RAM: Broken Shopping Cart National Forest

Every day, online retailers are forced to wonder why they couldn't close the deal with customers who leave items orphaned in their shopping carts. Was there a problem with the site? Confusion about the shipping costs? Did they just go to grab a sandwich and never come back?

Kampyle, an Israeli company offering "feedback analytics," claims answers are a just few clicks away.

The problem is a real one for ecommerce sites, says CEO Ariel Finkelstein. "Thirty percent of people abandon their shopping carts after being in the process for 60 seconds." .

Kampyle partners with Web analytics companies and picks up where they leave off, he says. For example, if they provide data that 200 people leave their shopping carts at some point in the purchasing process, Kampyle's customer feedback form allows for input from users in real time about why they left, providing sites with information on what needs to be changed.

Users are prompted to respond to a pop-up box stating that the company sees they have abandoned their carts and asking if they'd like to tell them why. People who answer yes are provided with customized questionnaires about their experiences.

The forms also create a conversation between retailers and their customers. Users are "looking for someone to communicate with them, something which is very, very powerful," says Finkelstein. "On the user side, he understands that somebody is listening to him."

There are many reasons that shoppers state for not buying an item: it was too expensive, taxes and shipping costs were unclear, the process of paying took too long, the site's security measures were not understood. The possibilities abound. By asking the right questions and drilling down into categories, Finkelstein says, companies can pinpoint common problems and also learn about what is working and shouldn't be tinkered with.

And in the ever-expanding world of social media, it's in a site's best interest to be responsive and act fast.
"When a user goes into a Web site and has a bad experience, they don't have the ability to go to the Web site owner. Instead, they go to Twitter and say, 'Hey, that Web site sucks," says Finkelstein. "Not only does he lose one customer but also his name."

In addition, by contacting the shoppers in real time, sites can offer them discounts and other incentives to continue with their purchases, he says, which allows sites to correct problems for future customers and create loyalty among those who already shop with them.

"Direct communication with the customer not only gives you the ability to close the deal but also the ability to win loyalty and customer satisfaction," says Finkelstein, "and they'll come back again and again."

And that translates to increased sales - unless, of course, the user gets hungry or answers a call and never finishes the process. Someday perhaps there will be a solution for that.

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