Un-Abandoning the Shopping Cart

Amy Chubbuck How often have you been shopping in a store and just flat left your cart full of stuff and walked out? Maybe once or twice, but probably not that often. Yet, shoppers do it all the time when they are shopping online. What's the difference? Chances are, when you are in the bricks-and-mortar store, you feel more of a sense of obligation and commitment. You have already chosen to shop at that store and feel a certain level of guilt associated with just leaving your cart and walking out. When you are shopping online, however, there is a much larger sense of freedom. You have the freedom to shop around without that feeling of obligation. Come on, how many abandoned carts do you have out in the Internet world?

The questions are: Why are carts being abandoned, and how do we, as marketers, get shoppers to come back? Here is the good news – nearly 65 percent of online shoppers end up coming back to complete their purchase. But, what about the remaining 35 percent of shoppers that have abandoned their carts and are nowhere to be seen? Where have they gone, and is there anything we can do to get them back?

First, let’s face one fact – some shoppers simply do not intend to make a purchase and are just browsing. However, many shoppers are likely comparison shopping and have not yet made a decision as to where or when to buy. Perhaps they are searching the internet, looking for a better deal or a coupon. Meanwhile, their cart sits abandoned in an online store. Before restocking the online shelf, let’s consider some options for bringing those shoppers back into the fold.

As a shopper, here is what I like or would like to see more of.

First and most important… notice I’m gone. Send me an email reminding me I’ve not yet made a purchase. Sweeten the deal. Offer me a coupon. Better yet, offer me free shipping!! I often struggle with the shipping fee, especially when I know there is the option of visiting the bricks-and-mortar store. Even though I much prefer shopping online, the shipping fee often leads me to abandon my cart. Yes, guilty as charged. I have lots of abandoned carts in the Internet world. So many that I’ve forgotten! And, in most cases, the company has done nothing to bring me back. Such missed opportunity.

Second, when I return to your website, make sure my shopping cart is still there. Do NOT make me re-shop. I do not want to do that.

Third, before I leave your website, offer me the opportunity to have my shopping cart either emailed or texted to me. Maybe even a reminder text in a few days that I’ve still got some shopping to do. In a few days I may either return online to complete my purchase (with my free shipping promotional code) or end up in your bricks-and-mortar store and have the items selected right there on my mobile phone to help me quickly and easily complete my purchase.

The opportunities are there. Marketers just have to take advantage of them with smart direct digital marketing strategies.

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One Comment

  1. foibles
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the concrete suggestions in your post. I was just looking at some additional data on the ‘WHY’ part of the problem. Zoomerang did a good survey.


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