Why am I seeing so many abandoned carts?

If you are experiencing an unusual number of abandoned carts in your Abandoned / Live Carts report and they seem to have the same IP address, it doesn't necessarily mean that the same customer is repeatedly trying and failing to buy from your store.

This could be the byproduct of a search engine robot (also known as a web crawler) visiting your store. It is a little known (but rather important) fact that when search engine robots go through the process of crawling and indexing ecommerce sites, many of them add random products to the shopping cart.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can tell if you have a true abandoned cart or just a pesky crawler on your hands.

Check out this abandoned cart 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 like IP-Lookup 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.

What to do next

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.

Ultimately, knowing to check for abandoned carts is a great practice for any online business, and knowing where they’re coming from will help prevent additional frustration when comparing the ratio between abandoned carts and actual orders.

To learn more about this tool, see our Abandoned / Live Carts article.