A common problem that many businesses experience in their online sales processes is the abandonment of virtual shopping carts by customers who are shopping online. These customers, for various reasons, place items into their online shopping carts, only to leave the website before completing the checkout process.
Besides looking at the reasons why this happens and improving conversion through a cross-channel approach and an ongoing conversion marketing effort, with a focus on improving the customer experience, remarketing tactics can be of great use here as well.
Various recent studies have in fact shown few companies target their marketing efforts on shopping cart abandoners. Targeting them, using remarketing and retargeting strategies, which also means you have to know them and measure their digital footprints, can obviously improve online sales in a significant way.
By using the tracking and retargeting possibilities in transactional emails, the response behavior to offers in the transaction email will trigger follow-up communication.
One way to send messages that prompt shopping cart abandoners to complete their shopping experience, based upon their behavior and using personalization techniques where possible. Adding an incentive, such as a special offer for a discounted item, can make these follow-up emails even more successful. Incentives often attract customers to complete a transaction because they may feel that they are being offered a special deal. Although offering a special offer often works, obviously the main task remains optimizing conversion and customer experience. Promotions can not be an excuse for covering up poor ease of use.
Using a follow-up email to reference the items left in the abandoned shopping cart is another specific way to target shoppers. The more specific this reference is, the greater its effectiveness is likely to be. For example, an email that explicitly states the exact item left in the shopping cart, along with a link that takes the customer directly back to the website, is more effective than an email that simply mentions the fact that the checkout process is not complete.
When a reminder email is sent, it should be concise, visually attractive and easy to understand. Businesses should explain to the customer that items were left in the cart. Instructions on how to finish the specific shopping experience, along with a link to complete the process, are very important. Reminders of urgency are also effective. For instance, a company might mention that a product is only offered for a limited time or that the shopping cart will expire within a certain period of time if the customer does not take action.
Timing is an important consideration in remarketing strategies as well. Ideally, this happens in a way that is triggered by the individual consumer behaviour. In other cases, it is typically advised to wait two to three days to send a reminder email once a cart has been abandoned. This, however, greatly depends on the context. Testing is key here.
Remarketing strategies can be useful in increasing a company's profits in terms of reaching shoppers who have abandoned online shopping carts. If companies use best practices and strategies, they can make their remarketing efforts much more effective. Customers also can benefit as well by receiving helpful reminders and additional shopping incentives.
And don’t forget to improve the overall conversion marketing efforts. There are ample opportunities to do so, research clearly indicates. When using email for transactional purposes, good user profiling and behavioral analysis, combined with event driven interactions are important to achieve this. Obviously, user profiling and a good understanding of your customers are important in other channels, including inbound, as well.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
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