommerce » Shopping Behavior in your Google Analytics report.

cart abandonment rate in google analytics

In the report, you can see the number of cart abandonments at each stage.

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 can also go through our post on how to set up WooCommerce conversion tracking.

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