The holidays are rapidly approaching and consumers are beginning to eye online retailers more often in preparation for the holidays. With many brick and mortar stores beginning to offer in-store perks such as layaway and increased discounts, online retailers are faced with having to step up their game more than ever. Between increased competition in the digital marketplace and many major brands offering free shipping, how can you set your store apart from the others?
Shopping cart abandonment is a problem that many online retailers face — Whether the customer was merely window shopping or comparing prices, 9 out of 10 online shopping carts are expected to be abandoned this holiday season. How does a retailer combat this issue? How do you reel the customer back in? With email, of course.
Many customers are willing to provide their email to online retailers in the shopping season because they want to be sent discounts, coupons, and deals for the holidays. By using this email that customers have already provided you as an identifier to login and enter items into a shopping cart, you’ve already received their key contact information. If and when the customer decides to travel away from your website, in turn abandoning their shopping cart, you now have the ability to send them a friendly reminder: “Hey, did you forget your stuff?” You don’t have to bombard the customer with messages, but reminding them that you and the items they are interested in are still there can influence them to come back and complete the purchase.
Chances are if the customer abandoned their shopping cart, they may be still shopping around for a better price. If you know that your deals on products are significantly better than competitors, you offer free shipping, or any other factor that may give you a slight advantage over competition, tell the customer in an email. Just make sure you don’t wait too long to send these reminders and advantages to customers. The longer you wait, the more time they have to find the same items elsewhere and make the purchase.
Even if the customer ultimately decides not to make the purchase through you, you will still be able to retain the information on their purchasing habits. Using email logins to access shopping carts provides you with incomparable data: Who they are, how to contact them, what they’re interested in buying, how much they’re looking to spend, and whether they made the purchase. After the holiday season is over, you can still refer back to this data when reorganizing your sending lists and analyzing customer purchasing habits.
If you’re an email marketer for an online retailer, it boils down to this: Make sure you have a plan in place for shopping cart recovery. With abandonment rates expected to see 90% by November 21st, it’d be a shame to lose 9 out of 10 customers because you didn’t have an email send in place to persuade customers to seal the deal.
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts