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Stop Treating All Cart-Abandoners the Same Way

  |  February 11, 2014   |  Comments

A recent study found that among cart-abandoners, those who frequently purchased online and those who rarely purchased wanted to be marketed to in different ways.

Imagine you are sipping your favorite caffeinated beverage while sitting by a window in the trendiest café in town. While you are taking in the view, a guy walks by and drops his wallet. You immediately go outside to get his attention. "Hey, you dropped your wallet." As he turns around to acknowledge you, you would probably react differently if he ended up being your friend instead of a complete stranger, right?

If you actually knew the wallet-dropper, you would be more likely to strike up a conversation, maybe even invite him to join you for a cup of coffee. If he was a stranger, the two of you would likely keep the conversation to a minimum: "Hey, you dropped your wallet," and he would reply "Thanks!," pick up his wallet, and continue on his way. In all scenarios, you are reminding the guy that he dropped something, while customizing the message based on who he is and how well you know him.

Shouldn't you treat your shoppers the same way when they abandon their shopping carts? After all, they are essentially dropping their wallets while shopping on your site.

Marketers know the value of segmenting lists to target subscribers. Ask any of them if "batch-and-blast" is an effective strategy for a successful email marketing program and the answer will be a resounding "NO!" It's just common sense that the same email will not have the same impact with all subscribers.

Abandoned cart reminder emails are revenue-generating powerhouses with conversion rates that can reach around 20 percent, but how can you make these messages even better? Bronto partnered with Magento to ask consumers what they expect from abandoned cart reminder emails. We divided consumers based on shopping frequency and found that not only is there awareness that they will be marketed to when a cart is abandoned, but those who frequently purchased online and those who rarely purchased wanted to be marketed to in different ways.

Fifty-nine percent of frequent shoppers found abandoned cart reminder emails to be helpful, while only 35 percent of infrequent shoppers felt the same way. The perception of helpfulness could be tied to the actual message of the reminder email. If you are sending the same message to both shoppers, you are basically speaking to your wallet-dropping friend and the stranger the same way and that just doesn't make sense.

Digging deeper, we asked these shoppers which elements of an abandoned cart email would make them likely to return to their cart and purchase. Frequent shoppers most wanted to see the order total (34 percent), shipping duration (33 percent) and photos of the carted items (33 percent). The abandoner expects a certain amount of information included. Simply saying, "Hey, you dropped your wallet," and walking away is not going to cut it with these active shoppers.

More than half of all infrequent shoppers stated that featuring any content element in our study would make them less likely to return to the site and buy. Imagine how annoyed the wallet-dropping stranger would be if he was running late to a meeting and you started talking about the weather.

When a shopper abandons a cart, trigger an abandoned cart reminder based on purchase history or engagement with your program. Abandoners who have purchased from you in the past, or are frequently opening your emails or clicking around on your site, will likely appreciate a greater level of detail about the items left in their cart. Non-purchasers and those who are not actively engaged on your site or in emails may respond better to a brief, customer-service themed email that gives an option to revisit the cart without the details that could annoy them and result in lost sale.

This level of abandoned cart reminder email testing is now more accessible to marketers than ever. It's time marketers start speaking to their abandoners in a way that enhances the shopper's experience beyond the often seen batch-and-blast approach. The result will be that your cart abandoners will pick up their wallets and return to your site - and one of your best-performing triggered messages will drive even more sales.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Davidson

As an expert in email, mobile, and social strategies, Jim Davidson brings over 13 years of experience in online marketing, managing email and cross-channel programs for top retail clients. From strategic vision to implementation, Jim has led clients to successfully meet aggressive revenue and performance goals. As Bronto's manager of marketing research, he regularly publishes industry-focused white papers, research reports, and contributes to the Bronto Blog. Jim's articles frequently appear in leading retail, e-commerce, and marketing publications.

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