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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 20, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: Tips for reducing shopping cart abandonment

You've got a well-designed ecommerce hub. You're keeping up with competitor offerings and specials. You've developed a list of consumers and are monitoring the list to add new members or remove non-responding members. And yet consumers are still abandoning shopping carts or clicking-not-buying. The problem may be a small oversight that is having a big impact.

by Kristina Knight

In July, Kampyle began a partnership with Google Analytics to address shopping cart concerns as well as how and why consumers are engaging with website content. I had the chance to chat with Kampyle's CEO Ariel Finkelstein about the partnership and how e-tailers can keep consumers happy and buying. The following is a Q&A session with Finkelstein.

Kristina Knight: "Since launching with Google Analytics to determine why carts are being abandoned, what results have you found?"

Ariel Finkelstein: "[The] bottom line is: small issues have a big impact. Users will abandon a shopping cart for a very wide array of reasons specific to site, market and product: window shopping, security concerns, and shipping costs are the usual suspects, but there are many other possible reasons. Website owners must be aware of visitor behavior in order to constantly improve the site and increase revenue. There isn't a secret formula to stop shopping cart abandonment except listening to customers, acting on their comment and getting back to them. The true gain from Kampyle's integration with Google Analytics is the ability to explain the process of visitor behavior. Google Analytics identifies when users abandon the shopping cart. Kampyle's integration with Google Analytics allows etailers to dig deeper into this behavior, and learn exactly what caused it."

Kristina Knight: "Are etailers seeing more or less shopping cart abandonment these days?"

Ariel Finkelstein: "We are still seeing a high rate of shopping cart abandonment today. One of the biggest causes for shopping cart abandonment is the fact that online shoppers are smart consumers. They fully check market prices before making decisions. Today, the consumer is not afraid of adding items to the shopping cart while comparing price with a competing site. The final decision to 'buy' is based on multiple parameters, price is only one. Shipping costs, security, trust, reputation and many other issues play a heavy role in the final decision to complete a purchase. Today, customers compare many factors prior to their decision. Ecommerce continues to grow, competition gets tougher, and consumers have become smarter. The decision to purchase is based on the market research and emotion."

Kristina Knight: "In September McAfee released a report showing that 2/3s of shopping cart abandoners return. Does your research show anything similar?"

Ariel Finkelstein: "Our experience shows that Shopping Cart abandonment remains high. Kampyle customers are able to pro actively reach out to customers in the process of Shopping Cart Abandonment and ask them "why". The amazing result is customers who fill out the Shopping Cart Abandonment Feedback form with relevant and valuable data, and then leave their contact details for further follow up. These customers want to be heard and want to be contacted."

Kristina Knight: "Even though a number of consumers return to abandoned carts should etailers still be concerned about them leaving in the first place?"

Ariel Finkelstein: "Customers do abandon Shopping Carts - this fact is known. A more pressing concern is WHY? Monitoring of site traffic integrated with customer feedback linked to that abandonment page provide answers to shopping cart abandonment. A successful business must have the ability to learn from mistakes and continuously improve. Etailers need to know that they are not loosing clients at the very stage before purchase because of issues they are unaware of, and that could have been an easy fix."

Kristina Knight: "What can etailers and brands do to lessen shopping cart abandonment and to keep the consumer engaged?"

Ariel Finkelstein: "[First:] Start early: don't wait for the last minute. For an online retailer, the holiday season should start months before the holidays. Get your site ready now: tweak every last aspect of it until it is in top shape. Now is the time to collect consumer feedback and insight on various aspects of your site and prepare for the increase in traffic as the holidays draw near. The middle of the holiday season itself is a terrible time to learn of problems.

[Second:] Communicate with your clients. Remain attentive and follow up with queries early. When a client has taken the time give feedback about the site, make sure to personally respond fast; a good reputation for customer support is felt tenfold. This new communication channel with your clients can have an important effect: the Human Factor and Trust go a long way in internet sales, often further than a cheap price. That is what keeps the customer engaged, and that's the sort of service that results in good reputation, low site abandonment and increase in return customers."

Tags: ecommerce, etailing, Google Analytics, Kampyle, McAfee, online shopping, shopping cart abandonment, website engagement

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