Capitalizing On Browse & Cart Abandonment

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, November 11, 2015
Someone hits your site, they browse, then maybe put something in the cart and leave.  That represents 68% of your visitors, according to Baymard Institute.   

There are many reasons for abandoning carts, according to Statistia:
-- Prospects are presented with unexpected costs.
-- They were “just” browsing.
-- They found the product cheaper somewhere else, or with free shipping.
-- It was too expensive or they were comparison shopping.
-- They changed their mind.
-- Your website crashed, was too slow or timed out, or navigation was confusing.
-- Too many steps.
-- Prospects are worried about security on your site.
-- Credit card was declined.

While one of the above can contribute to a bad online experience, you should understand there is a baseline to what consumers expect.   They expect:
-- The site to load fast.
-- Simple, secure, universal payment options/processing.
-- The site to be optimized for mobile and gesture-based browsing.
-- The site to provide concise shipping information. 22% abandon because shipping information is not readily available (Is the product in stock? When can I actually receive it? How much will it cost to get it there fast?)



There is no doubting the revenue potential. This is an $18 billion problem the industry faces.  Translate that number to your business, and a 1% improvement in this process can translate into a multiple return on the effort.   

Most start with display retargeting.  But even this tactic can have its pitfalls:  lack of proper segmentation, failure to think hard enough about what the users’ intent is in the first place.  And most importantly, not stopping poor-performing ads.  

Making this even more of a challenge is combining it with messaging remarketing or triggers.   The challenge is where to start, and how to d remain agile as it is in motion in high/low peak seasons.   Are you OK with a bit of latency for the sake of relevancy and machine driven recommendations?  I bet the answer is “it depends.”?   Are customers showrooming on a smart phone midday on a Saturday?  Maybe you want to be real-time with abandonment for that mobile session, but not so for a desktop session during a weekday morning lull when buyer intent is low?.  You may want to target a re-engagement message that evening, while browse-to-buy is high.  The answers vary by business, but your program design should focus on the fundamentals and mixed strategies.

Just realize one size does not fit all and the rules need to be configurable cross-content rules, targeting rules, sending rules.  

But I’ll leave you with something to consider.   These types of programs have a shelf life of a banana, so while it takes time to build this across your portfolio, build it with repeatability, speed and optimization in mind, as it will need to be continually fed over time.

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