Shopping cart abandonment: Online retailers’ biggest downfall or greatest opportunity?

Accorin Team
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E-commerce shopping cart abandonment

We vote greatest opportunity.  Here’s why:

According to a recent study performed by Business Insider, up to $4 trillion in e-commerce sales will be lost this year due to abandoned carts. With 63% of that being recoverable. Who doesn’t want a piece of that pie?! In order to recoup some of those sales and convert browsers to buyers, it’s important to understand how customers use their shopping cart and why they ultimately choose to abandon it.

In another similar survey, it was found that 56% of customers who abandon their carts do so because they were presented with unexpected costs. These costs could be shipping, taxes and/or additional fees that the customer was not aware of ahead of time. (What better reason to offer free shipping?! See previous post: http://blog.accorin.com/free-shipping-an-option-or-a-requirement). That high percentage prompts the question “just how are people using their shopping carts?”. After a little digging into existing research (and balance by our own eCommerce experience), it is apparent that a significant number of customers actually use their shopping cart as almost a price check or a calculator, to keep track of their sub total and discover hidden fees. It turns out many customers who add items to their cart aren’t interested in purchasing them at all, rather they’re simply browsing, searching for the best price. They keep the items in their cart for easy retrieval, if and when they decide to buy.

Fascinating stuff, huh? This new insight may really change the messaging online retailers use to entice customers to complete their purchase. Most retailers rely on automatically generated abandoned cart emails to do the trick. Instead of assuming the customer has abandoned their cart, we suggest taking a different approach. Simply remind them of the items in their cart (some people are forgetful). Alert them of a time limit they have before the items will be removed from their cart and trigger an urgency instinct (“oh s*#$, I have to buy now”). Notify them of any special promotions that can be applied to their purchase (YAY discounts).  Whatever it takes to make the conversion happen!

The Bottom Line
Capture those abandoned carts! With so much potential revenue at stake, you’d be crazy not to. Think about how customers may be using their shopping cart and target them accordingly. At Accorin, we’ve helped clients create successful abandoned cart campaigns. Need help with yours? Let’s get started.