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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 18, 2014

Abandoned online shopping carts an opportunity to re-engage

An abandoned online shopping cart isn't a bad thing, according to Cloud.IQ. Rather than being a lost sale it's actually an invitation to re-engage and an opportunity to boost sales.

by Helen Leggatt

According to OnePoll, three-quarters of UK online shoppers admit to abandoning a shopping cart. This could be due to many reasons - they might be shopping at work during a lunch break or they may still be researching and not yet fully committed to making a purchase.

Typically, a consumer will research a purchase via 5 or so retailers, and aren't always going to convert straight away. Only when a consumer is 100% certain they have the best deal in terms of price, product, delivery charges and even return options, will they make their purchase.

According to James Critchley, CEO of Cloud.IQ, if a consumer has filled their shopping cart you already have a step-up on competitors, even if they have abandoned that cart.

"By abandoning their cart, the customer is inviting you to open a conversation via a triggered email and, 20% of the time, close the deal," says Critchley. "This opportunity is unique to ecommerce 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."

To this end, a cart recovery strategy is very important, particularly when you consider that those who abandon a cart are 10 times more likely to convert than any other site visitor. Triggered emails asking "can we help you?" can make all the difference and help reel a consumer back in. A balance must be struck, however, between timely and relevant emails and a bombardment that might turn them off your brand entirely.

"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," says Critchley.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, email marketing, online shopping, retargeting

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