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The Plight of the Abandoned Cart

We have all been guilty at one time or another of abandoning our shopping carts. Maybe we couldn’t find our credit card, or the shipping costs shocked us, or we simply lost interest in our purchase.

Whatever the reason for the abandonment, the simple fact is that the vendor has let untapped revenue slip between their fingers.

Experian CheetahMail’s new white paper, The remarketing report: Benchmark data and analysis for connecting web behavior to email marketing explains the value in marketing to abandoners, reporting that sending reminder emails to abandoners who do not convert after the first abandoned cart email can boost campaign revenue by up to 33 percent.

But why do website visitors abandon their carts in the first place? A study by PayPal and comScore found that 45% of US online shoppers had abandoned shopping carts multiple times in just three weeks. The average cost of abandoned goods in those shopping carts was $109. In the same study, 46% of online shoppers said high shipping charges was a “very important reason for ditching their carts.

Other reasons for abandonment included:
Wanted to comparison shop: 37%
Lack of money:
Wanted to look for a coupon:
Wanted to shop offline:
Couldn’t find preferred pay option:
Item unavailable at checkout:
Couldn’t find customer support:
Security concerns:

What can online retailers do about curbing abandoned carts and making the sale?
  1. Optimize the checkout process. Make the purchase process as simple and seamless as possible. This includes providing estimated shipping costs, delivery dates, and total costs early and obviously in the checkout process. Make it clear that the transaction is safe and secure. Offer an easy way to contact customer service. Post the return policy in an obvious location. Have a clear and easy to read progress bar throughout checkout. Pre-populate saved customer information. Provide multiple payment options.
  3. Run an abandoned cart (remarketing) program. Abandoned cart programs are a great way to convert abandoners into purchasers. Remarketing programs send emails to abandoners enticing them to complete the purchase.
  5. Consider providing an incentive to buy. This could be a frequent buyers program, wishlists, online coupons, free shipping offers, a "save your cart" feature, or special buyers clubs, to name a few. The incentive does not always have to be monetary, though, and our recent study has shown that not all businesses should offer incentives within their remarketing messages.

For more information on how to create successful remarketing campaigns, be sure to read the latest research, The remarketing report: Benchmark data and analysis for connecting web behavior to email marketing.

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