Sales & Marketing

Turning cart abandoners into high-value purchasers

3 min read

13 January 2014

Shopping basket abandonment is an issue faced by many online retailers, but if retailers take a glass half full approach, these consumers can represent an audience that is open to purchasing in the near future with a bit of extra incentive.

According to Forrester Research, 87 per cent of consumers abandon shopping baskets, and 70 per cent of baskets are abandoned just before checkout. Research conducted by eConsultancy and TolunaQuick, found the top cause of shopping basket abandonment is high delivery charges (75 per cent), followed by technical problems (55 per cent), high prices (50 per cent) and the need to register before making a purchase (26 per cent).

On first glance securing a conversion can seem difficult but, in reality, this presents an interested pool of potential customers that may just be in the ‘window shopping’ stage or putting some extra thought into their purchase because of one of the above factors. If retailers understand the reasons why consumers abandon a purchase, they can work on minimising shopping basket abandonment.

Timing is everything

Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prove that timing is everything when it comes to email remarketing – 90 per cent of leads grow cold in just one hour yet within 12 hours, the majority of customers who intend to make a purchase, will do so. This research suggests remarketing can have its biggest impact within a 12 hour window. According to Forrester retargeting programmes, such as email remarketing, can return as much as 40 per cent of email programme revenue, making this a worthwhile opportunity for the retailer.

Email frequency

Sending multiple emails, targeted correctly, as subtle reminders may encourage consumers to return to complete the purchase more effectively than a single message. Research from Listrak[5] found an increase of 30 per cent in the amount of retailers choosing to remarket to purchase abandoners since 2011. The same study found that retailers are using discounts less, finding that a simple reminder is often enough to prompt the consumer. 

Get personal

Email remarketing should be personalised beyond the content abandoned in the basket and include products the shopper looked at throughout their visit. For example, a consumer could be searching for leather jackets using a search engine, these actions are noted the moment this search takes place and through every page thereafter. After the individual has viewed more than three products they are scored as a high-value customer, triggering a relevant message based on their in-session behaviour.

Shopping basket abandoners are a source of untapped revenue but companies should view this as an opportunity, rather than a loss. Consumers adding products to their online basket are motivated to buy and while they are browsing, should be viewed as window shoppers. Email remarketing provides the retailer with an opportunity to encourage these window shoppers to complete their purchase. Providing a personalised and relevant message can lead to increase of customer loyalty and revenue, converting the consumer to a high-value purchaser.

Hugh Kimber is UK Sales Director of Webtrends.

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