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BizReport : Email Marketing : March 08, 2012

Expert: Why personalization matters to online shoppers

Ecommerce totals cannot be ignored. According to comScore online shoppers spent more than $50 billion during Q4 2011; that total is expected to grow higher as more shoppers turn to mobiles and social networks to find shopping deals. But, as with any shopping experience, increasing merchant conversions is all about the experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Even with $50b in sales, shopping cart abandonment remains over 50%. What can merchants do to more deeply engage and cut down on cart abandonment?

Ross Kramer, Co-Founder & CEO, Listrak: Our research has found that nearly 80% of online consumers abandon their shopping carts. We recently launched a shopping cart abandonment index that has a current 6 month average of 76%. Listrak's approach to abandoned carts is a three email remarketing series. The first cart abandonment email should be sent within 1 to 3 hours, we've found that waiting 3 hours results in a higher average order value on the converted sales and we see CTR above 20% in that first email, and conversation rates above 10%. Then a day or two later we follow up with a second email and then few days after that a third email.

Kristina: How important is personalization to the shopping experience, especially as it relates to re-engaging shoppers?

Ross: It's important for online shoppers to feel like they are getting the red carpet treatment during their shopping experience, and this same tactic should be applied to other email marketing campaigns. Segmenting the audience based on customer purchase metrics (purchase history, merchandise and spending habits, etc.), click-stream data showing their onsite behavior and interests, and email engagement (opens and clicks from prior emails) greatly increases the relevancy of the campaigns and subsequently the engagement levels and conversion rates of consumers. In a campaign with Bachrach, unsurprisingly, the emails sent to customers that incorporate purchase metrics to create more relevant messaging have 2 times higher conversion rates than general messages.

Kristina: In addition to personalization, what strategies are working to re-engage online shoppers?

Ross: We employed [a] strategy with, who started with a 3 message series and is now using a series of 5 emails, which resulted in a 37.53% average click through rate, producing conversion rates of 27.2% for message one, 15.5% for message two, and 12.6% for message three, 23.3% for message 4 and 14.3% for message 5. Listrak also included a strategy to address shoppers who wait for a discount by setting rules so that shoppers are restricted from receiving more than one discount in the cart abandonment series within a certain time period. Another key is to get email addresses at the beginning of the shopping cart process. We're also implementing Modal Acquisition pop-ups to invite site visitors to subscribe to the email list; which also helps to remarket to abandoners.

Tomorrow, more from Ross, including his best tactics for re-engaging shopping cart abandoners.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce experience, ecommerce trends, email marketing, Listrak, online personalization

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