Imagine how chaotic it would be if the aisles of your local supermarket were clogged with hundreds of carts loaded with items that had been abandoned by their owners. Each forsaken carriage represents significant lost sales for the store as well as frustration for other shoppers. The same type of situation can occur in your online business when a high percentage of your customers fail to complete the sales process.
What Makes a Customer Abandon Their Cart?
Since so many people are selecting items and collecting them for purchase only to leave them languishing, there must be good reasons. As it turns out, there are several:
- Many customers use their shopping cart as a wish list instead of as a receptacle for things they truly plan to buy right now.
- The cart is often also used as a calculator to show the end cost of a purchase. When the dollar figure is too high, customers bail.
- Many consumers head for the hills if they discover that shipping charges were higher than they expected or when they learn that delivery times are longer than desired.
- If your e-commerce site is hard to navigate, confusing or frustrating, people tend to click away to find similar products from a retailer whose space is more appealing.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the number of buyers who abandon their carts on your site. One of the most effective and simplest strategies is to take advantage of the capability of email to guide a wandering potential customer back to their cart to close the purchase.
As with any game plan, however, there is a wrong way and a right way to execute it. Make email re-marketing truly work for you by following these guidelines:
- Your email must be timely. While the gold standard is to have a system that shoots a message to the customer within minutes of shopping cart abandonment, you will still get good results as long as you communicate with them within a 12-hour period after they click away.
- Make your messages specific to the customer’s needs. A generic reminder to complete the purchase would not carry nearly as much persuasive power as would targeted emails that appeal to a buyer’s love of a bargain, desire for free shipping or temptation to look at products similar to the ones already in the cart.
- Increase the incentives and the urgency over time. When sending a series of re-marketing emails, your goal is to convince the customer that completing the sale now is the most financially savvy and intelligent decision they can make. A note warning that quantities are limited or that the price is due to increase in 24 hours after the promotion ends can often be exactly the motivation a buyer needs to make the commitment.
Does email re-marketing sound like a tool that can benefit your company? By all indications, it can mean the difference between a market littered with cast-aside carriages and an efficient business where products are brought to the register, bagged and carried away.
Most vendors of e-commerce processing for websites can provide you with all of the cyber-tools necessary to easily initiate your own email re-marketing campaign. Remember, every customer this strategy cajoles back to your site means the potential for increased sales and an on-going relationship for many years to come.