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Abandoned carts are good for business

Abandoned carts are good for business

By James Critchley, CEO cloud.IQ

75% of Brits admit to abandoning carts online (OnePoll) but for too long there has been a misconception that this figure only represents lost opportunities and sales. In reality, with a shift in perspective and a savvy remarketing strategy in place, abandoned carts present a  fantastic opportunity to boost profits and aren’t a bad thing.

A typical consumer will research around five retailers and products online, looking at everything from price to delivery charges, return options and stock availability before buying. Your site needs to be one of those five. The challenge is to engage with a customer during this period and not be disheartened if they don’t convert straight away. Also, consider the fact that many shoppers will browse online  during a lunch break, but convert at home in the evening, towards the end of the week. Only when consumers are 100% sure will they take the final step to part with their hard earned cash.

The act of filling a cart means a consumer has engaged with your brand rather than someone else’s – you’re already ahead of the game! By abandoning their cart, the customer is inviting you to open a conversation via a triggered email and, 20% of time, close the deal. This opportunity is unique to e-commerce businesses which can foster a one-on-one relationship with their customers in a way bricks and mortar establishments can’t. If a shop assistant chased someone down the street they’d be more likely to quicken their step than re-engage with the sales person or what they were selling.

So how do online retailers build this relationship? Some debate the effectiveness of email marketing but arguably  triggered emails should be thought of differently; they are more effective than newsletters and mean your brand will have a continual presence in the mind of the consumer. This remarketing strategy is especially pertinent during the festive period when most businesses are upping spend in other areas such as above the line ads. Stay savvy and stay in touch with your customers.

This can’t be an exercise in harassment, frequent emails remarketing to an abandoned cart will keep your brand front of mind but substandard bombardments will cause shoppers to hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button, so make sure you understand your abandonment traffic before undertaking an aggressive campaign.

Analysis tools can give detailed insights on how much cart abandonment is costing you and how much revenue you could recover each month. These tools can also offer insight about when your customers are most likely to abandon a cart, and convert, which is invaluable for getting a correct strategy in place which gives you best ROI.

An email message offering, ‘can I help you?’ when customers are actively researching products, browsing prices, options and ratings could make all the difference and prompt a sale.  We recently discovered that, for our customers, cart abandonment happens at a 25% higher rate during the week than at the weekend. Real-time analytics tools also allow you to automate the triggered email process and bring those curious but cautious browsers back as paid up customers.

This process will help you build trust and credibility with your customers, helping them to make the decision to purchase and getting them to push their abandoned cart over the payment line.

Finally, traffic which started out as abandoned is ten times more likely to convert than any other traffic. Consumers have already made the jump from browsing your site to narrowing down a product they have an interest in buying. So panic not, all you need to do is make sure you have a cart recovery strategy in place to convert this huge volume of potential sales.

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