While abandoned carts may sound like a cool name for a rock band, they’re definitely not cool to see in your store.
It can mean one of two things: Shoppers may be having trouble following through on the order process, in which some testing may help you see if there’s an issue. Or, it could be the byproduct of a search engine robot (aka a web crawler) visiting your store.
It is a little known (but important) fact that when search engine robots crawl and index ecommerce sites, many of them add random products to the shopping cart.
Check out this Abandoned / Live Carts report from a sample store:
Notice that there are 16 abandoned carts in a period of 40 minutes, all from only three IP addresses. Now, let's look up the IP addresses with a free tool and see where they are coming from:
Now, let’s click on the Host link and see who or what scoutjet.com is:
A-ha! It’s a web crawler. And let's look at the other two IP addresses.
The word "crawl" in the Host category identifies this IP address as belonging to a search engine crawler.
You could just ignore it — it's good to know search engines are putting you in their databases and bringing you to the attention of potential customers. But if these abandoned carts are bothersome to your report, there are a couple of options:
- You can log in to your web analytics tool and find the option that reduces the number of times your site is indexed.
- You can add some special code to your robots.txt file if you want to prevent crawlers from adding products to the cart. See SEO Features for information on using the robots exclusion protocol.
If you don’t know how to find these options, ask your website developer to help you out.
Contacting Customers With Abandoned Carts
When a logged-in customer abandons a cart on your store, the Abandoned Carts table keeps a record of the cart and its contents. After 12 hours have passed, you have the option to send an email to the address on file, asking if the customer needs assistance.
For details on modifying the default time frame and manually sending these emails, check out our article devoted to Abandoned Carts.
Abandoned shopping carts can cause a sense of dread. But don’t fret just yet; check. It’s good practice to monitor your abandoned shopping carts and know who — or what — is causing them, and what you can do about it.