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A New Solution to the E-commerce Industry's Conversion Woes

By Brett Thoreson, CEO & Co-Founder, CartStack

Brett Thoreson, CEO & Co-Founder, CartStack

You don’t have to browse far for information on the rising costs of digital marketing, the increasing rates of cart abandonment, or the growing number of cart abandonment software providers that can help you to tackle the two. But with both digital marketing spend and lost conversion figures going up, not down, are basic cart abandonment solutions merely a band-aid fix for a deeper problem? Should e-commerce businesses serious about conversions instead be looking for a deeper solution?

Contents

 • The rising cost of digital marketing
 • The rising cost of cart abandonment
 • Cart abandonment - a good thing?
 • Why basic cart abandonment solutions don’t fully work
 • A new conversion solution
 • Maximizing overall conversions

The rising costs of digital marketing

Digital marketing is costly. It’s rising at nearly five times the rate of inflation, with last year alone seeing ad spend increased by 24 percent. Yet, with click growth only improving by 9 percent, e-commerce businesses like yourselves are now paying more for reduced ROI. Why is this happening?

• More players

E-commerce is a growing industry, with more customers and retailers entering the market - driving advertising and bid prices up.

• Fewer places to advertise

There’s been significant consolidation of ad-networks, with e-commerce businesses largely heading to Google, Facebook and Instagram - increasing competition and, again, bid prices.

• Fraudulent traffic

We’re also seeing more fraudulent traffic - lapping up our ad budgets with no return.

• Different Audiences

With more consumers than ever heading online for their shopping, we’re also seeing a multitude of different buyers (and buying habits) to market to.

• Expertise

Successful digital marketing practices are changing at a fast pace - requiring significant expertise (at a cost) to navigate.

It certainly makes sense why digital marketing has become so expensive, but when it comes accompanied with lower overall conversion rates, it’s a tough cookie to swallow.

The rising costs of cart abandonment

Cart abandonment rates are at an all-time high of 75 percent, with reasons for the surge varying from:

• Unexpected costs
• Unsecured sites
• Checkout complications
• Shipping conditions
• Buyer’s intent (just browsing)

Not only does cart abandonment result in lost customers, sales and time, but coupled with the increased costs of e-commerce marketing, it also results in significant expense. Businesses are spending on average $30 capturing a lead and $180 turning that lead into a customer - that’s 50-75 percent of potential sales revenue, which is far from ideal. Or is it?

Cart abandonment - a good thing?

Your average online shopper requires six touch-points with your brand before making a purchase. They need to trust you, become familiar with your site, think over their purchase, check out your competition, and discuss it with family and friends.

Therefore, someone abandoning their shopping cart isn’t a lost cause - they’re merely in the conversion process. They have a high purchase-intent (they’re one of your hottest leads) and high engagement with your brand - making the cost of re-engaging them five times less expensive than that of acquiring new leads or traffic. Put simply, cart abandonment is good for your e-commerce business, with the potential to cut down your marketing spend and increase sales.

"E-commerce is a growing industry, with more customers and retailers entering the market - driving advertising and bid prices up"

It is for this reason that cart abandonment solutions have been pivoted as an integral part of any e-commerce strategy over recent years. But, with thousands of e-commerce businesses investing in cart abandonment tools and software, why are cart abandonment figures not falling?

Why basic cart abandonment tools don’t fully work

Cart abandoners are the low hanging fruit of the conversion world. They’re engaged, they’re open to influence, and they’re relatively easy to convert using a rightly-timed email, compelling discounts, and dynamic content. But what about the 90 percent of leads who didn’t make it to your shopping cart but still cost you money to get there?

Cart abandonment strategies alone can provide a band-aid solution; a quick-fix that converts 15-20 percent of lost customers, but fails to solve the problem completely. They target the hot prospects who faltered at the final stages, but they don’t create new opportunities or warm up cold prospects who left at the beginning. To do this, you need a strategy that will thwart abandoned carts, disrupt leads and offer an alternative to abandonment; you need a full abandoned visitor recovery system.

A new conversion solution

E-commerce businesses tired of high abandonment rates are now turning to this new conversion solution - a strategy that implements a whole suite of tools, creating a full abandoned visitor recovery system that encompasses:

On-site campaigns

The difference between this and traditional cart abandonment tools is that actively prevents any abandonment (cart or browse) from happening in the first place. But if it does happen, then you have the necessary information (email addresses) to re-engage - even if this is before a customer adds items to their shopping basket. Tools include:

Exit-intent offers

You might be cautious in using these (following your own experience) but exit-intent popups done right work. 57 percent of online shoppers are willing to enter their details into an exit-intent popup to receive personalized offers - driving them to and through the checkout.

Abandonment Alternatives

Send (or save) my cart tools push online shoppers one step further towards buying - allowing them to email their shopping cart to themselves for future reference. From there, you can send them friendly, non-pushy periodic reminders to return for this, or a similar purchase. Not only that but the process of adding items and receiving them by email, emotionally engages online shoppers - encouraging them to proceed with their purchase.

Visitor tracking

The first step in fixing a problem is identifying the cause. Visitor tracking tools give you a real-time insight into when and where your online shoppers are abandoning your website - allowing you to visually see conversion leaks and put a stop to them.

Real-time lead capture

Real-time lead capture tools collect email addresses across your whole site as soon as they’re typed in - whether that’s into your live chat, newsletter sign-up, exit-intent popup, “send my cart’ drop down or anywhere else. They capture around five times more email addresses, regardless of whether a customer has made it to the checkout or not, enabling you to run the next process: recovery campaigns.

Recovery campaigns

There will always be online shoppers who just aren’t ready to buy right now - whether they’ve added an item to their basket (cart abandonment) or not (browse abandonment/discovery failure). Recovery campaigns fill in the other missing half of the puzzle to automatically segment shoppers & send the right message at the right time to get them to convert.

Cart abandonment emails

With the ability to recover 15 percent and more of abandoned shopping carts, cart abandonment emails should remain a crucial part of your recovery campaign but only if they’re done right. Timing, subject line, design, content, and critical for successful cart abandonment email campaigns - if you don’t know best practices, partner with someone who does.

Browse abandonment emails

With a real-time lead capture component to your visitor recovery strategy, converting casual browsers into paying customers can be accomplished fairly easily. These prospects can range anywhere from previous buyers who come back to shop again to new visitors that entered an email address somewhere on your site (contact page, live chat, exit-intent popups). These targeted browse abandonment emails can then be sent to shoppers higher up the sales funnel who didn’t add anything to their cart but were intrigued enough to visit your website.

Push notification sequences

Timed browser push notifications provide an in-browser alert to online shoppers who have abandoned their shopping cart - whether that’s through a gentle reminder, product recommendations or discounts, they can often offer a 5 percent boost in revenue from sales.

Boosting results

And it shouldn’t stop there. There are a handful of further that, if you can, should be used to boost your recovery campaign even further.

Enriched contact records

Having an email address is a great start. Having enriched contact records is even better. Enriched contact tools scour the web to gain as much information about your potential customer as possible. This includes additional contact information, social media profiles, known organizations and more - allowing you to truly personalize your recovery campaign to the max.

A/B testing

Some cart and browse abandonment emails work, and some fail. A/B testing enables you to quickly identify the content and  timing that works best at engaging and converting your customers by running simultaneous email campaigns and comparing the results.

Product recommendations

Dynamic product recommendations add a personal touch to your email campaigns and drive increased sales through upselling, cross-selling and, ‘fear of missing out’ selling.

Maximizing overall conversions

If you’re tired of high cart abandonment rates, low marketing ROI, and disconnected remarketing tools that provide sub-par results, then you’re not alone. Instead, consider taking your conversion strategy a step up from regular cart abandonment campaigns, to encompass all-in-one abandoned visitor recovery solution. With CartStack, you’ll employ a well-rounded approach that tackles this persistent e-commerce problem with full force and very little effort required—which is much of the reason why it’s been named as Retail CIO Outlook’s Top Ten E-commerce Solutions of 2018.

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