Get a FREE Marketing Audit

How to Track Shopping Cart Abandonment with Facebook Ads

How to track shopping cart abandonment
Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to track shopping cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment happens.

While an abandoned cart can leave us scratching our heads, know that it happens to the best in the business.

The important thing to understand about an abandoned shopping cart is that it’s actually a valuable tool. Your shopper has gone to great lengths to tell you something.

They’ve taken time out of their busy schedule, set aside what they’re watching on Netflix, and whomever they’re texting, to tell you that they’re interested in your product(s).

Cart abandonment is the first step in a game of digital cat and mouse. Your move.

It’s up to you to reel them back in. How?

With Facebook Retargeting.

Stay tuned and I’ll show you exactly how to launch the perfect Facebook Ads countermove that will have customer after customer coming back to reclaim their abandoned merchandise.

Can you hear your profits calling?

In this article you’ll learn:

  • Why abandonment happens
  • How to retarget shoppers with Facebook Ads
  • How to reduce your abandonment rate
  • And more…

Why Cart Abandonment Happens

Their are plenty of reasons shopping cart abandonment happens. Here are a few:

  • Looking for coupons
  • Looking for better deals
  • Looking for reviews
  • Need approval from spouse or parents
  • Distraction

The important thing to remember is that buying your product(s) comes in pretty low on the priorities list and it’s easier than ever for people to get distracted these days. Needless to say, most businesses have an abandonment rate of around 50% (or more).

The better you are at reaching out to these shoppers, the more money you’ll make. It’s as simple as that.

What is Retargeting?

Let me make this easy on you.

Retargeting is the act of marketing to someone who has visited your website.

For example, when you shop on, there are plenty of times where you end up clicking off the site before you complete your purchase. Either you’ve viewed certain items or you’ve added them to your cart and left them.

You may notice that the next time you return to Facebook, you see ads displaying the items that you’ve already shown interest in. That, my friends, is dynamic remarketing, an advanced version of classic retargeting, and it’s super effective.

Now for how to retarget with Facebook Ads…

Retargeting With Facebook Ads – How it’s Done

Are you ready?

Here is the step-by-step process for retargeting with Facebook Ads. Get your marketing hats on, it’s time to dive in.

Facebook Pixel

Facebook retargeting revolves around the pixel, plain and simple. Without it, none of this would be possible, so pay attention.

The Facebook pixel is a powerful tool that you add to your website that allows you to track when people perform certain actions on your site. These can range from simple things like visiting a particular page to more complicated actions like clicking on a button, or even things like sales and conversions.

For retargeting you’ll only need to track basic actions. It’s such a simple process that (if you’re savvy enough with your hosting platform) you should be able to do this on your own.

In the Ads Manager or Power Editor you’ll have the option to create a pixel for your site.

Once you’ve generated the pixel, you (or your developer) will need to insert a simple line of code into your site and you’ll be ready to get tracking.

Track Events

The pixel will begin tracking once you tell it to do so. The Facebook pixel can track standard and custom events. As default it’s going to track pageviews, with the standard event “Pageview.”

To create a retargeting campaign in order to track shopping cart abandonment, you’ll need to track two additional standard events.

Add-to-Cart Page Visits

The first is when a shopper visits your add-to-cart page. The simple act of visiting this page means that they’re interested in what you have to offer and have strongly considered buying it. Don’t let them get away!

In order to track this event you’ll have to add this action to the pixel script:

fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToCart’);

Add-to-Cart Button Clicks

You’ll also want to track when a shopper clicks on the add-to-cart button. For more on how to do that, check out the Facebook Developer Site.

Neither of these are enough to build a powerful retargeting campaign. You’ll also need to track…

Purchase/Thank-You Page Visits

You’ll want to track the shoppers who have visited your purchase/thank-you page after completing a purchase because you’ll need to exclude them from your retargeting audience. Remember, you only want to show these ads to the people who only made it to the add-to-cart page and didn’t complete the purchase.

In order to track this event you’ll have to add this action to the pixel script:

fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency:’EUR’});

*Note: You can change the 0.00 with dynamic value from your purchases, very useful to calculate the ROI of your ads.

Now that you have your pixel firing for these actions, you’re ready to create a custom audience to target with your custom ads.

Create Custom Audiences

In the Ads Manager or Power Editor you’ll create a custom audience.

  1. Go to your Audience tab in Ads Manager.
  2. Click Tools and then choose Audiences.
  3. Click Create Audience in the top left.
  4. Select Custom AudienceHow to create custom audience facebook
  5. Click Website Traffic.
  6. Set your parameters, to Traffic That Meets the Following Conditions Create custom audience facebook
  7. In the Include section, select the Add to Cart Event
  8. In the Exclude section, select the Purchase Event
  9. Give your Custom Audience a name and click Create Audience.

Create Personalized Ads

Now that you have the right audience to market to, you’ll need the right ads to target to them.

Creating personalized ads is what is going to grab your shoppers attention. Let them know that you want them back. You may even want to include a discount code to entice them to return to purchase the item.

Take Steps to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

Keep the Checkout Process Simple

Your checkout process likely has a few steps to get through before your customers can complete their purchase. The fewer steps they have to go through, the less likely they’ll be to abandon ship along the way.

Reduce or Remove Distractions

Use your Google Analytics to determine where people go when they abandon their cart or checkout process. If they go to another page on your site because they click on a link to a recommended item or free resource, reduce its size or remove that link.

If they go to other sites to check prices or find a coupon, see what you can do to make make them more excited about your offer and get them through the process more easily.

Test and track your results

The most important part of any marketing is testing. Without testing you’ll never know what’s working and what’s not. Test to see which type of ads your shoppers are responding to and which are flopping.

The more you know about your shoppers, the better you’ll be able to optimize your retargeting strategy.

What’s Next?

Facebook Ads retargeting gives you a powerful way to bring back shoppers and reduce shopping cart abandonment. You now have a way to reel them back in and get your shoppers to convert to customers.

Be diligent about tracking your visitors and targeting them with custom Facebook Ads and you’ll surely see your profits head in a directions that makes you smile.

Happy Retargeting!


New Call-to-action hbspt.cta.load(468166, '2d75b80d-8268-407e-833d-6577afefdcd6', {});
Recent Blog Posts
Free Guide
How Fashion Ecommerce Should Do Content Marketing
The Ultimate Guide

Uhuru Investor Acquisition Resources

Sign up to get free investor acquisition articles straight to your inbox. Learn our proven systems that we use to increase website traffic, leads, and revenue.

Written by

Peter Lang

CEO, Co-founder

Free Guide

How to Build a Full Inbound Conversion Funnel

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.