Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Using E-Mail to Salvage Abandoned Shopping Carts

From the Catalogue & eBusiness newsletter, Insight, 28 Oct. 2008:

According to online marketing provider Experian CheetahMail, 41 percent of web shoppers in the UK regularly abandon their online shopping carts. What’s more, 30 percent of shoppers said they’d go back and complete their purchase if offered some sort of incentive along the lines of a small discount or free postage and packing. It stands to reason, then, that you can salvage a sizeable amount of those abandoned purchases by getting back in touch with the shoppers, a tactic that CheetahMail has dubbed ReMarketing.

The process is a type of trigger email marketing. Your website analytics can tell you where and when a visitor abandoned your site. You can then use that information to send him a targeted email “triggered” by the type of abandonment.

For instance, if a registered customer has quit the site before even beginning the checkout process, you could email him a quick survey asking why he didn’t make a purchase or send him a special offer based on the types of products he’d been looking at. If a customer abandoned his cart partway through the checkout process, it could be that he was interrupted; a reminder email might be enough to close the sale. And if the shopper received a system error during checkout, “ask the customer to revisit to try again or offer an alternative process—download a form, call a freephone number,” advises CheetahMail in its white paper “The Case for ReMarketing”. “The person wants to buy… they just need another solution.”

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