If you made $1 million in sales from your e-commerce website last year, you let another $4 million slip through your fingers. Really.
As many as 88% of shopping carts are abandoned. This was highlighted last May in a Forrester report (here is a summary if you don’t want to spend $500 for the original report).
The bottom line is that no matter how friendly, how intuitive, and how well designed your shopping experience, you can’t realistically escape abandoned carts altogether –but you can reduce them. Technology and quantitative web optimization allow you to reduce abandons and materially increase e-commerce revenue. The simple truth is the average out there is still staggeringly high.
The abandons on your website are happening for specific reasons. The most common reasons customers share are:
The surprising part? Issues like website design or ease of shopping cart use are not near the top of these reasons.
While a shopping cart experience (the “exit tunnel”) that has not been thoroughly optimized will generally produce a strong financial improvement when worked on, experienced marketers have upwards of a decade of focusing on technical issues leading to shopping cart abandonment and have succeeded past anything the e-commerce world could have expected in the late 90’s.
As a result, we’re moving from tactical thinking (optimizing “experience,” qualitative ease-of-use, and quick and dirty technical fixes) to strategic planning which includes targeting specific behaviors that drive consumers to complete sales, and integrating web analytics data to support changes to the website. Opinions are giving way to evidence.
If you look at the top four reasons reported again, you probably have some concerns… how are we going to change that? The answer is, you don’t have to.
The optimal solution to all four reasons for shopping cart abandonment is a well thought, targeted, and automated email campaign. We call it shopping cart rescue.
This something that we’ve implemented for the “flip-flop” sandal and apparel brand, Havaianas. The basic concept is simple. Consumers who visit, consider products, and add them to their carts –whether they have completed a purchase or not– have already invested time and attention in your products or services.
While they may not be ready to purchase yet, a well timed, targeted reminder in their inbox effectively serves as a powerful call to action. Especially if it includes a special deal or offer that helps overcome their initial reservations about completing their purchase.
Depending on how your shopping cart works, and if it’s home grown or a packaged solution, there are various options. SitePreserver, is a simple solution to automate the rescue of abandoned carts that works with Google Analytics and is part of the MarketTraq Email Platform. Of course, there are others, and marketers should look for solutions that have low hurdles to implementation, and work consistently with their cart solution. Of course, getting meaningful analytics on the entire process is a must.
In our next post of Shopping Cart abandonment and shopping cart rescue, we’ll get into the specifics of executing a program.